2004 Dehlinger "Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1029754 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Dehlinger’s Pinot Noirs are so reasonably priced that consumers may overlook them. I just finished my last bottle of his 1994 Reserve, and it was still drinking beautifully. There are 1,150 cases of the 2004 Pinot Noir Estate. Aged in 35-45% new French oak, this stunning effort was fashioned from both the Pommard and Martini Clones of Pinot Noir culled from Dehlinger’s hillside and knoll-top vineyard. Full-bodied and intense with superb elegance, complexity, aromatics, and texture, it reveals abundant black fruits in the nose along with hints of forest floor, herbs, and earth. It should drink beautifully for a decade. (RP)  (12/2006)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Distinct for its complex mix of cherry cola, raspberry and earthy berry flavors. Focused, elegant and balanced, with nice depth, a clean, crisp finish and fine-grained tannins. (JL)  (9/2007)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 If you have the patience to lay the Dehlinger Reserve away, then this wine could well be its nearer term substitute. Constructed in the Dehlinger style albeit softer and more approachable than its mate above, this one is high in concentrated character and full in body and will make a fine partner to rich beef and lamb roasts over the next few years. *One Star*  (6/2007)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. Vibrant strawberry and raspberry aromas are complicated by fresh rose and baking spices. Silky and sweet, with expressive red fruit flavors, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a light, silky texture. Seductive and delicious right now, with impressively pure red berry tones on the finish. (ST)  (6/2007)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A pretty, indeed even elegant nose that reveals almost no trace of the alcohol this wine is carrying nor do the big, sweet and broad flavors that deliver good depth on the sappy, concentrated and mouth coating finish though here there is distinct warmth if not actual heat. Those who enjoy higher-octane pinot won't find this to be unduly warm but for those who prefer more classically styled juice, this may not be your cup of pinot.  (10/2007)

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Price: $49.99

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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.


- 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 Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.