No pinot should be opened before it’s time! In this case, it’s been sleeping for a few years, so I think the 2009 David Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is safe to be consumed. This is what I consider to be the now classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. It i big and rich, and full of chewy black cherries. After a pass through my trusty Soiree however, the wine opened up to some sarsaparilla and pomegranate notes and was much calmer. While this is a large and robust pinot, RRV is tending that way. I think there are two primary reasons for this: Firstly, the global climate shift has changed weather patterns and made the area have more degree days than in previous years. Secondly, the palate of the masses likes a bolder pinot, tending towards syrah. This is similar to areas like the Santa Lucia Highlands, as well as the Santa Ynez Valley, made famous by Miles & Jack. There is a lightness of raspberry and bright red fruit hiding under all of that chewy cherry, but it’s dampened by the bitter quinine finish. The baking spices are strong, especially the clove notes which numb the tongue a touch. This is certainly a candidate for decanting, as well as aeration, but could use some serious opening up time. For $30, it’s averagely priced, but I’d like to see this about the $20 range. At 14.9% AVB it’s also going to knock your socks off if you’re not careful! If you can find it for less than retail, and you enjoy a larger pinot, you should TRY THIS! This wine was provided by Rodney Strong, paretn company of Davis Bynum, for consideration and sipping. It’s been hiding in my cellar so it’s aged to perfection!
I first found out about Cana’s Feast Winery when touring around the WIllamette Valley last fall. I didn’t pay it much attention, as we drove by on our way to a Pinot Pit Stop, primarily because they made other wines that weren’t on my hit list. Bu also because I was overwhelmed with other deliciousness. I finally woke up when my friend and fellow wine blogger started working there. Well! Fortunately for me, Tamara was able to send me samples as part of her marketing job, and I received a bottle of the 2008 Meredith Mitchell Pinot Noir. I wasn’t very happy with this wine at first, because it was very woody, and suffered from a bitter quinine aftertaste that just didn’t sit right with me for an Oregon Pinot. There was some burnt sugar and earth, and it was overwhelmed with dusty baking spice. Where was the fruit? Where was the PINOT in this Pinot? Well, far be it for me to throw away wine. It’s just not in my making to dump Pinot! So I left it, for about an hour, corked but not completely closed. When I came back to it, it was beginning to wake up but there really wasn’t any THERE there if you know what I mean. Oh well. Fortunately, the next night, since I already had two open bottles of Pinot, both from Willamette, I was able to re-taste it. What a different a day makes! Now, I tasted bright cherries, pomegranate, cranberry. There was my red fruit! There was my acid! It really opened up nicely, and turned in to a wine that I very much enjoyed. The lesson here is DECANT DECANT DECANT! It needs some serious air to show her true colors. I’d also cellar this for at LEAST 2 years to get the full benefit. Which brings up an interesting point. When I was poking around in September, I really didn’t like the 08 Pinots coming out of Willamette. They were just too ripe, too big, too Russian River, bordering on Sta Rita Hills. Gasp! Shock! Horror! That wasn’t what Oregon was supposed to be! WHere was my Burgundy? Where was my restrained style and light body? I was sadly disappointed. That said, here were are 6 months later; I’ve been tasting several of the 08s, as they are the current release for the most part. My my my what a little bottle age will do! They are improving, slowly but surely. I think 2008 might not be such a bad year after all… This bottle of Oregon Crack was supplied by my dealer at Cana’s Fest. Thanks guys!