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Senior editor James Laube, Wine Spectator's expert on the wines of California, joined the magazine in 1983.
James Laube

A Stunning California Pinot Noir

Mueller Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Emily's Cuvée 2003

James Laube
Posted: August 18, 2009

The other night, while dining with a friend, I opened a 2003 Mueller Russian River Pinot Noir from Emily’s Vineyard from my cellar to go with seared ahi tuna, sautéed mushrooms and a tomato salad drizzled with olive oil and topped with buffalo mozzarella. The wine had earned a spot in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2006, coming it at number 54.

Dinner was great and the wine was stunning, exhibiting great finesse and complexity, offering about all you could imagine from a six-year-old Pinot. It had retained its youthful fruitiness and vibrancy—with fresh raspberry, cherry and plum—and ended with a mineral and spicy attribute. Six is a magic age for Pinot, and this bottling provided ample evidence of how well Pinots from Sonoma's Russian River appellation can age. I gave it 96 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Mueller Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Emily's Cuvée 2003 (93, $38 on release).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated California Pinot Noirs, and get our quick list of Top Values in California Pinot Noir.

Andrew Hughes
Toronto, Canada —  August 18, 2009 10:15pm ET

I have read the recent edition of Wine Spectator and the report on California Pinot Noir. I am a big fan of California Pinot Noir and recently I have tried the 2007 Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from Peay Vineyards and I would be interested to hear your comments and how you think it matches up against the other Pinots on your list. Thank you.
James Laube
Napa, CA —  August 21, 2009 5:16pm ET
Andrew, I haven't tried the new Peay Pinots.

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