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Chasseur Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS91
14.1% ABV
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  • WW91
  • WS90
  • WS91
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A deep ruby color and forest earth scents introduces this energetic youthful Pinot. Both depth of fruit and a sense of coiled strength are apparent in the aromas. Things are as zesty and forthright on the palate. More floral than its counter-mate, the Sonoma Coast but still the fruit is complex and darkly constructed of red raspberry and black cherry.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Offering a sizable portion of herb- and cedar-laced plum and raspberry fruit, this is full-bodied and still evolving, yet headed in the right direction. Ends with complex fruit and jazzy toasty oak. Drink now through 2023.
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Chasseur

Chasseur

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Chasseur, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Chasseur Wines is dedicated to small lot, hand-crafted wines in the old French tradition with emphasis on vineyard designates. Our small size (presently about 2,700 cases) allows complete control over the winemaking process, therefore, enabling us to produce the finest wines the fruit has to offer. We are pursuing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay's final and possibly finest frontier, Sonoma's 'West County'. Still in its renaissance this area is composed of the western edge of the Russian River Valley and beyond, known as the 'true' Sonoma Coast. This area is in and around the townships of Sebastopol, Freestone and Occidental.

Our goal is to be among the pioneers to develop the potential of this area. Please explore our web site to learn more about how we make these wines from grape to glass. We offer all these wines, especially the smaller lots which may not make it to the retail shelf or the restaurant wine list through the winery.

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Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

HTRHUPNRR2_2012 Item# 137448