WineSmith Russian River Pinot Noir 2-Pack
Sold by: Winston Winery
$49.99 $115.00 57% off List Price
2007 WineSmith Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
I’m in, looking forward to trying this next to the '05 PN!
Faux lab-ratting this wine from my personal stash for Clark and my wine.woot peeps. Let the Grape Debate begin!
2007 WineSmith Russian River Pinot Noir
Color: Translucent ruby
There is just the slightest tinge of brown when held to the light at a certain angle but it does not appear to be what is commonly referred to as “bricking”. I would guess that the 90+ months this wine spent in oak is responsible for the unique tint. The wine has a 1/4" lightly colored meniscus and slow-forming/slow-running legs. Some tartrates present but no sediment.
Smell: Cherry, oak, earth and a little heat
The nose is dominated by cherry and oak with some “forest floor” earthiness. The alcohol is noticeable at first but seems to dissipate some with a few swirls. Also detecting hints of rose petals and dried hay with additional agitation.
Taste: Black cherry cola, kirsch and oak
Signature Russian River Valley Pinot cherry cola profile but with darker fruit than most. Also getting some kirsch, cassis, mushroom and loam with a touch of smoke. Lightly spicy on the medium+ finish. After some time in the glass, the slightly sour kirsch notes fade and the cherry profile becomes a bit brighter, more approachable. Just finished my first glass over 45 minutes and I enjoyed it more and more with each sip. The wine is medium bodied, maybe would even consider it medium+ (for a Pinot). Like most of Clark’s wines, there is some minerality to it. Don’t know that I’ve ever really noticed minerality in a PN before but there it is.
Conclusion: Another well-crafted wine from Clark that is well worth the freight. I’ll be hitting the ridiculously large button for more as soon as these notes are posted…
Well, I’m sorry. I know I have been tempting you guys with a lot of cellar-stretching deals lately, and you have responded wonderfully. (I’m even paying my bills.) By you must by now be dreading a sale like this one – completely irresistible.
Today we’ve got an extremely hot deal on one of the most interesting wines I’ve shown to wootdom.
As you know, I make extremely age-worthy wines, and sometimes they can be a little austere in the first few years until they open up. You also may know that all my barrels are at least twenty years old. I don’t make oaky wines. But this time, I decided to do something a little different.
This is a 2007 Russian River Pinot Noir – elegant Eurocentric style as you’ve come to expect from me, and full of the classic black cherries Russian River is famous for. And like its predecessor, the 2005 Second Fiddle PN from Fiddlestix, it was, after three years in wood, still in need of serious aging. So this time, I decided to see how long it would need to remain in barrel to open up and develop the tertiary complexities I knew it was capable of without harming its freshness.
Well, I waited another year, and then another and another, and finally ended up bottling it last fall after eight years in barrel. Still in pristine condition, silky and full of those cherries, but with amazing elements of marzipan, truffle, hints of toasted marshmallow and bigtime “je ne sais quoi.” Normally $50, you get two for one.
I guess you’ll have to start drinking to make room.
OG till you change me!
Here are my iPhone notes taken while at our friends’ place. I’ll pop back in tomorrow and elucidate.
Bricking red color with fading edges.
Very expressive, very pretty nose. Dark cherry erupts from the class the second the cork is popped. Sweet, very full bouquet. Rhubarb. It has an almost dusty quality. No sweet cola, no fakey, no oak coming through. There are wood noted, though. Gorgeous. I’ve been smelling for about 5 minutes.
Very clean, clearly (and properly) aged palate. Medium+ body. Seamless transition from front to back. The mid-palate is the weakest point of the wine and it’s not completely hollow, but a bit thin. Primarily red-fruit. Very nice, unobtrusive tannin/acid structure that provides balance but no distraction.
This is specifically not my preferred style of PN – I like a bit of oak, a bit of cola, a bit of aggressive fruit – but this is a lovely, ready-aged, rendition of a RRV PN.
K: very much liked it. She has quite a good palate but not the passion some of us have.
SWMBO: doesn’t much like aged wine and she’s not crazy about it.
T: drinks anything but really liked it and said it’s really easy to drink.
No shipping to Idaho-your wines have always shipped to Idaho on Woot. Hate to miss this one.
Are you sure we are drinking the same wine? Haha, I got both oak and cola from it but then I do have a Yak palate after all.
It’s probably just time to renew the annual license.
No need to miss out! We can ship directly from the winery to 46 States. If yours is not on the woot ship-to list, just call Mike Faulk at the winery (preferably between 9AM and 3PM) at 954-295-8944 or just PM me with a number and a time to call you. We’ll honor the same deal.
Unofficial volunteer “rat”. Pulled this bottle from my stash (previous offer).
Pop and pour (Friday night)
Clear, ruby color, no sediment
Nose primarily dark cherry and an earthy/mushroom note, perhaps the slightest hint of the truffle note Clark speaks of in his notes on the wine. I hesitate to say truffle because I typically don’t like truffle (gasp!) But this is neither unpleasant nor off-putting.
I let the glass sit while I made dinner, which consisted of salad (power greens, several kinds of tomatoes, mozzarella balls, Caesar dressing) and some crusty bread. It’s hot here in Chicago and I don’t much feel like cooking after work.
