Deal of the Day – A Bargain Hunter’s Guide to the Extreme Pinots of 2007
For a very limited time, we’ve got a deal you will want to tell your users about. We’ve sourced a short supply of California Pinot Noirs at an incredible price. If you’re looking for a bargain on great wine, THIS is it! Until we’re out of them, you can get a sampler of 6 bottles of Pinot Noir rated 90 or better for $175. This price INCLUDES shipping! See below for more information on shipping.
Deal: Extreme Pinot 6-bottle sampler
The Pinot “Vintage of the Decade”
At first glance, it’s hard to understand. The 2007 vintage in northern California had the makings of one of the best in recent memory. The growing season started off warm with an early bud break. But, almost every harvest is defined by the last month of the growing season, and in 2007, that last month was just what the doctor ordered.
The skies stayed blue through September, even well into October. There were no heat spikes, just beautiful, sunny days and crisp, cool evenings. Growers had the luxury of taking their time with the harvest, if they so chose, waiting until maturity was perfect before picking.
Sound like the recipe for the perfect Pinot Noir? It was. Then how is it possible that of all the Pinots we tasted (many of them top-rated wines) on our week long trip to Sonoma in September, only a few combined the richness of the vintage with the explosive aromatic purity of the variety?
There’s been a disturbing winemaking trend, one that emphasizes the desperate search for high scores — often at the expense of truly signature wine. The grade grubbing seems to have hit a climax in 2007. In a vintage that should have provided richness and a strong Burgundian backbone, too many of the wines are simple. Sure, the color is dark, but the wines are forward without the backbone that this vintage should have provided.
The exception? A handful of producers making wines from extreme settings, spots where low-yielding vineyards struggle to get grapes ripe. In 2007, the top producers of these small production bottlings took full advantage of both the richness AND vibrancy of the vintage. This collection of three is enough to make the guys in Vougeot wince:
- Drew “Weir Vineyard” Pinot Noir Anderson Valley: Grown in a cool pocket amongst the redwoods of Anderson Valley, just 15 acres situated on a steep (850 feet) southeastern slope;
- Baker Lane “Ramondo” Sonoma Coast: Crafted from just 4 acres planted in the sandy soil at the end of Baker Lane on the Sonoma Coast;
- Dutton Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch: From a few hand-selected sites at the coolest extremes of the world-class Dutton Ranch, shrouded in the morning fog of Green Valley.
As for the rest? Many will be highly scored. That’s what happens when you taste too many wines in one sitting; the wines that are more alcoholic and more concentrated (maybe a little bit of sugar left in the mix?) jump out. But almost all of these are flat on the finish, making them dull and simple.
So what should you buy? If you want dark fruit and don’t care about complexity, this is a vintage that will delight you. But, if you want world-class Pinot in what truly is a world-class vintage, go EXTREME.
2007 Drew Wines Pinot Noir Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands
“Pure, vivid wild berry and blackberry fruit is both supple and tightly focused. Medium-bodied, long and persistent on the finish, where this picks up a pleasant spicy, earthy edge. Drink now through 2013. 206 cases made.”
92 points–Wine Spectator
|2007 Baker Lane Vineyards Pinot Noir Ramondo Vineyard Sonoma Coast
“Bright medium red. Spicy redcurrant and strawberry on the nose, with sexy floral and mineral qualities adding complexity. Musky cherry and red berry flavors are given spine by juicy acidity and fine-grained tannins, which add back-end grip. Stretches out with air, becoming broader and sweeter on the long, sappy finish.”
91 points–Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
|2007 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley
“Bright, medium cherry-red. Vibrant aromas of black cherry, raspberry, rose petal and orange zest; a real essence of pinot noir in a Chambolle way. Then juicy, silky and brisk, with red fruit, orange peel and spice flavors framed by ripe, harmonious acidity. There’s no oakiness to get in the way of the pure, sharply focused fruit of this very suave and high-pitched pinot.”
90 points–Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar