2012 Woodenhead Winery | Pinot Noir | Russian River Valley

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Williams Selyem Protege and Food & Wine Magazine's - "Regional Star"

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  • Tasting Notes: This wine begins with red cherry, wet stone, and fresh earthy notes reminiscent of the Russian River redwoods. With medium tannins, lightly toasted oak and a long silky finish, this wine would nicely complement a rich dish of beef, sausage, or grilled mushrooms. In fact, a grilling evening could be perfect for this Pinot Noir, but do step away from the BBQ at some point to fully appreciate the character of this superb, unfiltered Pinot.

    • Alcohol by Volume: 13.7%
    • Appellation: Russian River Valley, California
    • Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
    • Vintage: 2012
  • Nikolai Stez Nikolai Stez owes his inspiration to Williams Selyem as well. He worked 17 harvests at Williams Selyem, and as an assistant winemaker for Burt Williams, learned from the master. Growing up on the Russian River, Nikolai was drawn to wine at an early age and began some home winemaking while still in college. His formal winemaking education consisted of attending the Horticulture and Viticulture program at Santa Rosa Junior College and attending a few classes at UC Davis. He began to seriously make garage wines in 1986 while being mentored at Williams Selyem. With the sale of Williams Selyem Winery in 1997, he moved on and started his own label, Woodenhead.The name, "Woodenhead," was a name given to Nicolai by an old girlfriend who thought that he was very stubborn (which he is) and the name stuck. Winemaking here is “Burgundian done in the California style.” There is no pumping, hand punch downs are employed, a gentle basket press is used, and aging is in French oak. Through his years of contacts in the Russian River Valley, Nikolai has been able to source fruit from some outstanding Pinot Noir vineyards. When you look back on the early success of Williams Selyem, one key that stands out was the quality of the vineyards from which the wines were made. You simply can’t make great wine unless you have exceptional grapes. The Woodenhead wines I tasted recently are proof of that tenant. Vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs are crafted from Buena Tierra Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, Wiley Vineyard and Morning Dew Ranch Vineyard, both in the Anderson Valley, and Fruitland Ranch Vineyard in Humboldt County. His Russian River Valley appellation blend is one of the best examples made of the genre.
  • Filet Mignon with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
    • Food & Wine Magazine, Woodenhead Russain River Pinot Noir, "Regional Star"
    • San Francisco, Gold Medal
    • Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Silver Medal

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