Dehlinger Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Russian River, California
#5 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
The fruit for our "Estate Pinot Noirs" comes from the hilltop sections of the vineyard. The wines tend to showcase darker fruit flavors and aromas of baking spices. The inclusion of a small percentage of whole clusters in the fermentation lends greater structure and aging potential to these bottlings.
Wine Spectator - "Aromas of plum and blackberry jam turn firm and intense on the palate, gaining depth, nuance and traction. Finishes with a strong burst of flavors. Drink now through 2018. 1,050 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The flagship Pinot, the 2008 Pinot Noir Estate, comes from the finest hilltop parcels in his beautiful Russian River vineyard. Its dense plum/ruby color is followed by a perfumed nose of forest floor, and sweet black raspberries, black cherries and plums intermixed with a hint of Asian spice. Fleshy and medium to full-bodied with silky tannins, good acidity and purity, it demonstrates a commitment to intelligent winemaking. These wines are never over-oaked or extreme in any fashion. The 2008 Pinot Noirs continue Dehlinger’s nearly unbroken record of success with Pinot that started in the mid-seventies. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Deeply pitched black raspberry and cherry on the nose, with a floral nuance that becomes more pronounced with air. Juicy, penetrating dark fruit and bitter cherry flavors are given spine by tangy acidity and become sweeter on the back half. Rich but lively pinot with excellent closing thrust and lingering florality. By all means give this wine some bottle age. Dehlinger told me that this bottling was made from fruit from his highest-altitude vines."
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The Dehlinger vineyard, family operated since 1975, comprises 45 acres of rolling hillside vines on a mixture of Goldridge and Altamont soils in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley. A landmark Octagon House, also dating from 1975, stands atop a hill near the entrance to the property. Varietals grown and produced are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, with a combined annual volume averaging 7000 cases. The winery is owned by winemaker Tom Dehlinger and his wife, Carole, who live together on the property. Two of their four children, Carmen and Eva, have been involved full-time with the operation since 2008. View all Dehlinger Wines
About Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.