Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A charming Swan from the Russian River Valley

This was a low key, mid-week dinner at home and we were sipping our wine. “Wow, this wine is delicious!” my husband suddenly said. I showed him the bottle. It was a 2008 Joseph Swan Pinot Noir Cuvée de Trois Russian River Valley, a fairly-priced wine from Russian River Valley Pinot Noir pioneer Joseph Swan Vineyards.

Located in the Russian River Valley, Joseph Swan Vineyards was founded by Joseph Swan in 1989. He was a retired pilot with no formal viticulture education, but after taking many trips to France, he became known for introducing new methods of winemaking that seemed revolutionary at the time in the United States. These techniques included whole cluster fermentations, extended maceration for more color and depth, and fermenting without the addition of sulfur.

Joseph Swan's son-in-law Rod Berglund is now in charge of the winemaking. He introduced the “Cuvée de Trois” in 1999, a blend from three Russian River vineyards, each site contributing unique characteristics to the final cuvée.

The wine is a charmer. The nose is expressive with aromas of red cherry, spices, and earthy notes, and the palate has a silky, juicy texture, showing more finesse than power with a well-balanced complexity. Delicious indeed!

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