2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What We Say
HIGH QPR ALERT:
This is a fantastic wine, especially considering the price. This great value earns it today’s special QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) alert. This wine get’s our heartiest recommendation, today, so don’t miss out.
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Mission Codename: On Axis
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to multi-year favorite, Arimda Winery. Secure their newest single vineyard Castelli-Knight Ranch Pinot Noir for our Pinot-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Axis Cellars
Wine Subject: 2006 Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley
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 ideal for growing Pinot Noir. The Russian River Valley in Sonoma is particularly well suited to producing exceptional 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 – With a core of pure clear ruby. Color is evenly concentrated, until the very edge of the wine, where it transitions from ruby to terracotta to a lovely pink hue, to almost clear at the meniscus.
Smell – Deep red cherry, spiced raspberry candy, bramble and earthy aromas just jump from the glass. As the wine breaths, aromas of hard cracked leather, flinty gunpowder, black cherry, soft cedar and a hint of toasty vanilla appear.
Feel – Soft, cool and light on initial entry. Then, the wine gives a tender bite at the mid-palate, introducing a medium body and a little added complexity. A slight, flinty dryness spreads from the rear of the palate, forward. Bright acidity drives the sweet fruit to the corners of the palate.
Taste – Black cherry, juicy raspberry, cranberry and Bing cherry are in the forefront. Just behind, follow dark chocolate with pepper, bramble and hints of mineral, cedar, black tea leaf and cigar box.
Finish – Very long and clean with sweet fruit that slowly fades to earthy spice and woody components.
Conclusion – Really delicious, with great fruit and a big nose, this delightful wine was a terrifically pleasant surprise. A little shy at first, once it opens up, this 2006 Axis Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a terrific and very juicy wine. Swirl or decant for best results. We recommend swirling, so that you can witness the progression from shy and restrained to expressive, juicy and delicious. The Russian River Valley has become such a special place for Pinot Noir and today’s wine delivers a true representation of the regions unique terroir. Well structured, bright and with a lively acidity, this is a wine that is really well-suited to being paired with a fine meal. Enjoy now or for the next couple of years.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Russian River Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points / Gold Medal / Exceptional – Beverage Tasting Institute
” Cocoa, berry, and beeswax aromas follow through on a supple entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium body with raspberry puree and roasted pepper notes. Finishes with a mouthwatering delicately fruity fade with a hints of dried apricot and spice. Very tasty.”
Gold Medal – World Wine Championships Award
About This Wine:
Our Pinot Noir is fragrant with notes of wild cherry, rhubarb and orange peel, velvety smooth, and concentrated on the palate with a crisp yet silky finish. The wine is delicious on its own, with wild mushrooms, garlic roasted chicken or grilled salmon.
Grape Sourcing: Grapes for this wine were sourced from an area that is emerging of the world’s leading growing regions for Pinot Noir, California’s Russian River Valley. Close to the sea, the region’s summer warmth is moderated by fog and other cooling maritime influences, creating an ideal climate for Burgundian varietals
Vintage Notes: The season started off with a wet and soggy spring, with a late start. The weather went through a major shift in July, with heat spikes over 100 degrees, but since the grapes were late in ripening, they were not affected by sunburn. Vineyard managers had to keep a watchful eye on their vineyards to avoid mildew and botrytis throughout the growing season. As summer came to a close, the growers in cooler areas such as the Sonoma Coast were able to bring in grapes with good acidity and development by harvesting before the October rains.
Winemaking: Grapes for this wine were gently squeezed, and cold soaked for up to 5 days prior to fementation. A portion of the blend was fermented in open topped containers to soften tannins and provide more intense color and flavor extraction. After fermentation, the wine was aged for 12 months in a combination of new and 1-2 year old French oak barrels, adding layers of toastiness, and complexity to the wine.
About the Winery
Axis Cellars California’s North Coast has become the reference point, or Axis, for new world winemaking. At Axis Cellars we take advantage of the diversity of top growing regions, including Sonoma County’s celebrated Russian River Valley.
Varietal blend: 94% Pinot Noir, 6% Syrah
Grape Sourcing: 85% Russian River Valley, 8% Central Coast, 7% Sonoma County