The town of Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, California, is home to J Vineyards & Winery. The winery was founded by Judy Jordan in 1986. While they initially focused on the production of sparkling wines, they eventually branched out into using varietals agreeable to Russian River Valley, namely, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris.
The 2009 J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley was 100% Pinot Noir. The wine was aged in French oak barrels (30% new, 70% old) for 14 months, and spent an additional 9 months in the bottle, prior to release. The label listed ABV was 14.4%. There were 12,000 cases of this vintage produced.
I was in a local beverage store, looking for a specific Russian River Valley Pinot Noir I had previously tasted. It was nowhere to be found. I glanced down and noticed the J Vineyards Pinot Noir. Hmmm…this would be a great wine to compare against the one I couldn’t find.
And with that, I made my first purchase of a J Vineyards wine.
The wine was not decanted, this was a PNP.
The nose was full of red berries, raspberry came to mind. White chocolate was also noticeable.
Taking a sip, I found ripe red fruit and red berries. Cherries and raspberry were the prominent sensations in this light-bodied wine. There was a slight hint of pepper on the back end. It was a very, pleasant sip (I took another!).
The finish was surprisingly long, bringing red berries with it.
This wine was a welcome surprise. It was definitely heavy on the red fruit and berries, but that happened to be exactly what I was looking for in the other Russian River Valley Pinot I couldn’t find. I would serve this wine to guests (and myself!) in a second. It can be easily consumed with or without food.
The 2009 J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley retails in the $35-40 range. It affords good value at that price point. I plan to pick some more up soon. If you are a fan of Russian River Pinot Noirs, I highly recommend you give this wine a try.