Robert Larsen and me
A few weeks ago, I had an inquiry from one of my favorite PR folks, Robert Larsen of the Larsen Projekt to taste wines from Green Valley, an AVA I knew nothing about. Robert represents the trend of many of my friends who recently left the safe corporate world where he handled PR for Rodney Strong to represent small boutique wineries in Sonoma. If you know Robert, his passion and need to evangelize the word of Sonoma is fun to behold and aside from being an all-around good guy, he understands what a wine blogger needs to be successful.
Robert asked a few folks if we’d be interested in tasting a few wines from this AVA and provided a gift card to cover the cost to prepare a special pre-determined recipe to pair with it. I had to ask the chef in our family, my husband, as this recipe would have suffered in my non-cooking hands. Thankfully, Chef John stepped in to cook the Tri-Tip and we were on our way.
Green Valley is one of the smallest appellations in Sonoma County located on the Southwestern part of the Russian River Valley. It is self-marketed as the coolest, foggiest region of the Russian River Valley. The area is known for its distinctive soils, especially the Goldridge soil that is known for making extraordinary Pinot Noir wines. There are over 100 growers in the areas and while there are some well-known wineries like DeLoach Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield and Iron Horse Vineyards, there are many boutique treasures also waiting to be discovered. Because Green Valley is not well known, many producers choose to go with the Russian River Valley designation. This is the reason why the AVA officially changed its name to Green Valley of Russian River Valley Sonoma County. Marketing can be everything.
We tried three wines from three different vineyards to go with our meal.
2013 Sedition Pinot Noir Chenoweth Vineyards Green Valley of Russian River Valley Sonoma County
This wine completely makes me understand the magic of Goldridge soil. I tasted red fruit, herbs and earthiness. This was one of my new favorite Pinot Noirs that is incredibly hard to find, but worth the journey.
2013 Callow Cellars Magna Porcum Estate Pinot Noir Green Valley of Russian River Valley Sonoma County
Deep dark berry, cherry, spice and pure power in a glass. It’s a big Pinot with an inky red color, but is balanced in nature. I’d like to give it a few years and try it again.
2012 Scherrer Winery Syrah Calypso Vineyard Green Valley Sonoma County
This is a rich wine that begs for meat. It has notes of berry, lavender, herbs, earth and black pepper. On the website tasting note, it is described as “hedonism and nuance in equal measure.” Great description of what happened in my glass. The second day it was more nuanced and complex.
As for the Tri-Tip, which isn’t usually my typical dinner choice, it was a great match with the wines. As usual, I am lucky to have a husband who has a gift for cooking and served a meal that was a worthy match for these wines.