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|Owner(s)||Alex Davis, George Davis|
|Link to this site|
Porter Creek Vineyards Porter Creek has a long history in the Russian River Valley, dating to 1978 when George Davis bought 40 acres of land adjacent Porter Creek on Westside Road near Macmurray Ranch. Pinot Noir plantings date to 1974 on the site. Porter Creek is one of the major tributaries to the Russian River. Porter Creek Burgundian and Rhone wines developed a loyal cult following over the years, but the winery has never achieved widespread notoriety. The estate is planted to both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
George Davis made the wines from the first vintage in 1982 until 1997, when his son, Alex Davis, at the age of 26, took on that role. Alex has a degree in enology from California State University at Fresno and spent several years in France at such renowned wineries as Christophe Roumier, Bernard Michelot and Marcel Guigal.
The winemaking style employs natural fermentation exclusively, discreet use of new oak for elevage, and an emphasis on channelling terroir into the finished wines. The wines are not like the typical modern style of Pinot Noir, but more reserved, nuanced, and age-worthy.
Alex oversaw replanting of some of the vineyard with an emphasis on Pommard and Wadenswil clones. All estate vineyards are certified organic and Demeter biodynamic.
The wines are sold through a mailing list and by direct inquiry (707-433-6321). Beyond Pinot Noir there are Carignane, Chardonnay, Syrah, Viognier and Zinfandel.
2018 Porter Creek Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., $40. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of dark cherry, red rose petal, earthy flora, warm croissant and a rub of oak. Glorious Bing cherry core with a hint of strawberry and oak. Juicy, with modest tannins. Easy to drink now, but lacks a little mid-palate and finishing richness. Score: 91. Reviewed August 22, 2021 ARTICLE »
2017 Porter Creek Fiona Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., $52. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Earthbound aromas of dark chocolate, black cherry, blackberry jam and root beer. Plenty of body and weight with good mid-palate presence. Flavors of blueberry, black cherry and blackberry with a touch of dark chocolate framed by a firm backbone of tannin and a bit of oak. The fruit really hangs on at the finish which is marked by slight alcoholic heat. Score: 92. Reviewed August 22, 2021 ARTICLE »
2017 Porter Creek Winegrower’s Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., $65. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy but redeeming aromas of Bing cherry, spice, and cola. Very sleek in the mouth, featuring black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors framed by firm tannins. A little rustic, rugged and reserved at present, with the fruit only peaking out. A serious wine with long-term potential. More appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle but the tannins remained a bit daunting. Score: 93. Reviewed August 22, 2021 ARTICLE »
2017 Porter Creek Hillside Vineyard - Old Vine Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
12.7% alc., $72. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, raspberry coulis and spice cabinet. Mid-weight in style, offering plenty of enjoyable black cherry, raspberry, and cola flavors with a bit of umami and a dusting of oak. There are some tannins but they are not intrusive. The juicy finish is particularly enjoyable with good cut. A somewhat demure, interesting wine that excites with signature Pinot Noir character. Noticeably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed August 22, 2021 ARTICLE »
2016 Porter Creek Hillside Vineyard - Old Vine Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
12.9% alc., $72. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of Bing cherry, baking spice and red rose petal. A delicious infusion of dark cherry goodness with a hint of cola greets the palate. Impeccable harmony with very fine-grain tannins and a welcome nerve of acidity. Mid-weight in richness, endlessly gentle, with a refreshing finish that leaves you wanting more. The wine holds up beautifully over time in the glass predicting age-worthiness. Porter Creek is one of the most under-the-radar producers of ultra premium Pinot Noir in California. Score: 95. Reviewed August 27, 2020 ARTICLE »
2012 Porter Creek Fiona Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., $46. From a steep, hillside vineyard situated on Westside Road at the entrance to Porter Creek with a southern aspect. The hard clay top soil with fractured stone bedrock stresses the vines. Farming is Demeter Certified Biodynamic®. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Charming aromas of red fruits, spice, herbs and sousbois. Impeccably balanced with discreetly concentrated flavors of cherry, strawberry and pomegranate accented with a note of savory herbs. Elegant with vibrant acidity and impressive length on the dried cherry finish. This is not your typical Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and would be easily mistaken for a Coté de Beaune Burgundy. A connoisseur’s wine. Score: 93. Reviewed October 6, 2014 ARTICLE »
2009 Porter Creek Fiona Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $36. Vineyard established in 1982 by the George Davis family on a steep hillside along Westside Road at the entrance to Porter Creek. Made with biodynamic grapes. · Moderate reddishpurple hue in the glass. An interesting wine made in the French style and quite distinct from many Pinot Noirs currently produced from the Russian River Valley. Aromas of cherries, summer herbs, grass and verbena. Elegant and light in weight, yet offering pleasing cherry flavor with considerable length and intensity on the cherry-driven finish. Unusual spice accents add interest. The wine possesses plenty of svelte tannins for the long haul. A distinctive and interesting wine with a true expression of terroir. Very good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2006 Porter Creek Russian River Valley Estate Bottled Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., $32. · Intriguing notes of cherries, brier, sage, sawdust and oak on the nose. Earth-kissed black cherry core with grippy tannins that currently overwhelm the fruit. Improves in the glass over time indicating that decanting or further aging is advised. Hard to put my finger on it, but this wine just doesn’t excite now. Decent (+). Reviewed October 29, 2009 ARTICLE »
2005 Porter Creek Hillside Vineyard Old Vine Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., $59. · Slight brickish color to the rim. Aromas of red fruits, sawn wood, matchstick and wintergreen. Moderately light array of redder fruits with a hint of oak-derived root beer, a noticeable tannic backbone, and vibrant acidity lifting the finish. Showing charming restraint, very tasty and holding up beautifully. Still good the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »