Joseph Swan Russian Winery River Valley
This is the oldest established winery in the Russian River. It was founded by the original owner, Joe Swan, Lynn Berglund’s father in 1967. Four decades later the wines reflect the history of the property and are both traditional and characterful. Pinot Gris is rich and honeyed with a firm mineral structure, the fruit will take 2 or 3 years to open out.
Zinfandel comes from both the Russian River and Sonoma Valley and is characterful, well priced if generally very ripe in style. The example from the Stellwagen Vineyard is round and full with sweet fruit dominating the mid palate. The Mancini Ranch is a touch lighter with a leafy, peppery component. Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Noir is gamey and quite Burgundian in style. No doubt some of its complexity coming from the six different clones planted in the vineyard. The Trenton Estate home vineyard is a fine source for both Syrah and Pinot Noir.
The Syrah is dark and peppery with a firm structure, while the Pinot is rich and shows lovely ripe strawberry fruit and an underlying truffly character. Although the reds are generally accessible on release, the Pinots and particularly Syrah will benefit from 3 or 4 years of further ageing. (DM)
To find out more about Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard Alexander Valley and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide to California North Coast..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines. (DM)