About 30 minutes later:
Nose: still primarily cherry with a slight hint of something medicinal (perhaps eucalyptus), though again, not at all unpleasant.
Palate: still mostly cherry/cherry cola with a touch of the earth mushroom note. Mouthfeel is silky and smooth. The wine is juicy and approachable. I’m definitely enjoying this one.
About 90 minutes: nose still has cherry and some earth but had picked up a prominent perfumey note (I’m going to call it violet for now…one of my favorite treasures to find in a pinot). Loving this…I could sit and sniff for hours.
Poured a second glass. Nose and palate remain about the same for the remainder of the evening (cherry, earthy, prominent violet/floral)
Approximately 24 hours later. Second half of bottle was simply recorked and placed in the refrigerator (removed to room temp about 30 minutes before pouring). Color seems to have picked up a bit of a tinge of bricking, but only slightly.
Nose: Fruit has faded giving way to some lovely herbal notes. I’m picking up prominent rosemary and basil and a hint if something in the mint family.
Palate: Still juicy, nice acid, and a balance of fruit (now more raspberry than cherry) and herb.
I’d say the wine is light to medium bodied, very smooth, with a medium finish. Don’t let the 8 yrs of oak treatment scare you off. The neutral barrels do not impart loads of oak character (to my perception).
Overall, I’d say this wine is elegant and delicious. I always love a wine that evolves over an evening (or several days) and this certainly doesn’t disappoint. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to add a few to my stash, despite the fact that my racks runneth over. Thanks for another great offer, Clark.
This is going to be one of those wines, gang. When a Pinot has this much development, it gets really non-linear and becomes very difficult to describe. Like dancing about architecture. The breadth of expression here is such that you will find many layers and the mind will key on just about anything.
I would not say this is in any way an unoaked wine. It’s just not oak dominated. The closest way to describe it is the way that in tawny port aromatics, after many years in barrel, one can no longer discern what is oak and what is fruit. The two have merged.
No question that the black cherries are in the forefront. Cola is such a complex thing, I can see certain aspects - the dark, earthy notes from kola nut, and perhaps a tiny bit of the Neroli orange peel, but not the heavy vanilla.
If you think this wine is hard to describe, just wait until I woot the 2010 Two Jakes Roman Reserve Cabernet Franc. Holy cow. You’ll need a whole new dictionary for that one.
Hey Clark…what’s that potential upside on further ageing? I got 3 bottles from your futures sale, and am debating whether I need to have 5 total!
Oh my…do I need to start saving up?
Yes, you do. Got a preview of this awhile back and it is the best Cab Franc I have ever tasted.
These are great observations, and I appreciate your honoring this wine with such focused attention.
You mention a couple important elements I didn’t allude to in my brief summary. One is the wine’s florality - roses for sure, maybe violet but not as heady and sweet, so I go for lilac, but in any case a high-pitched perfume. I’m a barbershopper, so it’s like the high tenor notes above the lead’s melody line carrying the fruit, while the earthy notes (mushroom, Kola nut) are like a bass line and the baritone is represented by a whole host of peculiar nuances.
Secondly, you’re quite right that the fruit pitches higher with a few days’ breathing. My girlfriend found the finish a bit metallic the first night with a tomato dish, but the next day fell in love with it and that note disappeared.
That subtle basil/rosemary element that emerges after a day or two comes and goes. It might be food or situation-based. It’s very nuanced, but shows another element which is very typical of Pinot Noir, seldom discussed. You could almost say tomato leaf.
The “truffle” descriptor is a standard terminology in Burgundy. Before we learned how to grow them domestically a few years back, truffles were ridiculously expensive and never used in a quantitiy that would impart more than a subtle nuance - an umami / meaty character, very sexy. Today, you get this obnoxious truffle oil on everything (do people still say “gag me with a spoon?”). That’s not what I meant. The wine just has a subtle sexy earthiness, as you described very well.
I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to converse with you wooters and see my wines getting honored and understood. Wooting is expensive for me, but you guys make it worthwhile.
I’m afraid so. It will be a similar deal, and is, IMHO, the single most interesting Cab Franc I have ever made.
Crap. Sweet. This coming from you means even more than normal. And with CF being one of my favourites, I’ll be in trouble.
'Fraid so. I have the same trouble. I have found that the solution is to find worthy, non-virtual fellow travelers who will actually show up an help drink the good stuff with appropriate expressions of awe and amazement.
There can be compelling economic incentives. Personally I find wines of this caliber very useful in getting me invited to some pretty fabulous meals.
If you go this route, feel free spice up the table conversation by to inventing bawdy stories about my personal life or otherwise assassinate my character. Lots of grist for that mill at winecrimes.com.
Good question. This is unknown territory, but here’s how I read the tea leaves.
First of all, the wine is aromatically fresh, with no hint of aldehyde, and the tannins are very silky and not at all drying out.
Second, as has been noted above, the wine is still in great shape a day later, and actually holds up for several days.
I’m entirely confident in its ability to go five years more in a decent cellar, and more likely ten. I won’t go more than that, but Pinot can surprise you.
We don’t really have good wine chemistry models for Pinot Noir aging. It doesn’t seem to need tannin to last a long time.
Anyhow, I imagine it’s a moot point. At this price, how long do you think you can resist drinking it up?