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J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE87
14.4% ABV
  • WS91
  • WW90
  • RP90
  • TP92
  • WE90
  • WW90
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4.3 2 Ratings
14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 J Vineyards Pinot Noir is a lush, full wine exhibiting the expressive character of the Russian River Valley. An excellent growing season provided a wine of great depth, with elegantly composed layers. Aromas of milk chocolate, rose petals, and wild blackberry fill the glass. As the wine opens there are hints of caramel, cinnamon and cloves. The traditional Pinot Noir flavors of cherry and strawberry are fully integrated with the subtle oak tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 87
Wine Enthusiast
Pretty and polished, an elegant, lighter style Pinot Noir to drink now with rich pork, lamb and beef dishes or grilled salmon. It’s silky and satiny, with pleasant wild strawberry, cherry, red currant, licorice, cola and cedar flavors.
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J Vineyards

J Vineyards & Winery

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J Vineyards & Winery, , California
J Vineyards
Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery is an independently owned Sonoma County winery. Located on Old Redwood Highway south of Healdsburg, the winery focuses on Brut and Brut Rose sparkling wines, as well as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris - terroir-driven varietal wines, produced from estate-grown grapes farmed primarily within Sonoma County's Russian River Valley appellation. In 1994, the first small lots of Pinot Noir varietal wines were produced at J, but sparkling wine continued to be the winery's focus. In 2006, J formally launched an estate varietal program based on its 254-acres of Russian River Valley vineyards. Today, under the direction of winemaker Melissa Stackhouse, J Vineyards & Winery produces several small-lot Pinot Noirs. The winery celebrates its 25th harvest in 2012.

With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence, and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory, and this is easy to see both in Alsace’s architecture and wine styles. A long, narrow strip running north to south, Alsace is nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, making it perhaps the driest region of France. The growing season is long and cool, and autumn humidity facilitates the development of noble rot for the production of late-picked sweet wines Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles. Alsace is divided into two halves—the Haut-Rhin and the Bas-Rhin—the former, at higher elevations, is associated with higher quality and makes up the lower portion of the region.

The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris. Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted here, responsible for about 10% of production and often used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty, and historically has always been bone dry to differentiate it from its German counterparts. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is fresh and floral, developing complex mineral and gunflint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat is vinified dry, and tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal. There are 51 Grand Cru vineyards in Alsace, and only these four noble varieties are permitted within. While most Alsatian wines are bottled varietally, blends of several (often lesser) varieties are commonly labeled as ‘Edelzwicker.’

Pinot Blanc

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Lightly aromatic, pleasantly soft, and always approachable, Pinot Blanc is best known in Alsace, where it is considered a workhorse variety that takes a backseat to the more complex Pinot Gris. A white mutation of Pinot Noir, it produces easy-drinking, enjoyable wines here. In Italy, as Pinot Bianco, it gets a little more complex, especially in the mountainous Alto Adige region. It is perhaps most successful as Weissburgunder in Germany and Austria, where the wines are subtle, delicate, surprisingly complex, and age-worthy. There is also some Pinot Blanc performing well in Oregon and cooler pockets of California.

In the Glass

Typically, Pinot Blanc has a relatively full body and expresses simple but pleasing aromas of crisp green apple, pear, citrus, and white flowers. The finest examples possess stony minerality and occasionally ripe stone fruit flavors, and with age can develop intriguing notes of honey, vanilla, and almond.

Perfect Pairings

Delicate Pinot Blanc works well with lighter fare such as salads, seafood, chicken, or turkey, but is truly at its best with Alsatian pairings like Hollandaise dishes, onion tarts, or the region’s notable soft cheeses such as Muenster.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Blanc’s delicate aromatics, full body, and moderate acidity make it a great alternative to the world’s most popular white wine. Anyone experiencing Chardonnay fatigue and looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot Blanc a try.

CWC969576_2008 Item# 108363

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