Anne Moller-Racke has been on quite a roll. If you’re a coastal Pinot Noir collector with a penchant for dropping $1,000 per case for Kistler, Morlet, and Peter Michael, you know all about Moller-Racke’s touch with the world’s most elegant variety. For three consecutive vintages beginning in 2007, Wine Spectator dropped 96-point reviews on the brilliant German-born winegrower’s high-scoring Pinots.
During that same three-year span, Moller-Racke’s Robert Stemmler Pinot Noirs proved equally compelling for bargain-hunters. “I think of the estate Pinot Noirs as Grand Crus,” Anne told us. “The Robert Stemmler Pinots are my villages.”
True to form, in most vintages, the Robert Stemmler Pinot Noirs tend to be sweet, juicy, and forward, designed for early drinking. But in the phenomenally dry 2012 growing season, Anne crafted an absolute powerhouse off her 16-acre Winside Vineyard in Russian River that stands shoulder to shoulder with the high-flying Grand Crus.
The 2012 growing season won’t soon be forgotten in either the Napa or Sonoma valleys. The set was unusually large, a welcome change from the tiny-yield vintages of 2010 and 2011. Barely a drop of rain fell during the summer months, but thankfully daytime highs rarely crept above the low 80s. Nights were cool, particularly in August and September. That dramatic diurnal temperature shift gave birth to a sizable crop of small-berry clusters, absent any sign of shrivel or desiccation. It was a miracle harvest at Winside Vineyard, making for one of the finest Pinot Noirs ever to come off this superb vineyard.
The 2012 Robert Stemmler Pinot Noir Winside Vineyard is deep, dark ruby in color. Big, broad and boisterous aromatically, infused with luscious aromas of black raspberry and black cherry. Ultra-concentrated, wildly opulent, at once weighty and light on its feet. Like all the top 2012 Russian River Pinots, this is a powerhouse, filled with crushed red- and black-fruit preserves, finishing with excellent vibrancy and persistence. Drink now for its primary-fruit hedonism or lay down until 2020.
$45 on release. At $26 today, this is like STEALING. Shipping included on 4.
Wasn't sure what to expect at this low of a price, but this pinot is just luscious. It may not be Kosta Browne, but it's the next best thing.
one of my all time favorite cali pinots; not over extracted, plenty of minerality and great balance.
Excellent at the price I got it for. Wouldn't pay regular price for it though.
A rich, well-done rendition of California pinot noir. Lovely nose and color. Flavor seem to fade on the second day, though, despite vacuum storage.
Very good wanting more
Excellent, love the Russian River valley!!
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