2006 Hanzell Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir

15.3% alc., $95. The 2006 Estate Pinot Noir received a week-long cold soak. The must was macerated for nearly a month creating a firm tannin backbone ideal for extended aging. Sourced from the 10-year old Sessions Vineyard and the older de Brye and Zellerbach vineyards. · Moderate garnet color with a burnished copper rim in the glass. Enticing aromas of spiced black cherries, raspberries, dusty trail, oak and a touch of barnyard. With time, scents of currants and raisin appear. Intense and juicy, with very ripe, dark red, and soil-inflected fruits showing hints of brioche, mocha, brown spice and even root beer flavors. The mouthfeel is all velvet, and the finishing cherry and berry fruits have a memorable persistence. Picks up interest with time in the glass. There is enough fruit and tannin to buttress the generous alcohol. This wine makes a case for the affirmative in the argument over whether you can make a Pinot Noir with over 15% alcohol that is balanced. A California classic that will improve beautifully with several years in the cellar. Very good (+). Reviewed December 16, 2009

Winery: Hanzell Vineyards
From article: Hanzell: More Than 50 Vintages