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Vineyard: Floodgate

AppellationRussian River Valley
Story74 acres planted 1972-2009. Clones 13, Swan, 667, 777, 882, 887 and Pommard. Located adjacent Mark West Creek on the south end of the Middle Reach section of the Russian River Valley.
VarietiesPinot Noir

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2012 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard North Face Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

14.0% alc., pH 3.10, TA 0.735, 317 cases, $20. · Very pale gold color with a slight green tinge. Typical grassy nose with hints of tropical fruit including papaya and banana. Less grassy on the palate with a slightly creamy mouthfeel, good acidity and a dry finish. Light on its feet, and slipping off the back end gracefully, the wine offers flavors of hay, dried herbs and tropical fruits. Sauvignon Blanc is not my favored cup of tea but this is a stellar example of a food-friendly type. Good (+) Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.47% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.61,490 cases, $33. Sourced from Hallberg, Floodgate, Appian Way and Woods Family vineyards. Clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard 4 and 5. Harvest Brix 23.2º-24.3º. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel open top tanks for 7 to 14 days, aged 10 months in 19% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. A cherry-themed wine with complimentary notes of baking spices and herbal oak. Straightforward, modest in intensity, with lively acidity and gentle tannins. Score: 87. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Fogline Vineyards Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.68, 195 cases, $38. Released April 2013. From an established and respected vineyard located just off River Road in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley. Clones 667, 777, 115 and Pommard. Aged in 30% new French oak barrels. A commercial strain of malolactic bacteria is used to produce low biogenic amines in the finished wine. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very aromatic upon opening with bright aromas of Bing cherry and spice. Oak tends to surface more prominently over time in the glass. The mid palate is lush with deep red cherry and cola flavor and noticeable oak in the background. Fruit-driven with impressive richness, this wine displays balanced firm tannins and a good cut of acidity on the finish which leaves some oak in its wake. Score: 88. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Fogline Vineyards Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.65, 135 cases, $38. Vineyard is located in Middle Reach of Russian River Valley. Clones 115, 666, 777 and Pommard. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Smooth, spicy and sexy, with seductive aromas of dusty, dark cherries, graham and toast. A cherry bombast that is luscious yet refined and silky with complimentary hints of spice and cola. Nicely balanced with supple tannins and good staying power on the finish. The pedigree of this established vineyard shows through. A high-collared, impressive offering. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Clone 95 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc.,pH 3.35, TA 0.7, 239 cases, $40. · Enticing aromas of lemon pie, green apple and baking spice. Appealing richness and body with a full-flavored core of apple, citrus, caramel and vanilla flavors. Very smooth on the palate with slight dry tannins and a dry, uplifting finish. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Joseph Jewell Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.64,150 cases, $42. Clones 777, 667 and 115. Harvest Brix 23.1º-24.8º. 100% de-stemmed.l Aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Initially shy, but pleasing aromas of dark red cherries and berries take on more intensity over time in the glass. Mid weight flavors of Bing cherry and dark red berries are complimented by a note of savory herbs and cola. Soft tannins, a silky mouth presence, and respectable finishing length. A charming wine. Score: 90. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Origins Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 238 cases, $55. Martini 12 clone planted in 1972. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of wood-kissed red berries and baking spices including nutmeg. Lean, slightly confected red fruits clothed in soft tannins and supported by lively acidity show up most on the soprano finish. Pleasant, but not special, with better acid integration than the Hallberg bottling. Score: 87. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.69, 158 cases, $55. Dijon clone 777. Average Brix at harvest 22.8º. 100% de-stemmed. Combination of wild and cultured yeast fermentation. MLF fermentation in barrel. Aged 10 months in 40% new and 60% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy nose initially, opening slowly to reveal aromas of red cherries, cranberries, dried rose petals and grassy oak. The cherry, red berry and red plum stuffing really explodes on the mid palate, finishing with great intensity and nervy acidity that makes the drinker want another sip. Very easy, seamless drinking. The wine gets better over time in the glass - always a good sign - and was even more aromatic and flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Not the power of the 2009 vintage, but a beautiful reflection of the cooler 2010 vintage. Gary Farrell is a winemaker you can bank on every vintage to make superb wines that are intensely flavorful, yet bright and crisp and very food friendly - just the way Pinot Noir is meant to be. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.57, 125 cases $33. Hallberg, Floodgate and Appian Way vineyards. Clones 115, 667, 777, and Pommard 4 and 5. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10 months in 20% new Francois Frères French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherries and berries, oak, and a little funk. Moderately intense, earth-kissed dark stone fruit and cherry cola juicy flavors wrapped in supple tannins. Well-crafted but flavors don’t excite. Decent. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 On Point Christina’s Cuvèe North Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 306 cases, $34. Released June 16, 2011. Sourced from Londer, Gap’s Crown and Floodgate vineyards. Clones 115, 667, 777, 828 and Swan. Aged 15 months in 27% new French oak barrels. Bottle aged 6 months. · Pleasant perfume of mixed dark berries, plum and oak. Soft and smooth, but rather nondescript, with flavors of blackberries and dark plums and some black cherry showing up on the finish. Gossamer tannins make for easy drinking but the wine lacks focus. Decent (+). Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.6% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.60, 740 cases, $34. A blend from Cresta Ridge and Starr Ridge vineyards (78%) and Floodgate Vineyard (22%). Whole cluster pressed and racked to 90% French oak barrels (20% new) and 10% to stainless steel drums. MLF was inhibited at 30%. The lees were stirred for the first four months, then allowed to settle. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon curd, biscuit, cut grass, and lees. Bright flavors of baked pear, lemon peel, and marzipan. A solid wine that will work nicely as an aperitif or a companion at the dinner table. Good (+). Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Russian River Valley Selection

