Merry Edwards Winery Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma County, United States
July 1, 2020, Virginie Boone
“From a Middle Reach site along Westside Road, this robust, earthy wine is strong in firm tannin and overall structure. Earthy and bright in underlying acidity, it dazzles in dark, rich flavors of strawberry, blueberry and dried herb, a whiff of white pepper lurking. A finishing touch of dark chocolate leaves one wanting more.”
Merry Edwards approaches life with graceful intensity. Now in the fifth decade of her winemaking career, Merry has earned the universal respect of winemaking peers, grape growers and academicians.
At home in the Russian River Valley since 1977, Merry Edwards has explored its hills, pockets, slopes and hollows, discovering small sites where choosing the right rootstock, clone and farming techniques can produce exceptional grapes. This led her in 1996 to purchase land in the Sebastopol Hills region of Russian River Valley.
Flax Vineyard is located along winding Westside Road overlooking the Russian River. The soils are extremely rocky, reminiscent of gravelly, stone-strewn sites in Bordeaux. This vineyard was initially challenging, producing low yields and overly concentrated wines. Careful attention to farming details now allows the team to create wines with generous, rich tannins.
Reflecting the Pommard clonal origin, the aroma is a virtual symphony of cherries — Queen Anne, Rainier and dark Bing. Spicy notes of lightly toasted, burnished oak along with leather, tobacco, rosemary and white pepper add depth. A hint of minerality is in keeping with Flax typicity, reflecting the soil in which it’s grown.
The wine has a soft entry that develops into a smooth yet firm palate that increases in intensity toward the finish. Tannins are fine grained, and the balanced acidity creates a mouthwatering sensation. Anise, dark fruit, chocolate and cassis form accents. In the glass, we can see this Pinot virtually unfold, promising a brilliant future.
The grapes are harvested early, as this is the warmer northern edge of the valley. Pommard is the single clone planted at this site, a most suitable pairing for the terroir.
Pairs beautifully with the Voisin Family Jambalaya made in a Creole style. The acidity of the tomatoes goes very nicely with the lively Flax Pinot Noir, which can stand up to all of the flavors and the complexity of the dish. Serve with a spinach salad and artisan French bread to sop up all the tasty juices.
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir
Acres: 6.9 acres
Soil Composition: Riverwash and Pajaro gravelly loam
Average Vine Age: 17-19 years