2007 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Londer Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
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Mission Codename: The Cool Cats
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Calstar Cellars and raid their supply of their Chronicle Wine Competition Double Gold-winning, vineyard designate Pinot Noir, from the famous Londer Estate in the Anderson Valley.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Calstar Cellars
Wine Subject: 2007 Pinot Noir Londer Estate
Winemaker: Rick Davis
Backgrounder: The Anderson Valley AVA in Mendocino County runs long the Anderson River, which flows northwest from near Boonville towards Navarro. The west side of the Anderson River rises to a region known as the Mendocino ridge, a higher elevation aspect than much of the inland wine growing regions in Mendocino County. It is one of California’s coolest wine growing regions with the climate most influenced by proximity coast. The region is also well known for having a diverse alluvial soil structure that supports a wide variety of grapes.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deepest ruby hues, with a slightly darker heart. At the edge of the wine a fine ring of pink encircles the glass. After swirling, short, evenly-spaced, wine-colored legs move very slowly downward.
Smell – Lush black and red cherry jump from the glass. Just behind these appear tart young strawberry, dried orange peel, dried pink rose petals, soft spice, supple leather and the most subtle hint of bergamot.
Feel – Ripe and soft, with a bright acidity and plush tannins that all combine to give the wine a softly dry, and medium-bodied feel. The wine finds a nice balance between lively and complex.
Taste – Bold, bright Bing cherry and flinty strawberry lead the way. As the wine settles onto the palate, additional flavors are revealed, including dark dried cranberry, black tea leaf, spiced raspberry candy, dried orange peel, forest floor, oak and a piquant punctuation of white pepper at the very end.
Finish – Bright acids and plush tannins drive the flavors to the far corners of the palate. Tart fruit yields to sweet fruit and then, as the palate dries, leather, spice and other more earthy flavors persist. At the very end, after all fruit has dwindled, a lovely hit of white pepper remains.
Conclusion – This Double Gold Medal winner, is a juicy, bright, bold and delicious wine that packs plenty of character, complexity and bold fruit. 2007 was such a stellar year for California reds (Robert Parker gave the vintage a whopping 96-point score!) but we haven’t featured too many ‘07 Pinots. Today’s 2007 Calstar Cellars Londer Estate Pinot Noir is a complex treat that had our tasting panel spending a great deal of time with, identifying the myriad aromas, flavors and textures. Ready to drink, now, this wine should continue to improve for the next few years. Recommended!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Richard (Rick) Davis
WINE EDUCATION: On the Job since 1988
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Assistant Winemaker: Flowers Vineyard and Winery, 1997-1998; Hahn Estates, 1998-2000; Gainey Vineyards, 2000; Tandem Winery, 2001-2002, 2004-2005. Winemaker, Calstar Cellars, 2001-Present; Halleck Vineyards, 2005-Present; Londer Vineyards, 2005-2011
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Buy good fruit and figure out what it wants to be/ Buy good fruit and do as little as possible
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Man makes wine, god(s) make vinegar.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 2002
AGENT RED: Greetings, Rick. We are thrilled to be showing your [wine] today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
AGENT RED: Great to be back with you and your Operatives, today, Red!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
RICK: I got interested in wine out of my love of cooking and food. So the I had a 1964 Mouton Rothschild in 1974, I was hooked.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
RICK: Jim Moss and Greg Lafollette
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
RICK: Lamb or Tuna
RED: In your opinion, what makes the [REGION] so special?
RICK: It’s a cool region with great diurnal flux, leading to a long growing season and great natural acidity.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
RICK: These days, I’m getting ready to blend my 2011 wines.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
RICK: Think of them in terms of food pairings, though most of them are enjoyable on their own.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
RICK: Don’t take wine to seriously, it’s a beverage to be enjoyed.
RED: 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!
RICK: You’re welcome and thanks again for the opportunity.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
About This Wine:
Aromas of ripe Rainier cherries with undertones of rose petals, citrus, leather and damp forest floor. Flavors focus on bright, high-toned cherry with underpinnings of orange zest and rose petals framed by velvety ripe tannins and subtle, well integrated oak spice. Lingering cleansing finish with bright cherry interwoven with notes of rose petals.
The Vineyard: Located twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Londer Vineyard is nestled just northwest of the Mendocino County village of Philo. The 15‐acre vineyard is planted on south‐facing slopes, in an effort to capture both morning and evening sunlight, important in a cool and often fog‐laden microclimate. Due to the nearby Navarro River, the soils are alluvial and sandy on top of clay‐based loam, providing an ideal and well‐draining environment for Pinot Noir.
About The Winery:
Calstar Cellars began in 2001 with the goal of producing exclusive, hand-crafted wines with a food-friendly focus. In order to achieve this goal, Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis, selects the highest quality fruit from award winning vineyards with site-specific character in Northern California. We hope you enjoy our wines as much as we enjoy producing them!
About The Winemaker:
Rick Davis, Proprietor & Winemaker – A life-long interest in fine food and artisan craft led, Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis to the wine industry. With graduate work in soil sciences and his first experience as a cellar-hand for Rivendell Winery, a small winery in New Paltz, NY, he quickly learned the trade and excelled to Winemaker. In order to pursue this newfound passion, his move to Sonoma County, CA left him in the perfect place to master winemaking and focus on Pinot Noir.
Rick has spent 20 years improving his process through experiences with Flowers Winery under Winemaker, Greg LaFollette, and as Consulting Winemaker with Londer Vineyards, Halleck Vineyards, La Czar Vineyards, and Alcina Cellars and developed Calstar Cellars, his own label, as an extension of these relationships.
He specializes in cool climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and has worked with many of the top producers on the Sonoma Coast. Rick’s passion is to produce high quality, food-friendly wines that can be shared at every table knowing the bounty of the vine.
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Clonal Selection: 40% Swan Clone, 30% Clone 115, 16% Clone
Pommard 4, 8% Clone 2A, 6% Clone 777
Harvest Date: September 10‐October 2, 2007
Aging: 45% new oak, 66% French, 33% Hungarian
Production: 172 cases
TA: 5.60 g/L
Release Date: September 15, 2009