Kent Rasmussen Pinot Noir St. Helena 2006
Notes: Of the last ten vintages, I think that 2006 ranks as one of the best—especially for Pinot Noir. All through the summer we had the kind of weather that makes grapevines ecstatic….warm days, cool nights---and no rain. Harvest temperatures were modest, without the heat spikes that we saw in 2003 and 2004, and soil moisture stayed absolutely appropriate for our old dry-farmed vines. I have now made wine from these grapes for so many years, I have a good idea of what fermentation procedures and techniques bring out the best in them—three or four days of pre-fermentation maceration, a modest fermentation that peaks out at about 85 degrees and then pressing just at, or slightly before, dryness. I continue to back off a bit on the oak; however, after experimenting for several years with small amounts of Hungarian oak, I finally added some new Hungarian barrels to our barrel program. They seem to really bring out the best in Pinot Noir. When you smell this wine you will think of black cherries, mushrooms, licorice, raspberries and vanilla. The taste carries these characters, but adds a rich and round mouthfeel that makes the wine truly a pleasure to drink.
We've been making fabulous Pinot Noir since 1979, and to that we've added a single-vineyard Petite Sirah, a lovely Chardonnay, and various esoteric wines that change every year - Late Harvest Viognier, Riesling, Cabernet Franc... make an appointment to see us at our convenient Silverado Trail winery !
Nose of black cherries, mushrooms and vanillia and smoke. The taste could be a little bit more fruity and for my opinion the aftertaste is a little bit to bitter. I definitely enjoyed the wine. It is not overpowered and opend up really nicely, but it could be slightly more powerful in fruit.
All Pinot Noirs from the Carneros are excellent. As a frequent consumer of a number of labels from the area, while this one doesn't have as much body as the best of them, it is above average from that region. In fact I'm having one 2006 Rasmussen today. 09/06/2009.
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