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Wine of the Day

2008 Inman Family Thorn Ridge Ranch Pinot Noir

Kathleen Inman is a natural winemaker who eschews biodynamic viticulture because it makes use of products which she says necessitate harm to animals, such as the burying of cow horns. However, Inman does heed the lunar calendar and favors organic farming which, she pursues at the Inman Family estate vineyard, Olivet Grange. As a winemaker, Inman strives to use only native yeasts and never adds acid, water, enzymes or tannins.

This particular wine comes not from Inman’s estate vineyard, but from Ted Klopp’s Thorn Ridge Ranch in the Sebastopol Hills. In an area affected by a 2006 redrawing of AVAs, Thorn Ridge used to be classified solely as Sonoma Coast but is now within the Russian River Valley AVA too. It’s an east-facing vineyard with clay-rich Goldridge loam that retains moisture and allows for farming with little to no irrigation even on the steep hillside. The highly-sought after fruit has also been used by Freeman, Talisman and Pali, among others.

The 2008 Inman Family Thorn Ridge Ranch Pinot Noir’s light ruby-colored appearance belies the wine’s deliciously dark and masculine flavors. The aromas and bold flavors are an appetizing mix of black cherry, dry leaves, allspice and rich, and black tea leaves. The palate has medium weight with moderate, integrated tannins and persistent, juicy acidity. Drink now through 2017. Highly Recommended.

2008 Inman Family Thorn Ridge Ranch Pinot Noir
IFW_THN_NVRating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2017
Bottling Date: August 2009
Closure: Stelvin
Retail Price: $56.00

Winemaker: Kathleen Inman
Origin: Thorn Ridge Ranch, Russian River Valley AVA, Sonoma County
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir - Swan, Pommard & 777 clones
Fermentation: Native yeast
Aging: 11 months, French oak, 40% new
Alcohol: 14.5%

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Not recommended
Temperature: 58º - 62º F
Food Pairings: Crostini of very thin rye topped with warm, paper-thin pastrami


The wine above was sampled in a focused tasting at #PinotSmackdown.

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This article is original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.