22 December, 2008

Savannah Chanelle

My friend Marsha has the best taste in wine. She had previously given me a bottle of the 2005 Gary's Vineyard Pinot Noir and I found it delicious. So, naturally, when she invited me to a little holiday get together it was a no brainer to brave the evil weather and unnatural traffic to get out to Saratoga to parti-sip-ate! Saratoga, officially described as a "village" is an adorable area in the mountains above the Silicon valley. The Savannah Chanelle tasting room is up Big Basin Way tucked into a redwood studded property off a twisty private road int he Santa Cruz Mountains. The Tasting Room is built into an old wooden barn that dates back to 1912. Soaring ceilings, seasoned woods and gifts galore, it was a great place to while away a rainy afternoon. Thanks to Marsha, we tasted a ton of things. All of it delicious! Here are my highlights:

'06 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley: Made from a blending of grapes from three vineyards Tina Marie, Gunsalus and Sonoma Coast, this was a lighter in color, bright red with very balanced acidity. The initial nose I got was almost floral and also tons of red fruit. The flavors were cranberry, red plum and towards the end, strawberry. It had a lovely finish.
'07 Pinot Noir, Gunsalus Vineyard: This single vineyard Russian River Valley pinot was a luscious, typical Russian River Valley example. It had a fruit forward nature tempered by the cooler climes. The mouthfeel was silkier than the previous wine. Given my predilection for all things Russian River Valley, you can guess, I loved it!
06 Pinot Noir, Armagh Vineyard: Also delectable. The nose has a slight hint of yeast and bakery spice. Lots of red fruit in the aroma and flavors. People had been saying cranberry of the previous wines, which I did not get so much. However on this one, I totally got the cranberry splash.
Library wine Bonus: '05 Montmartre: This red blend was a stunning wine. It was dark, savory and fruit forward with a luscious ripeness. Unfortunately, this late in the progression, my note taking got very sketchy and that is all I wrote.
All in all a great adventure! In rain, lovely and very Santa's Village. In sunshine, there is a lot more to see on the property. For all you Silicon Valley folks for whom the Russian River Valley is a major trek, here is a gem within your midst.
And to Marsha, THANKS! for the great invite!
Savannah Chanelle Tasting Room
23600 Big Basin Way (Highway 9)
Saratoga, CA 95070
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