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2008 Spell Pinot Noir

A lovely '08 California Pinot that is drinking well right now. Opening is a bit alcoholic, which belies what is underneath—a nose of briar and blackberries and light chocolate. Brilliant sweet fruit, like cranberries with sugar. Languorous finish. Not overly complex, but lovely nonetheless. Simple food is best with this, like grilled lamb or, for you vegans out there, grilled eggplant. Highly recommended.
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2008 Dutton Estate Thomas Road Pinot Noir

Garnet and modestly opaque to the eye. Aromas of cranberry, black cherry, spice, and a hint of earth hit the nose. Bold on the front of the palate with black fruit and cherry. Lush with fruit carrying through to a nice finish with lingering acidity. This Pinot Noir has enough heft to stand up to a number of meats and poultry, such as lamb, filet mignon or duck. Read the extended review on Simple Hedonisms.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Inspiration Vineyards Viognier

This is an excellent, balanced expression of Viognier that is a pleasure to drink. Medium yellow straw, vibrant, clear in the glass. The nose is as fragrant as a Viognier should be, but not overpowering with notes of white peach, lime zest, hint of guava. Great viscosity and weight on the palate, but not cloying as some of this varietal can be with accents of peach, stone fruits, and citrus. Pair with seafood (crab) and grilled chicken, amongst others. Read the extended review on Simple Hedonisms.
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2009 Inspiration Vineyards Viognier

This is an excellent, balanced expression of Viognier that is a pleasure to drink. Medium yellow straw, vibrant, clear in the glass. The nose is as fragrant as a Viognier should be, but not overpowering with notes of white peach, lime zest, hint of guava. Great viscosity and weight on the palate, but not cloying as some of this varietal can be with accents of peach, stone fruits, and citrus. Pair with seafood (crab) and grilled chicken, amongst others. Read the extended review on Simple Hedonisms.
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2008 Foppiano Estate Petite Sirah

A wine as dark as India ink. An alcoholic nose (15.2%) with lots of intriguing aromas of anise, dark chocolate, and blackberries. Somewhat tannic, but the fruit comes around; just seems to take longer to emerge. Some black coffee and vanilla flavors in the black fruit. The Russian River character comes out: nice to have something from RR Valley other than Pinot Noir. Rich finish. This will benefit from some aging to harmonize. I had with an Indian curry and it worked nicely. Highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2008 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Block 15 Pinot Noir

Cranberry color, slightly opaque. (A thankful break from the ridiculously dark Pinot’s being produced today by many.) On the nose, cherry, cranberry, with a pleasant touch of earthiness. On the Palette: elegant. Despite the youth of this release, it’s a pleasure in the mouth, with velvet texture, wonderful balance and mouthfeel. Flavors of cherry and red fruit, with a nice finish, and lingering acidity. Read the full review on Simple Hedonisms.
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2008 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Block 15 Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley

Cranberry color, slightly opaque. (A thankful break from the ridiculously dark Pinot’s being produced today by many.) On the nose, cherry, cranberry, with a pleasant touch of earthiness. On the Palette: elegant. Despite the youth of this release, it’s a pleasure in the mouth, with velvet texture, wonderful balance and mouthfeel. Flavors of cherry and red fruit, with a nice finish, and lingering acidity. Read the full review on Simple Hedonisms.