I had never heard of Sleeper Cellars before I received a generous shipment of wine samples from Last Bottle Wines, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Well, ok, I had some idea of what to expect — it’s a Russian River Pinot Noir, right? Right. But I have to say that Sleeper Cellars, whoever you are, you completely exceeded my expectations (which are quite high given the elegant Pinots that seem to burst from RRV).

sleeper-sonoma-county-pinot-noir-2013

About the Wine: Sleeper Cellars Sonoma County Pinot Noir is a single-vineyard Pinot Noir made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from Wohler Road Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. And that’s about all I can really tell you.

14.7% ABV

Flavor Profile: Now this I can certainly tell you more about. On the pour the Sleeper Cellars Pinot Noir is a delicate burgundy color mixing together soft reds, hints of purple, and just a tinge of dusty brown. The smell is a beautiful arrangement of lightly aromatic flowers mixed with those bright berries we know and love when we think classic Pinot Noir — raspberry, cranberry, with the softest hint of something darker like plum.

On the palate the wine plays with those same scents, bringing the fruit forward first. Those delicate flowers bloom during the mid-palate and gently pave the way to that “something darker” sensed on the nose. It’s as if when smelling the wine you could only really see the petals, but when tasting the wine the light shines a bit brighter and you can see the leaves, the stem, the grass, the soil. That final component, that soil, is the prelude to the calm finish that completes the picture, completes the tasting, with just the subtlest of tannins.

Sleeper Cellars single-vineyard Pinot Noir from Rohler Road Vineyard in the Russian River Valley truly celebrates the terroir of this particular Sonoma County region. And yet, there’s something about the winemaking that is decidedly Old World because it is that Old World technique, in my experience, that makes a red wine simultaneously filling, yet light enough that you never feel full, and bright enough that one could argue it’s refreshing. It’s the kind of wine that reminds you that yes wine is a drink, wine is nourishment, and winemaking is an art.

Food Pairing: Sleeper Cellars Pinot Noir is undoubtedly easy drinking, but I encourage you to celebrate the complexity of the wine with a meal that’s just as light and well-balanced as the Pinot Noir. I almost don’t want to tell you what that is lest I sway you in one direction or the other. But I will tell you that something as enjoyable as Sleeper Cellars Pinot Noir deserves to accompany a meal that you love, that makes you feel at home, that makes you feel simultaneously nourished and refreshed and, above all, celebrates the art of cuisine.

More Info: Alas, I cannot point you in a direction to learn more about Sleeper Cellars, but what I can do is send you to the kind company who provided this beauteous and bounteous wine Last Bottle Wines.

Sleeper Cellars, if you’re out there — I’d love to taste more from you, whether different varietals or different vineyards and would certainly love to learn more about your winemaking methods. Cheers!


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