Over time, the agricultural use of a piece of land evolves in order to support itself and the farmer. In its previous life as an orchard, this site grew delicious organic apples under the care of Haven Best. As orchard fortunes turned downward, this site gained a new sustainable life as a vineyard. Ken and I purchased this Laguna Ridge site in 1999 and planted Coopersmith in 2001. From the outset, the deep, well-drained, sandy soil and the perfect southeast-facing slope of this property have created a wine that has thrilled fans from its first vintage in 2004.
This gregarious wine entices us from the first sip. It's loaded with masses of dark, mouthwatering bramble fruits, black licorice and its signature cocoa. Highlights of nutmeg, vanilla and cola add to its succulent appeal . On the finely balanced palate, this Pinot has generous, smooth tannins leading to a silky, full mouthfeel and lush finish. If I had a vision of this wine as a cake, it would be a Black Forest Kuchen!
So many pairings come to mind for this wine, it's hard to list just a few. Recently I marinated venison tenderloin in herbed olive oil, then pan-fried them and made a sauce from the drippings, crème fraîche and a touch of mustard - a winning combination. A great way to accent the chocolate notes of this wine would be to serve it with classic chicken mole. At our 2010 Winemaker Dinner with Chef John Ash, he matched the Coopersmith with a wonderful Pinot Noir Braised Short Rib entrée.
"Medium dark cherry red color; French oak, vanilla, ripe cherry, raspberry nose; baked cherry, caramel, oak, raspberry palate; medium finish."
Richard Jennings, rjonwine.com, tasted at Pinot Days 2010 in San Francisco, June 26, 2010
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