Tonight’s occasion: 2009 Pinot Noir (Clos Pepe – Santa Rita Hills) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma, CA.
Deep clear ruby color out of the bottle. Nose is a little shy with subtle notes of sweet cherry and a touch of berry. Swirling unlocks an unmistakable mushroom leather reminiscent of wet/damp forrest floor on a cold foggy morning. The Santa Rita Hills holds a special place in the heart and I must credit Roger Roessler Wines for introducing this region to me many years ago. This wine has that signature berry expression typical of this region but adds significant terroir characteristics in the form of a rich leather. Clos Pepe is a coveted vineyard and the quality of the fruit shows here.
Body is crisp, clean, perfectly balanced right off the bat. You are greeted by that signature berry typical of the Santa Rita Hills. Medium bodied tannins provide just the right amount of structure. Leather takes more of a back seat. Minerality is more noticeable albeit very subtle and towards the back as it conspires to turn the berries black. This marks the transition to a very gentle, graceful finish, which fades to leave the palate clean, crisp, slightly moist with a distant spice.
This is my last bottle. This wine is absolutely gorgeous. It has had time to integrate and aged gracefully. I cannot think of a more fitting way to end the year – featuring a vintage from the 2020 Winemaker of the Year, Roger Roessler Wines. Thank you for introducing me to so many Pinot from so many different regions.
To the entire crew at Roger Roessler Wines, I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!