Grapelive Daily Pick
By Kerry Winslow
2007 Valdez Pinot Noir “Lancel Vineyard” Russian River Valley.
Ulises Valdez grows grapes for famous winemakers, Paul Hobbs, Jeff Cohn and the cult wonder Marc Aubert, and he also lets them make a little wine for him, for his Valdez label, and this Pinot is made under the direction of Marc Aubert, of Colgin and his own label Aubert. The 2006 was wonderful, but this vintage is just that much better and fuller in every way. The nose is more intense and the flavors are just than much more vivid and lively, making this a real sleeper and a wine you should search out. The palate is pure Russian River, with lots of black cherry and dark plum fruit, cola and smoky sweet wood notes. Drink anytime, but I think it will just get better and more textured over the next few years, allowing some secondary flavors to come forward.
($60 Est.) 93-94 Points, grapelive