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Farm Versus Fish: Water Use in the Russian River Valley

It takes guts to grow premium wine grapes—plus a sizable amount of cash, a love of farming, and the fortitude to deal with the ongoing challenges, both environmental and political, of producing a great glass of wine. Frost may not be the biggest of a grower’s concerns, but it has become a vexing problem here in California’s Russian River Valley, where the rights of farmers sometimes go head to head with the rights of fish.
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There’s a Time and a Place

For a long time, John Holdredge knew it was coming, but he kept it to himself. It was so contrary to his core beliefs that he questioned if he could do it. Then, one late afternoon in August of 2008, he heard himself speak the words out loud for the first time, almost involuntarily: "I'm going to make a huge-ass Pinot."
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2008 Twomey Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

he most open and evolved of Twomey's 2008 Pinot Noirs, this Russian River Valley ruby red beauty surprises with sunny orange peel on the nose opening up to ripe cherries. Soft with a zing on the front of the palate, opening up to berries and balanced acidity. Finish with a soft yet zingy finish. A perfect balance of yin and yang. Sister winery of Napa Valley's Silver Oak, Twomey Cellars is located in Calistoga. Read more at Another Wine Blog.
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2005 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch, Cherry Ridge Syrah

The nose has ground espresso and cocoa powder, blackberries, and some leather. The palate comes at you with waves of flavors. Blackberries and coffee, plums, all make up the attack. Fruits sweeten on the mid-palate, adding some blueberry to the blackberry. The espresso changes to unsweetened cocoa. There is interesting minerality the expands from the attack through the finish. Leather shows up at the end of the mid-palate and lingers with black fruit on the finish. This is really good wine. It is not Aussie Shiraz, all jammy fruit. It is also not Northern Rhone Syrah, all earth and olives. This has good fruit, earthy coffee and chocolate, and great terroir minerality. For David's full two day review visit his blog, 2 Days per Bottle.
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2008 Y. Rousseau Old Vines Colombard, Russian River Valley

Made from 100% French Colombard, this wine was totally dry, but still succulent (a neat trick), made by Yannick Rousseau, who grew up in an area of France where he learned wine making, and where the first wine he made from from Colombard. The wine has a striking aroma of fresh herbs, stone fruit, and a touch of spice, and the wine's balance is impeccable. Not your average Colombard!