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Melanie's Wine Reviews,Wine

Melanie’s Wednesday Wines ~ October 24, 2007


Melanie Hoffman

Davis Bynum wines have always been some of my favorites. My husband, Heath Hoffman, previously made several award winning wines for the Bynums. He actually wooed me with many of their Russian River Pinot Noirs. A very flavorful courting, I must say. Heath taught me the meaning of “iron fist in a velvet glove” Pinot Noirs from the Russian River Valley. Recently Davis Bynum sold the brand name, but that hasn’t stopped the Bynum family from producing excellent wines.

I visited my good friend Lindley Bymun and she shared wine from their second label with me, River Bend Ranch.

River Bend Ranch is an affordable line of wines with excellent flavor. All of the wines are $30.00 and under, and most are in the $12.00 to $16.00 price point.

River Bend Ranch, 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, $12.00 ~ Screw Cap, Yes! Aromas of lemon custard and cantaloupe melon, with a hint of rosemary in the back end of the nose. Fruit forward flavors. Palate follows nose with more lemon and melon, added key-lime mid-palate that evolves into a blood orange finish. An easy sipper, a hot tubbing kind of wine.

River Bend Ranch, 2005 Chardonnay, Foppoli Vineyard, $18.00 ~ Smells of fall in the glass, a medley of fruit and spice. Bouquet opens with Crisp Granny Smith apple and Bosc pear, added notes of vanilla crème and nutmeg envelop the senses. My reaction at first sip, “Oh! That’s tasty!” Fresh clean palate featuring more apples and pears, well balance wine with a long tasty finish. I am not a huge Chardonnay fan, but this is just a nice Chard.

River Bend Ranch, 2002 Pinot Noir, Estate Grown, Russian River Valley, $28.00 ~ Bright nose of fresh plums and juicy black cherries with suggestions of anise in the back of the bouquet. An earthy and enjoyable nose. Palate follows nose with more jammy cherries and plums. Bright fruit flavors, nice tannins, and a lingering finish.

River Bend Ranch, 2004 Syrah $16.00 ~ Rich nose of leather and smoke, added plumy aromas and a certain meaty quality. Palate features more full bodied plum flavors. Toasty oak and nice tannins round out the palate with a full long finish of boysenberry jam.

River Bend Ranch, 2005 Zinfandel $16.00 ~ Aromas of blackberry and raspberry upfront in the nose. Toasty oak and vanilla mid-bouquet with an espresso and dark cocoa finish. Palate is long and juicy. Mulberry flavors roll over the tongue with more espresso essence in the palate. Sweet oak and hints of pipe tobacco. Finish of raspberry jam and vanilla.

River Bend Ranch, 2002 Malbec Port, $30.00 ~ Bouquet offers cassis, molasses and crème brulee. Palate is not too sweet, about a 3% residual sugar, just enough. Flavors of white chocolate covered blackberries, with added anise and blueberries in the finish.

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