2007 Blanc de Noir
California: Russian River Valley
For the first time in our six year history, one of our never-before-featured wines has won a coveted Wine Spies Wine Intrigue Award! Today’s spectacular 2007 VML Winery Blanc de Noir was so impressive that, on tasting it, we declared it to be the finest sparkling wine that we had tasted all year - and we immediately issued the award.
Today’s wine is in limited supply, so please be sure to act quickly. Agent Red was able to sweet talk the winery out of every case that they had on hand, but this wine will still sell out.
Today’s bubbly masterpiece has a lively, energetic mouth feel - with an elegant finish and an intriguing flavor profile. Flavors are light, but not restrained or even subtle. Instead, the wine presents its unique flavors in layers that evolve as you sip.
On the nose, the wine shows off lovely fruit, with unique, soft aromas of tea and subtle spice. Overall, there is a complexity and elegance to this wine that captivated us - from start to long finish.
2007 was a remarkable vintage for Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley, with Robert Parker giving the entire 2007 vintage a decade-high 96 points for California reds. In the hand of winemaker, Ginny Lambrix, it is no wonder that today’s wine - made from red Pinot Noir grapes - is so exceptional.
Happy New Year, dear Operative!
An energetic cascade of fine bubbles spiral to the top of the glass through light golden wine. There, a fine layer of pure-white mousse covers the wine.
Sweet and fresh on first sniff, the wine shows off lovely aromas of fresh white peach, white acacia flower, wild strawberry and dried apricot. As the wine warms, even slightly, it reveals subtle aromas of citrus peel, white cherry, white tea and a hint of nutty vanilla.
Flavors of skinless red apple, citrus zest, white cherry, wild strawberry and acacia flower take the lead on the palate. As the wine warm, just slightly, it opens to reveal apricot, white peach and pear, with an intriguing hint of white chocolate.
Very long and very flavorful, with citrus giving way to white flowers and hints of white minerals. The creamy finish persists, long after the bubbles have subsided.
What the Winery Says
Alpine Strawberry. Bergamot. Cardamom. Toasted Almond. White Peach. Apricot. Pomegranate.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
85% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay
Case Production: 700 cases
RS: 5 grams/liter
Cellaring: Méthode Champenoise
About the Winery
Early in winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix’s career, the Russian River Valley served as her laboratory for developing an interest in the fruit and farming there. While winemaker and viticulture specialist for Truett Hurst in the Dry Creek Valley, Virginia expressed her fascination by making a little Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The label distinction was made by using her initials, VML. After convincing one of her partners, Phil Hurst, to take a walk through some of the Russian River Valley vineyards she was familiar with, the notion of getting more deeply entrenched in the region came to pass.
As fate would have it, Bill Hambrecht, longtime Russian River Valley grape grower and vintner, was looking to breathe new energy into both his vineyards and winery in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley. The joining the team at Truett Hurst and these stellar properties was the foundation of VML Winery in the spring of 2011.
VML’s Single Vineyard series wines are meant to capture the imagination by highlighting unique and beautiful pieces of terroir within the Russian River Valley. Virginia explains that the beauty of wines from the Russian River Valley is how they reflect the specific vineyard sites. The winemaker should stay out of the way of what the terroir expresses – guiding the fruit and resisting the temptation to manipulate the wines. The wines at VML let the vineyard sources speak for themselves. Despite the trend to tone down Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, a force of nature in our vineyards delivers wines that are big, bold, and full flavored.
Winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix
While on vacation in South Africa, Virginia Lambrix tasted her first “serious wine.” Captured always by a love of nature and the out-of-doors, she determined it was time to learn about the art of the vineyard – viticulture. Within a year, Virginia was studying horticulture and agronomy in the master’s program at the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis on viticulture and enology. Upon graduation, she worked at the Hendry Ranch in Napa, and for Concha y Toro in Chile.
In 2004, Virginia visited a biodynamic farm in Chile. It was immediately clear to her that the biodynamic principles of respecting nature and nurturing ecology within the vineyard made sense in both a scientific framework and on an intuitive level. She embraced the philosophy and made a point to study and implement its principles at every opportunity. With this knowledge, she returned to work in California for Lynmar and De Loach Vineyards, both of which are in the Russian River Valley.
During her three years at De Loach Vineyards, Virginia worked closely with her growers, moving their vineyards to more sustainable farming methodologies and, in the process, improving quality and moderating farming costs. Her mentor at De Loach, Greg La Follette, taught her to understand both vineyards and winemaking at an intuitive level.
Working side-by-side with winemakers Hugh Chappelle at Lynmar Estate and Greg La Follette, Virginia couldn’t help but follow their winemaking with interest and in 2008 she began making wine for Truett Hurst Winery. Bringing her former background in the Russian River Valley to the attention of the Truett Hurst team, she added Russian River Valley wines to the winery’s portfolio.
Today, she oversees winemaking for Truett Hurst wines in Dry Creek Valley, VML Winery in Russian River Valley, as well as the Bradford Mountain and Healdsburg Ranches brands.
Virginia is a strong advocate for alternative agriculture. She is currently on the Demeter Board for education on biodynamic farming, with the goal of developing educational resources for farmers who are pursuing this approach to farming.