May 18, 2008

2006 Lynmar Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

The wily charms of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir have wooed me many times in the past, but the most recent and glaring example would have to be this particular bottle from Lynmar Estate. This was a spur of the moment purchase from Whole Foods of all places, who has a suprisingly good, albeit small selection of wines. Normally I wouldn't drink a bottle so young (who am I kidding,) but after stumbling upon this in the store felt it was my duty to save it from the un-temperature controlled confines of Whole Foods, and pop it open with a nice dinner. On this particular night I was looking for something rich and generous that would provide instant gratification after a long day. Something that comes wrapped in the package of a Russian River Pinot Noir. Yet again, Lynmar did not let me down.

I challenge anyone to dispute that Lynmar is highly overlooked as a serious Pinot Noir producer by many, because when compared with some of the highly touted "cultish" Pinot Noirs from the same region their wines definitely hold their own, and in fact prevail against many. Founded in 1990 by Lynn Fritz, Lynmar produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with fruit sourced from the Russian River appellation. Their Quail Hill Vineyard has some of the oldest Pinot vines in the Russian River. Hugh Chapelle is the winemaker here, and has worked with Napa and Sonoma fruit for over a decade, at various wineries including Flowers and Madrona Vineyards. It probably also doesn't that they have Paul Hobbs as a part of their winemaking team. Paul has been consulting winemaker for a number of vintages now.

To be honest, I can't recall a Pinot from the Russian River that I have disliked. I'm sure if I thought hard enough I might be able to name one, but they seem to be far and few between. While I was thinking of that, my girlfriend's nose finally came away from the glass, and the first thing out of her mouth was "this is why I love Pinot." I can't think of a better endorsement than that.

Tasting Notes:
This wine is sort of a "middle of the road" Pinot... Not too light, and not to extracted, while holding a striking shade of red-violet in the glass. Perfectly ripe, but not overdone pure fruit aromas leap out the glass- cherry, raspberry, citrus, a little clove and a touch of mint making an attractive and fruit forward nose. Full bodied on the palate with much of the same cherry, raspberry, and spice flavors. Beautifully balanced with good acidity, well integrated tannins and a half minute finish, this might become a little bit more interesting in a year or two, but I don't see any reason why you should avoid drinking it now.

Price: $40

Score: 87-90

14.4% alcohol
14 Months in French Oak
Cases Produced: 3,196

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