If you’ve been reading along all week, then you’ve noticed that each day I’ve featured a separate single-vineyard, single-varietal Pinot Noir from Goldeneye. And if you haven’t, I strongly recommend reading about the winery’s The Narrows, Split Rail, Confluence, and Gowan Vineyards before moving on to this review. This Pinot Noir is simply entitled “Anderson Valley.”

Goldeneye winery was established in 1996 by the proprietors of Duckhorn Vineyards, Dan and Margaret. While Duckhorn stakes its claim on Bordeaux varieties grown in Napa, The Goldeneye label is all about Anderson Valley’s claim to fame: Pinot Noir. Cool climate, marine influence—yes and yes. But the area has such varied topography and diverse soils that each vineyard really does have something different to say, each Pinot Noir wine markedly special.

Well this “Anderson Valley” Pinot Noir is a blend of the various Goldeneye Anderson Valley estate vineyards. Tasting them separately and then as a blend was a fun kind of tasting experiment for me. And I just have to add that this is not the case of “left over” Pinot Noir blended away. No, this is the case of what makes a winemaker a winemaker—mastering the art of the blend.

About the Wine: The Goldeneye 2015 Pinot Noir is made of 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from various vineyards throughout California’s Anderson Valley AVA in Mendocino County. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels (60% new, 20% second, 20% neutral) for 16 months.

14.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Pop the cork of the Goldeneye 2015 Pinot Noir and breathe in ripe red fruits, some bramble, and hints of Indian-inspired spices. This Pinot Noir presents a soft, heathered purple-maroon on the pour and into the glass. Initial aromas are strong with florals along with bright, fresh red fruits and a certain acidity. Swirl and define the scents further: cherry, vanilla, pomegranate, and yes that over-lying aural of flowers.

The palate of the Goldeneye 2015 Pinot Noir is surprisingly (pleasantly) savory. There are hints of bramble, nutmeg, cardamom, a strong acidity and the delicate fruits of those scented on the nose. There’s a thin dryness at the finish, but the cherry flavor amplifies toward the end, leaving a fruit-filled, happy aftertaste.


It is all about the spices in the aftertaste: cardamom, clove, the woody-barkyness of cinnamon stick, and a touch of smoke. Light and fresh in the mouth; deep and complex on the finish.

Food Pairing: I paired the Goldeneye 2015 Pinot Noir with, well, a pizza. And it was the perfect “plain” backdrop (as I really only put cheese and a few bland veggies on my pizza) to pick up on all the subtle nuances this Pinot Noir had to offer. That being said, I would love to pair this with something a bit more “interesting.” Perhaps a cedar plank salmon or a duck breast served with my fusion pilaf.

Can’t wait to relive this wine again…

More Info: I received the Goldeneye 2015 Pinot Noir as a sample for review. (Cheers, Kristy!) Price: $55. For more information about Goldeneye, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Goldeneye Winery website.

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