Monday, January 6, 2014

Pulling cork: good Russian River pinot. I didn't say cheap...

    Two recent releases by this quality producer, Gary Farrell.  One (the 2011 Hallberg Vineyard) costs $55 but is worth it in today's pinot sweepstakes. Full bodied - can a wine have an aggressively strawberry nose and still  be balanced? Guess so - it should be                                              

                                        (Photo by Shion Conaway)
kept a couple of years before drinking. I found the slightly less expensive and less alcoholic (only 14.5 %) Russian River selection more open and appealing, with bright red fruit and good body. More proof of just how appealing is Russian River pinot and how lucky Sonoma to have that lovely riverine inlet for ocean breezes.
     Another appealing wine is Jean-Charles Boisset's excellent, fanciful experiment with inter-continental blending (go to It's called JCB No. 3 and, as you may remember, a blend of Burgundian and Russian River pinots. Boisset's family owns Raymond in Napa, DeLoach and Lyeth in Sonoma and many other properties.
    Total disclosure: he sent me a bottle for Christmas and so I tried it a year and a half after the first time. It has opened up: great fruit, well structured, bright, long finish. The price? Only $123.                                         

                              Alas, no gold writing this time.
   Note: check out my books newly in electronic form and new on-demand titles:

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