What We Say 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Today’s wine is not available anywhere but right here! Our friends at Davis Bynum generously granted us the exclusive! Get some if you can…
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s single vineyard Pinot Noir rates as comparable to those cult Pinot Noir that cost $100 or more per bottle and are only available once a year direct from the winery (unable to mention the hyphenated name, but if you love Pinot you know what we’re talking about). Today’s wine originally sold for $75. Today’s $25 price makes it a stellar value.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
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Mission Codename: Russian River Purity
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Davis Bynum, and raid the final supply of their outstanding Russian River Valley Pinot’s. This one, from Laureles
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Davis Bynum
Wine Subject: 2005 Laureles Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Gary Patzwald
Backgrounder: The Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County, produces Pinot Noir of remarkable distinction. The cooler meritime conditions of the region make the RRV ideal for growing Pinot Noir. Davis Bynum’s extended focus on, and love for, the region means that their particular Pinot Noirs are beautifully crafted to reflect the best that the region has to offer. Read Agent Red’s mission report and tasting noted below for the full intel on this exciting wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful and dark with a hue that change, depending on the lighting. In room lighting, the wine reminds me more of a Bordeaux than a Burgundy. Held up to sunlight, and the wine take on a wholly different look; With light shining through it, wine is deepest pure ruby with garnet at its very heart. Look at it from the top, and you will note its concentrated color – from heart to rim. When I swirl this wine, I observe a tight surface and a core that keeps spinning for a long time. When the wine settles, it leaves behind fat clusters of chubby legs that take a long time to emerge
Smell – Lush and deep with a rich and earthy medium intensity. The fruit shine through, delivering a warm rush of red cherry, ripe raspberry, blackberry and soft pomegranate. These sit atop a delicious earthiness with soft forest floor, spice, fresh violets, cedar and the slightest hint of vanilla bean
Feel – This tender wine starts soft, round and wet, but then gradually shows off its medium body with a bright acidity, velvety tannins and a touch of minerality
Taste – Perfectly integrated flavors of ripe red cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, blueberry tart and darkest blackberry. These are tempered against hints of soft spice, earthiness and soft vanilla
Finish – This wine goes long, starting earthy and soft, and then more rich – but still refined – as the fruit lingers long after you sip, later revealing soft spice and a delicate minerality
Conclusion – Please take careful note here – This is the last time that this wine will be made available at this price – and maybe at all. That said, let me tell you why you should taste this wine: All of the 2005 vintage Davis Bynum Pinots we have shown here have been beyond remarkable. Today’s Bynum from Laureles represents the best of the bunch. This was not our impression when we first tasted the three wines side-by-side. That this wine is now the most impressive of the three tells us something about aging. This wine just needed a few extra months in bottle in order to realize its potential. In fact, we are so excited at how well it has progressed, that we are recommending that you buy extra bottles to lay down. Drinking beautifully now, we expect that it will continue to progress. Note that there is a little heat on the palate on opening, but this is diminished beautifully with time spent in a decanter. Allow the wine at least 30 minutes of breathing time for maximum enjoyment. If you love great California Pinot Noir, this is your last chance to purchase this exceptional example. With bright and juicy flavors, an evolving feel and great aromatics, this wine is sure to please.
Below is a recap of our first encounter with Davis Bynum Wines by Agent Red and Dr. Pinot.
For today’s mission, I called upon Dr. Pinot, a trusted asset with a nose for sleuthing great Pinot Noir.
I was given three single vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, and I needed to pick the best one for today’s wine offering.
Each of the wines was placed in a paper bag, concealing their true identities. We mixed them up and then proceeded to taste through them. Interestingly, the wines progressed from lighter in stye to darker and more rich. The middle wine – today’s wine – was the clear winner, exhibiting the best all-around balance of the three.
A hearty thanks to Dr. Pinot for helping me to choose today’s wine. What follows is the possibly-true story of Dr. Pinot’s own personal encounter with today’s wine:
Doctor Pinot Goes Kayaking
The Russian River was higher than normal for this time of the year due to the late spring rains, making for a quick float down stream from Healdsburg. Padding over to a flat spot at the base of a steep bank, on the back side of what was now considered by some in the area to be the holy grail of Russian River vineyard sites, Doctor Pinot jumped into the shallows, and secured his kayak on the rocky beach.
Reaching into his boat, opening the hatch to the watertight stowage compartment, he pulled out a bottle from an old friend. A friend who used to cajole him each harvest to come back from his station in some unknown, godforsaken place, to decompress by helping with that year’s winemaking at his new Northwest Sonoma County winery project. His friend, Davis Bynum, journalist turned winemaker was great at shaking hands with the growers in the area, and securing fruit from the best vineyard sites in the Russian River AVA for his famed single vineyard Pinot Noirs.
Doctor Pinot opened his treasured bottle of 2005 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir, from a site he knew well, located in the Russian River Valley. This site consistently produced Pinot Noirs with balance and concentration.
Opening the bottle, and pouring the wine into his Reidel “O” glass, Doctor Pinot tasted and closed his eyes as the wine took him back to his college days working as a vendangeur at Etienne Sauzet’s property in Puligny-Montrachet. This wine had a ‘somewhereness’. This land, this place had made its mark, exhibiting aromas of earth and hillside redwood forest floor, layered with vanilla and smoke, that soon evolved into flavors of orange peel, late summer raspberries, wild strawberries and cocoa. Doctor Pinot, normally quiet, but never at a loss for words, could only think of one at this moment in time … WOW!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Laureles Vineyard in the Russian River Valley region can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Davis Bynum Winery
Davis Bynum Pinot Noir is driven by vineyard sites.
Aromas of plum, cedar, and tobacco leaf lead to flavors of candied cherry and earth, all well integrated in a medium body with a round mouthfeel. This vineyard overlooks the famed Westside Road region from a hill to the west.
Gary’s Vision - “Winemaking in Russian River Valley is a true pleasure. No other region outside of Burgundy stamps as distinct a signature on pinot noir and chardonnay. I see my job as winemaker to naturally guide the fruit through the fermentation process, maturing the wine in the fi nest French oak barrels, all the while retaining the authentic flavors of the region.” Gary Patzwald, Winemaker
VARIETAL: 100% Pinot Noir
APPELLATION: Russian River Valley
FERMENTATION DETAILS: Cluster sorted, cool fermentation
ALC. BY VOL.: 13.9%