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Thomas George Estates

Owner(s) Baker Family
Web site www.thomasgeorgeestates.com
 
Link to this site
Thomas George Estates

The former Davis Bynum Winery and estate vineyards were acquired by the Baker family of Toronto, Canada who had longed to enter the wine business. Jeremy Baker is directing the renovation and refurbishing of the winery, tasting room and vineyards. Jeremy Baker was involved in the restaurant wine importing business in Toronto before taking the reigns as President of the new winery.

The exterior and interior of the old winery have been updated and new winemaking equipment, including a basket press and stainless steel fermenters, have been installed for the 2008 vintage. The winery is being expanded to allow all grape processing and winemaking to be under roof. Initially production will be about 5,000 cases annually, increasing in a few years to 16,000 cases per year.

The tasting room is being completely upgraded, yet still retaining its original location and some of its country charm. The 20-acre estate Lindley’s Knoll Vineyard is undergoing revitalization with replanting of 10 acres under the direction of noted viticulturist Ulises Valdez. Eventually the estate vineyard will consist of 24 acres of Pinot Noir and 4 acres of Chardonnay. A small Viognier vineyard is being planted along the entrance road to the winery. New landscaping is creating attractive outdoor picnic areas. The Bakers have purchased the 26-acre Starr Ridge Vineyard on Windsor Road and the 14-acre Cresta Ridge Vineyard in the Green Valley appellation, both premium sources of Pinot Noir. Contracts with several growers such as Windsor Oaks Vineyard will supply further grapes.

Gary Farrell and Guy Davis (Davis Family Vineyards) were on site to consult initially. The inaugural winemaker, Chris Rossi, is a University of California Davis graduate who recently left an eight year stint as winemaker at Christopher Creek. He has a background in vineyard management as well as winemaking. Like the Bakers, he also is young and energetic and I like what he accomplished here. Some wine was made in 2007 by a different winemaker, but the wines from subsequent vintages became better with each vintage and the wines are now competitive with the pantheon of iconic Westside Road producers. In 2013, Cabell Coursey, formerly an associate winemaker at Kosta Browne Wines, became the new winemaker

Russi left after bottling the 2012 vintage in July of 2013 and was replaced by Kosta Browne alum Cabell Coursey. coursey joined Kosta Browne in 2012 after working as a winemaker and viticulturist at Alder Springs Vineyard. He has worked in wineries in Oregon's Willamette Valley and New Zealand.

Thomas George Estates is the only winery on Westside Road to have caves for barrel storage. Tastings and events are also hosted in the caves. The grounds and tasting room are very inviting. On site cottages are available for rental.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Backbone Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Very fragrant showing hi-tone scents of dark plums and spice. Relatively soft in the mouth with a savory herb theme evident. Undeveloped, with acid to the forefront. Reserve judgment at this early stage. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Dexter’s Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

24-year-old vines. Clones 2A, Martini, Swan, Pommard and Dijon. · Very fragrant with hi-tone aromas of sous-bois and spice. Delicious core of black cherry and spiced plum fruit finishing with flourish and a good cut of acidity. Soft as a baby’s bottom in the mouth. Crazy good. Very good (+). Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

240 cases. Multiple clones, newer plantings. · Ripe strawberry aromas with spice. Very soft and richly fruited with flavors of dark red and black berries, black cherries, black grapes and cola. Well-crafted with nicely managed firm tannins and acidity. Very good. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas George Estates Cresta Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

The nose features dark fruits, compost and floral notes. Opens slowly in the glass, revealing middleweight flavors of fresh black cherries, dark berries, dark plum with a savory bent. The most tannin now in the lineup and will benefit from further aging. Offers impressive finishing length. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas George Estates Estate Blend Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

