Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Welsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. In addition to the line up of Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs, Rivers-Marie also makes a few single vineyard Cabernets and Chardonnay. Thomas is in high demand and serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including Schrader and Outpost.
Joy Road is 2.5-acre vineyard owned by Terry Adams and is located a short distance from Coastlands Vineyard, on a 1,300-foot ridgetop near Occidental.
Gold in color. 13.5% ABV. Prominent nose of apple, toast, hazelnuts and smoke. Full bodied with exquisite acidity. Tremendous texture and mouth feel. Rich, oily and impeccably balanced. Pears, lemon oil, vanilla creme brulee and minerals on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Such a young and vibrant Chardonnay that should age well. Best over the next 4-6 years.
My rating: 93 points.
The 2020 version of this wine will be released in the next few weeks.
I have been on the Rivers-Marie mailing list for well over 15 years. For me the Pinot Noir was always the main attraction here but the Cabernet program is really second to none when you factor in price and quality. Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. Sign up for the mailing list if you have not done so already.
I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in the 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Updates from Rivers-Marie.