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Spring Release Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker’s Notes

Our 2005 RRV Pinot Noir bottling most closely resembles our 2001 release, a wine that is drinking gloriously six years post vintage. The late spring and early summer rains that were to set the tone for the entire season, reduced crop levels to the lowest we've seen since 1999. The ensuing summer was reminiscent of the cool 1998 season and vine vigor exploded under the mild temperatures causing uniformity problems in a number of vineyards, prolonging veraison and increasing berry size. Extensive and heartbreaking cluster thinning, to an already diminished crop, was essential to maintain concentration and intensity. The harvest itself was a series of three mini-harvests as the ripening season ebbed and flowed according to its own schedule. We started picking on the steep hillside at Sundawg Ridge in early September and returned on two further occasions over a three week span. By contrast our old dry-farmed vines at Widdoes ignored all this bother, producing some of the most thrilling wines we have seen from this great site and laying a solid foundation for this particular bottling. In the cellar the wines were immediately fresh, supple and charming with a gorgeous succulent layered mouthfeel and a sense of subtle delicacy. With barrel time, they concentrated to show great aromatic complexity and an emphasis on truffles and earth rather than simple summer fruit. The wines came out of barrel after eleven months and settled naturally in tank for three months until bottling at the end of last year.

Deep ruby red. Great aromatic complexity with truffles, fresh earth, thyme and kirsch. Bright red fruit and darker wild berry flavors lead to roasted meat and anise notes. Great inner-mouth energy and vibrancy with supple, elegant tannins and a touch of orange peel on the long spicy back end. Approachable on release, our 2005 RRV Pinot bottling should provide great drinking pleasure for up to eight years with good cellaring. Serve between 58 and 62 degrees to ensure full flavor development.

Andy Smith

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Harvest Date

September 1st through October 3rd


Russian River Valley


Old Beringer, Pommard, Dijon 115, Calera & Swan

Age of Vines at Harvest

21 years

Barrel Aging

Aged 11 months in 40new French oak barrels then 3 months settling in tank


2334 cases of 750mL
75 cases of 1.5L
30 bottles of 3L