2004 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Stiling Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.2% alc., 250 cases, $35. Label artist is Kevin Keul. The Stiling Vineyard was planted in the mid-1980s and is farmed by Don and Barbara Stiling. This wine is sourced from two different vineyard blocks, one on a hillside and one on the valley floor. The grapes are primarily Swan selection. 75% of the grapes were de-stemmed, but not crushed, and placed on top of the remaining 25% whole cluster fruit. The wine was aged for 14 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · The nose is outrageous featuring the scent of cherry pie with cinnamon ice cream. Oodles of fresh red berries and ripe plums with lovely spice accents cascade over the mouth like silk. Beautifully balanced despite the high alcohol. I usually shy away from Pinots with more than 15% alcohol, but this flamboyant sucker won me over. Really, really, really good. A feast. Reviewed May 22, 2006

Winery: Eric Kent Wine Cellars