Tonight’s Occasion: 2018 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) by Amrita Cellars, Santa Rosa, CA
Out of the bottle this is clearly Russian River Pinot Noir. With primary soft notes of ripe red cherries and a wet leather of fine sedimentary soil this wine shows good sense of place. That Sonoma dirt/terroir shines through. Russian River gives it more of a fine silt twist as opposed to damp forest floor typical of say the Sonoma Coast. Bright berries and a hint of fresh herbal essence so subtle you’d likely miss it. Swirling vigorously only intensifies this subtle nose slightly, adding more cherry cola. I like it!
Body is nicely balanced from front to back, greeting with a touch of dry citrus, hints of cherries, and raspberry. Soft unobtrusive tannins quickly fill in the body, adding depth while a fain crisp oak creates a slightly plush, creamy mouth feel. Midway through, a gentle bitter cola emerges, ushering in the transition to finish. As the body fades, a mushroom leather makes a brief appearance. Ahhh Sonoma! As the show concludes, fruit notes take turn bowing out while the palate slowly drifts between moist and grippy dryness. A faint spice tingle remains and linger briefly.
This wine checks all the hallmarks of a classic Pinot Noir. It is a a clean, faithful and nuanced look at this region and this varietal. This is pretty far off the beaten path and about as artisan as it gets. I met the unassuming owner/winemaker Sunny last month at an industry function organized by our friends over at Sheldon Wine and Spirits (@sheldonwineandspirits). This is what I love about venturing off the beaten path. There seems to be a surprise in store at every turn. We truly are living in a golden age of winemaking. Great work Sunny. I look forward to many more vintages from you.
Sunny, owner/winemaker would like to invite you to taste his small batch production artisan wines. I think you should too, especially if you enjoy California Pinot Noir. You can order yours via their website Amrita Cellars (amritacellars.com) and use Promo/Discount Code WS2022 to get 10% off your order. A great opportunity to support a small artisan winemaker and explore another hidden gem off the beaten path. Be sure you share your thoughts and tasting notes with me.