Wine of the Day

2008 AP Vin Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard

Pinot Noir
Written by Fred Swan
Thursday, 16 December 2010 23:41

A. P. Vin is a small-production winery based in San Francisco. Winemaker/owner Andrew P. Vingiello started the company in 2003 and made it his full-time gig in 2005. The wines he makes are single-vineyard Pinot Noir from some of the best sites in California. Among them are Kanzler Vineyard and Ridgetop Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast AVA, Garys’ Vineyard and Rosella’s Vineyard from the Santa Lucia Highlands, and the Clos Pepe Vineyard of the Sta. Rita Hills. The only Russian River Valley Pinot Noir produced by A. P. Vin is from Keefer Ranch Vineyard.

The Keefer Ranch Vineyard is in the Green Valley AVA of Russian River Valley. Keefer Ranch is one of my favorite vineyards for Pinot Noir in the Russian River AVA. My experience is that the wines start out rich and fruit-centric with hints at complexity but really blossom with bottle age. It’s tempting to dive in early and enjoy the boisterous strawberry, but I try to wait. I had the opportunity to try a bit of the 2007 Siduri Pinot Noir from Keefer Ranch recently at Twist restaurant in Las Vegas. It was the best sniff and sip I had in a long weekend filled with a whole lot of sniffing and sipping.

A. P. Vin wines are sealed with Stelvin screw cap closures, something that I really appreciated. While the incidence of cork taint in high-quality wines has declined somewhat recently due to greater focus by both the cork industry and diligent wineries, it is still a problem. Cork taint in a wine is never welcome, but it’s particularly unfortunate when found in aged wines that might no longer be returned and certainly cannot be replaced. I also believe that good screw caps, such as those offered by Stelvin, keep wines fresher longer. While they may develop more slowly, that also means they can be kept much longer. This creates more opportunities for interesting vertical tastings. With their complex, yet often delicate, aromatics, I think that Pinot Noir is a great candidate for screw cap closures.

The 2008 A. P. Vin Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard, purchased recently at retail, was medium ruby in my glass with colorless tears and a water-white rim. On the nose I found tea, blood orange, brown spice, wild strawberry and watermelon rind. The body was on the generous side of medium as was the acidity. Tannins were on the light side. The wine was silky in my mouth and had flavors of cherry, cola, brown spice and vanilla.

The wine was very good from the outset and worthy of recommendation, but really came alive after breathing for a couple of hours in the glass. It had become even smoother and a lot more complex while the alcohol became less noticeable. If you are going to taste this wine soon, I would strongly recommend decanting it. If you have the patience to let it age in bottle for two or three years, you will be rewarded. Serve it with tea-smoked duck. Drink now through 2018. Highly Recommended.


2008 A. P. Vin Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2018
Release Date: August, 2009
Retail Price: $44.99 (BTW, it’s on sale now for $39.99 here.)
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir (clones P4, 2A, 777 & 23)
Origin: Keefer Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma County

Aging: 11 months in French oak barrels, old and new

Alcohol: 14.5%

Closure: Screw cap

The wine above was purchased for review. It was tasted blind in a flight of four Pinot Noir from Northern California.

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