2009 Floodgate Vineyard Origins Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Floodgate Origins
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
We are wild about today’s Alysian Wines Pinot Noir from the fabled prince of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, winemaster Gary Farrell.
For the last 30 years, Gary Farrell has been crafting Pinot Noir from the finest blocks of the Russian River Valley’s most important vineyard sites. Today’s spectacular Alysian Wines 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Origins Pinot Noir is one of the finest Russian River Pinots we have ever tasted. This wine came from blocks 3 and 4 of the Floodgate vineyard; these vines were planted in 1971 (some of the oldest pinot on the continent).
This wine is elegant, delicious, and as you swirl the wine in your glass it evolves and unfolds in ways that surprise and delight the senses; the more time you spend with the wine, the more the aromas wash over you and flavors dance on the palate. The effect is like smooth jazz, or bottled poetry. No wonder this wine has received more 90+ point scores than we can even count! See below for a partial list of the awards that this wine has garnered.
Can you tell that we are practically mezmerized by this wonderful wine? Fall under its spell - before our other Operatives buy it all up. Quantities are limited.
Rich translucent crimson, with the light viscosity characteristic of a Russian River Pinot Noir.
Fruity aromas of slightly under-ripe cherry and plum meld with black pine, mushroom, and subtle eucalyptus.
Very complex, layered and bursting with flavor. Mouthwatering black cherry, blackberry, black plum and dried dark red rose petals take the lead. These sit easily atop springtime forest floor, sweet tobacco leaf, slate mineral and a hint of black pepper.
Ultra-long with well-integrated tannins that seem to lock flavors onto the palate, especially at the far corners.
We enjoyed this incredible Pinot with an equally incredible three-course meal: a Morel Mushroom Bisque followed by duck breast with rhubarb-cherry chutney and, finally, a simple cheese plate.
What the Winery Says
Floodgate Vineyard is located in the heart of Russian River Valley’s most coveted Pinot Noir sub-appellation known as the Middle Reach. It is here where the region’s most prestigious vineyards reside. This is one of our estate properties, and the future home of our new production facility. Block 4 (planted in 1971) is one of the oldest known plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. Though producing less than one ton per acre, winemaker Gary Farrell insists the vineyard be preserved; not only for its historical signiﬁcance, but the astounding wine quality produced from these old vines.
VINTAGE SUMMARY :Gary considers 2009 “the most enjoyable grape harvest” of his career. Though late-ripening varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, etc.) sustained signiﬁcant damage from October rains, cool dry conditions prevailed throughout our entire harvest of Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Yields were modest but quality was universally high; with exceptionally clean fruit exhibiting optimum structure and ﬂavor proﬁles. It’s truly an exciting opportunity to have such incredible raw materials from which to craft our wines.
- WINEMAKER NOTES
- This youthful wine proves that abundance and concentration is achievable, without the excessive weight, ripeness and alcohol. Alluring aromas of violet, fresh blackberry and stone fruits lead to an array of wild berries, fresh plum and black-pepper spice on the palate. Those ﬂavors expand and become exotic, as hints of enriching oak and minerality emerge in the many waves of complexity. Refreshing vibrancy and supportive ﬁne-grain tannins add further credibility and appeal to this ﬁrmly structured and wildly appealing wine. Though enjoyable now for its adolescent charms, a few years of carefully cellaring would pay great dividends.
Gary Farrell, winemaker
2009 PINOT NOIR, FLOODGATE VINEYARD, ORIGINS
- VINEYARDS AND CLONES
- Floodgate Vineyard – Block 4, Martini Clone
- Harvest date
- September 13. Hand harvested at night under lights. Hand sorted in vineyard
- Average brix
- 24.1 degrees
- Grape Processing
- Cold fruit processed early AM. Hand sorted prior to stem removal. Hard sorted after stem removal
- Small open tops
- Cold soak
- 4 days
- Combination wild and cultured
- 3 manual punch down daily
- 11 days
- BARREL PROGRAM
- ML fermentation in barrel. 100% French oak, Francois Freres, Rousseau. 40% new. 13 months in barrel
- 14.1% by volume
- Titratable acidity
- 7.3 gm/L
- Bottling date
- November 30, 2010
- 240 cases (9 liter equivalent)
93 Points – “This refined and very good wine opens up with a mild boysenberry bouquet with a hint of RC Cola. On the palate, it is medium bodied, super balanced, very smooth and suave. The flavor profile is a very tasty mild plum with notes of gentle strawberry and a hint of oak and faint sarsaparilla. The finish is dry and its fine tannins are a tough dusty and sail along nicely. This Pinot Noir is very refined and extremely food friendly.” ~ Ken Hoggins, Ken’s Wine Guide, June 2012
92+ Points – “Medium ruby color and aromas of red berry fruit with mineral notes. It is elegant on the palate with ripe cherry fruit flavors, excellent acidity and firm round tannins on the finish.” ~ International Wine Review, June 2012
92 Points – “Rich, complex aromas of strawberry and cherry with spicy notes; deep, rich red cherry and strawberry flavors with cinnamon and spice notes; silky texture; good structure and balance; long finish. Bright, silky Pinot that’s drinking well now and will reward some cellar patience.” ~ Greg Walters, Pinot Report, September 2012
92 Points – “Packed with tangy ripe blackberry, strawberry and plum flavors. Tannins are extremely fine and mild in overall intensity. The finish is dry and leaves a lingering raspberry chocolate flavor. Vibrant and very delicious Pinot Noir.” ~ _Tom Herman, Winecheer.com, August 2012
90+ Points – “Solid, rich aromatics of dark berry and plum with crumbled herbs. In the mouth, it shows bright, pliable cherry and violet on the mid palate with supple texture.” ~ Doug Wilder, Purely Domestic Wine Report, July 2012
90 Points – “The nose blends both upper and medium register red and dark berry fruit aromas along with hints of clove and anise. There is a sophistication mouth feel to the vibrant medium weight flavors as the supporting tannins are quite fine, indeed almost delicate. This is well-balanced, agreeably dry and offers solid persistence.” ~ Allen Meadows, Berghound, October 2012
90 Points – “Attractive, spicy, red berry fruit aroma with mineral notes and hints of clove and forest floor; medium-bull body; herbal, slightly tart, spicy, red fruit flavors with brisk acidity; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Nicely balanced and structured.” ~ Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine, August 2012
Exceptional – “Dreamy aromatics with intense and vivid aromas of fresh Bing cherries, raspberries, spice and vanilla. Flavorful, but juicy and easy to drink, offering tastes of red cherries, herbs, sandalwood and graham, picking up intensity over time in the glass. Very elegantly crafted with soft, dry tannins, lively acidity and generous length.” ~ Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile, June 2012
About the Winery
The Hambrecht family has been in the California wine business for over 35 years, partnering in esteemed brands like Ridge, Chalone, and Truett Hurst. Bill Hambrecht was among the first visionary business owners to open a winery on Healdsburg’s picturesque Westside Road in 1982. Belvedere Winery marked the beginning of what would become a family tradition and commitment to producing wines of the utmost quality.
It’s this commitment to excellence that led to Alysian Wines, which is the result of the 2006 partnership between the Hambrechts and veteran winemaker, Gary Farrell. Sourced from only the best vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Alysian’s multiple award-winning wines strike a delicate balance with flavor profiles that delight both connoisseurs and newcomers alike.
Winemaker Gary Farrell (Please note that Gary Farrell left Alysian winery after the 2011 vintage. Their current winemaker is unknown.)
Veteran winemaker Gary Farrell is known in the industry for his uncompromising standards and resolute attention to detail. As a student at Sonoma State College, surrounded by vineyards in rural Sonoma County, his love for fermented beverages eventually led to the home-production of wine. This hobby inspired him to sample wines produced in the region during the early 1970s and seek “cellar jobs” as a means to support his education.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s he observed an incredible opportunity for the production of high-end Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. It seemed few producers took winemaking seriously and even fewer targeted the “top of the market,” so he launched his own Pinot Noir brand in 1982 which went on to be one of the most decorated wines of the vintage.
Today he remains committed to producing wines of elegance, finesse and balance with refreshing acidity and low pH.