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2008 Stephen Ross Chorro Creek Pinot Noir Duo

Pinot Noir • San Luis Obispo • Red Wine

Sale expired on March 25, 2012
Discover a Hidden Vineyard in This Beautiful Pinot

2 x 2008 Stephen Ross Chorro Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

Stephen Dooley is the man in the Edna Valley. But before you start imagining a big-headed winemaker with a funny accent sporting suede shoes, Italian denim and an enormous designer watch, know that by any measure the Edna Valley south of San Luis Obispo is a tiny, quiet wine region boasting barely a dozen wineries, and "the man" is not a self-appointed term. I'm calling him  read more...

2 x 2008 Stephen Ross Chorro Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

Stephen Dooley is the man in the Edna Valley. But before you start imagining a big-headed winemaker with a funny accent sporting suede shoes, Italian denim and an enormous designer watch, know that by any measure the EdnaRead more...

2 x 2008 Stephen Ross Chorro Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

Stephen Dooley is the man in the Edna Valley. But before youRead more...

2 x 2008 Stephen Ross Chorro Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

Stephen Dooley is the man in the Edna Valley. But before you start imagining a big-headed winemaker with a funny accent sporting suede shoes, Italian denim and an enormous designer watch, know that by any measure the Edna Valley south of San Luis Obispo is a tiny, quiet wine region boasting barely a dozen wineries, and "the man" is not a self-appointed term. I'm calling him "the man."

Steve is actually a mild-mannered Midwesterner who found himself drawn to the idea of winemaking at a young age and wound up transferring to the University of California, Davis, enology program after a couple years at college in Minnesota. Dooley gained extensive hands-on experience in the late 1970s and 1980s at Louis M. Martini winery, one of the early pioneers in Napa. He also spent time in the far reaches of the globe, from South Africa to Australia, before commencing a seven-vintage tenure at the helm of the Edna Valley Vineyard.

The switch from president and winemaker of a fairly large operation such as Edna Valley Vineyard to owner and winemaker of his own boutique winery, at one-tenth the size, is a significant one. While winemaking fundamentals remain the same, the smaller scale allows for more artistry and immediacy. Steve explained to me, "I'm the guy down there on the floor doing the work, not writing a work order. I can call an audible while we're working … you just can't do that on the large scale. I can fine-tune every little detail."

He's also able to work with spectacular parcels of fruit from tiny, interesting vineyard plots that are so small they would get lost in the pipes of a larger outfit. This Chorro Creek Pinot Noir hails from one such lot. "No one knows about this vineyard yet," Steve confided in me. About 3 miles from Morro Bay, this ocean-influenced vineyard has a cool climate, and grapes benefit from an exceptionally long hang time, producing wines of incredible complexity and balance. As always, the proof is in the pudding, and having consumed a couple of bottles myself, this wine is a sure winner by any account.

Tasting Note
Some wines are simple and delicious, while others are more cerebral. The 2008 Stephen Ross Chorro Creek Vineyard is one of those special wines that have both characteristics: you can drink it for sheer pleasure, or, if the mood presents itself, delve deep into the complexities unwinding in the glass. Displaying both finesse and richness, the Chorro Creek is a beautiful Pinot that has ripe, black cherry and raspberry aromas, accented with with spice, fresh flowers, and subtle oak nuances. Serve it with braised chicken, such as coq au vin.

—Eric Lawrence Brown

Eric Lawrence Brown has 10 years of wine experience, with five years as Sales Manager at renowned Los Angeles retailer, Wally’s Wine & Spirits. Since relocating from the East Coast eight years ago, this formerly devout Europhile was converted into an avowed proponent of the region as one of the world’s finest – thanks to frequent tasting expeditions to California’s Central Coast, not to mention proselytizing by local wine gurus. Eric holds certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers, as well as the Society of Wine Educators.

Wine Enthusiast
92

"A really nice Pinot Noir, rich and silky, with gentle tannins and fine, crisp acidity. It's delicately structured, but powerful in raspberry, rosehip tea, vanilla, spice and sandalwood flavors. An upscale wine that gets better as it breathes in the glass."
—Steve Heimoff (May 2011)

Winemaker Notes

2008 was indeed a year of extremes in the Central Coast ‒ there was spring frost, there was a short period in June when temperatures peaked above 100 degrees F, while a series of October freezes resulted in all-time lows in San Luis Obispo. Benefitting from the moderating effects of the Pacific Ocean, Chorro Creek was protected from much of that, and enjoyed a long, cool growing season, which is exactly what pinot noir flourishes in. Crop yields were slightly below average around 2 tons per acre. This is a late ripening vineyard resulting in wines with mature tannins and pronounced varietal flavors. It is a pretty wine with a deep garnet color and aromas similar to candied cherry, rhubarb, wild blackberry, spicy white pepper and forest floor. The textures are soft and voluptuous, with mild acidity and lingering fine tannins. 202 cases produced.

Stephen Ross Wine Cellars Website