VOLUME 9, ISSUE 38
February 22, 2014
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard: A Description & Vertical Tasting Tasting Aged Williams Selyem Pinot Noir: Bottled Surprises Pinot Noir “Clone 95”: Dick Erath Revives an Old Treasure Failla Wines Sips of Recently Tasted Wines Hearty Burgundy Celebrates 50 Years Tasting Rooms Threatening to Overtax Healdsburg and Sonoma Pinot Briefs
Porter Creek Vineyards Porter Creek has a long history in the Russian River Valley, dating to 1977 when George Davis bought 40 acres of land adjacent Porter Creek on Westside Road near Macmurray Ranch. Pinot Noir plantings date to 1974 on the site. Porter Creek is one of the major tributaries to the Russian River. Porter Creek Burgundian and Rhone wines developed a loyal cult following over the years, but the winery has never achieved widespread notoriety. The estate is planted to both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
George Davis made the wines from the first vintage in 1982 until 1997, when his son, Alex Davis, at the age of 26, took on that role. Alex has a degree in enology from California State University at Fresno and spent several years in France at such renowned wineries as Christophe Roumier, Bernard Michelot and Marcel Guigal. The winemaking style employs natural fermentation exclusively, discreet use of new oak for elevage, and an emphasis on channeling terroir into the finished wines. The wines are not like the typical modern style of Pinot Noir, but more reserved, nuanced, and age worthy.
Alex oversaw replanting of some of the vineyard with an emphasis on Pommard and Wadenswil clones. All estate vineyards are certified organic and in transition to Demeter biodynamic certification.
The wines are sold through a mailing list and by direct inquiry (707-433-6321). Beyond Pinot Noir there are Carignane, Chardonnay, Syrah, Viognier and Zinfandel.
Articles About Porter Creek
2009 Porter Creek Fiona Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $36. Vineyard established in 1982 by the George Davis family on a steep hillside along Westside Road at the entrance to Porter Creek. Made with biodynamic grapes. · Moderate reddishpurple hue in the glass. An interesting wine made in the French style and quite distinct from many Pinot Noirs currently produced from the Russian River Valley. Aromas of cherries, summer herbs, grass and verbena. Elegant and light in weight, yet offering pleasing cherry flavor with considerable length and intensity on the cherry-driven finish. Unusual spice accents add interest. The wine possesses plenty of svelte tannins for the long haul. A distinctive and interesting wine with a true expression of terroir. Very good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2006 Porter Creek Russian River Valley Estate Bottled Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., $32. · Intriguing notes of cherries, brier, sage, sawdust and oak on the nose. Earth-kissed black cherry core with grippy tannins that currently overwhelm the fruit. Improves in the glass over time indicating that decanting or further aging is advised. Hard to put my finger on it, but this wine just doesn’t excite now. Decent (+). Reviewed October 29, 2009 ARTICLE »
2005 Porter Creek Hillside Vineyard Old Vine Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., $59. · Slight brickish color to the rim. Aromas of red fruits, sawn wood, matchstick and wintergreen. Moderately light array of redder fruits with a hint of oak-derived root beer, a noticeable tannic backbone, and vibrant acidity lifting the finish. Showing charming restraint, very tasty and holding up beautifully. Still good the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »
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