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Orogeny Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley 2005
"Presented in the richly extracted, generously textured style that has come to define many of the most sought-after Russian River Valley pinot noirs, this vintage of Orogeny has enough brightness and cool, succulent fruit to keep it fresh."
-Wines & Spirits
The 2005 Orogeny Green Valley Pinot Noir is a blend from several vineyards in the Green Valley sub-appellation. The vineyards represent different clones, each of which contributes something unique to the finished wine. Each vineyard site has been carefully selected to display the bright, crystalline fruit characteristics of classic Green Valley Pinot Noir.
The 2005 Orogeny Green Valley Pinot Noir shows bright Bing cherry, pomegranate and toffee notes on the nose, with a hint of spicy oak layered with ginger, nutmeg and coriander.
On the palate, the bright cherry flavors dominate, supported by lively notes of blackberry and blueberry that linger on the candied-cherry finish. The lush fruit continues to develop with time in the glass. This lovely wine pairs perfectly with seared duck breast with cherry sauce, pork tenderloin with pear-ginger chutney or wild mushroom risotto.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.