Monday, December 11, 2023

New Vintages From Sonoma-Cutrer: Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

From the heart of the Russian River Valley, Sonoma-Cutrer is celebrating the release of three new vintages of some of their most popular wines. Newly bottled are the 2022 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, the 2021 The Cutrer Chardonnay and the 2021 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. 

The celebration of new vintages come at a time when Sonoma-Cutrer is being acquired by Duckhorn for $400 million. Maybe they're popping the cork on some sparkling wine in addition to these wines. 

For the first time in its four-plus decade history, Sonoma-Cutrer features an all-female team led by their newest and first female Director of Winemaking Cara Morrison, and Senior Winemaker Zidanelia Arcidiacono. The team follows the company line of combining Burgundian tradition with Californian innovation, always making sure to respect the terroir and the people of Sonoma County.

The 2021 Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Grower-Vintner Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir, from the Owsley and Vine Hill vineyards. The grapes were tank fermented, then aged for eleven months in oak barrels, one third new, one third 1-year-old and one third two-years-old. The wine remained in oak for 11 months and rested in bottles for another six months. Alcohol sits at 14.3% abv and the retail price is $36.

This wine colors up a medium-dark ruby in the glass. It has a savory nose, while showing plenty of blackberry, black plum and black cherry. The oak spice is lovely, with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and a slight note of coffee. The palate is just as much a treat as is the nose. Dark fruit shows strongly, with a good acidity and tannic grip. It is not a brawny wine, but it is not too delicate, either. The finish lingers awhile and leaves a savory memory behind. 

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