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2012 Rivers-Marie - Chardonnay Thieriot Vineyard

  • 92 IWC
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SKU: 303630-2012
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92

    (25% new oak; no lees stirring): Full buttery gold color. Ripe stone fruits, toffee and flowers on the nose. Ripe and sweet but with firm acidity leavening the flavors of ripe peach, brown butter and toffee. Lovely stuffing and concentration here. According to owner/winemaker Thomas Brown, who makes these wines with his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh, |in 2012 we could pick whenever we wanted, and because the season was not too hot we had long hang time. It was nearly perfect for the Burgundy varieties. Actually, we had to keep an eye on falling acidity levels, not Brix numbers.|
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2014
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  • "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

    • 68 bottles owned
    • 19 collectors