Thomas George Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Thomas George Estates Winery is an artisan Russian River Valley producer of small lot, vineyard designated wines with a focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These artisan wines are 100% estate grown, handmade in small lots in a style that emphasizes balance, brightness and terroir-inspired sophistication. The winery is located to the east of Thomas George Estates, providing a compelling and dynamic array of Estate fruit from which to its produce it small lot bottlings. The Estate was founded in 2008 by the Thomas Baker family who have dedicated themselves to establishing a world-class winery focused on site-specific Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays grown in the cool heart of the Russian River Valley. To realize this vision, the Baker family has assembled an estate program that includes four distinct and coveted vineyards—Baker Ridge, Starr Ridge, Cresta Ridge and Sons & Daughters Ranch.
Thomas George Estates includes four distinct and coveted vineyards—Baker Ridge, Starr Ridge, Cresta Ridge and Sons & Daughters Ranch. Offering a diversity of microclimates, soil types, exposures, vine age and clonal material, these exceptional vineyard sites provide Thomas George Estates with a complex palette of fruit from which to craft its limited- production wines.
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.”