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Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Jouissance comes from the southwestern corner of the appellation, only nominally protected by the coastal hills and open to the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean, is the single source for these grapes. The soils here are sandy loam and very well drained, typical for the Russian River Valley. The cooler sections of Russian River, near Sebastopol, are known for producing explosive and aromatic fruit flavors balanced with acidity and earthy aromas. All seventeen rows are planted with Dijon 115 clone, nudging the wine toward perfumed aromas and light spice notes as a compliment to the lush fruitiness derived from the soils.
Notes of strawberry and tart pie cherry are accompanied by notes of sweet vanillin, toasted hazelnut and coffee as an introduction to this joyfully juicy blend of rich fruit and earthy spice. The wine opens to a well integrated mid-palate of dark berries, toffee and cassis. The broad palate is elevated and brightened with a mouthwatering acidity that welcomes this wine to the table. Sassafras, herbal notes and baking spices are revealed in the satisfying finish.
The Ancien Estate Wines
The Estate is owned by Ken and Teresa Bernards whose combined experience is moving into its 3rd decade, having made acclaimed wines for other producers prior to focusing on their own label, Ancien. Their trips to Burgundy filled them with inspiration drawn from the ancient history and tradition of winemaking. While the techniques have constantly been refined, they have been using the same principles of winemaking for generations.
The Ancien Vineyards
Carneros Chardonnay comes from a plant selection, planted on vineyards at the Toyon Ranch on the Napa side of Carneros and the Vella Ranch. Carneros Pinot Noir is a blend of two very similar vineyards situated near the Napa-Sonoma county line at the southern end of the appellation. The two vineyards, Domaine Chandon and the Ferguson Ranch, were both planted in 1973. Both are austere sites with lean soils and low vigor. The similarity of site, rootstock, clone and vine age (28 year old) ensure a commonality between the wines. Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir is grown in Steiner Vineyard, at 1100 feet elevation, on the cool northwestern slope, 17 miles from the ocean. The first grapes were planted here in 1973 (making them pioneer of the region). Seeing the unique qualities of grapes grown in this outstanding area, they were a driving force in creating the Sonoma Mountain Appellation. The soils vary through the vineyard changing from clay loamy stuff with fractured ryolite to an austere rocky area. Carneros Pinot Gris is grown on the far southwestern edge at the Sangiacomo family's El Novillero Vineyard (2 acres). The soils and eastern facing orientation are perfect.
Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.
Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.
Lively in brooding black fruit, this wine is balanced in richness and length, with a lasting wealth of baking spice and black tea. Well integrated, it forms a cohesive experience on the smooth, seductive palate, finding a balance across all its components
-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Sourced predominately from the estates that are defined by their proximity to the coast and Russian River climate, the wine displays vivid crimson and aromas of violet, Morello cherry, and black tea. Velvet tannins on the palate ride along a juicy backbone of flavors such as cranberry, Blood orange, and Damson plum. The finish is long, powered behind a crisp acidity and appealing red clay-like minerality.
The largest production cuvée is the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, which comes from multiple sites and was aged 9 months in 43% new French oak. Readers looking for a great introduction into the wines of the estate can't go wrong here. Medium ruby, it has beautiful aromatics of raspberries, black cherries, and strawberries, loads of spice, violets, and underbrush nuances, medium to full body, good acidity, and a silky, seamless texture. It's beautifully done and well worth seeking out.
- Wine Spectator 93 Points
Russian River Pinot Noir Cuvee is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
The thought of this blend is to showcase the harmonious nature of all Russian River vineyards together and how well they can complement each other. This is an elegant blend of wines from five of Russian River vineyards with a unique flavor that they consider to be the essential “Russian River Valley” wine. This wine is a striking complement to their traditional single vineyard approach. It affords them the luxury to mix & match the distinct characteristics and flavor profiles from the various vineyards. And it is anything but your traditional “blend”. Because it is made exclusively from premium single vineyard wines, they think it is a cut above typical Cuvées. Case in point: 35% of this blend was aged in new french oak barrels, a level you will rarely, if ever, see in a Cuvée. Even better, this wine is an incredible every day value!
This is a spicy, lush, and bright wine with notes of cherry.
"A pinot with plenty of dried berry, cherry, smoke and spice. Some cedar and mahogany undertones as well. It’s medium-to full-bodied with a creamy texture and a flavorful, savory finish. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (November 2020), 92 pts
Russian River Pinot Noir Horseridge is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
This Pinot Noir’s full, yet delicate quality makes it a highly sought-after wine. A multiple award winner. Horseridge Vineyards lies just 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean on an east facing slope facing the Mayacamas Mountains. The cool night breeze preserves the acidity in the grapes while the warm summer day allows the vines to produce just the perfect amount of sugar in each cluster.
