Smokescreen Pinot Noir 2018
After years of making high end single vineyard wines from the Napa Valley, the recession of 2008 came and with it all the uncertainty of the banks and stock market. It was after returning from a trip to the east coast where winemaker Paul Johnson was repeatedly told by retailers that he could not sell anything over $30, he realized that people were no longer buying high end Napa wines.
After deciding they needed to do something different, the Smokescreen brand was started to offer great value wines. Not wanting to compromise on quality, they set out to redefine the quality of wine people associate with a daily drinking wine and offer them at a price that most can afford.
Since starting Smokescreen, they have worked diligently to make wines that over-deliver for the price. The wines will appeal to both people new to wine and the more sophisticated wine drinker. The grapes are sourced from acclaimed vineyards in prominent appellations such as Napa Valley, Russian River, Alexander Valley and Paso Robles.
Smokescreen wines are handcrafted using techniques that are usually reserved for more expensive wines such as barrel fermenting and whole cluster fermentation and will amaze the most discriminating palate. At Smokescreen, they want you to genuinely enjoy the wines you are drinking without compromising quality or value, whether you are having a pizza on a Tuesday night or entertaining friends on the weekend.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.