Vineyard: Amber Ridge

AppellationRussian River Valley
StoryThis 31-acre vineyard is situated adjacent to Gary Farrell’s Star Ridge Vineyard west of Windsor in the upper part of the Russian River Valley’s middle reach. The vineyard is on a rolling hill in an area characterized by early morning fog that burns off mid to late morning when the warm afternoon sun and cool winds arrive. Clones 115, 667 and 777. The vineyard was acquired by Nickel & Nickel in Napa (Far Niente) for 4.1 million dollars ($130,000 per acre) in 2007. This is the highest price ever paid for Russian River Valley acreage. Nickel & Nickel plans to make Syrah and honor the vineyard's existing contracts with Dain, Kosta Browne, Siduri and Sonnet.
VarietiesChardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2010 Armanino Family Cellars The Whitewing Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.1% alc., $55. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright and inviting aromas of fresh black cherries, black raspberries, black grapes and oak spice. Full-bodied flavors echo the nose with added nuances of dark chocolate, cola and oak. Creamy in the mouth with reserved tannins, finishing with a black cherry theme. Good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Joelle Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $39. Crafted under the direction of Chris Winslow. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Bright scent of crushed red berries with a touch of forest floor and barnyard. Soft and appealing on the palate with a delicious core of mixed Pinot fruits, supple tannins, and a pleasing hint of oak on the generous and persistent finish. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 423 cases, $72. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing and long aromas of black cherries with hints of warm brioche. Delicious and lush on the palate with expressive flavors of big, ripe cherries and the freshest raspberries, growing more vivid in the mouth over time. Complimentary notes of baking spice add interest. Very polished in the mouth with peach-skin tannins and a texture that is soft as the hair on an angel. Pin point balance, regal presence, and just plain great. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc.. · This wine is showing plenty of oak at present and will need time. Darker Pinot fruits are featured with savory and earthy underpinnings. Good. Reviewed April 9, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Furthermore Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.66, 75 cases, $39.95. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Aged 12 months in 33% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Restrained but pleasing aromas of strawberries, red raspberries, red cherries, dark chocolate and a hint of barnyard. A charming wine that needs time to open. The red ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit is seductive, accented by pleasing notes of cherry cola, spice and mocha. Impressive aromatic persistence on the finish. Of the three wines, this one evolves more in the glass, is more nuanced, has the most pinotosity, and is the one I prefer. Very good (+). Reviewed September 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Waits-Mast Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 25 cases, $44. Released April 2010. Clones 115, 667 and 777. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 12 months in 33% new French oak. · Unusual aromatics starting off with scents of wine cave and oak toast progressing to aromas of gingerbread and roasted tomato without any fruit evident. Tasty core of dark ripe cherries and cassis with a brown spice and roasted fruit tone. Smooth in the mouth with supple tannins. Big discrepancy between the nose and flavors may resolve with more time in the bottle. Decent. Reviewed June 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Siduri Wines Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 147 cases, $45. · The nose on this wine is restrained and delicate at this stage showing aromas of black cherries and baked bread. Once you take a sip of this beauty, you are quickly seduced. Delicious flavor core of Bing cherries, pastry dough, cola and a touch of oak and an exotic spice note in the background. Great fruit intensity on the mid palate. The tannins are very supple making this very drinkable now. Silky, sensual and impeccably balanced, this wine sports the prettiest fruit in the lineup. Reviewed April 9, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.56, $72. Located in Windsor, this vineyard is planted in Goldridge and sandy clay loam soils. Clones 667, 115 and 777. · Subdued, but pleasant scent of redder cherries and berries. Soft and elegant on the palate with mild tannins and a modest charge of strawberry and cherry flavor on the finish. Lacks the pop of flavor of the other KB wines in this vintage, seemingly shallow in comparison, and deficient in finishing intensity. Good. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.60, 727 cases, $72. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Owned by Nickel & Nickel Winery and managed by Bacchus Vineyard Management. Located next to Gary Farrell’s Starr Ridge Vineyard. · Lacking aromatic interest but offering rich black cherry flavors and a pleasing soft texture. Couldn’t find a lot to rave about but a solid wine. Reviewed January 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Twin Oaks Cellars Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $42. His goal with this wine was to “craft a more Burgundian-style wine versus a “syrah-style” Pinot, and manage the acids to enable the wine to be approachable earlier, yet retain its food-friendliness. · Lighter ruby in color. I like the nose for its confected bright cherry aromas. The flavor profile is layered and complex featuring Bing cherry, herbs, vanilla, and subtle spices including cardamom.. Light and soft, very clean and invigorating. Not a “hulkster” wine by any means, rather more demure. Very easy to cozy up to and it shows off Pinot’s best side. It will continue to drink well for several years. Reviewed May 7, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Dain American Beauty Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $48. Dijon clones 115, 667. Aged in 50% new French oak. · Attractive aromatics featuring Bing cherry and wood spice. Red fruits and cola compose the taste track. Very soft and elegant with ample acidity. The aftertaste lingers with a woodsy bent. The fruits are a little shy at this point and more bottle age should change this. Reviewed January 20, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 724 cases. $68. Dijon clones 115, 667, and 777. Michael calls this vineyard a “canary in a coal mine,” meaning it varies significantly from vintage to vintage and stylistically can be light in some years, heady and rich in others. · Not as big and robust as the 2005 vintage. Earth imbibed black cherry and wild berry fruit with only moderate acidity and tannins. Nicely balanced. Reviewed July 19, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Twin Oaks Cellars Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $42. Young winemaker, Mark Weiner, learned his trade from Ed Kurtzman, Bill Brosseau, Brian Loring and Adam Lee. This first vintage was produced at Crush Pad in San Francisco. The clones include the three most popular Dijon varieties, 115, 667 and 777. · Bing cherry, strawberry, toast and Asian spice dominant the appealing aromatics. Red fruit driven, there is a touch of oak and pencil lead on the lively and slightly hot finish. Soft and smooth. A 2006 Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and a 2006 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir are available also. The wines are distributed in fine retail wine stores and may be order from the website. Reviewed October 20, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.1% alc., 510 cases, $62. Clones 115, 667 and 777. This vineyard is situated adjacent to Gary Farrell’s Star Ridge Vineyard in the upper part of the Russian River Valley’s middle reach. The vineyard is on a rolling hill in an area characterized by early morning fog that burns off mid to late morning when the warm afternoon sun and cool winds arrive. Clones 115, 667 and 777. · The least showy wine in the lineup - big, robust, dense and brooding. Dark cherry, coffee-infused flavors. Needs time to shed some of its mountainous fruit. Reviewed November 20, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »