Merry Edwards Coopersmith Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2012: Dark purple color; raspberry, cherry, plum, blackberry on the nose; gentle, elegant dark fruits—black cherry, raspberry, plum—cocoa, spice, some oak, vanilla on the palate;
plush tannin, good acidity, exceptionally refined and balanced. Meredith “Merry” Edwards is legendary grand dame of California pinot; she and her husband Ken Coopersmith planted the acreage that produces this wine in a former apple orchard in 2001, eventually settling on UCD 37 vines (also known as Merry’s Clone) after some experimentation. Pure sustainable practices are integral to the making of this wine: “Merry and Ken pamper these vines with micronutrients derived from timed applications of organic oak-based mushroom compost, provided by their neighbor Gourmet Mushrooms. Watchful red-tail hawks and a pair of peregrine falcons patrol the vineyard for gophers and nest in the tall trees surrounding the property. Barn owls raise their young in the boxes on high poles scattered throughout the vines, capturing dozens of rodents each spring night. Originally the home of Haven Best’s organic apples, the site proved its potential from the very first bottling in 2004.” Caution: this is by no means a pop and pour pleaser; give it considerable air time in a decanter for the nose to release and the refined fruits to emerge. If you are patient, this has exceptional aging potential. Sipping this is more than enjoying an exceptional pinot noir, you also are participating in the life of a winemaking legend. In 2013, Merry’s 40th year as a winemaker, she was not only inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, she also won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional in the United States, just the fourth woman to be so honored. Enjoy while showing reverential respect. $80-95
Merry Edwards website
Second photo: Merry and Ken Edwards Coopersmith.