Merry Edwards, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018

Merry Edwards

2018
Russian River Valley

This intense Ponot Noir offers immediately fragrances of wild berries, cherry, cola, candied violets and black tea along with exotic spices and dried herbs. On the palate, there is a compelling mix of broad tannins and minerality, along with a seductive measure of smoky oak balanced with juicy acidity. Black plum, brambleberry, cassis and wet slate create a layered and lingering, slightly peppery finish.

The 2018 vintage aged in 52 percent new French oak for nine months, allowing the wine time to rest on the lees, gaining depth and mouthfeel. This regime has led to a Pinot Noir of great balance, foretelling of a long life ahead.

Variety
Pinot Noir
Reviews

Antonio Galloni 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast 94 Points

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£73

Ratings

92 Points Antonio Galloni

94 Points Wine Enthusiast

Sonoma - North Coast

Sonoma - North Coast

Northern Sonoma is one of California's largest AVAs, covering a total area of almost 350,000 acres (142,000ha). Measuring roughly 30 miles (50km) from north to south, it stretches from Sebastopol and Santa Rosa right up to the border with Mendocino County. Only marginally smaller from east to west, it falls just short of spanning the distance from Napa Valley to the Pacific coast.
In North Coast Sonoma, are located the sub-zones of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.

The Russian River, and the valley that traces its course, may be viewed as the main artery of Northern Sonoma. The river rises in the coastal mountains of Mendocino, and although it passes through Sonoma County for just one quarter of its length, the area it drains here constitutes the lion's share of Northern Sonoma's vineyards. The river plays a vital role in viticulture all over the region – its influence extends far beyond the AVA that bears its name.
The inventory of grape varieties in Northern Sonoma's vineyards reflects that of California as a whole. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red-wine varieties, complemented by small quantities of its parent varieties Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The Cabernets' Bordeaux stablemate Merlot remains significant, even if plantings are far from what they were in the 1980s and 1990s. The United States' iconic red-wine grape Zinfandel is planted in warmer, drier spots, particularly in Dry Creek Valley, while Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are predominant in the area's cooler mesoclimates. Rhône Valley stalwarts Syrah and Viognier, although far from prolific, maintain a respectable representation here.

California

California is the largest and most important wine region in the USA. It accounts for the southern two-thirds (850 miles or 1370 kilometers) of the country's west coast. (Oregon and Washington make up the rest.) The state also spans almost ten degrees of latitude. With mountains, valleys, plains and plateaux, California's topography is as complex as its climate, offering winegrowers a bewildering choice of terroir.

Californian wines only rose to global renown in the past few decades (notably after the Paris Judgment of 1976). However the state's viticultural history dates back more than 200 years. European vines were first planted here in the 18th Century, as settlers and missionaries made their way up and down the west coast. They brought with them the Mission grape – the vinifera variety also instrumental in establishing viniculture in Central and South America. Although very few Mission vines are to be found in California today, it remains a cornerstone of Californian wine.

The first half of the 20th Century brought war, Prohibition and the Great Depression to the United States. Collectively these suffocated the nation's wine industry. It wasn't until the significant social, cultural and economic developments that followed World War 2 that things began to change. In the 1970s, Californian wine industry leaders brought about renewed winemaking passion in other US states, in turn sparking the national wine renaissance. This period saw a proliferation of new, small-scale wineries throughout the country and the upscaling of longer-established operations. Momentum has continued into the 21st century.

Today, California hosts some of the world's largest wine companies. It is also home to a number of boutique wineries, some of which attract astronomical prices for their cult wines. Whether through mass production or single-vineyard artisanal winemaking, California produces 90 percent of American-made wine. It also supplies more than 60 percent of all wine consumed in the country. A record 211.9 million cases were produced in 2011.

The principal varieties grown in California are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. A wide range of traditional European (Vitis vinifera) vines also flourish, including Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah. Zinfandel can also be included in the list as it is genetically identical to Tribidrag in Croatia and Primitivo in Italy. Among white grape varieties Sauvignon Blanc is a distant second to Chardonnay. These are grafted to hardy American rootstocks which are resistant to phylloxera. Less well known are American/European hybrids producing wines mainly for local consumption.