Alysian is a small boutique producer headed up by veteran California Pinot Noir producer Gary Farrell. After selling his very successful "Gary Farrell" label in 2004, he decided to return to producing small lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley under the "Alysian" label.
The Floodgate Vineyard is located in the heart of Russian River Valley’s coveted Pinot Noir sub-appellation known as the Middle Reach. Rock Hill (Block 16) is a tiny block planted in 2000 on one of the rockiest knolls on the property.
On the nose I get beautiful aromas of black cherry pie, baking spice, cola, raspberry-créme, and only the slightest hints of soil and mineral. The wine opens up in the glass beautifully and becomes savory and almost "edible" in nature. "Spicy Berry pie" is my best descriptor.....
On the palate the wine expresses flavors of ripe black cherry, red currant, red raspberry, and black plum. There are also some secondary notes of vanilla bean, baking spice, mineral, and toasted oak (very subtle). The wine finishes with precision from it's balanced acidity, and lingers nicely on the palate showing some really nice cherry and red plum notes.
This wine is elegant, fresh, and delicious, and in my honest opinion is a step up in quality from the cuveé called "Russian River Selection" that I had previously gave a 90 point score. It's just a touch more ripe and delicious, and perhaps shows a bit more focus. 92 points
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