I reviewed a bottle of Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay for the blog last year, which I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of, not that their was anything wrong with the wine. So I was delighted when I received a bottle of their Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2007, as its one of my favourite grapes. I’m always a bit dubious about Pinot Noir from regions that predominately have hot climates, such as California, it’s such a difficult grape to grow even in the most perfect climate, but I thought I’d give it a go.
Situated about 1 hour north of San Francisco and just inland from the Pacific coast, it benefits from having a cooling fog that descends across the valley, helping to drop the daytime temperatures by as much as 40 degrees. This also helps to extend the growing season giving the grapes time to reach their full flavour maturity, making it the perfect place to grow most type of grapes.
In the glass it had a deep ruby colour, with wonderfully pronounced aromas of black cherries, blackberries and damsons, once you got through all the fruit you then got the sweet spice of cinnamon and clove, intertwined with a hint of smoke. On the palate all of the aromas came through wave after wave and combining beautifully, but instead of the smoke, the oak came through in a meatier characteristic. It had quite a low level of acidity, but it was just enough and soft silky tannins that just glided of your tongue.
This is an absolutely stunning full bodied red, with great flavours and complexity that I would highly recommend; it’s great to drink on its own and will also go amazingly well with a roast. It’s currently available from Waitrose, Ocado and Everywine for £21.99; yes I know it’s a bit pricey but definitely worth every penny.