St Rose Winery
On a recent visit to Russian River Valley, near Santa Rosa, I met with Fred and Wendy Nunes. If you ever wanted to know what “unbridled enthusiasm” would look like, you have to look no further than Fred Nunes! He walked into the small tasting room behind their house and it was a full on engaging conversation from helicopter firefighting to GPS systems to drones and finally growing of Pinot Noir grapes. Fred in his “second career” used some of his knowledge from his degree in systematic biology and ecology. He combined his intuition with science and hooked it up to his bigger than life presence to grape growing and winemaking.
Fred meticulously works each row and vine and has developed a detailed diagram for harvesting and cultivating his award winning Pinots. The 2012 Ten Block Pinot scored 94 points from Wine Enthusiast and the 2014 Ten Block scores are being determined at this writing by Robert Parker. Fred has consistently received 93 and 94 points. He also makes a unique 100% Clone 777 with limited production. Now the kicker—for his 2012 he only produced 98 cases and for 2014 with the drought only produced 48 cases of the Ten Block. He is actually the smallest commercially bonded winery in Sonoma County which he takes pride in producing some of the best Pinot’s.
That said, they do sell grapes to approximately five other wineries which have a designated Nunes Vineyard Pinot. Fred is so well known and respected, the others wineries allow Fred to be the vineyard manager for their wines, certainly not a common occurrence. Fred has developed high tech sensors to monitor temperature and variations as well as manually walking the vineyard every day. He seems to be the Pinot Noir “vine whisperer”. Fred is the ultimate steward of this 43 acre parcel with Pinot Clones planted on 35 acres. This is his 16th harvest.
During the tasting of St Rose Winery Pinot’s which was hosted by Wendy who was calmly quiet and so hospitable, they made a perfect “yin and yang” couple. The Pinot’s possessed a spicy cherry aroma, and then on the palate, a light vanilla trace. As Fred stated he has perfected the balance in the vineyard for a delightful sipping Pinot. Now the real kicker—this small family winery, highly rated, sells their Ten Block for $38 (2012) and $44 (2014)! With so little production, order some of this great Pinot today.
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