The 2009 Ritual was aged in 100% French oak barrels for a period of 12 months.
On the nose I get beautiful aromas of red raspberry, black cherry, red licorice, mineral, smoke, and toast. It has a very fruit-driven bouquet and reminds me a lot of the Pinot's made in the Russian River Valley. There's big and ripe red fruit here and my guess is that if you brought it to a blind tasting many would be fooled into believing that it was a Californian wine.
On the palate I get very round and delicious flavors of red raspberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, mineral, and subtle hints of oak and spice. The tannins are very soft, but they definitely play a role in the structure and base of the wine. I'm again amazed by the balance of acid, tannin, and fruit in these wines from the Casablanca Valley. To me it's as if they have been making premium Pinot Noir here for a century, when in all actuality the production of these small lot Pinot's is a relatively new concept for the country. 90+ points
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