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Small Sips of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

2007 Longboard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 700 cases, $27. · Scents and flavors of ripe, roasted fruits with raisin overtones. Very smooth and soft in the mouth with silky tannins. Decent.

2007 Paradise Ridge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 700 cases, $27. 2 vineyards, 5 clones. · Shy fruit overshadowed by scents of toasted oak and roasted nuts. Oak-tinged Bing cherry and strawberry tastes. Light and simple with generous oak. I preferred the 2006 version of this wine. Decent.

2007 Fog Crest Vineyard Laguna West Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $32. Crafted by noted winemakers David Ramey and Daniel Moore. Sourced from a single neighboring vineyard. · Mineral-infused cherry and berry aromas with a little funk, forest floor, truffle and oak toast. Strawberry and cherry flavors with a little tutti-fruiti thrown in for interest. Lighter weighted with mild tannins and hi-tone acidity. A back porch Pinot with no pretensions. Decent (+).

2007 Ketcham Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.,pH 3.65, 760 cases, $32. Winemaker is Michael Browne. 80% Ketcham Vineyard, 20% O’Neel Vineyard, Nonella Vineyard and Manzana Vineyard. Pommard, Dijon 777, 667, 115 and 828 clones. Aged 16 months in French oak. · Aromas of cherry cola, lavender and wood chips. Moderately rich black cherry, black currant fruits with an earthy, spicy underpinning. Smooth in the mouth with a short, but pleasing finish. Decent (+).

2007 Ketcham Estate Ketcham Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 420 cases, $41. A reserve wine that is 100% Ketcham Estate Vineyard fruit. Sourced from a 16-acre vineyard with a broad selection of clones. · Restrained aromas of dark red cherries and berries with a complimentary hint of spice. Very tasty essence of dark cherries and plums with admirable persistence. Silky smooth with supple tannins. Still a little closed, but offers considerable upside potential. More sophistication and plushness than the regular bottling. Very good.

2006 Baton Laguna Ridge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $35. Project of Bill Vyenielo, who as General Manager, helped develop Peter Michael Winery into the respected position it is today. Jeff Pisoni is the winemaker. · Moderately light in color. Delicate aromas of ripe black cherries and oak. Rich flavors of black cherries and dark berries with a hint of cola and oak. Smoothly textured with well-proportioned dry tannins and some interest and persistence on the fruit-driven finish. A solid, well-priced wine. Very good.

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