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Olson Ogden Wines

John Ogden and winemaker Tim Olson started a boutique winery in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County in 2002, making about 1,000 cases a year of Rhone varietals and Pinot Noir. Tim Olson began crafting wine in his home garage over 20 years ago. A film major in college, he developed enough of a passion for wine that to gain experience, he began working for free at Caymus for Charlie Wagner. Before long, he was rewarded with a paycheck for his hard work and he has never looked back. He made some excellent wines for Tarius before starting Olson Ogden Wines.

Pinot Noir named vineyard sources include Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino, Manchester Ridge Vineyard in the Mendocino Ridge AVA of Mendocino County, and Eastside Road Vineyard and Willowside Vineyard, both in the Russian River Valley. The first harvests for Olson Ogden Wines from Alder Springs Vineyard and Manchester Ridge Vineyard were 2008, so these wines will not be released until 2010.

Olson Ogden has gained some national press recognition for their Unti Vineyard Syrah, but the recently released 2007 Pinot Noirs from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast indicate the winery is equally accomplished with Pinot Noir. These are the two best Pinot Noirs I have sampled from this producer. Both are excellent food wines.

2007 Olson Ogden Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $32. Most of the fruit is from the Petaluma Gap of the Sonoma Coast. Clones 115 and 667. A small amount of the blend comes from the winery’s two Russian River vineyards. Aged 17 months in 57% new French oak. · Reserved, almost mysterious aromas and flavors of earthy dark red fruits with a hint of toasty oak. The tannins are nicely reigned in and the mouthfeel is very soft and silky. A harmonious wine that can be enjoyed now, but has the structure to gain expression and interest with another 6-12 months in the bottle.

2007 Olson Ogden Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $42. Martini clone from Eastside Road Vineyard and UCD 23 clone from Willowside Vineyard, both in the Russian River Valley. Aged 17 months in 44% new French oak. · Intense Bing cherry and cola aromas with a hint of herbs and oak. Delicious medium-weighted core of dark red cherries and berries supported by gentle tannins and fine acidity. A strikingly polished wine with a velvety presence in the mouth and a lingering fruity finish. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. I can’t say enough good things about this terrific wine.

Olson Ogden Wines are sold through a mailing list at www.olsonogdenwines.com. There is some retail distribution. The phone is 707-823-6127.

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