Sequana Sarmento Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Russian River, California
Pinot Noir specialist James MacPhail has complete control over the creation of Sequana's single-vineyard wines. Grapes were hand-picked and hand-sorted, then cold-soaked prior to fermentation to maximize flavor and color extraction.
In small open-topped tanks, each block was fermented separately, using primarily native yeasts. Other lots were fermented with yeasts unique to each individual lot. Hand punch-downs extracted and elevated the Pinot Noir flavors and the wine was aged sur lie in French oak barrels for 11 months.
Displaying the classic qualities of the Santa Lucia Highlands, this silky Pinot Noir has pretty floral and citrus aromas. Warm Asian spices accompany bright, lasting flavors of citrus, rose petal and cherry.
About the Vineyard
Winegrower James MacPhail describes this setting as "nothing short of spectacular." The Sarmento Vineyard sits on benchlands of ancient, tilted alluvial soils topped with rock-studded sandy loam. Grapes for the Sarmento Pinot Noir come from two separate 10-year-old vineyard blocks – each with a unique clone. This family-owned, sustainably-farmed vineyard benefits from its southeast exposure and cool climate, allowing the grapes to ripen fully.
PinotReport - "Medium ruby color; deep cinnamon, spiced plum and cherry aromas; deep, complex, focused plum and cherry flavors with cardamom and sandalwood notes; some fine tannins; sweet oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep and complex with terrific, many layered flavors. Needs time to open up but worth the wait!"
Wine Enthusiast - "Winemaker James MacPhail brings his touch to this ripe, delicious Pinot Noir. It explodes in raspberries and cherries, but it’s no more fruit bomb. Shows fine acidity and even a dusting of tannins that provide structural integrity. Really nice now, and should develop over the next 4–6 years. "
Sequana Single vineyard Pinot Noir wines from Green Valley of Russian River Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands are named in honor of Sequana, the Franco-Roman goddess of the River Seine, which flows through the ancestral birthplace of Pinot Noir.
Winemaker and Pinot Noir specialist, James MacPhail, has complete control over the creation of Sequana's limited production wines – from farming to winemaking. He understands Pinot Noir's temperament, its ability to convey the signature of each single vineyard and its preference for restrained, gentle winemaking. He makes his Pinot Noirs by hand in small batches, using cold maceration and native yeasts. "My goal is to express each vineyard’s personality," says James. View all Sequana Wines
About Russian River
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.
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