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2007 Joseph Swan Pinot Noir Cuvee de Trois Russian River Valley

Joseph Swan Vineyards’ Cuvée de Trois is a Pinot Noir made with grapes taken from four vineyards. Yes, four. I guess Cuvée de Quatre doesn’t have the same charm... Anyway, the wine is always made from the same vineyards, but in different proportions from one year to the next. The vineyards are Joseph Swan’s Trenton Estate Vineyard and the neighboring Trenton View plus Saralee’s and Great Oak. Winemaker Rod Berglund’s goal with the blend is to make a good table wine — food-friendly and drinkable when young — that shows Russian River Valley Pinot Noir personality.

2007 was a good vintage for the Russian River Valley in general. Ripeness was not difficult to achieve. People who value complexity over strong primary fruit may want to bottle-age their 2007 Russian River Pinot Noir longer than normal to allow secondary flavors to emerge. While Joseph Swan Vineyards’ Pinot Noir are often dialed back relative to some other wines from the region — and at 13.8% alcohol for the 2007 Cuvée de Trois vs. offerings at more than 15% from many neighboring wineries, this “C3” is no exception — Rod Berglund suggests that the 2007 does want more time in bottle than most previous vintages.

The 2007 Cuvée de Trois was released in the Summer of 2009. Soon thereafter, it was tasted by James Laube of Wine Spectator. He gave the wine 93 points and a spot in that magazine’s Top 100 List for 2009. I tasted the wine then and found it similarly attractive. I opened another bottle last night and saw the wine in a middle phase. The beautiful, forward fruit has stepped back substantially, but there isn’t yet a cornucopia overflowing with secondary aromas. I do sense them peeking around the corner though.

In the glass, the wine is medium minus ruby with a broad pale rim that fades to water white. The nose offered dark cherry and cranberry with cedar, rosemary and mild dark spice. The flavors are much the same with the on cherry and herb dominant. The wood flavor is oak rather than cedar. It is a medium-bodied wine with food-friendly acidity. Tannins are on the light side of medium and lightly drying. The finish is medium plus and clean. There were a few tartrate crystals and a bit of sediment. No decanting is needed, but pour carefully. The wine is very good now, but I’d wait until Fall of 2011 when it should be closer to peak complexity. It would be a nice choice for your 2011 Thanksgiving meal. It will be at peak through 2014. Recommended/Very Highly Recommended


2007 Joseph Swan Pinot Noir Cuvee de Trois Russian River Valley
Rating: Recommended/Very Highly Recommended

Drink: Now through 2014
Retail Price: $29
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir

Alcohol: 13.8%

Closure: Cork

The wine reviewed above was purchased at retail. It was not tasted blind. While I share the Joseph Swan's last name, I am in no way related to him or the winery.

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