International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93(vinified with some whole clusters, as Thomas Brown feels that the stems |cut through the wine's candied mid-palate|): Dark, bright red. Complex aromas of raspberry, plum, white pepper, medicinal herbs and mint, complicated by an earthy nuance. Silky, tactile and light on its feet, with brisk acidity and a note of fresh herbs giving lift to the red fruit flavors. This Chambolle-like pinot finishes juicy and persistent, with firm, suave tannins.Author: Stephen TanzerIssue: May/June 2014
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 , , , and 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. and 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.
Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned grape that is notoriously difficult to grow but unmatched in its ability to reflect its terroir. It is early-budding and early-ripening, and thus requires a cool climate. To achieve its best expression and maintain its delicate flavor profile, Pinot Noir demands great care in the vineyard, particular attention to yield management, and careful handling in the winery. Growers blessed with the patience, skill, and terroir to produce world-class Pinot Noir are greatly rewarded. Not only are these wines complex, age-worthy, and delicious, they also command some of the world’s highest prices.
Old-World Pinot Noir most famously hails from , where it is the only red variety permitted in the region. Techniques such as whole-bunch fermentation and barrel ageing, now common amongst high-quality Pinot Noir producers around the world, were pioneered by Burgundian winemakers. Age-worthy Pinot Noir from Burgundy tends to be high in acid, display low to medium tannins, and have red fruit flavors in youth that evolve into complex flavors of earth, game, cola, and truffle with age. Some of the most famous producers include , , , and .
New-World Pinot Noir tends to grow in warmer climates and on newer vines than in the Old Word, producing wine that is more fruit-forward with flavors of red cherry, cranberry, and raspberry. The highest-quality wines come from moderate regions in , particularly and , and top producers include , , and .
High acidity, low tannin, and low alcohol make Pinot Noir a versatile wine to pair. Spiced duck, fatty fish, grilled chicken, spicy foods, and anything with mushroom are just a few classic examples.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 120 bottles owned
- 42 collectors