Athair Wines

Owner(s) Tom Keith, Jim McMahon
Web site
Link to this site

Athair means “father” in Irish Gaelic. The label is a collaboration between Tom Keith and his son-in-law, Jim McMahon. McMahon learned his winemaking at Kenwood Winery in Sonoma Valley, and subsequently at Luna Vineyards in Napa Valley where he is currently the assistant winemaker. Jim McMahon crafts the wines in memory of the fathers in his life.

Very nice example of Russian River Pinot Noir - not too light, not too big, just right. The wines are sold on the website with some retail distribution. 707-732-6896.

Reviewed Wines

2007 Athair Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 725 cases, $36, unreleased. Grapes sourced from Calegari Vineyard on Eastside Road and Lowe Vineyard on River Road. Aged in 30% new and 70% neutral French oak barrels. · Complex and appealing nose featuring aromas of Bing cherries, cardamon spice, a hint of oak, and a little good funkiness. Cherry-driven with an underpinning of cola and spice with a memorable persistence of cherry fruit on the finish. Nicely put together and a pleasure to drink. Very good. Reviewed October 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Athair Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 650 cases, $36. Athair means “father” in Irish Gaelic. Winemaker Jim McMahon crafts this wine dedicated to the fathers in his life. Sourced from three vineyards. 3-day cold soak, 8-day fermentation, aged in 25% new French oak barrels for 9 months, held in bottle for an additional 5 months before release. · Captivating aromas of cherries, sassafras, sandalwood, sage and oak. Ripe cherry and raspberry core with underlying hints of herbs and forest floor. The mouth-coating ripe tannins need some time to resolve. A very flavorful wine that is immensely satisfying. Decant now if you pop the cork and match with short ribs. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Athair Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 600 cases, $28. I wrote about this wine previously and praised it (PinotFile volume 6, Issue 31). This time around with the same wine I wasn’t as sold. · Attractive bottle with embossed label. Dark red-purple in color. Very nicely composed aroma profile of cherries, earth, and oak. Plenty of luscious dark fruits and spice, but encumbered by a woody aftertaste that persists despite lengthy air time. Very nice acidity for the table. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Athair Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 600 cases, $35. This wine is composed primarily of grapes from the Calegari Vineyard on Eastside Road in the Russian River Valley and the Cleary Ranch Vineyard in Freestone. The way-cool silk-screened bottle is unique for California Pinot Noir. · I will get to the point: flat-out terrific. Aromas of cherry, rhubarb, toast and cola keep your nose in the glass and flavors of cranberry, Bing cherry and vanilla keep you coming back for another sip. There is deft use of oak and the texture is velveteen. Harmonious and complete, this is the stuff that Russian River dreams are made of. Reviewed July 9, 2007 ARTICLE »

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