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Romililly Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    0% ABV
    • WE90
    • W&S91
    • WW91
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    Winemaker Notes

    Cherry red color with hints of purple. Upfront the nose is dense and bright, displaying dusty red fruits, spiced cherry and sandal wood. The wine has a medium body, yet boasts firm tannins backed up with crisp, but integrated acidity. and wood notes. The finish is long, coating, clean and full.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Romililly, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    Image of winery
    When our family gets together, we always have wine. Our uncle August “Joe” Briggs never comes to a family dinner without bringing a bottle of wine that he and his friends made. At barbeques, camping trips, and formal sit-down dinners, wine has always been a constant. When we drink a great glass of wine, it always reminds us of growing up, sharing meals and stories with friends and family. Wine brings back memories of adventures we’ve had and people we’ve met. It’s how our family interacts. When we realized that we could make wine for a living, we knew it was what we were meant to do, and we dove in headfirst. Our winemaking journey has brought us closer together as brothers and deepened the love of wine that we’ve always shared.

    In 2006, we had an opportunity to purchase several tons of Pinot Noir, our favorite varietal. It cost us our life savings, but the opportunity was too good to refuse. Using the facilities at August Briggs Winery, we produced a wine that was all our own—the first vintage of Romililly Pinot Noir. We made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of things we probably should have known already[e1] [BH2] , but somehow we pulled through. Our little 200-case vintage got a lot of attention, earning a 93 rating from the Pinot Report. For the next five years, we kept at it, slowly increasing our production, but never making quite enough to satisfy demand.

    Uncle Joe sold August Briggs Winery in 2010, and Romililly had to find a new home. Fortunately, we found Talisman Winery in Sonoma, a winery designed to produce high-end, small-lot Pinot Noirs run by some of the best people in the industry. Our first year on our own brought a lot of new challenges, but we became better winemakers for it. Now, we’re producing new wines in addition to our signature Pinot Noir, and we’ve partnered with several amazing vineyards to create our best vintages yet.

    Romililly is all about family, learning by doing, taking on more than we can probably handle, and including wine in every part of our lives. Like Uncle Joe, we’re upstarts in the winemaking industry, not winemaking royalty, and our renegade approach influences the wine we make and keeps us hungry for success. Running our small, family winery is always an adventure—and we hope that you’ll make our wine a part of your own adventures.

    Russian River

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    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.

    Pinot Noir

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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).

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and 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 Secret

    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. 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 Villages or Cru level wines.

    MBWPPH15ROMPNRR_2015 Item# 205119