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New York Wine Exchange USD 37.99 750ml

Emeritus Cellars Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Hallberg Ranch 2008

Winemaker's Notes:

This was a year that challenged grape growers and winemakers alike. Two rounds of severe frost, in late March and mid–April, surprised even veteran grape growers, and seriously damaged many of the area’s vineyards. A cool spring hampered flowering, dramatically reducing yields; prolonged summer forest fires west and north of the Hallberg Ranch blanketed the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast with smoke. Conventional wisdom would give the 2008 vintage a big question mark. But 2008 was anything but a conventional year. Because of the extraordinary vagaries of the season, we paid constant attention to the vines. Uneven flowering produced uneven maturation and required us to remove slow–ripening grape clusters, which further reduced yields another 20% to 35%. The remaining grapes benefited from the attention, and full, ripe flavors and maturity developed early. A final warm spell ushered in a fast and furious harvest. In the winery, patience ruled. Through the winter, the wines in barrel were closed and reluctant to reveal their personality. Thankfully, the wines showed no effects of the smoky summer. Waiting and more waiting was rewarded with a truly superb 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir that defies conventional wisdom.

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Color: Red
Varietal: Pinot Noir
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Emeritus Vineyards:
Emeritus Vineyards was born of a dream to create a noble Pinot Noir—one that especially speaks of elegance and charm. An experienced team of uniquely qualified individuals—the Emeritus Team—combined their talents to work toward the realization of that dream. The result is two Estate Grown and Bottled Pinot Noirs: Emeritus, Russian River Valley, from the home ranch in the heart of the Russian Ri... Read more
Emeritus Vineyards was born of a dream to create a noble Pinot Noir—one that especially speaks of elegance and charm. An experienced team of uniquely qualified individuals—the Emeritus Team—combined their talents to work toward the realization of that dream. The result is two Estate Grown and Bottled Pinot Noirs: Emeritus, Russian River Valley, from the home ranch in the heart of the Russian River Valley; and Emeritus, William Wesley, from the mountain vineyards on the Sonoma Coast near Annapolis. In 1999, two months after Brice Cutrer Jones signed the last of the papers turning over control of the 26-year-old Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards (SCV) to liquor company Brown-Forman, Jones and his team of six key, long-term employees (the Emeritus Team) and six long-time investors closed on the purchase of Don and Marcia Hallberg's 115 acres of prime apple orchard in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The land is located just 10 miles west of SCV, two miles north of Sebastopol, on both sides of the Gravenstein Highway and directly on the Gold Ridge-the name of the predominate soils of the area. Emeritus Vineyards owns and farms 150 acres of Pinot Noir vineyards in two Sonoma County locations: The home ranch-Hallberg Vineyard-in the heart of the Russian River Valley, and William Wesley Vineyard in the coastal mountains of the Sonoma Coast. The sole objective of the Emeritus Team is to produce a noble Pinot Noir reflecting the terroir of each vineyard. Three factors will determine the quality of wine the Team will produce: soil, climate, and man. Soil gives the wine its character. Climate gives the wine its personality. Man, in addition to elevating the wine from grapes, influences the effects of both soil and climate, and thus, gives the wine its spirit, or style. The Emeritus Team has embarked on a new direction for Pinot Noir. Winemaker Don Blackburn has produced two elegant Pinot Noir wines, whose defining characteristic, he believes, is charm. Don explains that a great Pinot's appeal is emotional and visceral; seducing with nuance rather than complexity or intensity. Noble wines begin in the vineyard and the Team utilizes clonal selection, meticulous viticultural practices and dry farming to help the grapes achieve full ripeness without excessive sugars and extracted flavors. Then, to capture the wine's full essence—that captivating sultry elegance—the winemaker must listen to the grape and respond with a gentle touch. Consequently, Emeritus wines are evolved with softened edges and supple tannins, yet retain their youthful vibrancy. The aromatics are clean and airy with the olfactory brightness of ripe fruit or the fragrance of freshly cut flowers, and work harmoniously to create a wine that infuses a sense of well-being. Read less

Member Reviews for Emeritus Cellars Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Hallberg Ranch

Add your review
Snooth User: rar8888
1580261,280
3.50 5
02/21/2011

This was a bottle shared with good friends at Joe's Seafood Prime Steak and Stone Crab. It was light in body and had notes of forrest floor and strawberry.


Snooth User: MHGlassman
87179859
5.00 5
06/24/2011

Best California Pinot Noir I've had in years. Wonderful bouquet, nice mouthfeel, lovely and lingering finish. Even the inexperienced wine drinkers at the table appreciated the quality of this fabulous wine.


Snooth User: ctxboiler
79173621
4.00 5
03/06/2011

Selected for a large function at BLT in Washington DC and enjoyed thoroughly by all in attendance. I will be ordering directly for my enjoyment at home. Wonderful Pinot, lively, rich...very nice!


Snooth User: jsess23
76365021
4.00 5
02/09/2011

Emeritus Pinot Noir 2007 is an amazing pinot. Very smooth ,and Lively. I had it at BLT steak last yr in NYC. It was so amazing I went to the Vineyard directly and bougth 2 case's for the office. Everyone agreed that it is an amazing Pinot.

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Emeritus!!! Amazing


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Tasting Notes:

In 2008, Mother Nature tested us with fire and ice. The Emeritus Russian River Valley Hallberg Ranch is a voluptuous, flavorful wine with an opulent texture and darker flavors expressing its clonal traits. Supple tannins give the wines an early approachability, highlighting charm, balance, and elegance — traits which exemplify Emeritus Pinot Noir.

This was a year that challenged grape growers and winemakers alike. Two rounds of severe frost, in late March and mid–April, surprised even veteran grape growers, and seriously damaged many of the area’s vineyards. A cool spring hampered flowering, dramatically reducing yields; prolonged summer forest fires west and north of the Hallberg Ranch blanketed the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast with smoke. Conventional wisdom would give the 2008 vintage a big question mark. But 2008 was anything but a conventional year. Because of the extraordinary vagaries of the season, we paid constant attention to the vines. Uneven flowering produced uneven maturation and required us to remove slow–ripening grape clusters, which further reduced yields another 20% to 35%. The remaining grapes benefited from the attention, and full, ripe flavors and maturity developed early. A final warm spell ushered in a fast and furious harvest. In the winery, patience ruled. Through the winter, the wines in barrel were closed and reluctant to reveal their personality. Thankfully, the wines showed no effects of the smoky summer. Waiting and more waiting was rewarded with a truly superb 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir that defies conventional wisdom.

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