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Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018 (California) - Wine Review

red wine review is a beautiful Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley that arrived at the LCBO as a Summer Smart Buy in the LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection.

It is produced by Davis Bynum Winery - the original Russian River Valley Pinot Noir wine producer. The story begins in 1973, when Davis Bynum released his first small lot single vineyard Pinot Noir from the famed Rochioli vineyard in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley. At the time, Pinot Noir was a relative stranger to the region, but this fickle grape thrived in the unique terroir of the Russian River Valley. As Davis Bynum was the first to produce a single vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, his efforts paved the way for the Russian River Valley winegrowing region to become one of California's finest for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

In 2007, Davis Bynum Winery was sold to proprietor Tom Klein and his family, 4th generation California farmers who shared the same values and principles that he built his own reputation on. Today, it remains in the capable hands of Tom Klein and winemaker Greg Morthole, as they honour the expertise and innovative winemaking spirit of founder, friend, and mentor Davis Bynum. Together, they are humbled and proud to carry on the Davis Bynum legacy while staying true to Bynum's philosophy.

The philosophy at Davis Bynum is based on intuitive winemaking - the techniques and technicalities of winemaking should be mastered to the extent that they take a backseat to instinct and intuition. With four decades of understanding the unique terroir of the Russian River Valley, this knowledge allows Davis Bynum to craft wines with emotion and soil at the forefront, but anchored by the innate understanding of this terroir's complexity. In the vineyard, they use certified sustainable vineyard practices, while opting for minimalist viticulture and handling the fruit with the utmost care. The grapes are also handpicked at night, before sunrise, which ensures that the grapes have stable sugar levels and, since they are already cool, the grapes require less chilling prior to crushing, thus saving energy. In keeping with their "hands off" approach, the grapes are naturally fermented in barrel using wild yeasts and bottled unfiltered. Each wine bearing the Bynum name is estate grown, bottled, and produced.

All of their wines are crafted with fruit exclusively from the Russian River Valley, a winegrowing region that has cool, maritime conditions that are ideal for early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The climate in this region is influenced by the consistent creep of cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean a few miles to the west. This fog ebbs and flows through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the channel cut by the Russian River across the coastal hills, typically arriving in the evening and dropping temperatures, and retreating to the ocean the following morning. This naturally cool climate allows wine grapes to develop full flavour maturity over an extended growing season, while retaining their natural acidity.

While Davis Bynum is distinguished as the first winery to produce a single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, with their 1973 Pinot Noir from the Joe Rochioli vineyard, this particular Pinot is hand-crafted with grapes from four vineyards which reside on Goldridge sandy loam soils: Jane's, Dutton Lorenzo, Dutton Gregori, and Dutton Barron. This particular vintage blends the characteristics of two separate neighbourhoods - the warmer Santa Rosa Plains that provide darker fruit tones and velvety tannins, and the much cooler Green Valley that adds brightness and vibrant acidity. By blending warmer climate fruit with cooler climate fruit, Davis Bynum is able to craft a wine with tension between the rich fruit and lush mouthfeel of a centrally located Russian River vineyards in Santa Rosa against the bright fruit and racy acidity of the westernmost vineyards in the Green Valley. The final blend of this Pinot Noir was created after each different vineyard block was fermented and aged separately for 13 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels, 22% new.

The 2018 growing season was mild with low precipitation at just under 2 feet of rain, while summer saw only a handful of days warmer than 32°C, but none over 38°C, at their Jane's Vineyard, located in the warmer Santa Rosa Plains. The grapes were harvested into early September on cool and overcast mornings. From near-perfect growing conditions, let's see how this 2018 Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley is tasting tonight...

Tasting Note:

DAVIS BYNUM RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2018 - Sustainable, Sonoma County, California, USA (#458893) (XD) - $34.95
Elegant, medium-high to highly aromatic nose offers lovely bright red cherry aromas that mingle with musky, strawberry, gentle oak spice, and earth, plus hints of tea leaf, beetroot, and plum adding further complexity. It has good weight and concentration on the medium to medium-full bodied, dry palate with ripe red cherry, dark berry, strawberry, gentle oak spice, tea leaf, earth, and beetroot flavours in a nicely balanced profile. Acids are crisp, fresh, and juicy, while the refined tannins are lightly grippy, offer a pleasing mouthfeel. Tangy dark red berries with earthy mineral notes linger on the long, crisp finish. Should drink nicely over the next 5+ years. Highly recommended buy! Score: 91+ pts

Other fine wines by Davis Bynum are available through their Agent - Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits.

This post first appeared on LCBO VINTAGES Wine Picks | LCBO Wine Reviews | LCBO Wine Picks, please read the originial post: here

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Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018 (California) - Wine Review


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