2018 Calstar Cellars Pinot Meunier, Russian River Valley, Christina's Vineyard
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CHRISTINA’S VINEYARD, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY Pinot Meunier is one of the three grape varieties used to produce traditional Champage where it brings richness, body and longer aging potential to sparkling wines. Rarely bottled on its own, this varietal shines in the cooler climate of the Russian River Valley, where the loamy Goldridge soils and cooling coastal fog create the perfect microclimate for this unusual varietal.
The 2018 Pinot Meunier sets itself apart from Pinot Noir immediately with its bright violet red color bordering on magenta. The vibrant color carries over to the nose, where the fruit notes practically jump from the glass. Ripe, bright red cherry, raspberry compote, cranberry and soft cinnamon are supported by aromas of sweet tobacco and wet rocks. On the palate, you can see why this varietal is used to bring complexity to sparkling wines: rich, vibrant red fruit flavors are bolstered by steely acidity that brings the wine into immediate focus. Soft, plummy tannins round out the mouth and counter the acidity, bringing everything into balance. Though drinking beautifully upon release, those with patience will be rewarded by cellaring the bottling 4‐5 years after vintage date to allow the immediate “baby fat” to mellow and give way to secondary notes of jam, leather and forest floor.