2009 Walter Hansel Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

2009 Walter Hansel Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (http://www.whwc.com)

From Hansel Family Vineyards comes this fine expression of Russian River Pinot. Round and silky, with a beautiful balance and taste of red plums and black cherries, the 2009 is a splurge, but worth it for a California Pinot of this quality.

Save it for a special dinner party to have with roasted or braised duck, braised short ribs or some meaty lamb chops.

Region: Russian River Valley

Price: About $36

Style: Balanced and elegant

What it goes with: Duck, braised beef, grilled lamb chops

Where to find it: John and Pete's Fine Wines & Spirits in West Hollywood, (310) 657-3080, http://www.johnandpetes.com; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Mission Wine & Spirits in Pasadena, (626) 794-7026, http://www.missionwineandspirits.com; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, http://www.missionwines.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, http://www.whwc.com

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