Russian River Pinot Fest Day Two

Sunday, day two of the Russian River passport to Pinot. Yesterday I concentrated on the southern half of the valley so the plan for Sunday was to tour the wineries in the northern half of the valley. The weather continued to be beautiful but HOT! The temps quickly climbed into the mid 90’s and those cool wine cellars were very inviting. I decided to begin my tour at a couple of urban wineries in the town of Healdlsburg. The wineries I visited this day were Davis Family, Holdredge, Matrix, John Tyler, Hop Kiln, Arista, Thomas George, Muller, and ended the tour back at the urban wine mall at Krutz.

At Davis Family the 2009 “Soul Patch” Estate PN was medium red with a big nose of barnyard and leather, elegant with silky mouthfeel on the finish with some heat. The 2009 “Starr Ridge” Estate PN was purple with some smoke on the nose with warm, dusty fruit and a velvet finish. I also had the 2009 “Horseshoe Bend” PN. Passport participants were served pork sliders with coleslaw.

Across the street was Holdredge. Mr. Holdredge himself was pouring five wines plus a barrel sample. The 2006 “Bucher Vineyard” PN was throwing sediment and was beginning to show its age, a nose of dried red roses and leather with moderate fruit. His 2008 “Bucher Vineyard” PN was light red with a spicy, cinnamon nose good concentration and a long finish. The 2009 “Bucher Vineyard” PN was darker than the 09 with barnyard on the nose, dark fruit and a balanced long finish.

At Matrix, they poured three single vineyard Pinot and their barrel samples. The 2009 “Buoncristiani” PN had aromas of black cherry and bubblegum, bright fruit and some damp earth and candy apple on the finish. The 2009 “Bacigalupi” PN had a stinky, stewed fruit nose with a crisp, barnyard finish with some heat showing through. The 2009 “Nunes” PN was darker than the previous two with a toasty nose, smoky fruit and a firm finish. They served a crispy mushroom and truffle oil appetizer which was pretty tasty.

At Hop Kiln I had some mighty tasty lamb meatballs in tomato sauce which went well with the barrel sample of the 2011 “Turin Corner” PN which was dark purple with spicy cherry fruit.

At John Tyler, the 2007 “Bacigalupi“PN was made from 100% Pommard clones and was medium red with some fresh rosemary on the closed nose, full, mouth filling fruit with hints of bitter almonds on the finish.

At Arista winery, the tasting was outdoors and at that point the temp was 96. They had the foresite to serve the reds slightly chilled which I believe made a difference on how the wines came across. The 2010 “Bacigalupi” PN was medium red, slighty cloudy with cherry leather on the nose, dark but bright fruit and good balance. The 2010 “Mononi” PN  was dark with a nose of cocoa powder with dusty, dark fruit on the finish. They served some nice chewy pizza straight out of the oven.

The tasting room at Thomas George was in a modern cave which was blissfully cool. They poured several Pinot including the 2009″Starr Ridge“, the 2009 “Barkers Ridge“, and  the 2009 “Lancel Creek“. The 2009 “Cresta Ridge” had a warm, barnyard nose with silky dark berry fruit and a moderate but long finish. The 2009 “Bee Ranch” Syrah was black with a violet and cigar-box nose, dense chewy fruit with slate undertones on the finish.

At Mueller, the 2010 “Tempi” PN was dark to black in color with a nose of black cherry, very concentrated with good balance and dark, fresh herbs on the finish.

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