Amici Pinot Noir Reserve 2018
A wine that exemplifies the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir style with black cherry, pomegranate, rhubarb and cranberry notes with hints of leather. Flavors of black tea and cinnamon add complexity through the palate, where a dense, velvety texture is balanced nicely with crisp fruit-driven freshness.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A bigger, richer wine, the 2018 Pinot Noir Reserve also comes from the Russian River Valley and boasts a terrific nose of darker berry fruits, scorched earth, forest floor, and sappy herbs. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it too has a beautiful spine of acidity, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a great finish. It can be enjoyed now, but I think a year of bottle age is warranted, and it should evolve for 5-7 years as well. This is another beautiful wine from this team that’s well worth your time and money.
From vineyards on Starr Road, Windsor Ridge and Olivet Lane in the Russian River Valley planted to 777, 667 and Pommard clone, the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve was made with 15% to 20% whole cluster and aged 11 months in 50% new Francois Freres and Taransaud barrels. Already bottled, it has a medium to deep ruby-purple color and comes charging out of the glass with bold black cherries, red plums, warm cranberries and raspberry pie scents plus wafts of lavender, tilled soil, bouquet garni and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long.
Dried cherries and ripe strawberries with some smoky and light vanilla undertones. It’s full-bodied with round, ripe tannins and a creamy-textured finish. Lovely now, but has the richness and structure to age. Drink or hold.
Amici's owners — John Harris, Bob and Celia Shepard, and Bart Woytowicz—are all great friends with a passion for making and enjoying great wine. At Amici the focus is on quality, not quantity. Because they insist on keeping the production small, they can carefully control the process of creating each wine, crafting what they like to consider a small work of art in each bottle.
What started as a few friends crushing some grapes for fun is now an award-winning premium wine known around the country, but one thing will never change: Amici is a wine created by friends, for friends.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.