Guy Davis hauling pinot noir during harvest
I met Guy Davis on a rainy day in Asheville last fall. He was in town to meet industry folks, introduce himself and his wines and offer tastes of these wines around the area. He offered to bring some barbeque from local Asheville favorite Luella's. I thought if nothing else I would have a nice lunch and meet someone new. (Before I go on, I just want to mention the meal from Luella's was fantastic and I ate more than I should have - couldn't help it!)
This is a Pinot Noir that you need to try
I have been a sucker for good Pinot Noir for some time and weighing in on domestic Pinot, Russian River is one of my favorite haunts. My guess was that Guy stood a decent chance of pouring some nice Russian River juice. The Pinot had to wait its turn as we tasted through his Chardonnay first. It showed well, but with so many Chards out there I wasn't jumping up and down. Guy then pulled out his reds and I got my first peek at this limited Pinot. It showed off what I love about Russian River - black fruit and cherry, a touch of chocolate and that wonderful Russian River spice. Yes, I keep repeating Russian River because that is what you need to remember when it comes to California Pinot.
Well, eventually I moved on from the Pinot to a new surprise. Guy mentioned that he had a Zinfandel but that's not really breaking news out of Sonoma. The big news was that he has the right vines, the right vineyard and the right way to produce quality Zin! It has been a while since I've truly enjoyed a good glass of Zinfandel. Too many these days are over extracted port like monsters or a bit too much on the prune flavored side of things. This was a classic old vine Zinfandel with dark fruit, spice and balance. By the way, it really is old vine (not 20 year old vines masquerading the part) - these are from vines planted in 1896! It's a beauty with which you can easily fall in love.
Guy offers several other wines that are fascinating as well. These were just a couple that hit me over the head and made me sit up. There is an opportunity this month to try some of his wines at a wine dinner in Horizons restaurant at the Grove Park Inn on March 26. The Zinfandel is not on the agenda that night, but his Pinot and an incredible Cabernet made the list. I've made my reservation so maybe I'll see you there.