2012 Joseph Swan "Trenton View Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1245957 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Blackberry, cherry, sassafras and rose petal on the smoky nose. Pungent, spicy and broad, offering good weight to its dark berry jam, herb and spicecake flavors. Picks up a wild, cured meat nuance with air that carries through a warm, powerful finish firmed by juicy acidity and dusty tannins. Rod Berglund is another grower/winemaker who told me that as seductive as the 2012s can be, the 2011s probably intrigue him more because "there's a freshness, a balance and a restraint to them that's just so classically pinot." With that in mind he thinks that the best 2011s will outrun their younger siblings, even if they're not exactly showing much of their potential just yet. He said that he doesn't want to sound like a downer by calling the 2012s "obvious" but compared to '11 and '10 "they're so much more approachable and easy to love." They'll likely be that way throughout their evolution, he believes, thus enjoyable at every stage of their lives, "which isn't true for '11 and 10."  (5/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The only 2012 I tasted was the 2012 Pinot Noir Trenton View Vineyard. Offering an education in Pinot Noir, this wine’s washed out, light ruby/garnet color suggests it could be a rose. However, aromas of sassafras, plum, pomegranate and a whiff of cherries soar from the glass. Sensual, disarming and charming with more flavor depth and texture than one would guess by looking at the color, it finished at a lofty 14.6% alcohol, and can be drunk over the next several years or longer. Readers familiar with Burgundy’s Domaine Dujac’s style will enjoy this particular bottling from Joseph Swan. By the way, all these Pinot Noirs are made from their own clonal material known as the Swan clone.  (12/2013)

Wine Spectator

 An understated style, this medium-bodied version is light, pale garnet in color, showing cherry, rhubarb and forest floor notes. Clean and well-balanced. Drink now through 2020. 412 cases made.  (9/2014)

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Price: $37.99

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By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/22/2016 | Send Email
Quite certainly, one of the biggest points of illumination from my recent trip to Sonoma was the sheer diversity when it comes to the range of scale of wineries. This hit home as we pulled into our visit at the famed Joseph Swan estate (we had just left DUMOL). What was immediately clear was that, while lacking the massive facility of our previous visit, the folks here are succeeding in producing some of the purest wines from the entire valley. Their Trenton View Pinot has one of the longest finishes that I've tasted recently, and mystifies with its refreshingly bright acidity and dark fruit. Gorgeous!

Additional Information:


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.

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.


- 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.