2017 Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir
Merry's relationship with Ted Klopp dates back to the late 1980s when she advised him on clonal selections for his then-new planting. Today, we still harvest fruit from the oldest blocks planted to the Pommard clone and a selection from Merry's mentor, Joe Swan. To this base blend, we add some Dijon 115 and 667 planted in later years. This vineyard is planted in an area of Russian River Valley that Merry nicknamed “The Golden Triangle.” This eastern slope of the Laguna Ridge is blessed with deep, sandy Goldridge soils, creating the well-drained environment key to producing this distinctive Pinot.
A deep garnet color portends a wine of depth and richness. We are not disappointed, as this vintage has given us a classic Klopp Ranch — luxuriant with black raspberry, brambleberry, berry compote, blackberry pie and very ripe Bing cherry. The aroma expands with hints of lavender, cassis and toasted brioche. Earthy notes reminiscent of mushrooms sprouting on a forest floor, along with smoky bacon, add highlights. The palate is bright on entry with inviting dark fruit, cocoa and cola. Tannins are firm but round and rich while the finish shows off black pepper and dark cherry. Good acid balance keeps the wine lively and foretells a long future for this Pinot.
"It's medium ruby-purple in the glass and has a fragrant nose of warm cinnamon, mushrooms, moss-covered bark, rhubarb and red and black berries with notions of lilac and tangerine peel. It’s medium-bodied, silky and loaded with perfumed fruit layers, with a frame of chocolate-textured tannins and juicy acidity begging you to take another sip, finishing very long and very layered."
Erin Brooks, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, December 2019
"Wild in pomegranate, strawberry and brambly blackberry, this longstanding vineyard-designate is deep and rich, with a density of earthiness. Thick tannins support the fruit and building elements of dried herb and lavender, allowing room for the acidity to balance its overall luxury."
Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2020
"It has a smoky, ripe bouquet of mulled black fruits, licorice, roasted herbs, and chocolate, with more floral and sappy notes developing with time in the glass. It also gains freshness and vibrancy with air and is medium to full-bodied, with a deep, layered mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This sexy, seamless, classic Russian River Pinot Noir has loads to love. It needs a decant if drinking any time soon and should evolve nicely for 8-10 years with no issues."
Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, May 2020
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Food and health blogger Joanne Williams has provided us with another great pairing recipe — her own Ratatouille. She has come up with a low-fat version full of luscious vegetables that is quite delicious with Klopp Ranch.
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