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Zepaltas Russian River Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE90
13.7% ABV
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4.0 1 Ratings
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4.0 1 Ratings
13.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

On the nose this wine has aromas of cedar, raspberry and dried herbs. The palate is refreshing, light bodied and wildly aromatic. Sturdy structure is provided courtesy of the fine-grit tannins from stem inclusion (about 30%.) This wine is ready for early drinking, but there is no reason that it will not get better and better with time in the cellar.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
The winemaker puts a light touch on the oak here, ratcheting it down to 30% new, all French, preserving a freshness of cherry, cranberry and earthy herb. A blend of three vineyard sites, including the single-vineyard designate, Nunes, the wine is well-integrated and balanced, offering an intriguing tartness on the finish.
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Zepaltas

Zepaltas Wines

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Zepaltas Wines, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Ryan Zepaltas passion for wine snowballed over time. Ryan grew up in Wisconsin drinking beer and couldn’t recall wine ever being a part of his family culture. All the adults in his life would sip on Manhattan’s, Old Fashioneds and drink local beers. The first time he ever noticed wine was when he was dining with his next-door neighbor. The retired teacher, Mr. Sutherland, would keep a jug of Carlo Rossi Burgundy on the floor at the head of the table where he sat.

Fast forward to summer 1998 in the Russian River Valley. Ryan had just moved to Sebastopol to live with his aunt and uncle. He made friends with Mike Mendenhall, the then cellar master at La Crema, who would later offer him a job.

He gradually found the winemaking process and the work more interesting. He stayed on for a couple of harvests but soon found out about harvest jobs in other countries. It was working harvest at Villa Maria under Michelle Richardson where Ryan truly discovered his passion for wine. When he returned back to the states, he worked all over Sonoma County doing whatever cellar work was available. Eventually, he would hear about a harvest opportunity at Siduri. He interviewed with Adam and Dianna Lee and has been at Siduri ever since.

Ryan has made a ton of great wines with Siduri and has had a blast the whole time (and still does to this day). He decided that one day he was going to make his own wines in the style that he envisioned and would start his own project on the side… thus, Zepaltas Wines was born.

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 which flows through the region. 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, further 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 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.

SHR102919_2013 Item# 136068