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Posts tagged ‘Rivers-Marie’

2007 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. In addition to the line up of Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs, Rivers-Marie also makes a few single vineyard Cabernets and Chardonnay. Thomas is in high demand and serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including Schrader and Outpost.

Summa Vineyard was first planted in 1979 by Steve Young on a pristine ridge top site on Taylor Lane west of the town of Occidental six miles inland from the Pacific coastline on the true Sonoma Coast.

Light red in color. Almost translucent. 14.1% ABV. Really pretty nose of cranberry, citrus and pine needle. Light body with vibrant acidity. Light, ethereal and so very delicate. Cranberry, cherry, blood orange and pomegranate on the palate. The finish is long, elegant and silky. I’ve always known that the Pinots from Rivers-Marie were special. It is safe to say the wines also stand the test of time as well. One of the best Pinots I’ve had from TRB. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 95 points.

Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. The 2016 version of this wine will be released early next year. Sign up for the mailing list if you have not done so already

I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2014 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. In addition to the line up of Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs, Rivers-Marie also makes a few single vineyard Cabernets and Chardonnay. Thomas is in high demand and serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including Schrader and Outpost.

The fruit for the 2014 Sonoma Coast was sourced from Riddle Ranch and Manzanita Vineyards.

Ruby red in color. 14.1% ABV. Brooding nose of dark fruits, pine needle, smoke and forest floor. Medium body and bursting with acidity. Deep, dark and rich. Black cherry, cranberry, sassafras and minerals on the palate. The finish is perfection. This is different than previous versions of this bottling. Dark and more brooding as opposed to light and floral. Irregardless, this wine is exceptional and a great value at $30. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 92 points.

Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. The 2016 version of this wine will be released early next year. Sign up for the mailing list if you have not done so already

I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2014 Kinsella Estates Zinfandel Spencer’s Vineyard

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The August Zinfandel of the Month is the 2014 Kinsella Estates Zinfandel Spencer’s Vineyard

Kevin Kinsella founded Kinsella Estates in 2008. Kinsella Estates is an organically farmed vineyard situated in a private valley in the foothills of the western edge of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Thomas Rivers Brown (TRB), of Schrader, Rivers Marie and Outpost fame, has been the winemaker from the start. Kinsella makes several Cabernet Sauvignons and a Zinfandel.

I did not decant this wine.

Crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. Subtle nose of red fruits, peach and earth. Medium body with lively acidity. Elegant and fresh. Cherries, strawberries, citrus and white pepper on the palate. The wine picks up weight with time in the glass. Pretty Zinfandel with a long finish. More claret style than previous versions but absolutely delicious nonetheless. Drink over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 92 points.

Review based on sample provided by the winery.

Look for the wine at retail or via the winery mailing list. The retail price is $50.

I have followed Thomas Rivers Brown for over a decade now yet somehow Kinsella Estates was not on my radar. This Zinfandel is every bit as good as the Zins that TRB makes for Outpost and Black Sears with a Dry Creek spin. Definitely worth your attention.

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2006 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard Old Vines – Bottle Notes

The 2006 Rivers Marie Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard Old Vines was the winning bottle in the June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. This bottle was opened and poured immediately.

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. Rivers-Marie also does several single vineyard Cabernets and a Chardonnay. In addition to making his own wine, Thomas serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including Schrader, Outpost and Black Sears.

Light red in color. Almost translucent. 14.2% ABV. The nose is absolutely gorgeous with scents of pine needles, cranberry, sassafras and baking spices. Light and delicate with perfect acidity. Great texture and mouthfeel on the palate. Flavors of bing cherries, orange rind, cloves, nutmeg and cranberry. The finish is long and seamless. One of the best Pinot Noirs I’ve had this year. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 95 points.

Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. The 2015 version of this wine will be released next Spring and is expected to cost around $75. Based on this bottle I will be sure to add this to my order.

I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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Pick My Next Bottle – Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

The Sonoma Coast American Viticulture Area includes about 2,000 vineyard acres, and fewer than 10 wineries (not counting wineries that belong to overlapping appellations such as the Russian River Valley). Many of California’s most celebrated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are grown here. The producers I selected make some of the best wines in the AVA, if not the state.

The Contenders:

2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Kanzler Vineyard – Ruby-red. Energetic aromas of black raspberry, blood orange, candied rose and minerals. Vivid, impressively focused red and dark berry flavors are complicated by an exotic floral pastille quality. The silky tannins add support and gentle grip to the long, subtly sweet finish. 93 points from Stephen Tanzer.

2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard –  Good deep ruby-red. Knockout, high-toned nose of black raspberry and minerals. Fully ripe but quite dry, pure and penetrating, with a youthfully aggressive character. The dense flavors of wild brambly berries and bitter chocolate reminded me of a wine on the Nuits-Saint-Georges/Vosne-Romanee border. Finishes with serious tannic spine. Very impressive but in need of some cellaring. May ultimately merit an even higher score. 92 points from Stephen Tanzer.

2006 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Old Vines Summa Vineyard – Outstanding. A wonderfully complex nose is highly expressive, offering notes of black cherry and spiced raspberry that lead to equally complex middle weight flavors that possess good detail and a lovely layering effect on the solidly persistent finish. This is not especially dense in the manner of the 2004 and 2005 versions though the extract confers the sense of concentration on the delicious backend. A study in balance and grace. 92 points from Stephen Tanzer.

Which Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Should I Open?

