When it comes to Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley is one of a small handful of places within California that it truly thrives. More regions than should, grow it and a few others also allow it to properly prosper. Davis Bynum Winery has been making Pinot from Russian River Valley fruit for close to 40 years. A couple of years ago they became part of the Rodney Strong family of properties. Considering how consistent they’ve been, the Davis Bynum tradition is in capable and trustworthy hands. Today I’ll look at their most recent release of Pinot Noir. The Davis Bynum 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was produced from several select vineyards throughout the valley. This offering is 100% Pinot Noir. After fermentation barrel aging followed for 15 months in all French oak. 5,000 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $35.
Black cherry, leather and sandalwood aromas fill the appealing nose of this 2009 Pinot Noir. Cherry, mushrooms, spice and hints of barnyard lead the palate. The story of this wine is elegance laced with precise intensity. Black Cherry fruit is in command here with flashes of red cherry and hints of wild strawberry popping in from time to time. Earth, rhubarb, sour black cherry, pomegranate and a touch of toasty oak are all part of the lengthy finish that also shows off an impressive core of spices that reverberate persistently after the last sip is swallowed.
On the one hand this wine has been of consistent quality over the last few vintages. On the other, the 2009 is an even more impressive expression of excellent Russian River Pinot Noir than the last couple. The bottom line though is that in a world where Pinot prices are sometimes out of control, this selection is a terrific value.