Vinous | Rating: 95The 2014 Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Vineyard is one of the most powerful, structured wines in this range. Dark red berry, blueberry, spice, menthol and savory herbs flesh out, while incisive tannins and beams of acidity give the Occidental Ridge its characteristic focus and intensity. Hints of violet, lavender and mint reappear on the vibrant, beautifully delineated finish. The Occidental Ridge is going to need time to come around, but it is compelling, even at this early stage. This is a magnificent showing from Rivers-Marie.Author: Antonio Galloni
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.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 88 bottles owned
- 29 collectors