Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rutz Cellars Martinelli Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir, 2000

When auction bidders refused to move on this wine even when the price went down to $10 a bottle, I assumed that they were worried about its age. Of course, there was a possibility that the wine was over the hill, but I considered it worth the price to find out about how well Russian River Pinots age. What I discovered is that they age very well indeed.

Light color with some amber tones emerging at the rim. From the first sniff, the bouquet is beautiful: raspberries (both red and black), French oak and gingery spice. Same on the palate. Even more intriguing, if that is possible. Smooth as silk. Has the texture to be expected from good Pinot Noir. Ripe but good balancing acidity. Good wine.

Keith Rutz is a former fashion designer who turned to the wine business full-time about the time this wine was bottled. He believes in traditional Burgundian approaches to Pinot Noir and tries to buy grapes from some of the best vineyards in Russian River. Martinelli is clearly a good source.

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