By Zoltan Szabo
2008 Pinot Noir ‘Baker Ridge Vineyard’ Thomas George Estates, Russian River Valley – California
The estate is owned by Canadians, Torontonians in fact, Thomas and his son, Jeremy Baker, softly – spoken, friendly and a Keanu Reeves – look – a – like (Hmmm, stretching it a bit there – JD), with long hair and scruffy beard). This is a sinless Pinot, with depth and elegance. Twenty years plus old vines provide the fruit, crop as low as one ton per acre. Succulent red berry fruit with floral, sweet smoke and cola pop hints. Velvet – like texture spiked by refreshing acidity. Very long finish.
I also much enjoyed the ‘Lancel Creek’ Pinot from the same vintage, grapes come from a vineyard with steep slopes and a picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean. This is fuller, more forward and juicy, with mineral tones. The 2009 Estate Pinot Noir is also very good, and great value. The aim of the Bakers is to produce Pinots with bright fruit and acidity, purity and elegance, wines with “continuity of style”. And that desire is clearly accomplished.