THOUGHTS ON THE VINTAGE FROM WINEMAKERS TERRY ADAMS & ELLIOTT MILLETT The bumper sticker for this vintage was surely...Read more...
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THOUGHTS ON THE VINTAGE FROM WINEMAKERS TERRY ADAMS & ELLIOTT MILLETT The bumper sticker for this vintage was surely Abnormal Is Normal as one of the earliest harvests began in mid-August and wrapped by the first week in September, giving us plenty of time to reflect on the busy season just ended. Rains pounded the vines early, damaging enough during bloom, only to be followed later in the year by harsh, hot winds where normally sweaters would be called for in early morning fog. Despite what Mother Nature threw at us in this jumbled year, she rewarded us in the end with fruit that was not just fully mature, but bursting with complex flavors, concentrated in color, taste, with wonderful acidity. OUR PINOT NOIR VINEYARDS ARE TRULY EXCEPTIONAL Vine Hill is the backbone of our Pinot Noir fruit, with lots from the newer Owsley vineyard joining blocks from Les Pierres and The Cutrer vineyard, right outside our barrel chai. Soils range from Goldridge through sandy loams and on to the heavily cobbled river rock typically found at Les Pierres. High density spacing, rootstocks which limit excessive growth, and a market basket of clones including the Sonoma Elite, Pommard, 667, 777 and 828 all contribute to the elegant fruit which graces our picking baskets early each Fall. More than three dozen individual lots are watched over carefully to assure that each successive vintage of our Pinot Noir builds the lasting legacy earned by our Chardonnay. PRESENTING OUR FINEST PINOT NOIR YET Grapes are picked by hand early each morning into small bins, chilled and hand-sorted before a gentle destemming. During the initial fermentation the wine is punched down by hand in small, five-ton open top fermenters. When we judge the moment has arrived, the wine is gently pressed off, gravity racked and allowed to complete secondary fermentation. We've aged our Pinot Noir in a regimen of mostly new and once-used French oak, predominantly from coopers Remond and Rousseau. After resting for most of a year the wine is moved unfined and unfiltered to bottle, there to evolve for an additional extended period until we judge the wine ready to release. In this vintage the Pinot Noir shows the intense ruby red color we've come to expect from our estate-grown fruit. This wine is not shy. Aromas of black cherry and currants leap from the glass, quickly followed by notes of cedar and allspice. A strong floral component marries the fruit bouquet, while leaving room for the subtle influence of the new French oak. In the mouth the first impression is berries, berries, berries, with raspberry, blueberry and blackberry all enjoying a turn. A hint of dried black currant provides some spice and a bit of depth. A touch of the Old World arrives in the earthy flavors that lie underneath the bright fruit. The mouthfeel is creamy, silky and supple in an inviting manner that sets the stage for the fresh and lively quality of the fully-ripe fruit. The finish is long, as we hope your enjoyment of our third release will be. While this wine will continue to evolve and become ever more complex over time, we promise we'll have something just an interesting in our next vintage offering. Enjoy! LIMITED RELEASE, PRINCIPALLY OFFERED IN EXCEPTIONAL RESTAURANTS AND TO CLUB CUTRER MEMBERS
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