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CellarTracker review: Thumbprint Cellars 2010 Gewürztraminer, Russian River Valley, Sara Lee’s Vineyard

Gewürztraminer is a white wine grape, notably from Germany and the Alsace region of northeastern France. It’s usually done in an off-dry style that shows off its naturally higher sugar content, and fruity/floral aromas. Let me stress–this is not a “sweet wine” or dessert wine, but an off-dry wine that is a bit sweeter than what I would normally drink, and I usually go for dry reds. But I thought this would pair nicely with some Asian food I was preparing, and it didn’t disappoint.

Lots of honey, nectar, and roses right up front on the nose. Granny Smith apples, peach, and some citrus on the mid-palate.  Minerality on the finish with some of that lingering honey sweetness we started with.  Very fruit forward and crisp…this is not your average oaky Chardonnay!

Another very good to excellent wine that I received in a club shipment from one of my favorite wineries, Thumbprint Cellars in Healdsburg. Thumbprint is a small, independent boutique winery with an artsy lounge of a tasting room located right across from the Square. They purchase grapes from the best vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Knights Valley regions of northern Sonoma County–with a lot of single-vineyard and block-designated bottlings.

Their trademark thumbprint-painted bottles also make nice art…I save mine up for BottleHood, a local recycled glass artists in San Diego who makes tumblers and ashtrays out of beer and wine bottles with cool painted or screened logos and artwork on them.

CellarTracker review: 2008 Dutton Estate (Russian River Valley, Dutton Ranch) Karmen Isabella Pinot Noir

This was a highly anticipated bottle to uncork, and did not disappoint. Lush strawberry notes and a hint of spice (cardamom, cloves?) on the nose. Drinks nice, slightly darker than other Pinots I’ve enjoyed lately, firm but silky tannins showing off a well-balanced and varietally correct Pinot Noir. I got some dense cherry pie on the mid-palate. Not the most fruit-forward Pinot, but not as subdued or earthy as some French burgundies either. I would buy this again, and heartily recommend a visit to this winery when in Russian River Valley (northern Sonoma county).


CellarTracker review: 2009 Picket Fence Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Notes of cherry-rhubarb pie. The juice is very thin, but enjoyable. Boysenberries on the finish. I would buy this again for the price, good value. Not the best Pinot out of Russian River Valley, to be sure…just an above-average wine for anytime drinking.