Healdsburg Ranches Winery
2010 Russian River Valley Appellation Series Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Floodgate Vineyard
California: Russian River Valley
Today’s Healdsburg Ranches Winery 2010 Russian River Valley Appellation Series Pinot Noir can be our delicious little 90 Point secret. Priced at a wallet-friendly $19.99, today’s Pinot drinks like a much more expensive bottle of wine.
We love winemaker Virginia “Ginny” Lambrix and always look forward to tasting her wines. This Pinot cleared even our heightened expectations by a mile. Incredibly elegant and refined, this wine is everything you could want in a Pinot Noir.
If you’re looking for a wine to impress your next dinner party, we heartily recommend today’s wine.
Deep scarlet at the center of the glass, transitioning to a slightly rustic red rim.
Aromas of raspberry and boysenberry greet you initially and are quickly trailed by coffee bean, tobacco leaf, freshly fallen leaves, green peppercorn, a touch of toasted oak, and hints of subtle dark baking spices.
Elegant and subdued flavors of sweet plum, black cherry, and raspberry mingle with earthy mushroom, saddle leather, sandalwood, black peppercorn, dark spice, and a note of herbal black tea.
Long and lingering, with juicy dark fruit notes slowly fading and leaving a hint of subtle spice on the tip of the tongue.
Garlic and rosemary rubbed roast chicken.
What the Winery Says
Quintessential Pinot Noir flavors of dark berries, cherry and rhubarb combine on the palate with the spicy flavors of vanilla. The nose indicates that the wine will be full of fruit but the palate shows the savory elements of Pinot Noir. Indeed, a classic Russian River Valley pinot noir, with a silky smooth finish eminently enjoyable throughout.
Sourced from the Floodgate vineyard, located on low lying land not far from the heart of Russian River Valley, this location offers a combination of sunlight and fog that is ideal for slow ripening and preservation of the fruits natural acidity. The resulting grapes deliver a wonderful balance between aromatics and flavors.
Soils in this vineyard are a combination of Glen Ellen and Wilson Grove Formations. The former is composed of river gravels while the latter is mainly uplifted sea floor. Both soil types drain well and provide a wonderful growing platform. This is nearly ideal pinot noir territory, and the resulting character of the wine is evident.
90 Point Review - Wine Enthusiast A lovely Pinot Noir, bone dry and crisp, perfect for pairing with a huge array of foods. It has subtle flavors of cherries, tobacco and white pepper.
- Virginia Marie Lambrix
- 90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
- Floodgate Vineyard
- Fruit Variety
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Aged in French oak
About the Winery
The North Coast of California, that area to the west of the Mayacamas Mountains and north of San Francisco, is a patchwork of microclimates suitable for nearly any agricultural pursuit. In the early days of the California wine industry Healdsburg was the center of the North Coast, a small farm town where the ranchers and farmers would come to get the tools, equipment, and supplies needed to maintain their ranches as well as themselves. It was here that they would also buy the local wines, varietally labeled, reasonably priced, and darn good.
Over the years, the wine industry has grown remarkably throughout the North Coast, and Healdsburg as well as much of its surroundings have gentrified. But those of us who remember the not-so-old days still recall those local wines, lacking pretense and flash, but possessing a quality that is rare even today. Every time you tasted one of those wines you felt that you had grossly underpaid for it.
The wines of Healdsburg Ranches are an homage to these wines. Produced only a handful of decades ago, from vineyards all over the North Coast, they were continually present while we were discovering and learning about the wine business in California, and we remember them well.
Today, our wines are produced from great vineyard sources using time-honored techniques (with a little modern technology thrown in), and our hope is that you will taste in them what we tasted back then. Wines true to their variety and place of origin, balanced, smooth, easy to drink, and hard to forget.
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.