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J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE92
  • TP91
0% ABV
  • WS91
  • WW90
  • RP90
  • TP92
  • WE90
  • WW90
  • WE87
  • CG90
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4.0 1 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

J Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a lush, ruby-red wine that vibrantly showcases a dried herb and subtle black pepper and fennel character. Aromas of classic cherry fruit fill the glass. The wine delivers savory flavors of vanilla, cola, and smoky barbecue.

This Russian River Valley Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with many rustic foods, such as grilled Portobello mushrooms, smoked country ham, or savory duck confit braised in this wine.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
It's hard to imagine a better Pinot for drink right now. It's so rich and spicy offering tiers of raspberry and cherry preserves, ripe Christmas persimmons and pomegranates, and a delicious coating of smoky new oak. The tannin-acid balance is perfect.
TP 91
Tasting Panel
Rich and juicy with deep cherry and savory flavors; ripe, earthy and balanced with lovely texture and a long, intense finish.
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J Vineyards

J Vineyards & Winery

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J Vineyards & Winery, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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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.

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 which flows through the region. 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, further 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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

FED200021750_2012 Item# 125921