One Bottle at a time…reviewed by Eve

My looney spouse, that knows I rarely rate wines, suggested I do an entire blog post on just one bottle.  He makes all kinds of wild suggestions that I’m forced to listen, and smile, over.  But, every now and then they stick and nag at me.  So here goes.

2007 J Vineyards Pinot Noir, Robert Thomas Vineyard
Russian River Valley, 14.3% alcohol
The bottle, sent to me as a gift (disclosure=free), came with a full sheet of information.  I didn’t read it.  I never read these things until I’m done with my own notes lest I take on full subjective mode.  (I have included it for you below my own post so you can read it if you like.)  I find that if I read someone else’s tasting notes they become my own.  You tell me that you’re getting a “smattering of black fruit” so will I.  I’ve mentioned this before on former posts.

I had a decanter ready, in case after a swirl or two I decided it was needed to age my 07.  I poured my taste.  I swirled and was pleased with the clear garnet color, a nose that was more than I expected to get for an 07 with raspberries, a little dusty even.  I waited a few minutes before tasting again and decided I did not need to decant.

The husband, who had tried to barrel through the single malt Talisker he had poured…poured it out as he couldn’t stand me tasting and note taking without him.  Even though I showed him, with bottle in hand, that he only missed out on one ounce he was not to be dismissed.  I poured us both a couple of ounces.

Within 20 minutes it had opened up and softened a bit.  With the 14.3% alcohol, which I had encountered too many times with CA Pinots at Pinot Days recently, and thought way too “hot” on the palate, this one didn’t bit me back. While studying my glass I noticed that the long slow legs still ran down the glass minutes after pouring.  An indicator of the amount of alcohol and evaporation process, again, I was suprised at it’s maturity and mellow mouth feel.

There was something on the back palate and finish that was reminiscent of menthol, mint or Eucalyptus.  I’m sure the wine experts have come up with the right word, for me it was a nice end.  And if I had to give it a number?  89 or 90 Eve points.

Ok, I’m done, lets see how far off base I was with their description, keep in mind I enjoyed the 07 and this is for the 06 only:  

2006 J Pinot Noir, Robert Thomas Vineyard 

The vineyards

The 2006 Robert Thomas vineyard designate Pinot noir comes from an exclusive vineyard along the Russian River. This vineyard is one the last to ripen of all of our Pinot’s as it is the farthest west where the coastal influence of fog and cooler temperatures gives it more time to stay on the vine and develop a rich flavor profile. 


Whole grape clusters were hand-harvested, destemmed, then moved into open top fermenters.  The clones of Robert Thomas were kept separate through this process and will remain separate until blending. After a ten day cold soak, the must began its fermentation which was finished in another ten days. The fermented juice along with the skins was then pressed and the clear wine moved into French oak barrels to go through malolactic fermentation. 


The wine is aged for twelve months in 60-gallon French oak barrels that are selected from various areas of France and second or malolactic fermentation is completed.

Tasting Notes 

Great depth and complexity is immediately evident in the 2006 Robert Thomas Pinot Noir with dark brooding strawberry jam aromas.  Its refined bouquet of red and black berries, violets, herbs, smoke and earth carry over to the palate to reveal baking spices, ripe berries, cola, and butterscotch.  A balanced acidity and soft mouth feel supports the wine, and leaves a rich and satisfying finish.

Winemaker:George Bursick
Appellation:Russian River Valley
Harvest Date:September 26 – October 1, 2006
Wine Alcohol:14.3% by volume
Wine Acid:5.40 grams per liter
Wine pH:3.70
Residual Sugar:0.03
Bottling Date:December 2007


90 Points – Burghound for J 2006 Robert Thomas Pinot Noir
91 Points – Wine Enthusiast for J 2006 Robert Thomas Pinot Noir
94 Points – Wine News for J 2006 Robert Thomas Pinot Noir

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