Press & Reviews


Amici Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2019

92

Jeb Dunnuck

There are around 3,000 cases of the 2019 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, which was brought up in 40% new French oak. This medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet also fresh and lively 2019 has a darker, richer style in its black cherry, mulberry, scorched earth, and earthy, forest aromas and flavors. I love its balance, it has richness without weight, and a great finish. Drink it over the coming 4-6 years.

93

James Suckling

Ripe-plum, red-cherry, pine-cone, cedar and vanilla aromas. Some iodine, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with soft tannins. Gently bitter with a warm, medium finish. Drink now.

2018

92

Jeb Dunnuck

Leading off the two Pinot Noirs, the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is an outstanding wine that reveals a vivid ruby color to go with textbook notes of framboise, candied violets, orange peel, and flowery incense. It’s medium-bodied and beautifully balanced, with a nice spine of acidity and a great finish. Drink this terrific Russian River Valley Pinot Noir over the coming 5-7 years.

91

Wine Advocate

Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley opens with a lovely floral perfume—lilacs and lavender—over notes of black raspberries, black cherries and mulberries plus a hint of stewed tea. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is chock-full of plump, ripe, juicy fruit, supported by a lively line and fine-grained tannins, culminating in a perfumed finish.

92

James Suckling

A fruit-forward pinot with lots of bright strawberry and cherry aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied and layered with ripe, integrated tannins and lots of fruit at the finish. Just the right amount of bitterness at the end. Drink or hold.

2017

92

Jeb Dunnuck

Moving to the reds, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley comes from multiple clones and was mostly destemmed. Aged in 35% new French oak, it offers outstanding strawberry and earthy cherry fruits as well as plenty of forest floor, smoky oak and violets. With medium-bodied richness and terrific elegance, drink it over the coming 4-6 years.

92

James Suckling

A flamboyant pinot noir with dried strawberries and dried flowers. Full body. Tight and toned tannins buttress the ripe fruit. Flavorful finish. Drink now or hold.

92

Wine Advocate

Fermented for 11 months in 35% new French oak,the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley (already bottled) is medium ruby-purple colored and has a lovely black cherries, black raspberries and baking spices nose with black pepper, dried herbs and underbrush. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with plush texture and great fruitiness supporting the vibrant red and black cherries flavors, finishing long.

90

Wine Enthusiast

A sinewy strong tannin structure wraps around earthy black tea, black cherry and forest, the medium-bodied wine showing a strong sense of savory character and complexity.

2016

92

Jeb Dunnuck

The 2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is beautiful, with a fresh, lively, floral style. Black cherry, red plum, spice and spring flowers all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, impressively textured, silky beauty. It’s already beautiful but will keep for a decade.

92

James Suckling

A juicy and straight up Russian River red with dried berry and chocolate character. Full and layered. Delicious finish. What you expect. Drink now.

2015

93

James Suckling

This is a rich and flavorful pinot with lots of strawberry, smoke and spice character. Full body. Very fresh. Elegant for the vintage. Drink now.

90

Jeb Dunnuck

Starting out the upper tier bottling, the 2015 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley offers plenty of black cherry and forest floor, with classic Pinot Noir elegance and purity. It has impressive purity, a silky, fine texture, and a good finish.

2014

92

James Suckling

Plenty of dark fruit character with hints of dried leafs and dark tea. Full body, chewy and lightly gritty tannins. This shows tension and focus. Drink now or age.

2013

90

Wine Enthusiast

This balanced wine manages to retain some heft on the palate. A triple threat of ripe berry, cinnamon and forested notes combine effortlessly around a core of vibrant acidity. Medium bodied and lengthy on the finish, it needs to open to reveal its charms.

2012

92

Wine Enthusiast

Earthy, tart cherry and strawberry paint a pretty picture in this aromatic, inviting wine, a bold, fruity offering accented by luscious streaks of herb. Well-integrated and composed, dustings of cocoa and cola spice build steam on the finish, the overall package just lightly oaked.

Amici Pinot Noir Reserve Russian River Valley

2019

93

Jeb Dunnuck

Black cherries, mulberries, violets, and Provençal herb notes (rosemary, thyme) all emerge from the 2019 Pinot Noir Reserve, which is a mix of clones and from vineyards on Olivet Lane and the hillsides above Starr Road. This lifted, exotic, perfumed Pinot Noir is medium to full-bodied, has good acidity, and rock-solid overall balance. There are 3,900 bottles, and it’s going to cruise for 5-7 years if stored correctly.

2018

94

Wine Advocate

From vineyards on Starr Road, Windsor Ridge and Olivet Lane in the Russian River Valley planted to 777, 667 and Pommard clone, the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve was made with 15% to 20% whole cluster and aged 11 months in 50% new Francois Freres and Taransaud barrels. Already bottled, it has a medium to deep ruby-purple color and comes charging out of the glass with bold black cherries, red plums, warm cranberries and raspberry pie scents plus wafts of lavender, tilled soil, bouquet garni and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long.

94

Jeb Dunnuck

A bigger, richer wine, the 2018 Pinot Noir Reserve also comes from the Russian River Valley and boasts a terrific nose of darker berry fruits, scorched earth, forest floor, and sappy herbs. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it too has a beautiful spine of acidity, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a great finish. It can be enjoyed now, but I think a year of bottle age is warranted, and it should evolve for 5-7 years as well. This is another beautiful wine from this team that’s well worth your time and money.

