“Roughly one-third of the region winegrowing acreage is planted in pinot noir,” said winemaker Chris Munsell. “The heavy fog and warm days here create the ideal conditions for growing distinctive expressions of this elegant variety. Lucky for us, our Russian River Valley vineyards grow this delicate grape well.”
Cooler temperatures during harvest resulted in the 2010 pinot noir ($27) with bright red fruit and supple tannins in the wine.
Munsell said growing this impulsive grape is a challenge.
“Pinot noir is one of those interesting grapes that can be fickle in the vineyards and provocative in the winery,” he said. “But, that’s part of the fun, and when you get it right, this grape can produce some really exquisite wines.”
(Here’s a little pinot noir trivia: Its grape cluster is of a conical shape, resembling a pine cone, thus the name pinot from the French “pin” – pine.)
MacMurray’s 2010 selection is exquisite and velvety with bright, generous acidity and rich dark fruit aromas. Raspberry, cherry and red currant flavors reward the palate with subtle oak influence. It will evolve into a silky, smooth wine with time in the bottle, if you want to wait.
This is a remarkable food friendly wine that will enhance wild salmon, pork tenderloin or after dinner with bitter chocolate and Gruyere cheese.