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Spring Release Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker’s Notes

The 2006 growing season produced the highest crop levels we have seen since the bumper 2000 vintage crop, so it's no surprise that this new offering reminds me most vividly of a wine from that charming vintage, the 2000 Finn bottling, which continues to offer vibrant complexity and subtle pleasure. Following a prolonged wet winter and late spring, the flowering took place under perfect conditions ensuring an abundant crop of tightly-packed large clusters. Multiple crop thinning passes were essential to achieve the concentration we deem necessary to satisfy our stylistic goals. In many cases this required two or three successive thinning passes in each vineyard to attempt to reign in nature's exuberance. A week of 100 degree blazing heat in late July provided an additional challenge as exposed parts of clusters were burned under the powerful sun, necessitating a final thinning pass by exasperated vineyard crews. Thankfully we enjoyed moderate coastal weather throughout most of August and early September and a delayed harvest began slowly thereafter. The 2006 individual Pinot components tended toward the truffle and earth-infused spectrum, accompanied by gorgeous black cherry fruit purity and bright floral notes. These components steadily gained in weight and texture as they absorbed their sizeable structures during barrel maturation. At blending the following August, we elected to declassify over a quarter of our production to maximize the aromatic intensity and supple texture the wines had accumulated. During a final three months of natural settling in tank, the individual components harmonized to produce this graceful combination of subtle power and broad elegance.

Medium/dark ruby red. Soaring aromatic intensity, with fresh raspberry, sweet kirsch and spring flower aromas offset by darker notes of truffle, game and allspice. The palate is energetic and focused combining bright pomegranate and darker wild berry flavors with complex earthy elements of tea-leaf and subtle dried herb. The wine finishes long and pure with clean, elegant tannins and vibrant persistent acidity. Drinking on release or aging for 6 to 8 years will deliver evolving pleasure as the wine sweetens and broadens with maturity.

Andy Smith

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Harvest Date

September 20th through October 18th


Russian River Valley


Old Beringer, Pommard, Dijon 114, 115, 777, Calera & Swan

Age of Vines at Harvest

22 years

Barrel Aging

Aged 11 months in 45% new French oak barrels then 3 months settling in tank


2700 cases of 750mL
85 cases of 1.5L
26 bottles of 3L