2021 Balverne Pinot Noir

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The Winery

(Photo Balverne website)

Bob and Renee Stein purchased the 710-acre Russian River Valley estate that included a working vineyard in 1992. The Steins vision was to create a sustainable property and they called it Notre Vue Estate. They developed the property keeping 350 acres in a protected Forever Wild open space. This acreage weaved with the vineyards combined rugged wildland and wildlife with the manicured vineyards.

This accomplished their ideal view and called it Notre Vue (our view).

(Photo Balverne website)

The resulting effort is 250 acres of rolling vineyards and the “Forever Wild” protected space. This includes 17 miles of hiking and biking trails with picnicking areas throughout. Horseback riding trails also exist. Their label shows a red shoulder Hawk which roam the area. Thus their motto is the reason they consider Forever Wild to be the heart of the Notre Vue Estate.

Their goal with their winemaker, is focused on making wine in a European style with finesse and low intervention. Their current offerings with the Balverne label include Zinfandel, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, a few different Chardonnay’s, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Under their Notre Vue label, they have various Rose’s, Chardonnay’s, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a few red blends.

The Wine – 2021 Pinot Noir

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

This wine on the eyes was a semi-translucent light and bright red in the glass. On the nose, aromas of strawberry were predominate. On the palate, the ripe strawberries burst vividly in the mouth with secondary flavors of cranberry and cherries. The finish was a bit abrupt, but sufficient to enjoy each inviting sip. The finish was on the smoother side of tartness with rounded and caressing tannins. Only 388 cases were produced from their Russian River Valley property. It was aged in 25% new French barrels for nine months. Alcohol level is 14% and used clones 667, 459, 114 and 115 picked from their vineyard.

The Food and Wine Pairing

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Chose this wine to pair with a pork chops this evening. Pork chops are a good match for Pinot Noir as goes well with lean cuts like pork chops. Pork Chop’s neutral flavor pairs well with wines that are light but offer sufficient amount of fruit forwardness. The pork chops were seasoned and skillet cooked. Accompanied by roasted Brussel Sprouts, drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar, Stove Top dressing and a fresh garden salad. The pairing was very good as the Pinot Noir completely surround the seasoned pork chop.

As an aside, this was the second bottle we opened, it was another vintner not Balverne, as the other way too sweet with little “typical” Pinot Noir characteristics. It went down the drain, but we were very pleased with the 2021 Balverne Pinot Noir.






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