Four consecutive vintages of ultra-premium quality fruit has marked Horseridge Vineyards as a consistently excellent source of Pinot Noir grapes. Feminine in style, balanced, elegant, fruit forward, lush, soft, sleek, lasting finish, velvet, bright fruit, great acidity, blueberry, cranberry, tart berry not over ripe fruit. This Pinot will age beautifully over the next 8-10 years!
"I like the purity of fruit to this with sweet and dried berries on the center palate. It’s full-bodied and layered with fine tannins and a delicious, savory and fruity finish. Just a hint of toasted oak at the end. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (November 2020), 92 pts
"Earthy, spicy, layered and full bodied, this is a fleshy, robust and richly expressive wine, generous on the palate in black cherry and cola. A spicy finish of cinnamon and black pepper gives it a lasting impression. - VIRGINIE BOONE"
- Wine Enthusiast (January 2020), 93 pts
Russian River Pinot Noir Stony Point is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
he wine is produced from a vineyard in the Sebastopol Hills neighborhood of the Russian River Valley, less than twenty miles from the coast where the climate is affected daily by the ocean, wind and its fog. This cool climate, combined with the sun exposure provided by a southern-facing hillside vineyard, creates a low yielding, slow ripening environment which is perfect for Pinot Noir. The balance of fruit and minerality shows beautifully in this easy-drinking crowd pleaser! The result is a wine with especially bright acidity which is perfectly balanced with tart, bing cherry accents, earthy notes, forest floor, mushroom, hints of smoke. Rich and creamy on the palate, this is an excellent example of a classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
Zanon Pinot Noir Russian River is made from 100% Pinot Noir.
Zanon Pinot Noir is a classic example of a stylish wine made from the cooler-climate region of the famed Russian River Valley. The wine exudes typical vibrant black cherry aromas along with a dash of allspice in an elegant fashion. A silky layered texture is framed by lovely acidity and lower tannic structure. Enjoy this wine in its youth.
Five separate Pinot Noir vineyards contributed to this wine from the famed and beautiful Russian River Valley AVA. Cool evening fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean help to develop full flavors and preserve its vibrancy, natural acidity, and pureness.
Pairs with salmon, tuna, pork, mild sausages, turkey, duck, and lamb.
Capitain Gagnerot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
SOILSChalky soil with fossils from the Bajocian era mixed with red clay and laves. Heavy earth containing iron.
VINIFICATION / MATURING
Harvested by hand, sorted and destemed.
Alcoholic fermentation in open vats, for about 15 days with 2 punch-down a day at the beginning.
Maturation in oak barrels (10% new barrels) for 12 to 15 months.
Colour : Deep garnet red.
Nose : Black fruits aromas (blackcurrant, blueberry).
Mouth : Strong structure and powerfull tannins. After 10 to 15 years of ageing, it turns to crystallized fruits aromas with a long finish.
Game in a sauce, Burgundy cheese (Citeaux)
Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon; 10% Petit Verdot; 3% Merlot; 2% Malbec; 1% Cabernet Franc.
Ample rainfall in the spring recharged the soil profile and provided a strong start to the growing season. The weather during the summer featured consistent warmth and sunshine without any major heat spells. Cooler than average temperatures in August and September slowed the ripening process, providing long hang time and leading to complex flavor development. October was mostly dry and warmer than usual allowing us to pick each block at optimal ripeness. The harvest was complete before November and the start of an epic rainy season.
Rich, deep red garnet color with aromas and flavors of black currant, ripe plum, and blackberry. Notes of lavender, cocoa, and leather are layered with black pepper and vanilla bean. Full-bodied and intense, this wine is balanced and well-structured with seamless acidity and firm tannins. This powerful wine is approachable and enjoyable now and will continue to evolve and show its personality over the next decade.
Winery Chef Chris Kennedy loves to pair this wine with black pepper or thyme to bring out the layered notes of this Cabernet Sauvignon. These spices soften the tannins allowing the fruit notes of the wine to be more noticeable and enjoyable. He suggests pairing it with our Ahi Tuna au Poivre recipe.
“For the second year running, it’s an Oak Knoll Cabernet which has carried the Best In Show torch for the Napa, underlining the fact that this spot in the Valley seems to be ideal for mingling Napa’s diagnostic generosity and depth with an expressive finesse and an approachability which both appeals to our judges and chimes with the wine world’s zeitgeist. The wine is still dark black-purple, and the aromatic currant and berry fruits are blue, tender and enticing, with skilled and seamless oak integration. On the palate, the wine has weight and depth — but what you really notice in this 2018 vintage is its purity and inner energy; the weight and depth follow on after, but don’t overwhelm from the start. The seamless integration of acidity and brisk tannin, too, is another mouthwatering hallmark — of skilled winemaking, or the place? Who’s to say?” – July 2021
- BEST IN SHOW
Decanter World Wine Awards 97 Points