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Grape Spotlight: Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Through Crosby Roamann

By Winecompass
The illustrious Anderson Valley is located in the rolling hills of the northern California coastal region of Mendocino County, 110 miles northwest of San Francisco. It is the wine country we all used to know – approachable, intimate, uncrowded, and primarily owner-operated. -- Anderson Valley Wines

The Anderson Valley AVA encompasses a very narrow, low lying region situated ten miles from the Pacific and at the very northern end of California's prime winegrowing area. It is only one mile wide and 15 miles long covering approximately 57,600 acres (23,300ha) of vines. It is amongst the coolest of California's wine regions where the valley is positioned to allow ocean breezes and fog to cool the area. Rain is plentiful, particularly in the cooler months of November through to March. These conditions forced early commercial wineries into planting Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Riesling where in 1982, these three grapes accounted for 400 of the 582 acres then planted.  However, during the next decade and into the new millennium, growers increasingly experimented with Pinot Noir clones and soon that variety became a dominant force within the AVA. These clones could ripen reliably in the cool Anderson Valley climate particularly during it's hot days and cold nights.  

Grape Spotlight: Anderson Valley Pinot Noir through Crosby Roamann

Crosby Roamann is a Napa Valley with an estate in Los Carneros but that also source's grapes from a range of AVAs for their Single Vineyard label.  The winery was founded by vintners Sean and Juliana McBride who produced their first Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in 2007 at a custom crush facility. Soon Sean was working harvests at White Rock Vineyards and learning winemaking under Christopher Vandendriessche. He spent five years at White Rock while simultaneously making wine at Michael Mondavi’s FOLIO winery for three of these years. In 2015, the couple opened Crosby Roamann in the Crusher District with the estate in Los Carneros.

While sourcing fruit from other regions, the playfully "redub" the vineyard's name to reflect ancient and modern Irish girl names based on Sean’s Irish heritage and their twin daughters. For instance the "Fiadh" for the Fiadh Vineyard in Anderson Valley refers to an Irish girl's name meaning "wild" and "untamed".  This "one-acre block of Dijon Pinot Noir clones is just outside the town of Boonville on the south end of the valley – a warmer climate for Pinot. Biodynamically farmed, the vines grow in a wild yet zen spot on clay silt loam, and grapes are harvested in early September". 

The 2019 Fiadh Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley ($38) is a bright and medium bodied wine starting with a sweet cherry aroma with a bit of black pepper that leads to a pleasant herbaceous and dark cherry profile.  The oak influences of vanilla are present but allow the fruit to dominate.  The finish provides enough tannins and acidity to lift the wine and allow for a lingering finale. A very nice wine. 

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