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Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Jane's Vineyard Russian River Valley 2011

Winemaker's Notes:

Notes from Greg Morthole, winemaker: Pinot Noir is known as one of the most difficult varieties to grow and make well. I feel fortunate that my sources are in the finest corner of the Russian River Valley. From there I choose carefully amongst vineyards, and select only the clones of Pinot Noir that I feel are the most classic expression of what this "heartbreak grape" can really show. Gentle handling, sorting and fermentation, followed by aging in my favorite French oak barrels allow the distinctive nature of these fickle, fog shrouded and utterly enchanting grapes to shine. Russian River Valley Pinot Noir expresses itself differently depending on location, site specifics, and the nature of the vines themselves. Jane's Vineyard is in the golden triangle of the Santa Rosa plain region of the valley, just southwest of Windsor and centered on the intersection of Olivet and River roads. This small area tends to enjoy the very best of the iconic local climate; never too hot during the day, and consistently chilly at night. Jane's Vineyard shows superior vine balance thanks to its well-drained, shallow and inherently low vigor soils. Finally, I choose a selection of Pinot "clones" to enhance complexity, while keeping to the food friendly flavor profile that has always been a hallmark of Davis Bynum: a little lighter, without being lean; a little crisper, without being tart; a little more fruit driven, without being distracting; with a round, soft mouthfeel.

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Winery: Davis Bynum
Color: Red
Varietal: Pinot Noir
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Davis Bynum:
Distinguished as the first winery on Westside Road in Healdsburg, California, Davis Bynum was the first to produce a single vineyard pinot noir from the Russian River Valley. The vintage was 1973 and the grapes were from Joe Rochioli's now prized vineyard. Today, more than thirty years later, the heritage of Davis Bynum lives on through the hand crafted creation of pinot noir and chardon... Read more
Distinguished as the first winery on Westside Road in Healdsburg, California, Davis Bynum was the first to produce a single vineyard pinot noir from the Russian River Valley. The vintage was 1973 and the grapes were from Joe Rochioli's now prized vineyard. Today, more than thirty years later, the heritage of Davis Bynum lives on through the hand crafted creation of pinot noir and chardonnay grown exclusively in Russian River Valley. Davis Bynum first flirted with winemaking at home in Berkeley when he was a young reporter working at the San Francisco Chronicle. It was 1951 and he purchased a small amount of petite sirah from Robert Mondavi. Things became a bit more serious in 1965 when he transformed a warehouse in Albany into a small winery, where he made wine using knowledge gained from the extensive library at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1971 Bynum purchased a 26-acre vineyard in Napa Valley with the intention to build a winery. Restrictions on construction in the area led him away from that venture and into Sonoma County in 1973, where he found an 84-acre piece of land that quickly became Davis Bynum Winery. Davis established a quality reputation for the winery, in large part due to solid relationships with the local community of growers. Grapes from great vineyards, often based on hand-shake agreements, along with "intuitive winemaking", as he refers to it, led the winery to become synonymous with distinctive Russian River Valley pinot noirs and chardonnays. Eventually, acclaim for Bynum wines, along with other area producers, won Russian River Valley recognition as one of the worlds' very best for these varieties. In August 2007, ready to retire from the day-to-day activities of running a winery, Davis sold the winery to Tom Klein and the Klein family, a fourth generation California farming family. The focus on Russian River Valley remains the same and the goal to produce excellent chardonnay and pinot noir is unchanged. Bynum agreed to stay with the brand for three years, providing insight and support. Read less

External Reviews for Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Jane's Vineyard Russian River Valley

