Our Selection for Wine of the Week November 1, 2010
Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir Riverbench
2008 Mesa Pinot Noir California
Riverbench winery was founded in 2004 by a group of local, Santa Maria Valley families that came together to buy a noted vineyard of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines (many of which were planted in 1973). The winery’s focus is on showing the many sides of these two cool-climate grapes, with four different single block and reserve Chards and Pinots as well as a rosé of Pinot Noir. Keeping production low for the sake of quality control, the winery sells many of these bottlings strictly from its tasting room and website. The 2008 Mesa Pinot comes from a special four-acre block in the heart of the Riverbench vineyard. The wine is lively with the freshness of tart acidity and light tannins. Delicate aromas of tart cherries, rose petals and pomegranate evolve on the palate to include earthier flavors of mushrooms and brambles. The wine finishes fairly clean thanks to its bright acidity. Serve it with roasted turkey and other fowl or use the wine’s acidity to cut more rich dishes like pork ribs or lamb burgers. The wine would also work well with vegetarian fare like hearty grains, grilled mushrooms and baked eggplant.