The deep ruby color of this wine beckons and the nose of dark cherry and mountain strawberry does not disappoint. Hints of rose petal reveal the Russian River Valley signature, and the minerality and crushed rock elements highlight the Westside Road terroir. Powerful and brooding on the nose, the palate is equally as complex with rich dark fruits and lively flavors of tangerine. The tannins are concentrated but well-resolved, and the finish is punctuated with an oolong tea sensation.
Pinot Noir—chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France— is grown around the world, mostly in cooler climates. The grape’s tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, Pinot has the potential to develop more vegetal and earthy aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine. Thin skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lend Pinot to producing mostly lightly coloured, medium-bodied and low-tannin wines that can often go through phases of uneven and unpredictable aging.
Russian River Valley, one of the United States’ top-ranked wine regions, is located at the heart of Sonoma County. The area generally lies between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa in the south, and Forestville and Healdsburg in the north. It is one of California’s coolest and foggiest AVAs (particularly in its southern and western portions), and its cool growing season and long, slow ripening period promotes complexity and balance in the wines. As a result, Russian River Valley wines are widely respected, particularly those made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Pinot Noir for this blend was sourced from neighboring vineyards along Westside Road: Allen, Bacigalupi, Bucher, Flax, Rochioli Riverbloc and the Williams Selyem Estate.
Grapes were manually harvested and carefully transported to the winery, where they were produced with minimal intervention, including being foot trod instead of machine crushed. Fermentation takes place in oak with punch downs occurring every six hours. The wine is aged in oak (60% new, 40% 2nd use) for 14 months.