93

James Suckling

Dried cherries and ripe strawberries with some smoky and light vanilla undertones. It’s full-bodied with round, ripe tannins and a creamy-textured finish. Lovely now, but has the richness and structure to age. Drink or hold.

90

Vinous

The 2018 Pinot Noir Reserve shows a more virile expression of Pinot. Dark cherry, plum, licorice and spice come forward in this powerful wine. The 2018 needs time to recover from its recent bottling and absorb its oak, but this is nicely done.

2017

93+

Wine Advocate

Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve (already bottled) is medium to deep ruby-purple colored, with redcurrants, cranberry jelly, pomegranate and black raspberries notes with touches of cardamom and menthol plus a waft of forest floor. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with a firm, tight-knit frame of fine-grained tannins, finishing long and refreshing.

92

Jeb Dunnuck

The Pinot Noirs (as well as the Chardonnay) are made by Jesse Fox. The 2017 Pinot Noir Reserve offers a ruby color as well as a rich bouquet of black raspberries, mulled cherries, forest floor, spice, and chocolate. It’s a rich, rounded, broad effort that has loads of fruit and character. This cuvée comes from multiple sites in the Russian River Valley and spent 11 months in 40% new French oak.

2016

93

James Suckling

This is very tight and beautiful with dark-berry, strawberry and lemon-peel aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, refined and structured. A good amount of whole cluster fermentation. Drink or hold.

91

Jeb Dunnuck

The 2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve offers more lifted, higher toned notes as well as some herbal, earthy, forest floor notes. With lots of strawberry and black raspberry fruit, medium body, and juicy acidity, it’s an outstanding effort that will drink well for 4-6 years as well. I prefer the base Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

91

Wine Advocate

Aged for 13 months in 100% new French oak, the 2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve has a medium ruby-purple color and gives up notions of wild strawberries, warm cranberries and Black Forest cake with touches of cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm frame with plenty of perfumed flavors and a good long finish.

91

Wine Spectator

Steely and tensile, with slate and spice accents to the dried red fruit flavors. Notes of forest floor emerge on the well-sculpted and firmly tannic finish. Drink now through 2023.

2015

91

James Suckling

A dense and rich red with berry, chocolate and spice character. Full and powerful. Dense and chewy. A big and bold wine. What you expect.

2014

93

Wine Enthusiast

Spicy acidity wraps around a lengthy and intense experience of full-bodied concentration and power in this well-made wine. Forest pine, red cherry and vanilla combine effortlessly to provide a robust flavor profile that’s memorable and rich.

92

James Suckling

I love the softness and beauty of the wine with strawberry, hints of walnut and freshness. Medium to full body, soft and silky tannins. Drink now or hold.

2013

90

Wine Enthusiast

This is a rich yet soft and perfumed reserve-tier wine. It offers an explosion of dense black fruit, oak and tannin atop a singular foundation of clove and cinnamon-cola spiciness. Full bodied, it’s youthful and not quite approachable, finishing in a muddle of cranberry crispness on the finish.

Amici Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard

2018

93

Wine Advocate

From more than 30-year-old vines planted to Beba clone, the 2018 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard fermented with 12% whole cluster and was aged in 40% new Francois Freres barrels for 13 months. Medium to deep ruby-purple colored, it offers up the most beautiful perfume of red roses, candied violets and black raspberries with nuances of kirsch, garrigue, tilled soil and moss-covered tree bark. Medium-bodied, the palate is delicately played with loads of finely crafted red and black berry layers and a firm line of fine-grained tannins, finishing long and earthy.

91-93

Jeb Dunnuck

From a site in Napa, the 2018 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard is another richer, sexy wine. Black raspberries, sappy flowers, forest floor, and earth all flow to a medium to full-bodied effort that has subtle oak, no hard edges, and plenty of length. I’d give bottles a year or two, and it should evolve nicely.

92

James Suckling

A pinot with plenty of dried-strawberry and cherry aromas with some dried vanilla and orange peel. It’s medium-to full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit and intensity. Firm tannins. Vanilla undertones at the end. Give it a year or two to come together. Try in 2023.

90

Vinous

The 2018 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard is soft, fruity and translucent. Sweet red cherry, mint, cedar and sweet floral notes all come together in this super-expressive Pinot Noir. The 2018 is elegant and refined, but also very much on the ethereal side. The 10% whole clusters are not especially evident; the 35-40% new oak is well-integrated.

2016

94

James Suckling

This is a complex and enticing pinot with strawberry, meat, foie-gras and leather undertones on the nose. Full body, round and silky tannins and a pretty finish. A decadent and pretty young wine. Drink or hold. Limited production.

94

Jeb Dunnuck

This is a complex and enticing pinot with strawberry, meat, foie-gras and leather undertones on the nose. Full body, round and silky tannins and a pretty finish. A decadent and pretty young wine. Drink or hold. Limited production.

92+

Wine Advocate

Aged in 35% new French oak for 13 months, the 2016 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard is medium to deep ruby-purple colored and gives up opulent notes of cinnamon stick, cloves, oolong tea and Sichuan pepper over a core of kirsch, black raspberries and black cherry tart. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with firm, fine-grained tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and mineral tinged.