13.8% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.73, 2,231 cases, $40. Multiple vineyard sources (Rochioli, Allen, Floodgate, Starr Ridge and Hallberg). Clones Pommard, 777, Martini, 115, Cruz and 828. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Gary points out, “While we love the vineyard-specific wines for their purity and focused expression of each individual property, the Russian River Selection often displays greater complexity and (to some) is a more complete and satisfying offering.” · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherries and strawberries with good volume. Exuberant flavors of black cherries, dark red berries, tea leaf, cola and clove with a slight herbal note contributed by sweet oak. Full-bodied yet not overbearing, with reserved tannins, and admirable length. I agree with Gary that this is his finest Alysian Russian River Valley Selection to date. Exceptional flavor and intensity at a modest alcohol level: the holy grail of Pinot Noir. Very good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Joseph Jewell Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.62, 250 cases, $42. Floodgate Vineyard is owned by Hambrecht Vineyards and farmed by Warren Burton. The name comes from its location next to Mark West Creek which floods every year and submerges the flat areas of the vineyard. This wine is sourced from three different blocks and includes clones 777, 667 and 115. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10 months in 30% new Francois Frères and Rousseau French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromatics featuring scents of dark red cherries and berries, exotic timber, and spice. Discreetly concentrated flavors of red stone fruits and red berries with accents of brown spice, fruit leather and herbs. Silky on the palate with well-mannered and supportive dusty tannins. Very good. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.705, 159 cases, $55. Floodgate is located in the heart of the Middle Reach. Rock Hill (Block 16) was planted in 2000 on one of the rockiest knolls on the property resulting in low vigor). Dijon 777. 100% de-stemmed. Wild and cultured yeast fermentation following a 5-day cold soak. Aged 13 months in 45% new (Francois Frères and Rousseau) and 55% one and two year old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of underbrush, dark red cherries and berries and dark red rose petals. Think wild cherries sprinkled with herbs and flowers. Discreetly concentrated core of dark cherry and cranberry flavors strike an impression on the mid palate and linger with a pleasing citrus-flavored berry finish. Great cut and vibrancy. Not as luscious as the Russian River Selection, but more nuanced, offering a different experience with each sip. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Block 15 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 400 cases, $48. Clone 667 from 12 year old vines. Aged 10 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · The most flamboyant aromatics in the lineup offering a melange of bright red cherries and berries with a hint of spice, sawdust and fragrant flowers. Moderately intense and pleasingly soft in the mouth with red fruit flavors, enhanced by notes of red licorice and sweet oak. Like all the 2008 C. Donatiello Pinot Noirs, this wine has lively acidity. Very good. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.42, 233 cases, $55. Dijon clone 777. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 13 months in 45% new and 55% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of dark fruits and forest floor. Earthy and savory on the palate with shy but charming flavors of plums and boysenberries that sail smoothly and silky to the refreshing finish. Delicately styled but thoroughly satisfying. Not showing everything now. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle offering brighter fruit aromas and flavors. Plenty of pinotosity for the long haul. Reviewed November 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.69, 201 cases, $55. This vineyard is located in the Middle Reach and is one of Alysian’s estate properties. The West Block was planted in 1971 and is one of the oldest known plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. Yields are less than one ton per acre but Farrell insists that the vineyard be preserved. Martini clone. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Clean and pure aromas of fresh berry tart and plum sauce. Tasty core of black cherry and blackberry flavors with a hint of vanilla. Packed with flavor, yet crisp and light on its feet. Seamless, with a creamy mouth feel and spectacular persistence of perfectly ripe fruit on the refreshing finish. Still solid the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The whole package. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Old Vines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 115 cases, about $55 when released in October 2010. Martini clone. Aged 10 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple robe in the glass. The nose really draws your attention with intensely perfumed dark stone fruits and dark chocolate. Impressively harmonious in the mouth with dynamic dark red and black fruits, kissed by toasty oak, and wrapped in fine-grain tannins. A wine to contemplate for its uniqueness and striking flavor that only old vines can offer. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 444 cases, $55. The packaging makes a statement with a very heavy bottle incorporating a large punt and sporting a classy label. · Perfumed with violets, Bing cherries and sandalwood. Opulent and layered, ephemeral yet gutsy. Cherries jubilee with touches of raspberries, vanilla and citrus. Impeccably balanced t n’ a for age ability. An endless echo of scent and fruit on the finish. This is a heart throb and a 2009 All-American for me. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Block 15 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 198 cases, $55. Clones 667 and 777 from the hillside block of this vineyard located in the northern Vine Hill area. · A marvelous nose composed of bright aromas of red cherries and berries, Provencal herbs, vitamins and a touch of oak. Plenty of body and weight with layered flavors of sweet dark cherries and raspberries exotically spiced and framed beautifully by supple tannins and restrained acidity. Built for the long haul with more body and spice than Tyra Banks on the Victoria Secret runway. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 175 cases, $57. 35 year-old vineyard planted to Martini clone (UCD 6). Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · This one was saved for last and no wonder. It has the most striking aromatic and flavor profile which only old vines can offer. Deep on the palate, packed with copious red and black fruits, and nicely complimented by spice and herbs. Despite the evident power, the wine retains an admirable elegance. Reviewed July 19, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2003 Skewis Floodgate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 150 cases, $45. This vineyard is located at the far western or "deep end" of the Anderson Valley. There is a strong maritime influence with frequent summer fog and wind. The soil is fairly poor and the vines struggle. · A light bodied, feminine Pinot Noir. The nose is toasty with plenty of spice and herbal aromas. There are appealing plum and black fruit flavors with a citrus note. The fruit may be a bit austere for some, but the lively acidic edge makes this wine a perfect food companion. A killer with grilled pork tenderloin. Reviewed June 5, 2006 WINERY »