Terlato Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2009
Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
The color has delicate jewel tones of medium ruby.
On the nose are red fruits (raspberries and strawberries) with hints of violets and spice. On the palate it is lighter in style, the wine's acidity frames it nicely and will pair well with pork, chicken and other white meats. Well-integrated tannins lead to a long, silky smooth finish.
Terlato Family Vineyards
When Anthony Terlato and his sons Bill and John became winery owners and vintners in 1996, they started with one goal in mind: excellence. The concept was to produce wines that were consistent in quality and as important as those the Terlato family imported and marketed during the last half century. The bar was already set high, because they are associated with the best.
The Terlatos invested in vineyards, and state-of-the-art equipment at each of their four wineries in California. Through friendships cultivated over the past fifty years with numerous vineyard and winery owners, they were able to assemble a top notch management team and an elite wine-producing group. This investment resulted in quantum leaps of quality at each of their properties. Now, with the pieces in place, they challenged the winemakers to produce best in class wines for each of the most important grape varieties in the most important appellations in California. This is the vision brought to their namesake label, Terlato Family Vineyards.
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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.
The 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.
It'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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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.