Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012


Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012: Garnet color; restrained nose; raspberry, blackberry, dark cherry,

strawberry; medium body, silky smooth, medium acidity (3.6 pH), oak, spice notes, flirts with juicy sweetness. A Sonoma Coast stalwart since mid-1970s, Sonoma-Cutrer is best known for quality chardonnay, which makes Burgundy sense that it also ventures to quality pinot noir. 2012 was good year in Sonoma, a clear improvement over the previous two years, and this pour reflects that. Sonoma is next to Napa, but it is far larger and produces many more grapes. The Russian River Valley (takes its name from Russian-America Company explorations in early 1800s) is west of the city of Santa Rosa and the climatic influence is cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean; the fog invades in the evening or early morning, then burns off by noon. This influences what the AVA does best: chardonnay and pinot noir are classic cool climate varietals where growers may have to struggle, but successful efforts pay off in exquisite grapes that can make wonderful wines. Growers usually have no problem with acidity, but fight for fruitiness. This pour, this vintage succeeds. $31

Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir2