2018 Balletto Vineyard BCD Vineyard Russian River Pinot Noir
Balletto continues to stand out as one of the undiscovered jewels in Russian River Valley. During his teenage years, John Balletto took control of his family’s vegetable farming business after the passing of his father in 1977. By 1994, John had grown this business into one of the most successful vegetable farms in Northern California. Given the scarcity of water and upon the urging of farmer Warren Dutton of Dutton Ranch, John transitioned to grape growing in 1995. He focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from all estate fruit using only the top fruit from his vineyards. In 2001 they produced their first estate wines. Anthony Beckman is the vice-president and director of winemaking who has an astute talent for crafting multidimensional wines.
The BCD and Sexton Hills Vineyards are always among my favorite bottlings. The 2018 BCD Pinot Noir has a deep crimson color inviting you inside. Within are fragrant aromas of lavender and English roses. The brooding personality of this wine showcases macerated blueberries, elderberry, and a lush layer of velvety cream. While there are some savory notes in the background, this wine is built on immediate gratification but has the textural quality to age gracefully.
By W Peter Hoyne