Orogeny Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley 2002
The 2002 Orogeny is a first release from this cool-climate Green Valley winery, the coolest region of the Russian River Valley. Grapes from just four small vineyards were selected to provide the bright fruit characteristics and aromas of mixed fresh berries, nutmeg and ginger, each foretelling the elegance and brightness of this wine.
"Sweet, well-defined cherries are the centerpiece of this ripe wonderfully continuous young Pinot, and, while creamy oak is everywhere apparent, it stays in service of fruit throughout. The wine is full, fleshy and nicely rounded in feel, and its balanced acidity brings a bit of brightness to its long, juicy, lightly tannic finish. Tasty now with savory pork entrees, it can only be helped by age, and it looks to reach its peak some three to five years by age, and it looks to reach its peak some three to five years down the line. It is an amazingly attractive buy at the price."
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They focus on cool-climate Pinot Noir from Green Valley, the coldest region of the famed Russian River Valley. Fog flows from the Pacific Coast along the Russian River and through the Petaluma Wind Gap, converging on this small area.
Orogeny's grapes are grown on five small vineyards, each only five to ten acres, which were selected to display the bright fruit characteristics of classic Green Valley Pinot Noir. Their limited size permits Orogeny to use hands-on farming techniques. The vines are planted on ridges in Gold Ridge soils, a mix of sandy loam over sandstone and clay. These sites provide excellent drainage, which promotes even ripening and concentrated flavors.
Situated on the foggier and colder western edge of the Russian River Valley, almost abutting the Sonoma Coast appellation, Green Valley is one of California’s most reputable Chardonnay and Pinot noir producing regions. It is also a wonderful source of sparkling wines made from these varieties.
Goldridge soils abound throughout the Green Valley appellation. This fine, dark, sandy loam and fractured sandstone is derived from the remains of ancient inland seabeds dating back three to five million years. It is valuable for high quality grape growing because of its excellent drainage and low fertility.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”