Michael Forrest Winery
2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Miron Family Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What we say
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Mission Codename: See the Forrest through the vines? um, trees…
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a lovely 2007 Pinot Noir from Michael Forrest Winery.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Michael Forrest Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Kent Barthman
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.
This wine comes form the south-eastern most sub-appellation of Green Valley, which is known for its cool foggy climate and its Goldridge soil.
The Miron Family Vineyard is a former Kosta Brown vineyard. Through a crafty Spy-style coup, they were able to ‘take over’ the vineyard and secure 100% of the finest Pinot Noir fruit available!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A lovely violet burgundy with violet ruby reflections through its deep clear core. Along the edges, the color fades to a lighter ruby pink. When swirled, this wine leaves behind clusters of fast thin legs along the side of the glass.
Smell – Medium in intensity with aromas of red and black cherry layered over an earthy and spice base. A touch of cola and smoke blend harmoniously with hints of toasted oak and vanilla.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this medium to full-bodied wine is rich with lively acidity and fine grained tannins. Add to this a nice texture of distinct minerality.
Taste – Focused and youthful, flavors of red and black cherry (and other red fruit) are layered over a black tea component and earthiness. Cola, spice and subtle herbal mint and forest blend with smokey oak and vanilla.
Finish – Clean and of medium length, this wine’s minerality and spice linger with a touch of earthy fruit linger until the next mouth-watering sip.
Conclusion – The 2007 Michael Forrest Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a lovely wine that shows quite a bit of focus in its flavors. Its lively structure, makes this wine good for food pairing. Enjoy this wine now, or let it cellar for a few years as it continues to develop. (Note: the 2007 vintage is considered to be one of the best in years, we feel this wine will evolve over the next several years.)
Below is a recap of Agent Red’s original mission to Michael Forrest Winery.
The call came in late last Tuesday night. I was just dozing off after coming off of a long mission.
Sleepily, I answered the phone, “Hullo?”
“Red, it’s Z. Dead Drop Zeta. 0100 hours.”
With that, the connection clicked and there was silence.
Z is a deep cover operative, working in a senior position at Starry Night Winery, a winery that produces wines that have been wildly popular with our in-house agents and our Operatives.
I pulled on a jumpsuit and headed out. I’d have minutes to spare, but a little extra speed would get me there on time.
It was raining, as it had been for nearly a week. This has made meeting like this a wet affair, but I was happy for the vineyards. The rains were much needed.
I parked across from the designated drop and spotted a cloaked figure walking briskly through the park where our drop had been established long ago. The lone figure tossed a small bundle into a trash can and kept walking.
Since the park was empty at this time of the morning, I decided not to wear any sort of disguise. As casually as one could pick through a garbage can, I did – and I retrieved the bundle.
Rather than wait until I was back at my lair, opened the bundle, tearing away the neatly wrapped brown paper that surrounded it. Inside was an unlabeled bottle, two photographs and the following note:
Agent Red: I am writing to alert you to a secret project here at the winery. We have formed a clandestine alliance with winemaker Kent Barthman. Our plan is to craft small lot, premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, made from grapes from some of the most renowned vineyards. These wine will be spectacular.
You are, in fact, now in possession of Bottle #1 of our Michael Forrest Pinot Noir. The alliance has decided to allow The Wine Spies to smuggle a small quantity of the wine to your Operatives who will, no doubt, appreciate the balance and great character of the wine.
We’re trusting you and your Operatives to keep the wine under wraps. Please don’t allow this wine to fall into enemy hands. They’ll figure out ways to get their hands on some, soon enough.
With heart racing, I quickly returned back to my safe house to evaluate the wine. En route, I alerted my fellow agents. They joined me in time to enjoy the newly decanted wine. We all loved it and we made special arrangement with Z to bring you a limited quantity of the wine for today’s special offering.
If you’ve enjoyed Starry Night’s wines in the past – or if you just love great, hand-crafted specialty Pinot Noir – then this wine will be a sure hit.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Green Valley Sub-Appellation of the Russian River Valley AVA can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Dark garnet ruby red color leading to alluring aromas of black cherry, Santa Rosa plums, Darjeeling black tea and spices with a hint of vanilla. Dense and rich mouthfeel and texture with flavors of black cherry and spice. Elegant and balanced fruit driven finish with smoky oak tones.
About The Vineyard:
Miron Family Vineyard is situated at the southernmost tip of Russian River Valley’s sub-appellation, Green Valley. This part of the appellation lies directly in the path of the cool fog transported through the top of the Petaluma Gap. Because of the cool temperatures, Miron Family Vineyard is late to ripen and produces fruit with deep aromatics and flavors while maintaining precise acidity and balance. The vineyard is 3 acres and is planted to clones 667 and 115.
About The Winery:
Our philosophy for Michael Forrest Pinot Noirs is to produce wines from the most important and unique growing regions of California. Our goal is to make wines that will reflect these growing regions and showcase how the Micro Climates of these areas influence the character of the wines. So a Michael Forrest wine from the Carneros region will feature flavors strawberry & bright cherry, a wine from the Russian River appellation would showcase flavors of black cherry & plum, while a Pinot from the Anderson Valley would typically feature firm acid structure and almost tutti fruity character; and wines from Santa Barbara are noted for organic aromas that balance the fruit of the vineyards in that appellation.
Our goal with our Chardonnay is to present a complex Chardonnay without losing focus of the depth and complexity of the fruit from vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Our aim is to develop single vineyard Chardonnay that reflects the unique characteristics resulting from the micro climate, geography and geology of a single site within the appellation.
Our commitment at Michael Forrest Winery is to produce wines of distinction and unique character that represent a value to all levels of wine consumers.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest: October 1, 2007
Brix at Harvest: 26.4º
TA: .58 g/100ml
Aging: 15 months in 60% new oak; 100% French and Hungarian oak barrels.