Russian River Valley, Sonoma County

Fantesca

King Richard's Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2014

Proof that, indeed, there is truth in wine.

While Heidi Barrett makes her only Chardonnay and Spring Mountain Cabernet for Fantesca, my understanding is she will not make Pinot Noir. That responsibility falls on Fantesca’s Associate Winemaker Tony Arcudi, who also makes wine under his eponymous label in addition to consulting for Kapcsandy.

Fantesca’s 2014 King Richard’s Reserve is sourced from a selection of prime vineyards in Russian River Valley including Bacigalupi, Ulises Valdez, and Martinelli. Reminiscent of my experiences with Williams Selyem Pinot Noir. A rich, yet beautiful expression of Pinot Noir that juxtaposes lush raspberry and black cherry against a backdrop of herbs, flowers, and forest floor. The balance between opulence and restraint is where the beauty lies.
— 7 days ago

Bill, Jason and 20 others liked this
David L

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My absolute favorite thing they make. Cheers

Walter Hansel Winery

The North Slope Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

Shay A
9.3

These Walter Hansel wines are incredible buys, especially with some age. At first it was extremely reductive and not wanting to show any sort of fruit. A few hours later, it yielded some grilled lemon and papaya with sea salt. Dense on the palate with smoked honeycomb and savory like pineapple. Pop these soon! — 5 days ago

Mark FlesherDan Fitzgerald
with Mark and Dan
Kirk, Mike and 29 others liked this
Bill Bender

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Agree on Hansel @Shay A really nice QPR
David T

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@Shay A They certainly are!
Mark Flesher

Mark Flesher

Took me a while to find this one even though I saw Dan cradling this one like a newborn baby. Found it about 30 minutes after opening. Nose of mango and a touch of buttered toast. The entry is dense, guava and peach. Praline note on the middle. Finishes with rounded notes and tamed acidity.
9.3

Hartford Court

Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2017

Advice appreciated.
Choosing the selections for a btg list... to choose
Something most folks know and have had and can get most places Or to choose the selections that you haven’t had or don’t see or don’t even know about.
It’s hard to choose for the guest when they are the ones who are choosing. I feel the best a wine director can do is ask and care more than those choosing
— 10 days ago

Shawn, Mark and 3 others liked this
Shay A

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A catch 22 for sure. From a service standpoint, having options that will “sell” is hard to say no to, but from an education standpoint, having unique/rare options seems necessary. Maybe have one unique/rare BTG option per grouping so that it offers up a chance to branch out from the normal BTG options.

Patz & Hall

Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir 2013

A soft ruby color with a wide brim and cherry accents. A bit of lavender and rose petal on the nose, along with bright cranberries and raspberry goodness. This is an outstanding Pinot with a purity of fruit, plenty of herbaceousness, and great structure. I probably should have waited longer to open this but it’s certainly drinking just fine right now. Nice red fruits and smoke initially on the palate, with mild spice and dried herbs. This is a great example of how to produce a big Pinot with finesse. — 4 days ago

Kevin, Trixie and 3 others liked this
Trixie

Trixie

Nice photo. 😃

Failla

Keefer Ranch Chardonnay 2011

Drink ‘em if you got ‘me. After an hour, this one’s not yet flirting with the edge. The nose is sniffable without needing a sip. Fun, indeed to see these can go baby go. Mostly because when a bottle of Chardonnay is purchased in the US, 98% of those buyers think it needs to be consumed before the sun goes down. — 3 days ago

Douglas, Alex and 2 others liked this

Limerick Lane

Syrah Grenache 2013

This evolved nicely over the three hours it was open, with the mouthfeel becoming more rounded with air. Black cherries, blackberries, black licorice, and just a hint of black olive, all carried along by significant acidity. No hurry on this one. — 2 days ago

Shay, Jason and 3 others liked this

Bacigalupi

Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2015

Greg Ballington
9.0

First of the blind white wines. Theme was new world Chardonnay.

Definitely seems to be unfined and unfiltered with a medium yellow hue. A touch of butter on the nose layered with honeysuckle and white stone fruits. Medium acidity (5.5/10) and medium bodied. Buttery (not over the top) and smooth mouthfeel with notes of lemon and white flowers. Medium plus length finish. Drink till 2020.

Thank you Michelle for bringing!
— 11 days ago

Sean BallingtonIndia Okoh
with Sean and India
Shay, Shawn and 13 others liked this

Stewart Cellars

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

Had this about 2 years ago, set a bottle aside. Michael Stewart came to the Napa Valley in 1999, & purchased Juliana Vineyards, a 1,000 acre vineyards in the Napa Valley. He also had the world-renowned oenologist Paul Hobbs to start the Stewart brand. Dark red almost purple with complex dark berry aromas and smoky oak. On the palate blackberry and cherry, lost freshness, with citrus notes & some spice. Very smooth tannins, savory with lingering finish ending with some mineral tones. Good, drink now! — 4 days ago

Shay, Jeff and 2 others liked this

The Calling Wines

Single Vineyard Series Pinot Noir 2014

Small production. Deep dark Ruby with ripe black fruit aromas and intricate spices. Complex palate with big flavors of cherry, blackberry and raspberry fruit with cola, cinnamon and mocha notes in fine soft tannic structure. Well balanced with savory edge on a great mouthfeel finish ending with earthy mineral character. — 2 days ago

Aaron, Matt Trader, and 3 others liked this

Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny the Elder Double IPA

A distinct aroma of apricot, entry is a rush of intense hops followed by a breadth of flavors including pine cone, chestnut, fresh baked sourdough/yeast and a savory almost deli meat quality. Medium acidity and crispness with noticeable minerality. Always worth a quaff when you can get it. — 2 months ago

Bill, romo and 27 others liked this
P A

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@Bill Bender Bill one of the best Cheers 🍻
Bill Bender

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Agreed @P A and nobody knows better than you sir
P A

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@Bill Bender Have a great weekend Cheers 🍻