External Review
Vintage: 2015 07/20/2017

Davis Bynum has been producing top quality Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley for over 3 decades. They hold claim to producing the very first single vineyard Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley- a 1973 Rochioli Vineyard. Carrying that tradition forward to today, this wine is sourced entirely from their Jane's Vineyard. Jane’s Vineyard, located in the Santa Rosa Plains neighborhood of Russian River Valley. the terrain is nearly level with moderately well-drained soils and a strongly cemented hardpan that varies from 12 to 26 inches down. The hardpan restricts the wine’s access to water so once the soil above dries out in early summer, moisture stress begins causing small clusters of small berries with intense flavors. All of the blocks at Jane’s Vineyard were hand-picked in the early morning hours, de-stemmed to stainless steel tanks for cold soaking, followed by fermentation with native yeasts for extra complexity. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels from the finest coopers, 21% new. This 2015 scored a Gold Medal 91 points in the Sommelier Challenge Competition, a Gold Medal 92 points in the Winemakers Challenge Competition, a Double Gold Medal in Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition and 92 points in the Ultimate Wine Competition who called it "Excellent" and "Highly Recommended". They said "The medium pungent aromas offer berry fruit mixed with smokey earth. On the palate the fruit is both ripe and tart, creating a mouthwatering balance of flavors, all followed by roasted earth that culminates in a pleasant toasty finish."


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2015 04/27/2017

VINEYARD: The vines at Jane’s Vineyard generally show moderated vigor in their growth habit, mainly due to the acidic, nutrient poor soil and good drainage from the gravelly loam. The Huichica soil is shallow, with a hardpan at a low depth, so we planted on 101-14 rootstock which has a shallower rooting angle to match the soil profile. Congruently, the vines get water stressed, which we watch closely during the warmer months of the summer. THE HARVEST: Late winter rainstorms and a warm January — including a record breaking 80°F day — perhaps helped to trick the vines into getting an early start. Pinot Noir buds at Jane’s Vineyard swelled during the third week of February so we were already thinking of an early harvest months down the road. After several years of higher yields, the vines took a rest and produced a smaller crop. Periods of coolness were punctuated by heat spikes in late June causing a little burn on the skins; a heat wave in mid-August resulted in grape sugars climbing quickly. Harvest commenced very early on August 18th. STYLE: Winemaking is light handed, with timely and deliberate choices made to craft a wine that genuinely reflects the vineyard and vintage. We like our Pinot Noir delicate and graceful, with all elements in balance. We strive for complexity and interest, and above all deliciousness. All of the blocks at Jane’s Vineyard are hand-picked in the early morning hours, de-stemmed to stainless steel tanks for cold soaking, followed by fermentation with native yeasts for extra complexity. The 2015 Jane’s Vineyard Pinot Noir was aged in 100% French oak barrels from the finest coopers, 21% of which were new. Malolactic fermentation ensued in the barrels and was finished by late January. TASTE PROFILE: The 2015 Jane’s Vineyard Pinot Noir has a lovely ruby red hue with aromas of cherry, plum, black tea and minerality. On the palate there is a wild berry component along with dark cherries and vanilla that shine through with balance, acidity and a long lingering finish. Warm, bright and full of flavor, the Jane’s Pinot Noir is a wonderful combination of fruit, earth and spice. Enjoy this wine with cheese and charcuterie, mushroom risotto or grilled salmon. OAK AGING: 12 months in French oak barrels, 21% new pH: 3.55 TA: 0.62g/100mL ALC: 14.5%



Notes from Greg Morthole, winemaker: Pinot Noir is known as one of the most difficult varieties to grow and make well. I feel fortunate that my sources are in the finest corner of the Russian River Valley. From there I choose carefully amongst vineyards, and select only the clones of Pinot Noir that I feel are the most classic expression of what this "heartbreak grape" can really show. Gentle handling, sorting and fermentation, followed by aging in my favorite French oak barrels allow the distinctive nature of these fickle, fog shrouded and utterly enchanting grapes to shine. Russian River Valley Pinot Noir expresses itself differently depending on location, site specifics, and the nature of the vines themselves. Jane's Vineyard is in the golden triangle of the Santa Rosa plain region of the valley, just southwest of Windsor and centered on the intersection of Olivet and River roads. This small area tends to enjoy the very best of the iconic local climate; never too hot during the day, and consistently chilly at night. Jane's Vineyard shows superior vine balance thanks to its well-drained, shallow and inherently low vigor soils. Finally, I choose a selection of Pinot "clones" to enhance complexity, while keeping to the food friendly flavor profile that has always been a hallmark of Davis Bynum: a little lighter, without being lean; a little crisper, without being tart; a little more fruit driven, without being distracting; with a round, soft mouthfeel.

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Wine Specs:

Alcohol: 14.5%

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