Monday, May 16, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$$$ DuNah Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, California, 2006

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By way of background: Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, California, does show some excellent pinot noir styles.  Here we are trying a pretty well-regarded one.

Initial review : This is DuNah Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, California, 2006, finished at 14.2% alcohol.

In the glass: Medium deep magenta, almost opaque in the center. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold, black fruit, with deep funk, old oranges and hint of old wet sponge.  The sponge quickly dissipates, becoming more forest and spices.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich, deep and perhaps dark.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact full, lush and brightly ragged fruit on the mid-palate, showing both red berries and black cherries in a muddle.  Solid acids come rushing in behind, as does a charcoal darkness.

In summary: Overall, the sweet and dark fruit experience rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for power and promise.

Following long decant, one day at room temperature in flat-bottomed decanter:  Sweet, damp - almost swampy -  forest floor on the nose.  The palate now brings along two potent elements: sweet red berries and lightly sandy tannins.  Wonderful juxtaposition, with a slow and lingering close with just enough acids to bring refreshment and juiciness.  Bumps a notch up to four stars.  Following even longer decant, several days kept cool in partially filled bottle: Consistent nose to the one-day decant.  The palate grows even more languid, stretching slowly and with length.  Still nice, though I probably preferred the one-day decant most.

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