woman on wine with amy reiley
Many consider Pinot Noir to be the sexiest of all wine grapes. Like a lot of the world’s greatest aphrodisiacs, Pinot is one of the most fragile and prized grapes. On the vine, Pinot likes to be enveloped in fog and caressed by the breeze – a sensualist even in infancy.
Although Pinot’s favorite growing conditions are rare in California, an enclave of sensualists resides in Sonoma County’s Russian River region. Here the fog sweeps down the path cut by the river to curl around the vines each morning, protecting them from California’s intense sunshine.
2004 Davis Family
If you have any doubts about the aphrodisiac powers of Pinot indulge in just one sip of this wine and you’ll get it. I promise. Sexy yet restrained, it is one of those rare wines that seems to meld with and enhance any dish with which it is served.
2005 Kosta Brown Russian River
A rich and serious wine, Kosta Browne’s Pinot showcases the grape’s masculine side. Aromas and flavors are typical Pinot – cherry, cola, plum and a hint of spice – but in structure and body it is powerful, dazzling, anything but typical.
2004 Halleck Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot
The perfect aperitif, this wine almost sparkles with lively, red fruit aromas and flavors. An underlying earthiness gives Halleck’s Pinot a hint of something sexy.
2004 J Vineyards and Winery Robert Thomas
This wine plays a little hard to get, (if only the winery could produce more!) But if you spot a bottle, buy it. Smokey yet sweet, it is silky on the tongue and surprisingly elegant.
2004 Gary Farrell Sonoma County
I have an extreme fondness for this wine. As a child, I loved white wine. But it wasn’t until I first visited Sonoma County and experienced this Russian River Pinot that I developed a longing for reds. Approachable yet age able, it teases the tongue with a ripe, berry sweetness and a mere hint of spice. It is a wine to turn anyone into an aficionado of reds.
2005 Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir
Although it lacks some of the sensual elements of the aforementioned wines, Rodney Strong’s Estate Pinot is one of Russian River’s best buys. Approachable with red fruit and rose petal aromas and flavors, it’s the kind of wine that will please the whole crowd.
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