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  • 2006 Rivers-Marie - Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard

2006 Rivers-Marie - Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard

  • 91 IWC
  • Variety
    Pinot Noir
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SKU: 173689-2006-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 91

    ($40; 75% new oak; just 13.7% alcohol) Pungent aromas of wild berries, herbs, underbrush and smoke lifted by an enticing lavender perfume. Less fruity but more minerally and bright than the basic bottling, offering a rather silky texture and some attractive high-toned notes of perfumed red fruits. I like this pinot's restrained sweetness and its classically dry finish. Owner/winemaker Thomas Brown told me that the tiny quantities of fruit he had to work with in 2005 were difficult to manage, and that the 2006s were easier to make. Still, yields in the latter year were in the modest 1 to 2.5 tons-per-acre range.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2008
  • Burghound | Rating: 91

    No review available
    Author: Allen Meadows
    Issue: 4th Quarter, 2008
  • No collector reviews available
  • "Perhaps the finest California pinot I have ever had the pleasure of tasting," says Allen Meadows in 2006. And that was enough for Rivers Marie to catch fire throughout an ever-increasing cult of Pinotphiles.

    However, the story of Rivers-Marie begins with Thomas Brown, a native of South Carolina who caught the wine bug travelling through Europe as a twenty-something. He found his way to Napa Valley and learned under the tutelage of Ehren Jordan at Turley Wine Cellars. Years later, after becoming a consulting winemaker for more than a dozen wineries, Brown was connected with Scott Zeller, owner of Summa vineyard, and subsequently asked if he wanted some fruit.

    From there, Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife, Genevieve Marie Welsh took advantage of their golden opportunity to make awesome Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. In the debut vintage of 2002, Summa vineyard was Brown's only source of Pinot Noir, but he soon expanded to other vineyards near Occidental, including Occidental Ridge. Now, in addition to producing some of the most sought-after and critically acclaimed Pinot Noir, the pair also produces Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Howell Mountain Cabernet.

    California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 186 bottles owned
    • 83 collectors