40% Cresta Ridge Vineyard, less Baker Ridge Vineyard. · Dark in color, with effusive aromas of Bing cherries, cola, oak spice and baking spice. Solid core of fresh cherry fruit, moderately rich in energy, with balanced tannins and noticeable oak. Flavors of rhubarb and red raspberry add interest. Still young but very promising. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas George Estates Starr Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

352 cases. Clones 114, 777, 115 and Pommard. · Enticing aromas of plum, black cherry, spice and stem. The fruit flavors echo the nose with added accents of dark chocolate, cola and fennel. Good. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Windsor Oaks Vineyard Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

13.8% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.68, 465 cases, $25. A warm site in the eastern portion of the Russian River Valley. Whole cluster pressed, fermented cold for three weeks, racked off the lees and aged in stainless steel until bottled. No MLF. · Light yellow color in the glass. Aromas of grilled peaches, lemon custard, and new mowed hay. Very engaging on the palate with flavors of apple, white peach, citrus, gooseberry and vanillin. Slightly creamy with faint tannins and a dry finish sporting a lively cut of acidity. Very good. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Blanc

14.0% alc., pH 3.20, 190 cases, $27. Whole cluster pressed to tank, fermented and aged in stainless steel with no malolactic conversion. · Straw color in the glass. Attractive aromas of white peaches, exotic flowers and green apples. Pleasingly dry and crisp with flavors of peaches, pears, honey and roasted nuts. A pleasant change from Chardonnay. Serve slightly chilled as a refreshing aperitif. Good. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Blanc

14.0% alc., pH 3.2, TA 0.63, 190 cases, $27. Hand harvested and whole cluster presserd to tank, fermented cold for 17 days. Racked off the lees and aged in stainless steel until bottled. No MLF. · Straw yellow color in the glass. I enjoyed this wine for its restraint and charm. It offers an array of aromas and flavors including baked apple, pear, honey, and hazelnuts. A tiny bit of tannin gives the wine traction and the finish is crisp and refreshing. Good (+). Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.6% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.60, 740 cases, $34. A blend from Cresta Ridge and Starr Ridge vineyards (78%) and Floodgate Vineyard (22%). Whole cluster pressed and racked to 90% French oak barrels (20% new) and 10% to stainless steel drums. MLF was inhibited at 30%. The lees were stirred for the first four months, then allowed to settle. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon curd, biscuit, cut grass, and lees. Bright flavors of baked pear, lemon peel, and marzipan. A solid wine that will work nicely as an aperitif or a companion at the dinner table. Good (+). Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,280 cases, $38. To be released March 1, 2011. 100% estate fruit, clones 777, Pommard, 114, and 115. Aged 11 months in 31% new French oak barrels. · A nose to die for featuring bright aromas of black cherries, raspberries and Asian 5-spice. Delicious black cherry bombast with a hint of clove and earthiness. The hedonistic flavors are intense and persistent, and enrobed gently in fine-grain tannins. Plenty to like in this medium-framed wine that is très Russian River. This wine is a definite step up from the 2008 vintage bottling. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Starr Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.6% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.62, 345 cases, $38. A blend of clones 95 and 96. Fermented in 100% French oak barrels (20% new) with lees stirring for four months. MLF inhibited at 20%. · Light straw yellow color in the glass. The nose is clean and pure, with a perfume of baked apple pie, crushed wet stones and a hint of caramelized oak. Refined and smooth on the palate, with a flavor core of pears, baking spice, cocoa powder, roasted almonds and a touch of grapefruit peel on the finish. A refined, sophisticated offering. Very good. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.84, TA 0.587, 1,280 cases, $40. A blend from the three estate vineyards featuring clones 777, Pommard, 114 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, 16 day fermentation with daily punch downs, tanks drained and skins pressed via a basket press, aged on the lees for 11 months in 31% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Glorious aromas of Bing cherries, black raspberries, spice and complimentary toasty oak make you want to hug the glass. Medium weight flavors of black cherry and cola with a touch of clove offer plenty of intensity, yet the wine remains light on its feet. Nicely balanced with impressive length on the finish. The epitome of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Sparkling Brut Rosé Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

