Raeburn Pinot Noir 2016
Brilliant crimson in color, Raeburn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir leads with a pleasing aroma of baking spice and vanilla. The palate is marked with stunning fruit flavors of lush wild blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry with undertones of roasted hazelnut. The finish is graceful and sophisticated.
The Pinot Noir grapes are hand-picked during the cool early morning hours to preserve their fresh, delicate flavors. Once the grapes arrive at the winery, they are carefully destemmed and cold soaked for several days to enhance color and flavor. Fermentation takes place in small, open top containers with twice daily punch downs to intensify color and structure. After a gentle pressing, the wine is racked several times and transferred into French oak barrels, 25% new, for 11 months of aging.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Spiced red cherries and hints of freshly baked pastry lead to a palate that has a ripe, languid array of fine tannins and plush red-plum flavors.
Raeburn is an Olde English term which means “the river where one goes to drink.” So, it’s fitting that Raeburn’s expressive, beautifully balanced wines begin in the heart of the Russian River Valley where some of the world’s finest Burgundy grapes are grown.
Raeburn Winery is located on Olivet Road, a quiet country lane in the heart of Sonoma County’s famed Russian River Valley. Originally built in as an egg storage facility, Olivet was converted to a small production winery by iconic Sonoma County vintner, Cecil DeLoach, in 2000. The winery was then purchased by wine and spirits innovator, Derek Benham, in January 2005 and has since become Raeburn’s home
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.
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.”