2021 Holdredge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Because this wine is a blend of multiple vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley, to discuss the place would require more time than you’d care to spend reading. From higher elevation sites (outside Occidental) to warmer sites (Westside Road), to sites with very deep well-drained sandy soils (valley floor east side of the river), the wine is a composite of many different voices. Our approach to this wine is to try to find a blend that exemplifies what we feel about the Russian River Valley, and how we perceive the voice of each different vintage.
Carri and I love the Russian River Valley- it’s where our two lives became one, it’s where we began as winegrowers, it’s where we learned how to make wine, and where we raised our children (who are now adults). I can't imagine how our lives would have been were it not for the magic of Sonoma County, and the Russian River in particular. The place has a voice, that, for us, speaks of the overarching power of nature, that has an undeniable sense of elegance, graciousness, and kindness. Such things may not be tangible, but the voice of this special place is very real, and we think in many ways it is the hallmark of wines that come from here, both our own and those that friends make.
When I started playing around with this blend, I was thinking how much we went back and forth on the last version of this in 2019. I braced myself for another round of that ordeal and each time I started tasting barrels and thinking about a blend, I kept telling myself how hard it might be. It turns out I was wrong; this may have been one of the easiest blends we’ve ever assembled. Part of the reason is that we used a fair amount of Rochioli fruit in the blend; and with that as your “base”, it’s a heck of a start. Part of it may be that the other components were pretty compelling on their own; two of which I considered bottling separately with their own designation, but we just didn’t have enough to do it.
The final blend showcases what we think is the very best of Russian River Pinot Noir. The nose is a bowl of mixed red fruits, leading with darker plums and really ripe raspberries, then dark cherries, strawberries, and a touch of cranberries. There’s an elusive bit of red apple skin, and it’s got a nice little lace veil of rose petals throughout. Just a pretty wine. But that prettiness isn’t at the expense of palate richness- this one is full and round and beautiful, with lots of layers already emerging, and it’s pretty much seamless from front to back, with a finish that carries quite well.
This is ready to drink right now, but you could lay it down for 9-11 years and be quite happy. How happy? I made a slow braised chicken (seared the skin first) with white wine, gruyere, Dijon mustard, and cream sauce that made us very happy. It also made us very happy to drink this with warm crusty French bread and Dauphinoise cheese. Happiness abounds with this one. Only 295 cases produced.