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Far Niente launches Pinot Noir

Renowned Napa winery Far Niente has unveiled the first vintage of its new Russian River Valley Pinot Noir venture, EnRoute.

The inaugural 2007 vintage of the wine, called ‘Les Pommiers’, has been launched by Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries.

It will be offered to wine club members in late May and shipped to other customers in September.

The US$50 Pinot Noir is sourced from a few vineyards, including Manzana Ranch of Green Valley, owned by the Dutton family, and two vineyards, Amber Ridge and Graton, that the partners purchased in recent years.

While Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel are known mostly for Cabernet and Chardonnay, those labels have dabbled in Pinot Noir, and winemaker Dirk Hampson has worked in Burgundy and made Pinot Noir elsewhere in California.

‘Given how much we love Pinot Noir and how long we’ve been making some, It’s remarkable it took us this long to jump in,’ Hampson told decanter.com.

Hampson says his aim is to develop a consistent house style that has ripe red fruit and is still ‘translucent enough that you can see your fingers through the wine.’

Another notable Napa winery, Joseph Phelps, recently made a similar foray into Sonoma’s Russian River Valley in pursuit of Pinot Noir, with its Freestone Vineyards brand.

Written by Tim Teichgraeber in San Francisco

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