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Fall Release Ryan Pinot Noir

Winemaker’s Notes

No surprise that our first Ryan cuvee, the 2002, was a tremendous hit with customers and critics alike. The overwhelming and positive feedback we received was heartening and fuelled our engines for future work. The 2003 follow up, from a very different growing season, is a worthy successor and for me a fine expression of these vineyards in this more challenging vintage. The backbone for the blend is a unique sub-section of the Widdoes Vineyard that produces the smallest, most expressive berries from these non-irrigated mature vines. The emphasis is on floral wild berry fruit, earthiness, and bright succulence. The Jewell Vineyard, located close by on the same ridgeline, offers darker cherry and violet fruit in a fuller bodied more masculine style. The combination provides an expression of mature Green Valley Pinot that pushes the soil-driven side of Pinot as opposed to pure young vine fruitiness. Both vineyards sat through the mid-Sept heat wave, as neither were fully ripe when the heat struck. As temperatures returned to normal the vines were able to rehydrate themselves and sugar levels dropped noticeably. The upfront succulence of the vintage is immediately apparent and integrates nicely with subtle new oak flavors and sweet tannin. I tend to think of 2003 as an early drinking vintage so recommend trying this on release or over the first couple of years.

A garnet color leads to a highly aromatic nose featuring vibrant wild berries, allspice and a hint of darker kirsch. The palate is initially bright and juicy with cola spice, rosehip and lively cherry. With air, complex notes of truffle, rhubarb and tealeaves emerge with a slight smokiness. The wine turns succulent on the long complex tangy finish. Tertiary flavors of game and damson will emerge with 2 to 3 years bottle age.

Andy Smith

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61% Widdoes Vineyard

Harvest Date

September 22nd & 25th


Russian River Valley


Pommard, Old Beringer selection

Age of Vines at Harvest

19 years

Barrel Aging

Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 60% new from Tonnellerie Remond


710 cases of 750mL
30 cases of 1.5L
24 bottles of 3L