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Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007

  • WS91
750ML / 14.4% ABV
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  • RP90
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750ML / 14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

We fermented two lots of Occidental Ridge fruit in 2007. One combining clones 115 and 777 and the other exclusively 667. After watching the wines mature for 10 months it became clear the first lot would make up the vineyard bottling and the second would go to the Sonoma Coast. They both were classic expressions of the site with an incredibly exotic blend of spine (sub 3.4 pHs) and black fruits. The 115/777 combo possessed ample richness to balance the acid while the 667 proved to be a little shrill. This wine went head to head with the Summa Old Vines for our very own wine of the vintage. The nose is explosive with black and purple fruits, camphor, smoke and redcurrants. The entry consists of more black fruits, wild mint and sassafras. The wall of fruit tannin and acid backbone comes up quickly and this wine, like the ’05 and ’06, will need time to swallow both. The black fruited profile might suggest a wine with greater accessibility but not in this case. This alone makes the Occidental Ridge expression unique

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Good deep red. Raspberry, maraschino cherry and smoke on the nose. Sweeter, deeper and more intense than the Willow Creek offering, with a sappy quality in the middle palate and riper, darker flavors of pomegranate and sassafras. A step up in density. Finishes with dusty tannins and very good lift. This one comes from owner/winemaker Thomas Brown's warmest pinot site, and yet it has the lowest pH in 2006 at 3.38. The fruit here always retains acidity, Brown explained, adding that it used to go to sparkling wine.
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Rivers-Marie

Rivers-Marie

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Rivers-Marie, California
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Single variety wines made to reflect the vineyard & vintage from which they came. Owned by Thomas Rivers Brown & Genevieve Marie Welsh.
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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

LSB210302_2007 Item# 210302

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