2021 Balverne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Richly perfumed with a pretty translucence in the glass, this pinot makes a fine first impression. Poised and balanced, it represents the RRV faithfully, but (thankfully) isn't overly boastful about it. Terrific acidity accompanies the flavors of cherry, tea, and cola all in a relatively restrained manner without any compromises in focus. Delicious and easy to recommend. 91 points. $45 (Sample)

On a related note, I tasted through some of Balverne's wines (a second label of Notre Vue) a few years back. If this pinot is any indication of their other offerings, there's been a lot of recent improvement in winemaking and cultivation. What's more is that, along with the wine samples, they sent some of their Notre Vue Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is, quite likely, the highest quality oil I've had outside of Italy. It might just be worth a winery visit to pick some up.