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Flat front label of wine

Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
  • WS91
14.4% ABV
  • RP90
All Vintages
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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

All Vintages
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, Sonoma County, 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.

Sonoma County

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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.

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.

LSB210302_2007 Item# 210302