TNs: Two superb Swan PNs

  • 2004 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Great Oak Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/7/2009)
    13.3% alcohol. This wine made me stand up and take notice. Rod Berglund gets up to new tricks sometimes. And the addition of the Great Oak Vineyard is one that stands out. This wine – the first vineyard designate out of the vineyard from Swan, I believe – is stunning. It’s hard to put a finger on it. Just when you think you know a winery inside and out, you come along a wine like this, and it reinvigorates you. Dark red color, a striking contrast to, say, Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot. And the color underscores how faithful Rod is to his vineyard sites. No two wines have the same color. It’s not only flavor and aromatic components that express place, and this wine is a great reminder of that. Remarkable bouquet of red and black cherry, spice, earth, and another note that I simply couldn’t put my finger on. Stunning the way it unfolded in the glass. In the mouth, deeply concentrated and seemingly plush, but so racy and linear, it wasn’t like a big wine at all. The fruit was exciting; it made you want to just jump up and down a little bit. Like there was a strawberry compote edge to the cherry. Massively complex, with layers that kept unfolding. Excellent acidity. Very long finish still showing some tannins but also a burst of fruit. This is remarkable, and I think I like it better at this point than the 2004 Estate, an excellent wine in its own right. This is truly marvelous. A
  • 2002 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Trenton Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/6/2009)
    14.2% alcohol. It’s been two years since I checked in on a bottle of this. From its earliest days, I’ve always believed this wine was potentially great. At each stage of its evolution, it has been excellent. And now, at age seven, it is beginning to come into the beginning end of its prime drinking window. Cherry color. Stunning bouquet that showcases the best of the RRV and the best of Joseph Swan wines. You could simply swirl and sniff all night. The nose hits you first with a powerful punch of red and black cherry fruit, followed by soft baking spice notes, earth, flowers, and a touch of black tea. There is almost something intoxicating in the nose all by itself. In the mouth, a seamless and stunning wine. Racy, lively, delicious cherry fruit caresses the palate, allowing each element of complexity to be unfolded in turn, like a dealer turning over blind cards. This wine comes up all aces. Excellent acidity. Weightless palate presence. Meaningful power and deep concentration. Profound finish. This is starting to show its full hand but will be better with another year, perhaps two. A marvelous tribute to this great property. A

Posted from CellarTracker

Although my taste preferences are increasingly focused on OR and Burgundy, it’s notes and wines like this that remind me not to lose faith in Cali Pinot.[basic-smile.gif]
Thanks for reporting on it Tom.


Thanks, Richard. Yeah, there are a few CA producers that really stroke my sweet spot. Swan is foremost among them. I’ve had more “Wow” wines from Rod than anywhere else. I love the stuff.

Nice notes Tom, love the Joseph Swan wines as well as their style.

Great notes Tom. That '02 Trenton sounds incredible.

Thanks all … I think the 2002 Estate is going to be a special wine to be remembered for a long time.

Tom. Ha!. Was loving your note, totally forgetting I popped the '02 back in May.
My CT note:
Here we go. Smoky cherry nose. earth notes.
Palate is refined, beautiful weight and texture.
Cherry. Raspberry.
Drink it. Love it.

On another note. As a Swan-head, what do you think of '04 Trenton?
Had one recently? I’ve only done '02 and '03 Trenton’s.

Dennis – I actually did do a 2004 Trenton recently … it is more in the vein of 2003 … it’s going to drink pretty well on the earlier side. This quite reminded me of the 2003 at a similar stage. My guess is it will smooth out sooner, since it’s a touch riper, and be approachable younger with a shorter lifecycle overall. It’s drinking quite well right now, if you want to check it out. Lively and tasty.

I too share much love & admiration for the 02 Trenton. Alas, I killed my last bottle awhile back – thanks for reminding me that I’m a shameless babykiller. F me.

Baby killing is good…we’ll put a couple down next week I am sure.

I won’t mention that I’ve still got four or five? I don’t even know. They’re buried pretty deeply … out of sight, out of mind. At least until 2010 again.