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2003 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir


  One vineyard source is located on the west side of and very close to the Russian River, and the plantings date from the early to mid-1980's. The vineyard is cane-pruned and the Pinot Noir is a field selection.

Winemaking
After hand-harvesting, the grapes were de-stemmed only (whole berries). Some lots received up to five days of cold soaking before fermentation. The wines were fermented in open-top vessels with a 1:1 height-to-diameter ratio for optimum cap exposure. About 10% whole clusters were added to the fermentations. Most lots were inoculated with one of several yeast strains; some lots went through uninoculated fermentations. A pneumatic punch-down device was used up to four times daily to break up the cap and extract flavor and color. The wines were pressed directly to barrels, malolactic fermentations were completed in barrel, and the wines were racked just prior to bottling.

Tasting Notes
On the nose, aromas of black cherry, raspberry jam and juicy dark red fruit, along with hints of tobacco, leather, and nutmeg. On the mouth, sweet, juicy cherry and strawberry fruit, spicy cinnamon, and a long lively finish.

Alcohol content, 14.5% by volume
864 cases produced


Connoisseursí Guide to California Wine

"Cut from similar cloth as its rather more dramatic sibling the Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros, this well-filled youngster is also emphatic in its ripeness, but it shows a bit more concern for balance and finds firming acidity a somewhat more evident player. Its initial palatal plushness will no doubt tempt some to early drinking, but a few years of age will better integrate its pieces and make for an altogether more polished presentation." One star.

Santé Magazine

"Light, bright black cherry aromas with a note of cedar. Silky smooth entry with ripe cherry fruit through to the finish." Recommended.

Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences

"Exceptional. Very complex wine despite almost pale color. Fresh cranberry and beet aroma, with hints of roses, and succulent fruit in the mouth that makes this wine one of pure elegance. Startlingly flavored for the lighter color."

California Grapevine

"Light brickish ruby; attractive, floral, delicate, smoky, cedary, cherry fruit aroma; medium to medium-full body; pleasant, elegant, earthy, smoky, light cherry fruit flavors; medium tannin; slightly lingering aftertaste. Shows good varietal character and is ready to drink now." Recommended.

Wine Enthusiast

"Deep berry aromas, with earthy and oriental spice notes. Good mouthfeel. Finishes with mild tannins and nice cherry, herb and earth nuances. Elegant."

Sacramento Bee

"The youthful and pretty Artesa Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (is) lively with the direct raspberry-blackberry fruitiness typical of the area."

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