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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.
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Forget Napa, Head for Sonoma

Napa Valley is noted for its abundance of wineries, wine tastings, warm/hot climate (even in winter), lavish restaurants, and compact access to literally dozens of wineries—currently numbered at over 700. But, with notoriety also comes popularity. Let’s face it—in the summer and fall, Napa is a zoo of tourists and locals. The two main thoroughfares, St. Helena Highway (Route 29) and the Silverado Highway, are usually jammed with vehicles, as are the tasting rooms.
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2008 Heron Wines Pinot Noir – Sonoma County, CA

Deep ruby red with ripe fruits and plum notes, this is a classic California Pinot Noir. Light, flavorful and beautifully balanced, the Heron Pinot Noir picks up on the savory flavors of the caper berries, olives and vinaigrette while being right at home with the grilled vegetables. Owner and winemaker Lealy Heron’s motto might well be “less is more,” but in my case, I just want more of this well-priced and addictive 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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2007 Freeman Akiko’s Cuvee Pinot Noir, Sonoma

Elegant and sophisticated, this wine takes a bit of coaxing to open up. Patience rewards with a nose of luscious ripe plums and dark berries with a sassafras twist. The color is a vivid shade of red. Supple on the palate, warm musk complements the deep fruit, with a tingle of cola on the end. Hints of rose petals taper to a lingering finish. A more detailed review about this wine and the winery is available here on Another Wine Blog.
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Ottimino 2006 Zinfinity

Ottimino's Zinfinity comes after establishing a reputation for Zin. The wine has a dark fruit with vanilla hint taste with plenty of 20 months in French Oak for pretty big tannins on the finish. The alcohol is a suprisingly low 13.9 percent. A nice wine at the price point that will hold up with most foods.