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2013 Joseph Swan "Great Oak Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1301903 93 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This wine is produced in microscopic amounts, the result of sourcing grapes from a notoriously difficult-to-farm site. It rewards in flavor: hearty cherry and pomegranate fruit, a crisp, crunchy texture, powerful tannins and oak, and an underlying minerality that presents as elusively as a cloud of fog. Inner quote mark (8/2017)

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By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/4/2021 | Send Email
Legacies are what we live and die by, and the wine world is immersed in richly-hued, resolute characters whose presence continues to be felt long after they're gone. Joe Swan, a commercial pilot and early disciple of Russian River pinot noir, planted his first vines way back in 1969 from Dijon cuttings acquired while galumphing through Burgundy, a move which helped establish the grape's unparalleled reputation in California. After his passing in 1989 the winery evolved and grew under the aegis of his son-in-law Rod Berglund, who extended the holdings to include a stunning, scattered parcel on the slopes of Black Mountain called Great Oak. After tasting the 2013 vintage some might designate this spot Pinot Heaven! With dialed-up aromatics that all but leap from the glass, this brilliant wine unravels its charms: a panoply of pomegranates, cherries and cranberries dusted with clove, orange peel and sandalwood, all held in thrall by elegant acidity. A testament to artisan winemaking and a ravishing wine that would have made Joe Swan swoon.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/4/2021 | Send Email
The magic of Joseph Swan is alive and well in this bottle. Winemaker Rod Berglund, now into his 5th decade of making wine, and 34th harvest at Joseph Swan Vineyards, continues the legacy of this iconic place that has been so influential to generations of Californian winemakers and drinkers. The Swan wines always seem to have the ability to capture the best of both worlds, deep, rich fruit, but also plenty of earthy, savory, undergrowth type elements that make the Pinot Noirs so captivating. The 2013 Great Oak Pinot has all of this in spades. Dark, dusty, red berry fruits, baking spice, forest floor, hints of leather and struck stone. With seven years in the bottle, the wine still has great fruit concentration and lushness on the palate, plus all the savory, umami elements that define Swan's wines. It's a stunning bottle that is prime for drinking now or over the next five or so years. If you're not acquainted with these wines, don't wait too long to grab a bottle. If you know the wines of Joseph Swan...you've probably already added some to your cart! These bottles are winery direct with perfect provenance.
Top Value!

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/21/2021 | Send Email
When we first opened the 2013 Swan Great Oak, the entire staff proceeded to buzz about this wine the whole day. That doesn’t happen very often around here. To give an indication of why, let's first talk about the age. Despite aged Pinot Noir being the gold standard in Burgundy, you rarely see aged domestic Pinot Noir--and I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to taste one that has aged as gracefully as this. With desiccated cranberry, forest floor, bing cherry and strawberry preserves, the bottle age has given this wine a beautiful bouquet, full of depth and complexity. On the palate, this Swan brings aggressive acidity, and soft fruity tones that give a long and resonating finish. With its beautiful complexity, softened fruit, and exceptional quality It's no wonder my colleagues have all been raving about it. This is a singular wine that is at an absolute peak, worth its praise and more. A must-try.

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