David Noyes Wines

2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir •Freestone Vineyard

California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley

Offer Expired:Mar 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: Live Freestone or Die

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Return to our friends at David Noyes and retrieve his fantastic Crane Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: David Noyes Wines

Wine Subject: 2006 Freestone Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker: David Noyes

Backgrounder: Since 1970, winemaker David Noyes has made fine wines, all around the world, and for some incredible wineries. Early in his career, David made wine at Ridge and Kunde Estate. In 2006, David left Kunde to launch his own label. Today, as then, David is especially well-known for his delicious Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, and we are proud to bring you David’s wonderful 2006 Freestone Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

The Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County, produces Pinot Noir of remarkable distinction. The cooler maritime conditions of the region make the Russian River Valley nearly perfect for cultivating Pinot Noir. This AVA was officially designated in 1983, but many of the wines in the region used the designation as early as the 1970s (early in California’s wine history) with the many of the vines having been first planted in the early 1900s.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark and deep ruby red with darker burgundy hues that glisten in its clear core, the color remains dense to the very edge. When swirled, randomly spaced legs descend at varying speeds and fatten as the drop to the wine below.

Smell – Rich and deeply redolent with its red cherry and dark raspberry blending with savory bacon fat, spring flowers and notes of tea and cola. Classic earthy undertones, green herbs and brown baking spice adds depth and invites a sip.

Feel – Smooth, dry and rich, this full-bodied Pinot has a generous and well developed tannins tannins, balanced acidity and soft textured dark minerality that dries as the wine expands across the palate.

Taste – Dark red cherry, ripe raspberry and red plum fruit flavors blends with brown spices, earthy undertones and a touch of savory bacon fat. Enhancing this classic Pinot’s palate are smokey notes and the green herbs, floral notes and black tea found on the nose.

Finish – Medium long and lingering with this wine’s ripe red fruit and other savory, spice and herbal notes fading slowly leaving behind mouth drying tannins and earthy earthy mineral texture.

Conclusion – The 2006 David Noyes Wines Freestone Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a delicious Pinot that shows the rich and deep flavors you’d expect from prized single vineyard fruit. Depth and richness on the nose all the way through the palate and into the finish, this full-bodied Pinot really stands up on its own. Drinking perfectly right now, we enjoyed this lovely wine with grilled sausage over a medley of white beans, fennel and spinach and polenta.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: David Noyes

WINE EDUCATION: Ridge Vineyards and UC Davis

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Currently making my own wine, working, consulting…

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: If it tastes good, they will drink it.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: Wish I could encapsulate the numinous quality of wine in a single sentence…glad I cannot…

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Under my own label, 2001 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir…first commercial vintage I had a hand in…1970…oh that’s a long time ago!


AGENT WHITE: Greetings, David. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 David Noyes Wines Freestone Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

DAVID: Thank you! Its good to be back with you, today.

WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

DAVID: Not really, I like to say I grew up in Palo Alto during the 60’s and wine was just one of the mind and mood altering paths we all enjoyed… Wine begins in the earth—there’s nothing more grounded than farming, yet, once in the bottle its as subject to fad, fancy and folly as any item of fashion or style. I find the spectrum fascinating.

WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

DAVID: Both David Bennion and Paul Draper of Ridge had profound effects—the Dionysian and Apollonian, as someone said. Wine as a sensual product and an expression of earthy pleasure as well as a calling, a profession and a practice…

WHITE: Who do you make wine for?

DAVID: For myself, of course, but I enjoy pleasing people, so, for others…I like to make wine that I believe most people can relate to, can enjoy sensually…That said there’s also a story that appeals to the emotions and a respect for tradition and for style that can appeal to the intellect.

WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

DAVID: I like, currently, the metaphor of fashion…choose your wine as you would choose your clothes, or whatever it pleases you to make a choice in…ultimately it is a all matter of choice. Please, drink my wine as an homage to the tradition of zinfandel winemaking in California, or because it tastes good!

WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

DAVID: I think I’ve said enough…

WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Winery Check:

The location of the tasting room where David’s incredible wines can be found can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the winery says

About This Wine:

The nose displays concentrated aromas of raspberry, black tea, vanilla and cinnamon toast—musky and
thick. The richness promised in the nose continues through the palate and into the finish, deepening and
elaborating the delicious flavors of fruit, spice and toasted bread. Enjoy!

