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Three down, two more to go as we move south to Russian River Valley. Our first vintage in 2005 was a pinot noir from Amber Ridge and as we tell people – if that first wine wasn’t as good as it was, we wouldn’t be writing this blog (and making/selling wine). Our 2009 Amber Ridge pinot noir is our third (non-consecutive) vintage in 2009, and once again, it captures that distinctive Russian River cherry and spice that we love so much.
This hillside site is located immediately adjacent to the famed Gary Farrell Starr Ridge Vineyard in Windsor. Amber Ridge was planted in 2000 with clones 115, 667 and 777 on 101-14 rootstock and was adopted by several high-end wineries for its inaugural harvest in 2003. In 2009, we were fortunate to have acquired one ton of this hard-to-get fruit, allowing us to produce just under 50 cases.
Among our customers, we have some die-hard Amber Ridge fans. These tasting notes should tantalize them, as well as anyone who loves the lush pinot noirs of Russian River Valley:
The color is a lovely ruby red, light to medium in shade. As this wine opens up, aromas of dried rose petals, strawberry and red cherry come together. On the palate is the classic Amber Ridge that we love: sweet cherry, lush fruit, and a smooth, strawberries and cream finish, with a touch of cocoa. This wine is drinking very well right now and stands on its own by the glass or paired with pan-roasted pork tenderloin with Asian five-spice seasonings.
Here are the detailed specs, for the wine geeks in the group…
- Clones: 115 (50%); 667(25%); 777 (25%)
- Harvest/Brix: September 11, 2009 at 26 Brix
- Alcohol content: 14.8% by volume
- Fruit: 100% whole berry (no stems)
- Fermentation: RC212
- Barrel aging: 17 months in French oak, 30% new (Francois Freres, MT)
- Bottled: March, 2011
- Production: 47 cases
- Drink now through 2015
Next week, we’ll profile our fifth pinot noir from 2009 as we move further south to Sta. Rita Hills.
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