I wanted to check and see how some of my favorite Pinot producers from Sonoma County were doing, as a follow-up to my Pinot Days 2007 post, so I made some calls and off I went. I had only a few appointments, but let chance take its course a couple of times when I had time in-between visits. The first chance encounter that frankly blew me away was Lynmar Estate. I was very familiar with their Russian River Chardonnay, which is a fabulous wine at around $US25 but I had long wanted to taste their high end Chardonnays and Pinot Noir.
The top of the heap Chardonnay, is the 2006 La Sereinité Chardonnay and you can find this around $US62. It's in the upper eschelon of Chardonnays as far as price is concerned, but is as rewarding as a comparable White Burgundy with layers of green apples, peach skin and restrained toasty oak. This is very Burgundian in style, but with the density that says California. Just delicious and highly recommended.
The 2005 Quail Hill Chardonnay also has balanced, restrained oak, but does have more vanilla cream, with floral highlights.
2006 Russian River Pinot Noir - Delicious lift of cherries inside a dense, ripe Pinot. Recommended.
2006 Quail Hill Pinot Noir - beautiful minerality and scents of wet stone and pencil. It's light body shouldn't fool you; the big fruit pops through and rewards.
2005 Five Sisters Pinot Noir - Almost a combination of the two Pinot styles mentioned above with a huge nose of cloves and spice. A super-concentrated Sonoma blockbuster. Recommended. Buy this now as there will not be any 2006 and the 2007 hasn't been released yet.
The Lynmar Estate tasting room is a must visit for anyone going to the Russian River area. It's elegant and modern with a stunning terrace.