Rugged and remote, yet majestic Anderson Valley in Mendocino County is said to produce some of the very best Pinot Noir. Driving over the windy, high-banked two lane Highway 128 from Cloverdale, I was in hot pursuit of the most revered Pinot Noir.
Imagine my bewilderment when I stepped out on the patio of the Goldeneye Winery ~ acres of impeccably groomed picnic grounds led down to the path of the Confluence Vineyard set amongst a majestic backdrop of towering redwoods and steep rolling hills.
Goldeneye Winery is perfectly situated in the heart of the Anderson Valley adjacent to the headwaters of the Navarro River, which run through the redwoods down to the Pacific Ocean. Pinot Noir thrives in this unique marine-influenced climate, with long, mild sunny summer days and cool foggy mornings.
Goldeneye‘s vineyards were some of the first in California to achieve sustainable certification through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. To read more about sustainable farming:
The seated hosted tasting was beyond amazing, with seven different Pinots from the four estate vineyards encompassing over 200 acres. I was truly in Pinot heaven….
From left to right, Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley to the coast of Mendocino was poured, all so different, and all so lovely, each pour intensified the characteristics of the Pinot Noir grape. Very entrancing! Very enticing!
While it was difficult to select just one “must have” Pinot to add to my growing collection, I opted for the 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Confluence Vineyard, the proverbial velvet fist in an iron glove kind of Pinot ~ hearty Santa Rosa Plum, red currant and raspberry, toasty vanilla infusion with hints of supple leather mingling with exotic spices of cardamom, cinnamon and anise.
Winemaker Michael Fay eloquently sums the Goldeneye Pinots best ~
“My goal isn’t to speak for the wines, it is to allow the wines to speak for themselves, so that their essential Anderson Valley-ness shines through.”