Sweet, rich, and concentrated this small production pinot noir shows an almost syrupy quality in its intensity of fruit, and softness of acidity.

The Freestone vineyard, armed by the Duttons, lies just off the Bohemian Highway at the very border of the Russian River, Green Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. Significant marine influence insures slow growth and late ripening. 2006 yielded a record crop, almost 3 tons/acre, but the berries were nonetheless exceedingly small and concentrated.

I harvested the fruit at 26+ Brix, much higher than I usually like for pinot, but the fruit seemed to need more time on the vine to fully develop its flavor. Fermented on native yeasts and pressed before dryness, the wine continued fermenting well into the following year. The long fermentation and concentrated character decided me to keep the wine in barrel thorough the following vintage. We bottled in December 2007.

Meyriuex is a small family run artisan cooperage whose clients include some of the top houses in Burgundy.
Their specialty is a very long toasting process that gives the wood a distinctive spice and sweetness. The
wood flavors take some time to integrate, but when they do, paired with equally concentrated and distinctive
fruit, the results are spectacular.

Food Pairing: Duck! the soft, rich and concentrated quality of the wine complements the richness of roast duck confit, pate or chocolate cherries

How We Make Our Pinots:

The vintner ‘raises the wine’ using traditional techniques. We hand select the fruit in the vineyard and punch down our fermenters manually, as often as every two hours during the peak of fermentation. Pressed just before dryness, the wine finishes fermentation in barrels from the Mercurey and Meyriuex cooperages, small houses in Burgundy, whose oak selection, as well as seasoning and toasting techniques, bring forth the high flavor ideal for softly composed pinots. “Wines made with minimal handling develop a lovely complexity,” says Dave. “We make every attempt to limit our techniques to those proved through generations of traditional winemaking.”

About The Winery:

I founded DAVID NOYES WINES to fulfill my life-long dream to provide wines that connect us to the natural world, to winemaking traditions, and that provide tangible expressions of the mysteries of time, place and transformative experience. More specifically, (and less poetically), my wines provide unique expressions of pinot noir and other varietals from selected Sonoma County vineyards. My winemaking techniques are selected to minimize handling and maximize the individuality, flavor and balance of each lot.

My winemaking career began in the cellar at Ridge Vineyards in 1970, between then and now I’ve worked in Monterey, Mendocino, Livermore, France and Sonoma Valley. In 1989 I began work with the Kunde family to create Kunde Estate Winery; I started my own label in 2001, and in 2006 left Kunde to devote myself entirely to DAVID NOYES WINES.

DAVID NOYES WINES consists of myself, my wife Grace, and our generous family and friends. We produce small lots of pinot noir, zinfandel, chardonnay and tocai friulano from selected Sonoma County vineyards located in the Russian River, Dry Creek, and Sonoma Valleys. These wines express the character of the vineyard, vintage, and my own esthetic judgment, informed through over 30 years of experience in the creation of noteworthy, well-regarded, premium wines; they offer distinct personality, balance and an excellent complement to fine cuisine.

WINEMAKING STYLE – My wines are meant to accompany food; neither wine nor food need overpower the palate to provide an overwhelming experience! The aim is for a ‘rich, balanced style’, full-flavored wines that express the best of our California fruit, yet do not overwhelm with alcohol, extract or oak. I find such wines offer more individual expression, better pairings with food and more personality.

GRACE NOYES, WOW – As the Wife of Winemaker (WOW), I am privileged to meet great folks, drink awesome wines, and eat wonderful food, in short, to have fun with my clever winemaker husband and our dynamic friends and family. Dave makes acclaimed wines and I, as WOW, provide humor and whimsy to keep us from taking ourselves too seriously. Over 96.5% I know about the enjoyment, making and marketing of wine I learned after meeting Dave in 1995.

I practice chiropractic in the Sonoma Valley, having graduated from Palmer College on Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1978. Donna Nassar, D.C. was my name before I married Dave in 1997. Besides my WOW and DC hats, I often don other hats including; wedding minister, artist and writer.

Technical Analysis:

Production: 132 case

ABV%: 14.8%

pH: 4.10

TA: 0.46g/100 ml

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