Russian River Valley


Maurice Galante, O’Neel


Dutton Ranch, Art Robledo

Harvest Dates

9/15/09, 9/18/09

Clonal Content

115, 777, Pommard

Alcohol / pH

14.2 % / 3.58

Titratable Acidity

0.64 gms / 100mL

Barrel Aging

17 months in French Oak

(20% new)

Cases Produced


Suggested Retail Price



Russian River Valley

Pinot Noir

Our Russian River Valley AVA wine draws from two highly regarded vineyards that contribute distinctly different characteristics.  57% of the fruit came from the Maurice Galante Vineyard that lies along Cherry Ridge Road, in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley and the remaining 43% comes from the O'Neel Vineyard along Hall Road in the plain of Santa Rosa. 

The Russian River Valley saw a near ideal year in 2009, with perfect conditions in September of warm afternoons and cool nights, allowing the grapes to ripen to their fullest while retaining their acids.  This wine is a medium dark, luscious example of classic Russian River Valley pinot noir.  Complex aromas of dried cherry, mushrooms, and grapefruit flow out of the glass.  On first taste, a focused cherry core expands into mouth-filling flavors of red plum and cola.  The lengthy finish reveals hints of cinnamon and leather.  This wine provides layers of flavor and a nuanced complexity that rewards slow savoring. We call it our “meat and potatoes” Pinot, as it pairs perfectly with grilled meats and herb roasted potatoes.

Winemaker Notes

The Galante and O'Neel vineyards were picked within days of each other, in mid-September.  Clusters were hand-sorted to remove damaged or under-ripe fruit.  Grapes were fully de-stemmed without crushing into small open top fermenters, and chilled with dry ice.  The must was cold-soaked for 3 days, after which two distinct yeast strains were introduced to begin fermentation.  The fermenting must received three gentle punchdowns a day.  After completing fermentation, the wine macerated on the skins to develop aromatics and soften the tannins.  We pressed the wine off into French oak cooperage selected for elements of spice and earthiness.  The wine was racked in Spring 2010 and the final blend made around Labor Day.  The wine was bottled in March 2011 after spending 17 months in the barrel.


  1. Prince of Pinot - “Good (+)”
    “Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromas of dark red cherries, berry jam on toast and wooded forest. Medium-weighted flavors of fresh cherries, cola, and leaf framed by soft tannins and bright acidity, finishing with some persistence on the pleasing finish. Not impressive on the attack, but leaves a good impression. Good (+).”
    -Rusty Gaffney 11/1/11

  2. Wine Enthusiast - 90 points
    “Defines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in the dryness, silkiness and full-bodied richness, with flavors of cherries, pomegranates, raspberries and slightly underripe persimmons. This complex wine grows better as it warms in the glass. Drink over the next 2–3 years.”
    - Steve Heimoff  5/1/12

  3. PinotReport - 91 points - subscription required
    Medium ruby color; deep, complex stewed red cherry aromas with spicy notes; rich earthy and stewed cherry flavors with some sweet oak and cola notes; silky texture; good structure and balance; long finish. Rich, silky Pinot; really nicely balanced.
    - Greg Walters - 2/15/12