2001 Londer Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

Londer Vineyards is another new label that is blossoming under the steady winemaking hand of Greg LaFolette of Flowers fame, and who simultaneously is starting up the winemaking operations atTandem. Of course, consulting winemaking is the type of job where you can be involved with multiple labels, and a good thing too, because it allows us to benefit from expertise like Greg’s across a wide spectrum of wines.

Greg’s winemaking is only a part of the equation for Londer, of course. The other part comes courtesy of vineyard owners Shirlee and Larry Londer who own and manage the winery that will start producing estate Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer in 2004. Until then, with Greg’s guidance, Larry is purchasing small quantities of grapes on the market from select vineyard sites all over California and churning out some interesting wines.

This Pinot is a made from fruit sourced in the Anderson valley from four different vineyards: Valley Foothills, Ferrington, Pacific Echo, and Elke’s Donnelly Creek, and may be a good preview of what we can expect from Londer moving forward.

Tasting Notes:
Bright garnet in hue, this wine has a heady nose of cranberry and raspberry with soft notes of what seems like red bell pepper. In the mouth it is fruit forward with flavors of redcurrant, strawberry, and elements of mixed herbs and spices. Much of the flavor is in the front palate and despite some good acidity the wine finishes a little flatter than it should, trailing off in a slightly noncommittal way, like a puppy that is initially excited to meet strangers, but then quickly grows bored.

Food Pairing:
I’m not sure if this wine has any residual sugar — I suspect it does not — but because of the fruit flavors it has a sweeter aspect to it that will complement a lighter meat dish that has sweet and spicy flavors like a currant-mustard glazed ham.

Overall Score: 8

How Much?: $23 – 28

I received mine as a gift, but it is available for sale on the winery’s web site or at other Internet retailers (try Wine Searcher)