  • 2006 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Old Vines Summa Vineyard (38%, 15 Votes)
  • 2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Kanzler Vineyard (36%, 14 Votes)
  • 2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard (26%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, please do let me know if you have any suggestions for the July installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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Mailing List Fatigue

The insanity of Spring mailing list offers took on new proportions in 2016 when literally over a dozen wineries, from which I traditionally purchase, decided to release their wines on January 12 or January 19th. I don’t keep exact release date records, but seem to recall in years past, that the offers were spread out more evenly over both January and February. I do understand that many wineries I purchase from are family operations and it literally takes over a month to process, pack and ship orders. An early January release allows time to get the wines out before shipping conditions decline in April.

This year was just too much though. Too many wineries in too short a time frame. On top of that prices and allocations are as high as ever. Some hard decisions had to be made. Do I really need both No Girls and Horsepower? The answer is yes but I am good with just a 3 pack of each. In this case and more often than not I just purchased less from my favorite producers. Wide but not deep became the name of the game. In some cases though if prices went up too much or shipping costs seem out of whack, I just decided not to order. Schrader comes to mind.

The real winners in all this are the wineries that continue to offer exceptional wines at fair prices. It is a short list but wineries like Carlisle, Rivers Marie, Bedrock and Turley come to mind. Scarcity is still a factor in the high demand I see for wines from the likes of Saxum and Sine Qua Non. That being said, if you are new to the mailing list game, I think it is safe to say that you should have little to no problem getting an allocation from most wineries as many consumers, myself included, are suffering from mailing list fatigue.

I would appreciate hearing from those of you who have also made some hard decisions this year. Feel free to comment below.

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The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lineup from Kinsella Estates

Kevin Kinsella founded Kinsella Estates in 2008. Kinsella Estates is an organically farmed vineyard situated in a private valley in the foothills of the western edge of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Thomas Rivers Brown, of Schrader, Rivers Marie and Outpost fame, has been the winemaker from the start. Kinsella makes several Cabernet Sauvignons and a Zinfandel.

All of these wines will be released on March 1st.

2013 Kinsella Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Spencer Vineyard – Opaque purple in color. 14.4% ABV. Subdued nose of blue fruits, violets and milk chocolate. Immensely concentrated and plush. Layers upon layers of blueberries, cassis liqueur and cocoa. Incredibly silky tannins on an exceptional finish. Drink over the next 5-7 years. $95 at the winery. My rating: 94 points.

2013 Kinsella Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Tamara Vineyard – Pitch black in color. 14.5% ABV. Showstopping nose of graphite, mint and black fruits. Big and powerful with coarse tannins. Blackberry, blueberry, charcoal and leather on the palate. Tons of structure. This wine needs 6-8 years in the cellar. $125 at the winery. My rating: 93 points.

2013 Kinsella Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Jersey Boys Vineyard – Opaque purple in color. 14.9% ABV. Savory nose of blue fruits, flowers and herbs. Rich, lush and mouth coating. Blueberry liqueur, cassis, dark chocolate and currants on the palate. The finish is perfect with fine grained tannins. Decadent, hedonistic Cabernet Sauvignon. Follow this wine over the next decade. The real standout in the lineup. $125 at the winery. My rating: 96 points.

Reviews based on samples provided by the winery.

I have followed Thomas Rivers Brown for over a decade now yet somehow Kinsella Estates was not on my radar. If you find yourself on the long waiting list at Schrader, Rivers Marie and Outpost you should strongly consider the wines of Kinsella Estates.

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2012 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. Rivers-Marie now produces 7 different Pinot Noirs along with three single vineyard Cabernets a Thieriot Vineyard Chardonnay and this Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. In addition to making his own wine, Thomas serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including Schrader, Outpost and Black Sears.

Golden in color. 14.2% ABV. Pear, lemon curd and vanilla on the nose. Rich, creamy and plush. Creme brulee, vanilla bean, pear and apple on the palate. The finish just goes on and on. Drink over the next several years.

My rating: 92 points.

At $25 this wine is one of the very best values in California Chardonnay. I think there are many wineries out there who wish they could deliver a wine like this using Sonoma Coast grapes at such a compelling price.

Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. The 2014 version of this wine will be released next Spring.

I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in The Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and also recently reviewed the 2013 version of this wine.

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2013 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. Rivers-Marie also does several single vineyard Cabernets and a Chardonnay. In addition to making his own wine, Thomas serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including SchraderOutpost and Black Sears.

Golden in color. 14.1% ABV. Lemon, green apple and vanilla on the nose. Rich yet precise with sufficient acidity. Lemon meringue, pears and a hint of mineral on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. This wine completey over delivers at the $25 price point. Drink over the next 1-3 years.

My rating: 93 points.

At $25 this wine is one of the very best values in California Chardonnay. I think there are many wineries out there who wish they could deliver a wine like this using Sonoma Coast grapes at such a compelling price.

Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. The 2014 version of this wine will be released next Spring.

I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

 

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2012 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. Rivers-Marie also does several single vineyard Cabernets and a Chardonnay. In addition to making his own wine, Thomas serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including Schrader, Outpost and Black Sears.

Magenta in color. 14.1% ABV. The 2012 was made from a handful of sites and includes deselected barrels of Silver Eagle. The nose on the wine is all about red fruits and citrus. Great weight and mouthfeel. Strong acidity. Flavors of strawberry, blood orange, pine needle and cranberry. The finish is long and spicy. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 92 points.

Consistent with my reviews for the 2010 and 2011 versions.

This wine is only $25 and is undoubtedly the best Pinot Noir for the price in all of California. In fact it might be the best $25 domestic wine period.

Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. The 2013 version of this wine will be released next Spring.

I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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