20 June, 2009

Pinot Noir #2 of "Around the World in Pinot Noir" - Russian River

Gehring Sasser 2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ~ 13.6% alcohol

"Delicate, pure expression of Russian River Fruit"

I love to support locally-made wines. There is a new Pinot Noir on the radar that is vinted right here in Berkeley, CA at Donkey and Goat Winery, made by Charles Gehring and Brad Sasser. These former "Garagistes" have gone public and this 2007 Pinot Noir is their first release to the Pinot Noir-loving public!

The grapes are 50% Dijon and 50% Pommard clones. They use a very non-invasive approach to vinification. They lightly prep the fruit for fermentation, all the juice is free-run and they do not do "cold-soaking" of the grapes. The juice is aged in 2-3 year old oak barrels. These winemakers are truly concerned with the elegance and pure expression of the grapes.

Russian River Pinot Noirs have always seemed soft and light to me and this Pinot Noir is no exception. The color is a light garnet with a medium garnet core. The nose is "perfumey" with notes of violets and rose petals. I also got a whiff of kerosene and strawberry. As for the palate, this is a silky, light-bodied wine with some red fruit. It is not tannic, not oaky, just pure fruit with a generous spritz of acidity. I would love to drink this while eating roasted chicken and mushroom gravy, or a big hunk of roasted salmon. A bottle of this Pinot Noir goes for $27 at the Wine Mine

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