2016 Lynmar Estate, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley.
The luxurious and deeply flavored Lynmar appellation series Russian River Pinot is a surprisingly energetic and balanced wine for such an opulent wine with its dense layers of black cherry, plummy notes and dark berry fruit seamlessly unfold on the rich palate filling the mouth right away and the lively acidity leaves a lingering weightless aftertaste. There is a lot going on here and this wine gains some floral dimension, spice, a touch of loam and mineral as well as a sweet toasty mocha kiss of cedary French oak, which works well in this style of wine that is in the same league as Rochioli, Martinelli and DuMol, to name a few. The 2016 vintage was not all that hyped, a bit similar to 2013, but have really outperformed in the bottle in my recent tastings and this Lynmar is a very nice bottle, thanks to Alex Lallos, an avid enthusiast, collector and long time wine professional for sharing it with me after he was impressed with it himself. In fact I was getting into this wine after it had plenty of hours to open up and I slowly enjoyed over another quite long period of time and it held up impeccably without any sign of giving up ghost. There is nice accents that come out as it opens further with sassafras or cola bean, fig and vanilla, as you’d expect as well as long echos of the core fruits and hibiscus, strawberry preserves and a tangy orange tea note. I recommend enjoying the Lynmar wines with a serious meal as they become much more interesting with food and I suggest either decanting or a slow approach to allow the wines to reveal the full profile of flavors, with this wine going nice with a herb crusted pork chop, a fine cut of beef and or blackened salmon.

The Lynmar Russian River Pinot Noir comes from the Estate’s main three Cru vineyards sites, the Quail Hill Vineyard, Susanna’s Vineyard and their Adam’s Vineyard, along with some grapes coming from Lynmar’s neighboring properties that, as the winery puts it, share their same viticultural philosophies and farming methods that promote small yields and high quality fruit. The vines here are quite diverse selection of genetic material with many unique clones and well as some modern classics with Dijon 114, 115, 667, 777, as well as heritage 2a, Beba, Calera, Mt Eden, Pommard, Swan, along with Lynmar’s QHS clone. Pretty much, per normal around here, the Lynmar Pinot sees a careful sorting and mostly de-stemming with this wine seeing about 25% new Medium-High toast French oak with the majority in a selection of one, two and three year old barrels, with everything done in a precise, clean and polished manner to make for a lush and ripe example of Russian River Pinot. Lynn Fritz, Lynmar Estate’s founder and owner, first purchased Quail Hill Ranch and Vineyards back in 1980, these are some of the oldest vines in the region and in the beginning the grapes were sold to star winemakers, including Etude’s Tony Soter and the legendary Merry Edwards. Lynmar started making wines under their own label in the early 1990s and produced small amounts of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and since then, this property not far from the historic Joseph Swan has become one of the Russian River’s most coveted producers. This winery, one of the most modern in the area and all gravity fed is certainly an impressive place and the wines very distinctive, crowd pleasing and delicious, especially their Pinots, though their Chardonnay offerings have following as well.
($50 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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