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2001 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Patz & Hall is a classic example of the best small production winemaking that is going on in Napa Valley. A collective of 4 partners, James Hall, Anne Moses, Donald and Heather Patz, they source grapes from select vineyards around Sonoma and Napa to produce several outstanding wines. They have no winery, just four people who want to make wine with the energy, means, and expertise to do so.

Patz & Hall have been making wines (Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs) since 1988. Following the Burgundian model, they set out to make great, smal production wines from cooler climate vineyards with as much care as they can muster. In the last 15 years they have become one of the most sought after small producers of great wine at still reasonable costs in Northern California.

This vintage is a blend of grapes from five vineyard sites: Saralee's Vineyard, Catie's Corner Vineyard, Pie Shaped Piece (Martinelli) and Vin Alchemy Vineyard and Thomas Road Vineyard (Dutton Ranch).

Tasting Notes:
Perfect ruby in color, this wine has a powerful fruity nose of rasberry, blackberry, and a touch of meaty aroma like smoked bacon. This is a very fruit driven wine with lots of lift in the front of the mouth. The body of the wine is lush and vibrant with loganberry, strawberry jam, tcola, oasted oak, and barely perceptible tannins. The aromas and flavors are so strong the wine almost tastes sweet, but there are no residual sugars. The finish is long and trails off with elements of the new Burgundian French Oak.

Food Pairing:
I think this is a good wine for chicken and duck, and it's fruit flavors will support and complement many dishes including some that even lean towards the spicy side. However, I'll suggest the traditional pairing with a classic coq-au-vin.

Overall Score: 9/9.5

How much?: $30

I got my bottle through Porthos, but they are no longer carrying this wine. You may find it online or at merchants like K&L.

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