Grapelive News: Kasuari Wines a New Discovery
By Kerry Winslow
I just discovered a fantastic new source for great Pinot Noir, a small high quality label called Kasuari, made by Michael Peters. Peters is related to the family that owns Peters Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, the same vineyard that got everybody talking about Papapietro-Perry a few years back, and Michael get some great grapes from his family to work with. He also does a few wines from grapes in the Dry Creek Valley as well; a Sauvignon Blanc, a Zinfandel and a Cabernet Sauvignon, of which the Zinfandel was by far the best, but it was his Pinots that got my attention, and I am sure would certainly entertain any Pinot Noir lover as well. Kasuari’s Pinots one from the mentioned Peters Vineyard and one a Sonoma Coast cuvee (from a single clone 115) are deep and complex Pinot Noirs that have wonderful layers of silky fruit and distinct site (terroir) characteristics. Both wines were polished, well made and a total joy to drink, showing all the great qualities of the grape and the region(s) where they are grown.
2008 Kasuari Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast “Clone 115”.
This single clone wine shows unique qualities from the 115 clone, also known as Pommard clone, from the region of Burgundy it was developed before being rooted in California, Oregon and other Pinot regions around the world. This wine is amazingly detailed and finely tuned all ready, it has a wonderful aromatic nose with wildflowers, rose petals and hints of violets along with some blueberry and polished smoky sweet wood notes. If that wasn’t enough, things get better on the palate where the fruit is richly developed and layered, showing black and red fruits, cherry and plum leading the way with flashes of lavender, spice, smoke, mineral and vanilla oil. Everything is round and smoothly delivered in classic Burgundian fashion, but with a more clean and forward style the North Coast of California seems to often produce. I must say, this is very impressive Pinot Noir and remarkable even more by being so good at a very fair price point, I have seen recently many more Pinots at twice this price, that don’t deliver this kind of quality or pleasure.
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
*The Winery Notes:
“In the winery natural winemaking practices are used in a quest to make artistic, handcrafted wines that reflect our passion to provide the most enjoyable wine drinking experience. Each wine is hand crafted with naturally occurring yeast handling the fermentations. We gently destem all fruit and often put whole clusters in the fermenter! Never fined or filtered these wines represent the vineyard and terrior as it should be at its very best!”
2008 Kasuari Pinot Noir “Peters Vineyard” Russian River Valley.
This wine is more vibrant and intense than the other Pinot from Kasuari, it shows a slightly younger and more edgy side, but still proves to be a pretty and balanced wine. I mention that, because if given a bit more bottle age this wine might just turn out to be even better than I all ready think, and it is very, very good if not great all ready! The nose is more dark and earthy, though still perfumed and intriguing with heady floral notes and forest berries. The palate has a huge cherry core and classic Russian River character, but it also is layered with ripe silky flavors that at this point seem more complex than their other Pinot, but also with a bit more tannin and acidity that hold it together and give near perfect balance. As I said, given time I think this beauty will fill out even more and show more depth and an even longer finish, making it worth every penny. The mouth-feel is wonderful and the oak fits perfectly with the rich fruit and texture, and it shows hints of dried flowers, mineral spice and cola bean behind the black cherry and wild berry fruits. The creamy oak gives a lingering finish framed by vanilla, mocha and toasty char smoke. Every detail seems to fit perfectly and while I love it now, I am excited to see what a few years in the cellar will bring.
($49 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive