2014RobertJamesPN2014 Robert James, Pinot Noir, Pinnacle, Russian River Valley.
Rob Klbecka, the winemaker and owner of the new Robert James Wines, has just released his debut lineup of wines, which include two beautiful Chardonnays, one lees stirred without oak and another aged in barrel, both of which has rich character and full of flavor, and two Pinots, one a wild ferment 2011, that was his very first wine, with a delightful Central Otago like guava/pomegranate note, and this Pinnacle 2014 Pinot Noir that maybe impressed me the most. The expressive and focused 2014 Robert James Pinnacle Pinot Noir comes from cooler Russian River Valley fruit sources and delivers fine detail, poise and energy, it starts with a lovely garnet/ruby color in the glass, clear and brilliant to view and a sweet floral nose with fresh and dried rose petal, black raspberry, loamy earth, sappy herbs and red tea spices. The palate is medium full with racy acidity lifting the fruit and keeping this Pinot from feeling too weighty, though the texture is lush and welcoming with a certain silken mouth feel, while a cascade of red plum, cherry, strawberry and currant fruits shine through, with hints of vanilla smoke, saline and cola bean also playing parts. It was very cool to meet the hardworking Klbecka and tasting through his quality set of wines, this is a new label that looks set to make an impact, it’s great to see so many passionate new small producers getting their chance, and Rob’s wines are solid and noteworthy. While, like I mentioned, the Robert James Chardonnays, especially Klbecka’s un-oaked leesy “Ocel” stainless steel aged offering, were well worth exploring and highly enjoyable, it was this Pinnacle 2014 Pinot that stood out, with only a few barrels made, this hand crafted wine will not be an easy score, but rewarding to those that find it, drink this over the next 3 to 5 years.
($48 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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