12.5%, 90 cases, $50. 100% Dijon clone 115 from Starr Ridge Vineyard picked at 19.5º brix the first part of August. · This inaugural sparkling wine release is one of only a handful of sparklers made by Russian River wineries. The pink salmon robe is attractive, the fine bead is welcoming, and the strawberry, citrus and candied cherry flavors are alluring. The wine is crisp and clean with an uplifting and refreshing finish that draws one back to the glass. Will work beautifully both as a celebratory event wine and a fashionable table wine. Very good. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Backbone Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

64 cases, $60. Martini clone. · A composty, savory wine with plenty of dark fruit aromas and flavors including currants and raisins. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.60, 186 cases, $60. From 8 acres of older block planted over 20 years ago. Four clones on three different exposure and soil sites. 100% de-stemmed, monthly batonage for first six months. Aged 11 months in 37% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued but pleasing aromas and flavors of dark red cherries and berries, nicely spiced and highlighted with subtle toasty oak. Not as extracted as the Russian River Valley blend, but more seductive with subtle layers of flavor slowly revealing themselves over time in the glass. Impressive finishing strength and length. Much better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and still great two days later. Decant if you pull the cork now. A feast. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Cresta Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

401 cases, $60. This estate vineyard is located in Green Valley. · Opens slowly in the glass, revealing a luxurious perfume of blackberries and blueberries. Richly fruited with layers of black and blue fruits, backed by firm tannins. An intense, age worthy wine. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Starr Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

405 cases, $60. The warmest of the three estate vineyards located in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley. · Forward and drinking beautifully now with plenty of pleasing black cherry, rhubarb and dark strawberry fruit underlain with spice. Elegant with lively acidity. Very good. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.64, 719 cases, $38. 55% clone 115, 32% 459, 13% 828 from Bush Family Vineyard and Windsor Oaks Vineyard. Aged in 38% new French oak barrels. · Nicely composed aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and berries, and cola and with gossamer tannins. A solid, very drinkable wine. Good. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas George Estates Campbell Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.50, 336 cases, $48. The Campbell Ranch Vineyard is located near the town of Annapolis in the true Sonoma Coast. Clone 777. Aged 18 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · The aromas and flavors are more savory than fruity with a hint of tar evident. Well-endowed with plenty of tannic backbone. Needs time to open. Decent. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 186 cases, $55. A blend of all blocks in the vineyard including 55% Dijon, 25% Swan, 15% Pommard and 5% Wädenswil clones. Aged in 37% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Scent of dark cherries and berries with hints of violets, wet leaf, marzipan and raisin. Rich and ripe, with fullflavored array of dark fruits including black currants with hints of cola and spice. Soft and silky in the mouth. Veers to the ripely flavored side. Good (+). Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas George Estates Lancel Creek Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.59, 478 cases, $55. This vineyard is farmed by Ulises Valdez. 48% Pommard and 52% 777. Aged in 39% new French oak barrels. · Brooding aromas of plum sauce, cigar box and graham. The flavor in this wine strikes a chord with me. I liken it to a black cherry dark chocolate truffle without the sugar. Hearty but silky tannins support the generous dark fruits leaving a smooth impression on the palate as the finish lingers on and on. Very good (+). Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Vineyard Backbone Block Russian River Valley Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.58, 60 cases, $65. Baker Ridge is located up an adjacent hill from the winery, at an altitude of 280 feet. This wine is sourced from a Martini clone block planted in 1990 by Davis and Hampton Bynum. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. The wine offers a bright array of aromas with staying power in the glass including scents of berry jam, spice and subtle oak. Charming core of perfectly ripened cherry and berry fruits with a hint of brown spice set off by bright acidity and caressed by firm but abiding tannins. Impeccable balance for the long haul. Very classy juice. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »