Thursday, July 27, 2023

Belle Glos RRV Dairyman Vineyard Pinot Noir

Belle Glos Russian River Valley Dairyman Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

Following the pair of Belle Glos Pinots we had at two restaurants on our summer getaway to our Destiny Cove vacation rental the last week, when we returned home, I pulled from the cellar the third label in the series of vineyard designated labels from this producer. We had this with a home grilled pizza and it was a  delicious accompaniment.

Last week we had the Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir at the Beach Walk Café, Henderson Park Inn, in Destin FL, then the Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir at Firefly Grill Effingham, IL

We hold all these labels from various vintages in our cellar collection, so we tried the Belle Glos Dairyman Vineyard Pinot with home grilled pizza on the deck for dinner. 

Each of the Belle Glos Pinot Noirs are produced from top growing areas along the California coast: the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County; the Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County; and the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County. 

The wines showcase the distinctive climatic and terroir differences of the sites, notable for the amount of fog, wind, sunlight and soil type at each site.

The Belle Glos Pinot Noirs are very distinctively packaged with the top third of the bottles being dipped in red wax at an angle to form the  signature capsules protecting the corks.

The name Belle Glos (pronounced BELL GLOSS), honors Winemaker Joseph J. Wagner’s grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards."  Wagner is a fourth-generation winemaker from a family with farming and winemaking roots in the Napa Valley since 1906.  

Belle Glos Sonoma County Russian River Valley Dairyman Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

As reported in these pages, in the midst of summer, its was a nice departure from the big bold hearty Syrah's/Shiraz's we enjoy, and the robust Bordeaux varietals to the finer, more refined, less bold and burdensome Pinot Noirs. Each of these tastings were delightful and frankly, exceeded our expectations for a ideal accompaniment to our various entrees. 

As noted, each of the Belle Glos labels is from a designated vineyard in the different popular coastal influenced growing regions suited to growing Pinot Noir. This vineyard designated label is from their source in the Russian River Valley in Northern California, Sonoma County. Situated in the southern alluvial plains of the Russian River Valley, Dairyman Vineyard’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean results in a cool morning fog and afternoon coastal breezes that elongate the growing season.

While the Russian River Valley is a large and diverse appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, as it meanders from the inland mountain and foothill valleys westward to the Pacific, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most popular. 

Russian River Valley grapes benefit from the persistent late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. 

Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.

The terroir of the site results in small, concentrated and flavorful berries, producing bright cherry characteristics, brown spices, and a keen minerality overlaid with a rich, velvety mouth feel. Named as a result of its history, once an old dairy farm, the pastureland was planted to Dijon clone Pinot Noir in 2000, preserving the longstanding agricultural history of the property.

Winemaker's Notes - "Dark ruby red in color with satisfying aromas of boysenberry, dark cherry and mulberry along with delicate hints of baking spices, dill, cola, nutmeg and vanilla. On the palate, bold flavors of cranberry, ripe plum, cherry and super-ripe strawberry are uplifted by gentle notes of cocoa powder and sweet fig for a generous and silky mouthfeel. This tremendously complex and broad-shouldered wine finishes with grace."
Like the earlier Pinots mentioned above, this was delightful, enjoyable drinking, bright ruby colored, medium full bodies, expressive black cherry and plum fruits with spicy notes of nutmeg, vanilla and sweet mocha with a smooth, almost elegant, balanced lingering finish. 
RM 91 points.