2001 Merry Edwards "Windsor Gardens" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1083184 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Always among the deepest of the Edwards Pinots, and often a leader of the vintage, the Windsor Gardens bottling scoops the competition again for its fully fruited, well-stuffed, optimally ripened aromas of cherries tinged with dried violets and crème brulée oak. It is velvety and balanced on the palate with inviting, still nascent flavors leading to a long, slightly youthfully tight finish and a touch of alcoholic heat. Yet, time in bottle is all that is needed to see this exceptional wine grow and get even better yet.  (2/2004)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 An impressive wine for its compelling interest. It’s fruit-rich, suggesting cherries and pomegranates, with notes of rhubarb, black tea and dried herbs that ride in waves across the palate. Oak contributes nuances but is not strong. Extremely dry, with bright acidity, this wine will develop additional complexities for a few years.  (4/2004)

Wine Spectator

 Elegantly styled, with delicate, fleshy cherry, blueberry and raspberry flavors that gain richness and depth, fanning out nicely on the finish.  (12/1993)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "This is the Grand Dame, a Pinot Noir that offers exquisite, seemingly endless pleasure. Captivating and gracefully seductive when young, it develops power and majesty as it ages. Located in the northern Middle Reach of Russian River Valley, Windsor Gardens is a dry-farmed vineyard, over thirty years in age and planted with the classic Martini clone. The venerable old vines bear a small crop, rare and rich fruit with deep favor and weighty, velvety texture. I was fortunate to harvest enough fruit in 2001 to produce two hundred precious cases. I crafted the wine using traditional Burgundian techniques...The wine aged ten months in French oak barrels specifically selected and coopered by Dargaud & Jaegle to enhance this wine. Seductive and smooth, 2001 Windsor Gardens unfolds on the palate with elegant authority, revealing a complex array of classic aromas and flavors -- rose petals, dark cherry and plum -- and finishing with satiny refinement. This sultry, full-bodied wine is well suited to accompany wild mushroom ravioli or grilled lamb tenderloins with eggplant flan."

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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.