Certain appellation names resonate loudly when it comes to California Pinot Noir; Russian River Valley is certainly amongst their number. Russian River Valley has a relatively long history within California for producing Pinot Noir that is true to its varietal as well as site specific. Davis Bynum is one of the producers that have been a long term part of that history. They’ve been making Pinot there for decades and in 1973 they were the first in the region to make a single vineyard effort. Today I’ll look at one of their current release Pinot Noirs.
The Davis Bynum 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was produced using fruit sourced from several vineyard sites exclusively in their home appellation. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir. After cool fermentation this wine was barrel aged for 9 months, entirely in French oak. 3,700 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $35.
Strawberry and red plum aromas are underscored by spice notes and a hint of earth and tobacco leaf in the full and expressive nose of this 2008 Pinot Noir. Black cherry dominates the palate along with hints of rhubarb and a subtle wisp of anise. Earth, black pepper, clove, nutmeg and sour cherry fruit flavors are all part of an even keeled but fairly lengthy and memorable finish.
This 2008 Pinot from Davis Bynum is a terrific wine all on its own, it also happens to be an excellent example of the kind of Pinot Noir that can be produced in the Russian River Valley. Within the last couple of years this winery was purchased by the folks who own Rodney Strong Vineyards. They produce their own excellent line of wines and it’s gratifying to see them shepherd Davis Bynum into the future as well.