Goldeneye’s Confluence Vineyard is situated in the center of the Anderson Valley AVA, located in Mendocino County in California’s north coast. Adjacent to the Navarro River, the vineyard is comprised of a range of soils, including benchland and gravel strata, and is exposed to varying terrain from hillside slopes to protected pockets. The vineyard, planted completely to Pinot Noir, offers specificity when it comes to clonal planting, with each nook and cranny offering up its own unique expression of terroir and ultimately crafting a well-rounded, rugged red wine that does indeed taste of the valley floor.

About the Wine: The Goldeneye 2016 Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noir is made of 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from California’s Anderson Valley AVA. The wine aged in 100% French oak Burgundy-style barrels (60% new, 40% neutral) for 16 months.

14.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Goldeneye 2016 Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noir and find aromas of black plum, black cherry, chocolate, smoke, and dates. This Pinot Noir presents a soft, opaque red-purple on the pour, settling into the glass with a rouge color, fading out to a burnt orange.

Initial aromas are of black cherry, chocolate, warm wood, warm fertile soil. Swirl and find scents of pecans and walnuts, burnt brown sugar or molasses. The palate of the Goldeneye 2016 Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noir is bold, dark, with very present tannins (though not tacky or grippy). The acid hits about two-thirds of the way through, amplifies, sticks around until the very end when it fades toward a spice-filled finish. Dominant flavors are of oak wood, burnt mocha, black cherry, anise, nutmeg, pecan skins, tarragon, and a bit of clove at the very finish. There is a bit of cinnamon-like heat on the finish (without the actual flavor of the spice) that warms the roof of the mouth and center of the tongue without ever entering the body.

Food Pairing: I paired the Goldeneye 2016 Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noir with a filet mignon served with a fig and blue cheese salad. What I loved was the steak, cooked medium-rare, pulled out the juicy-jamminess of the fruits in the wine as well as highlighting that warm finish. The figs pulled out some of the darker fruit notes. And the blue cheese? Yum. The funk and creaminess cut through those sneaky tannins and rounded out the mouthfeel as a whole.

More Info: I received the Goldeneye Goldeneye 2016 Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noiras a sample for review. (Cheers, Kristy!) Price: $84. For more information about Goldeneye, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Goldeneye Winery website.

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