Make us your home page

Wine of the Week: 2011 Picket Fence Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Picket Fence winemaker Alison Crowe made wines for better than four years at Bonny Doon Vineyard, a California winery once noted for its delightfully unorthodox style. Perhaps that explains her 2011 Picket Fence Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, a surprisingly silky pinot that goes for a surprisingly low $18 or so at local wine-savvy markets.

Don't get us wrong. This lovely pinot has all the depth and character you'd expect in a steel-fermented, oak-aged premium offering, but it also has an unusually full, round and velvety mouthfeel for this varietal.

This fine red opens with aromas of blackberry and spice, both of which carry juicily onto the tongue and are joined there by ripe cherry and a hint of sunny raisin. These flavors marry and bloom through mid-palate and persist through a long silky finish capped by a breath of yummy bitter chocolate. Throughout it is characterized by a swoony softness of expression which does nothing but intensify the brambly intensity of the fruit-forward flavors.

This pinot would pair dreamily with coq au vin or with a rich dark chocolate dessert like pots de creme.

By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to

Wine of the Week: 2011 Picket Fence Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 01/15/13 [Last modified: Monday, January 14, 2013 4:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  2. At 'American Idol' auditions in Orlando, there are life lessons in line

    Music & Concerts

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — From her spot across the lawn, Sasha Orihuela studies her son.

    Jeremy Joshua Dorsey reacts after past American Idol contestants walk by ahead of his audition at the Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017. 

Hundreds of people showed up for the first auditions for ABC's reboot of 'American Idol'. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  3. Beach Drive mural is a first for St. Pete's swanky waterfront street


    Mural mania in St. Petersburg is spreading east.

    This mural in progress is on the side of the Smith & Associates building on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg.
  4. Is that it? Hardly. Katrina of the Waves still walking on sunshine


    Appearing on both Retro Futura and The '80s Cruise is Katrina Leskanich, who we know better as Katrina of Katrina & the Waves. When thinking about Katrina & the Waves hopefully …

  5. Enjoy the felines, ancient ruins at Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary in Rome



    We had to be in the right spot. The GPS said so.

    The Area Sacra at Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome is the site of ancient ruins and the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. More than 140 cats call this area home. Some live in the indoor shelter.