Affectionately known by new world friendly Francofiles as the “Cote D’or” of California. Much like it’s French competitor this beautiful yet, very serious region is dominated by Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. Wines grown properly in this region have the ability to rival and at times best their French counterparts. The likes of Kosta Browne, Rochioli and many others have put this crown jewel of California on the map. While these brands certainly command a hefty price, you can most certainly find affordable wines that would deliver a level of enjoyability that will be tough for other regions to rival.
Russian River Valley Facts:
- Coolest region in Sonoma
Home to the sub-AVA of Green Valley, which is the coolest part of Russian River
Grows mostly Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Grape growing in Russian River dates back to the 1820’s
Korbel Champagne Cellars established in 1882…yep, we were surprised too!
Wines to check out…..
1. Iron Horse 2012 “Estate” Chardonnay, Green Valley of Russian River Valley
It’s hard to come across wines from the tiny sub-AVA of Green Valley. This one is an excellent example. All estate grown fruit from a top AVA & one of the best vintages ever. Only 13.2% alcohol, no overripe fruit here! This is a textbook example of what refined, complex wines can come from this area. Anyone looking for a Cali wine that rivals Burgundy, look no further!
2. Hook & Ladder 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Russian River Valley
Yep! You read it right. This is Cabernet from Russian River Valley. A great example at that. This comes from a small single vineyard called Los Amigos Ranch. Single vineyard Russian River Valley Cabernets are hard to come by. This wine is definitely a unicorn, and at a pretty friendly price at that. This wine is full bodied, shows many layers & is certainly worth the tariff.
3. The Calling 2012 “Dutton Ranch” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
A beautiful, small production Pinot Noir sourced from the highly regarded Dutton Ranch in Russian River. 100’s of 90+ points scores coming from this small group of meticulously managed vineyards. This bottling comes from the epic 2012 vintage and shows bright fruit, fresh acidity & has a long elegant finish.