What We Say 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Lively, bold and loaded with flavor, today’s wine easily earns this special recognition. We always feature the very best wines that we can find, but when a wine really shines, we issue special alerts like this one.
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Mission Codename: The Anthropological Circle
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate VML winery – so-named for Operative-favorite winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix – and procure their Russian River Pinot Noir – Limited Release for our thirsty, Pinot-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: VML Winery
Wine Subject: 2010 VML Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Virginia Lambrix
Backgrounder: 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.h3. Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Perfect ruby hues and evenly concentrated color from core to edge. After spinning this wine, tall, elegant, wine-stained tears run slowly down the glass.
Smell – Young strawberry, wild raspberry, Bing cherry and India black tea take a bright, aromatic lead. Behind these out-front aromas, black cherry, soft spice, earthy bramble, and hints of cedar, dried violets and subtle clove.
Feel – Cool, smooth and soft across the tip of the tongue. Initially light hearted, the wine takes on a more serious edge, gaining weight and a light grip at the mid-palate. Fine, integrated tannins and a soft acidity add intrigue and complexity.
Taste – Bright and lively, this wine leads with black cherry, young blackberry, cedar, red plum and a hint of clove. As the wine opens up, flavors of tart Bing cherry, wild strawberry, black tea leaf, red currant and a hint of tart goldenberry emerge.
Finish – Lively, fresh, juicy and long, with lingering fruit that gradually yields to subtle clove, flint and hints of cedar and bramble at the tail end.
Conclusion – Today’s 2010 VML Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a focused and delicious wine that is well worthy of your attention! Once again, winemaker, Virginia Lambrix, shows off her Pinot Noir prowess, crafting a wine that is approachable, complex, elegant and balanced. This youthful wine is ready to drink, now, and it will continue to improve for the next several years. Well-structured and lively, this Pinot Noir is an excellent companion to your favorite meal. We’d recommend pairing with a peppered, grilled tuna steak, or a roasted pork loin. Drink this delicious wine after at least 20 minutes of decanting for optimal flavor. Enjoy now, but be sure to cellar a few bottles for the next couple of years.
Wine Spies vineyard Check:
The location of the VML Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Bradford Mountain Winery
About This Wine:
Violets, crushed raspberries, black tea, sandalwood and clove come to life in the glass. Alpine strawberries, blueberries and hints of maple syrup fill the palate. A silky texture and vibrant acidity carry through this mouth-filling finish.
Pinot Noir grapes are hand harvested in the early morning and placed in a small open top fermentor, and cold – soaked with dry ice to maintain an oxygen-free environment until the native yeasts become restless and begin transforming sugars into wine. The temperature heats up and the cap (skins and seeds) is gently mixed into the must (liquid) via hand punchdowns, imperative for temperature control and extraction. The wine is pressed off to barrels where it finishes primary fermentation and eventually malolactic fermentation.
About The Winery:
In life, usually the biggest challenges offer the greatest rewards. This is what drew me to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay — Grapes that grow on the margins of viticultural regions. Preferring cool, foggy days to sunlit ones, these varietals have the potential to offer complete expression of their roots. However, this requires the subtle and intuitive touch of a good farmer and eventually the gentle influence of the winemaker.
While the grape clusters are bathed in soft light, the grapevine roots seek water and nutrients in light, airy Goldridge soil. Derived from ancient uplifted seabed, with a dusting of volcanic ash, the soil feels like moon dust. More importantly, it holds a limited supply of water and nutrients, creating perfectly balanced grapevines… and even better wines.
Varietals: Pinot Noir
Region: Russian River Valley
Aged: 10 months in 40% new oak, and 60% in 1- and 2-year-old French Oak