Hartford Court Pinot Noir Arrendell Vineyard 2013
RP97: Absolutely magnificent and probably the candidate for my favorite of all these Pinot Noirs is the 2013 Pinot Noir Arrendell Vineyard from the Russian River. This is one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in Northern California, planted in 1975 with the Martini clone. The wine struggles to ripen, according to Don Hartford, and is picked after Halloween in most vintages. Aged in 44% new French oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered, the wine has an opaque ruby/purple color and a gorgeous nose of sassafras, sweet sherry liqueur, black raspberries and floral notes with background forest floor and underbrush. Intense, full-bodied and made from tiny yields of just over a half-ton of fruit per acre, this prodigious and world-class Pinot Noir should drink nicely for 10-15 years.