2001 Dehlinger "High Plains" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1010825 92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Nominally lower in alcohol than the special bottlings above, this wine smells a bit riper owing, in part, to a dried grape, crushed black cherry component to its concentrated, outgoing aromas. Mouthfilling in palate impression and full of ripe, compact fruit flavors tinged with oak and a nuanced note of dried violets, this bold but not overly tannic bottling would seem to want service with long cooked meats like Osso Buco.  (6/2004)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 ($48; from vines planted in 1989; the soil here features more clay and a mixed mineral content and drains well) Good red-ruby. Wild, perfumed aromas of briary black fruits; reminded me of a wine from Morey-Saint-Denis. Dense, silky, fat and sweet, but with very good verve and definition thanks to sound acidity. A broad, mouthfilling pinot that finishes with rather suave, tongue-dusting tannins.  (6/2004)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A limited cuvee, there are 225 cases of the 2001 Pinot Noir High Plains. It possesses a deep ruby color in addition to a fragrant bouquet of ripe strawberries, sweet cherries, loamy soil, and a hint of oak. This medium to full-bodied, fruit-dominated, spicy, rich, complex effort should drink well for 7-8 years.  (12/2003)


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Price: $44.99

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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 Sp├Ątburgunder 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.
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.
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 Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.