Top-Rated California Pinot Noir from Tamber Bey Vineyards
Critics are discovering the charm of Tamber Bey’s 2021 UV Vineyard Pinot Noir, a true representation of the best that California has to offer. This wine recently received an impressive rating of 94 points from Wine Enthusiast!
In his review, Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast praised the wine’s fruit-driven flavor profile: “Red fruits like raspberries and sweet cherries meet dark plums and blueberries in this tempting, generous and broad-textured wine.” The wine’s smooth texture, velvety tannins, and seamless interplay of fruit and oak highlight the meticulous craftsmanship that went into its creation.
This beautiful Pinot Noir comes from the UV Vineyard in Sebastopol’s Russian River Valley. Planted in 2001, its name is an eponymous tribute to the great viticulturist Ulises Valdez, Sr. The mix of sandy and clay soil in this area helps grapes ripen without excessive water stress in summer.
Tamber Bey Winemaker Sally Johnson Blum describes this wine as a classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: “Layered, dense and lush, the pedigree of this site shines not only in its aroma and flavor profiles but in its beautiful texture. It is both powerful and elegant, with a pure core of sweet fruit balanced with enough tension and lift to make this enjoyable now but also built to age. Aromas deliver ripe dark cherry, cola, candied orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg. Flavors of dark cherry cola, blood orange, candied orange peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg intermingle on the palate. This is a textural wine with lush, ripe tannins; fruit; and oak intermingling exquisitely. It delivers a sweet core but finishes with great acidity and length.”
The UV Vineyard Pinot Noir was one of three new Pinots released by Tamber Bey. Along with the Radian Vineyard Pinot Noir and the Mes Filles Vineyard Pinot Noir, the trio represents an elevation of Tamber Bey’s Signature Collection portfolio.
“When we released our very first Pinot Noir, the 2012 vintage from the Sun Chase Vineyard of the Sonoma Coast AVA (Petaluma Gap), we were entering into unknown territory,” says Tamber Bey Vintner Barry Waitte. “After all, we were known for our Bordeaux varietals and blends. Right out of the gate, this wine put us on the map. We followed that success by producing two additional Sonoma Coast Pinots from the Walala Vineyard and Rancho Coyote Vineyard. Although we ceased producing these three wines with the 2019 vintage, they are still available in small quantities as library wines. The 2020 fires resulted in a skip in vintage, but also an opportunity to elevate our Pinot Noir program by sourcing even better fruit from these storied vineyards.”
Adds Johnson Blum, “Our vineyard-designate Pinot Noir program provides an elegant counterpoint to our Cabernet Sauvignon- and Bordeaux varietal-driven program. These lovely wines are sourced from exceptional vineyards within a diverse range of sites. I love how each wine is a thoughtful representation of place – each wine is authentic but remains distinctive and unique.”