This is the 2006 Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley; Row Eleven also has pinots from Santa Maria and a blend of different areas in their Vinas 3 Pinot Noir. Row Eleven is a negociant so they don’t grow their own grapes; they buy grapes from other vineyards and wineries. Due to the reputation of the partners in the company, Row Eleven gets the first pick of grapes in certain areas. They only select the best grapes and it is reflected in their wines. They focus their efforts in making beautiful pinots. They currently have three releases: Vinas 3, Russian River, and Santa Maria.
For the Russian River Valley pinot, the grapes were cluster-crushed, fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak barrels. In the glass, it has a nice ruby color and impressive legs due to the 13.9% alcohol. You will find aromas of ripe cherry, smoke and leather while experiencing tastes of dark cherries, plums and a hint of spice. This is an elegant pinot noir and it has a smooth lingering finish. This is a good example of what I expect in a pinot noir. This wine is ready to drink now, but would hold for several years to come. This bottle retails for around $36 but is worth every penny.