Monday, October 18, 2021

Barham Mendelsohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2004

Some wine critics such as Jim Gordon have written that Pinot Noirs from California and even Oregon have limited aging ability and should be drunk within five years or so of the vintage. While I respect Gordon's taste, my experience is that well made, well chosen Pinot Noirs not only keep well but, in many cases, require 10 to 20 years in the bottle to show their best. If given the choice, I would almost always choose a Pinot made by the late Clendenen of Au Bon Climat. Clendenen has spoken highly of the Mendelsohn vineyard of the Russian River Valley and made this wine, which is showing quite well at 17 years of age.

Medium light garnet ruby. Incredibly fragrant bouquet of red raspberries, sweet spices and earth. This is a wine I could sniff all night. Delicate Pinot body and texture. Good acidity. Picks up some dark cherries and red plums on the mid-palate and a dash of sweet vanilla on the finish. Again, the flavors and smells just keep getting better and better. In my opinion, this wine will be just as good, if not better, four or five years from now.

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