Wine of the Week: DuMOL Finn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

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DuMOL Finn Russian Rivery Valley Pinot Noir 2009:  This is a lesson in master blending.  It is rare to find a Pinot Noir comprised of grapes grown in three different vineyards that offers such complexity and flavor in a harmonious package.  The key is finding compatible fruit sources that are grown in similar (but not identical) conditions, and which play separate roles in the blend.  The DuMOL Finn 2009 bottling is comprised of a mix of Calera, Swan, and Martini Pinot selections, along with Dijon clones 943, 115 and 777, which were sourced from DuMOL’s Estate Vineyard and the Hanna Vineyard, both of which are off of Occidental Road, as well as the more northerly O’Connell Vineyard.  Each of these vineyards are located within a 10-minutes’ drive from each other in a hallowed Russian River Valley “Pinot Noir Triangle,” which runs from the corner of River Road and Laguna Road, south to Occidental Road, and as far east as Piezzi Road.  The DuMOL Estate Vineyard is the only one of the three that also technically resides in the more verdant Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River AVA, and the grapes from the home site provide a fresh, dark-fruit scented complement to the savory red-fruited notes attributed to the O’Connell Vineyard and the crisp, tangy notes from the Hanna fruit.  Translucent purple-ruby.  The aromatics are a divine bouquet of iris, lily, fruit blossoms, and black and red berries.  Refreshing on the attack, with lively berry fruits and a round, smooth texture.  Medium- to full-bodied, with a generous expression of richness on the midpalate and finish.  14.4% alc.  Drink now-2025.  (97+)

Wine of the Week: Chateau Lusseau Graves 2005

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Chateau Lusseau Graves 2005: If you want to drink Bordeaux at Thanksgiving, this is your bottle. Dark ruby in color.  Possesses an enchanting bouquet of tobacco, black cherries, plums, warm stones, and freshly turned soil.  On the palate, the tannins are firm but round, and provide excellent structure.  Medium-bodied, with exquisite balance and a long, dry finish. Because the proprietors use only 10% new French oak, the dark fruit flavors demonstrate great purity.  Prior bottles tasted earlier this year needed time to settle, and I am happy to report that the wine is now fully integrated, and is ready to go!  From a blend of 45% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet France, and 5% Malbec.  Notably, this property is farmed organically.  A wine to purchase by the case.  13.5% alc. $30  Drink now-2015.  (90+)

Wine of the Week: Arnot-Roberts Clajoux Vineyard Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

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Arnot-Roberts Clajoux Vineyard Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: Dark ruby. Offers a spicy nose of red currants, red raspberries, blackberries, and oak.  Fantastic energy and acidity on the midpalate, where the spicy red and black fruits are complemented by a hint of walnuts.  Full-bodied, with round tannins.  14.1% alc.  Drink now-2020.   (94+)