Anderson Valley

Mendocino County




Dean and Suzy Carrell

Harvest Dates


Clonal Content


Alcohol / pH

14.4 % / 3.65

Titratable Acidity

0.63 gms / 100mL

Barrel Aging

16 months in French Oak

(33% new)

Cases Produced


Suggested Retail Price




Pinot Noir

Our Foray project highlights special vineyards with superb fruit but limited availability from year to year.  For 2011, we selected Roma's Vineyard, located at an 1800 elevation  east of the Anderson Valley town of Boonville. The site was planted by Dean and Suzi Carrell in 1992, who moved to this location after operating a remote Alaskan fishing lodge and float plane charter business.  Bears are learning that these growers have seen it all and will not stand for any antics in their hilltop vineyard.

The vineyard sits on an exposed ridge surrounded on three sides by oak, bay laurel, and fir trees, and has a commanding view over the valley. It is a challenging site for cultivating pinot noir, with bud break arriving late and ripening lasting well into October, when rain can threaten the crop. The vineyard is planted entirely to the Pommard clone, and typically yields 2 tons per acre.

Winemaker Notes

The difficult 2011 growing conditions coupled with Roma's challenging site meant that early October rains fell before the fruit was ripe. Fortunately the vineyard weathered those without damage, and we let the fruit hang for another three weeks until it peaked.

Our 2011 Foray features nuanced aromas of cherries and sasparilla. The flavors show Roma's signature delicate expression of spiced strawberry jam and ground ginger. It’s brisk acidity telegraphs that it is indeed a cool climate pinot, but the finish is quite drawn out revealing layers of delicate complexity. We suggest pairing this with roast pork loin crusted with fennel, black pepper, and mustard seed.


  1. Prince of Pinot - 86 points
    “Moderately light reddish color in the glass. Very reserved on the nose offering demure aromas of cherry and strawberry. Rather primary and nondescript initially with delicate flavors of red cherries and berries. Tasted the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine offered more fruit flavor with pleasing hints of sandalwood and gingerbread, but the wine remained lean and somewhat dilute. Hopefully, the wine will put on weight with more time in bottle.”
    - Rusty Gaffney 10/26/13

  2. Wine Enthusiast - 90 points
    “Sourced from the Roma’s Vineyard, Foray is a tiny-production wine from a cool year, that’s appropriately light in color and body. Just slightly oaky on the nose, it’s textured, concentrated and offers bright, big red cherry flavor, with a teasing suggestion of ginger.”
    - Virginie Boone 4/1/14

  3. The Pinot Report - 89 points - subscription required
    “Medium ruby color; earthy, dusty cherry aromas; complex earthy cherry flavors with notes of toast and caramel; good structure and balance; long finish. Lighter, earthy style of Pinot, drinking well now.”
    - Greg Walters 1/1/14