Mission Codename Repeat as needed
⏸️ Pause! ⏪ Re-taste. ⚠️ Mind blown. 🔁 Repeat as needed to assure. Question thyself if a tastier Pinot exists in recent memory? Negative. Distant memory? Maybe, but the haunting gorgeousness of this one gets in the way of recollection. Seeking an explanation… Found. Winemaker Kirk Venge is behind this, and he is amongst the very best in California with numerous 100-pointers under his belt. The Lucie label being the latest venture under the umbrella of Napa Valley legends Bacio Divino Cellars and Janzen further clarifies the reasons why. But there remains the fundamental query, can Pinot smell and taste any better? Seeking Operatives’ help to answer that.
A shade of red that’d be a top seller lipstick shade, a bright ruby, with a fiery crimson edge. Definingly seductive, with raspberry, cranberry, brown sugar, exotic spices and forest floor on the haunting nose. The purity and intensity of cherries are almost too much, toned by saline and savory touches on the lively palate. Supremely long, intense and complex on the finish, with a mouthfeel that flows into an ethereal horizon. A meal on its own, this amazing Pinot Noir can also become the ultimate companion to duck, seared or roasted.
Part of the Dutton Ranch, the Widdoes Vineyard, is a truly special site, and the winery that first discovered it is DuMol, with their highly acclaimed Ryan bottling. The reasons to buy as much as you can of this are too many to enumerate, so let’s just revert to Miles from Sideways (movie); “ Pinot can only grow in these very specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really…” - Dutton is it! - …“Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression…” - Enter Nils Venge! - “Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.” - Well said Miles, this 45% OFF steal is for you!
Sonoma County’s jewel, Russian River Valley AVA produces Pinot Noir of remarkable distinction. The cooler maritime conditions of the region make the Russian River Valley ideal for growing Pinot Noir. This American Viticultural Area was officially designated in 1983, but many of the wines in the region used the designation as early as the 1970s with the many of the vines having been first planted in the early 1900s.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
92+ points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Lucie Dutton Ranch Widdoes Vineyard is scented of warm cranberries and red currants with hints of baking spices, potpourri, and black tea. Medium-bodied, tightly knit and very elegantly played on the palate, it has a fine-grained frame and great vibrancy, finishing long and layered. Drink 2017-2024.”
92 points - Wine Enthusiast - “Heady, beguiling aromatics dominate and invite in this well-made, robustly full-bodied wine, which is spicy and tart in baked plum, cherry, cranberry and a twist of orange. Zesty acidity gives it a kick on the palate, buoyed by a moderate tannin structure.”
What the Winery Says
2015 'Lucie' Dutton-Widdoes Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
- Kirk Venge
- Pinot Noir
- Russian River Valley
- 0.53 g/100ml
- 17 months in 66% new French oak
- Bottling date
- Feb 11, 2017
- 6 barrels