Desmond Estate Vineyard ~ Hand Crafting Wines a Few Barrels at a Time

I first met the Desmond Estate Vineyard family about a month ago at The Sixth Annual Pinot on the River tasting. It was right in my back yard, as is the Desmond family. All of this is in Russian River Valley… a great place to live and work.

At the Grand Tasting, held at Rodney Strong Vineyard, I took my time to only taste wines from companies that I had never heard about. I wanted to connect with the new kids on the blog, because they’re so enthusiastic and wide-eyed. Everything is so brand new and exciting for some of them, and that’s what I was drawn to at this tasting.

Do you ever go to tastings with a specific agenda? If not, give it a try. Set your mind to do something very adventurous – like only tasting one variety, or only new vintners, or only wines with names that are between something like the letters “H” through “S,” or even just do an AVA tasting. Having a predetermined agenda takes you to places you wouldn’t ordinarily go, and will appreciably increase your wine knowledge.

I decided on that day to just take in the landscape for few minutes, and after having visited a few new wine companies, I needed to collect my thoughts. I also wasn’t quite sure which way to go. When I looked up, I found myself being welcomed by Danette Desmond, who had caught my eye. There stood a mother, daughter Stephanie, and father/husband Bill, all happy to be pouring their wine, as we all seemed to have a simultaneous break in the action. (Danette stepped out of this picture, allowing Stephanie and Bill to shine.)

Tasting their first release ever, with a total production of 80 cases (translated into three barrels of wine), this means that the wine was completely hand crafted, pampered, and nurtured. The family just stood there, so happy to be pouring Bill’s labor of love. Located on Starr Road in Russian River Valley, the position of their vineyard and a seasonal creek all makes for a pleasing visual corridor. A mixture of native oak and eucalyptus trees follow the waterway and the vines, which then comprised of a field blend of Dijon clones 115, 667, 777. This vineyard receives full sun throughout their growing season, but remember… They’re in Russian River Valley, a cooler climate zone and a perfect location for growing and producing Pinot Noir.

I tasted their 2007 Desmond Pinot Noir Russian River Valley. On that day, it was the first one where I tasted a hint of mint… Just a hint, mind you. When I mentioned it, Danette told me that I’m the first to have ever found that note, but I’m not surprised… If it’s there, I’ll find it, because I love mint. This one was chocolate chip mint cookies, as compared to all the others. Totally delicious. The color was right where I wanted it to be, as were the cherry flavors that were enhanced with violets and strawberries. $36.00

Now, Thanksgiving is on my doorstep, and Danette called to ask if she could drop off some wine, being the neighbors that we are. What a wonderful gift I was given. New to the wine world, the Desmonds obviously aren’t new to marketing, or this gesture wouldn’t have crossed their mind. As I sit here and prepare for Thanksgiving, I acknowledge my thankfulness for my new Russian River Valley friends… the Desmond family.

Technical Data for this beautifully crafted wine:

  • Vintage: 2007
  • Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Appellation: Russian River Valley
  • Harvest Date: September 8, 2007
  • Brix: 24
  • pH: 3.69
  • TA: 0.54g/100ml
  • Alc.: 13.8
  • Cooperage: 10 months
  • Bottle Date: July 30, 2008
  • Winemaker: Bill Robbins
  • Cases Produced: 80

This Desmond Estate Pinot Noir will voluptuously fill your mouth with all the right Pinot Noir flavors of Bing cherries and violets. It’s delicate, yet flavorful.

The lover of  a turkey’s dark meat that I am, I know that this Thanksgiving wine is going to be really enjoyed, once more. Considering how little time there is between now and Thursday, you should consider purchasing this wine for the December holiday season ahead… Unless you, too, live right here in Russian River Valley. You could give them a call and stop by to get your Pinot. [707-799-7449] or Email: info@desmondwines.com

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