2011 Rivers-Marie "Summa Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1126550 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard emerges from the glass with autumn leaves, tobacco, dried cherries and savory herbs. Although made from fully de-stemmed fruit, the 2011 has a stemmy character in its aromas and flavors. High-toned floral and herbs notes add lift on the finish. Sadly, there is no Summa Old Vines in 2011. The best fruit went into this, the straight Sonoma bottling. (AG)  (4/2013)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Aromas of strawberry, brown spices and earth. Sweet, supple and rather glyceral, but with strong acidity running through the red berry and earth flavors. Finishes with a saline quality. Good smooth pinot but a bit diffuse and in need of more definition and cut. There's just this one bottling of the Summa pinot in 2011 due to the very low yield. Incidentally, Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Welsh purchased this vineyard in 2010. (ST)  (6/2013)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "Quantity more than quality dictated combining all blocks from Summa into one bottling for the first time ever. This wine reminds me so much of the 2005 editions of Summa and Summa Old, two wines that were hard to allocate then and would be impossible to do so today. It's always interesting to combine blocks and watch what attributes of each poke out in the finished blend. For the better wines what we like from each component seems to be what stands out in the end. This is no exception. The regular Summa provides depth of flavor to the old vines breadth and fruit tannin. It's interesting to taste an edition of Summa with this much early completeness. It will still require plenty of patience to see its peak but there are fewer early holes in this vintage than usual."

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Price: $47.99
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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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 12.4