2021 Little Boat Russian River Pinot Noir “750ML”
Coming primarily from William Knuttel’s estate Rued Mt. Olivet Vineyard, which shares real estate with the likes of Kistler, Martinelli, and Ehren Jordan’s Failla, this is unapologetic Russian River Pinot Noir. Rich, layered, soft and surprisingly velvety. While it exhibits the full fruit and acidic backbone found in the finest Russian River Pinot Noirs, it also shows incredible balance and restraint. You will absolutely enjoy drinking it now, but if you give it a bit of time in the cellar it will continue to develop, improve and amaze.
I was invited to a small, exclusive tasting on Monday where the finest California wines were tasted and this Pinot Noir is absolutely scary good. In fact it is one of the finest California Pinot Noir’s I have ever tasted. A great Pinot Noir moves you, it makes my eyes close as I am tasting the wine as my brain and my senses go into over drive. This Pinot Noir thrills me and no wine thrills me quite like a great Pinot Noir. The wine is the 2021 Little Boat Pinot Noir and the wine is to die for.
When you follow great winemakers, you find great wine. The wines of William Knuttell are some of the most collected and age worthy wines coming out of California today. He is a legendary maker of Pinot Noir in California. Knuttell is known for his combined 35 year tenures at Saintsbury, Chalk Hill, and Dry Creek Vineyard, where he was responsible for cultivating those wineries into the benchmarks they are today, and revolutionized the varietals of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
We were presented with Mr. Knuttell’s latest insider’s project, Little Boat, a collaboration that is truly about friendship. Mr. Knuttell has joined forces with pinot master Brad Alper of Square Peg Vineyard (neighbors to Aubert’s UV-SL, Dutton’s Morelli Lane, and Bill Price of Kosta Browne’s Stoetz Lane) and with their expertise have collaborated with some of the greatest young sommeliers in the country.
These wines are the synergy between Alper, Knuttell, and sommeliers Harley Carbery (Joel Robuchon in NYC), Phillip Dunn (Spago in Beverly Hills), Lucas Paya (wine director for celebrity chef Jose Andres) and Robert Smith, MS (Picasso in Vegas). All of the wines that we tasted are being poured at all of their restaurants, in addition to the famous Le Bernardin in NYC and Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Napa (right), which costs $300 a head just to sit down. Total production on the label is 350 cases. This is one of the greatest Pinot Noirs I have ever tasted under $50, and would proudly put it up against Cali’s elite, including Flowers, Arista, DuMol, Littorai, and Marcassin. A true treasure in the cellar.