2003 Dehlinger "Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1021729 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2003 Pinot Noir Estate, from Dehlinger’s hilltop vineyards, is a lush, textured effort revealing sweet black cherry, raspberry, plum, and allspice notes, a lush, medium to full-bodied palate, sweet tannin, and a distinctive opulence as well as earthiness. It should drink well for 7-8 years, although this estate’s Pinots can last longer than one suspects. I had my last bottle of their 1994 just recently, and it was still drinking beautifully. Kudos to Tom Dehlinger, a guy who seems to be content to stay under the radar and simply make an assortment of very fine as well as realistically priced wines!  (12/2005)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Another fine Pinot from Dehlinger, this one carries the familial traits of ripeness and richness but differs from its mate above in being both a little brighter in its fruit while carrying a somewhat lowered sense of concentration. Call it a small choice in style, if you will, because both wines are fleshy and deep and both ask for earlier rather than later drinking.  (6/2006)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. A bit blacker on the nose than the Goldridge sample, with a note of dark raspberry and good thrust. At once superripe and sappy, with generous dark raspberry and spice flavors. This conveys a small-berry feel and an impression of solid extract. Finishes concentrated and persistent. Dehlinger vinified this cuvee with a small percentage of whole berries.  (6/2006)

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Price: $49.99
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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.