Was in winery last week to pull samples and taste through all the 2011 pinot barrels, the goals roughly being: – Assess quality – Assess 2011 barrel decisions – Consider Russian River blend – Keep wine off shirt Each barrel was resting nicely, no off characters; at this stage these 11’s are reminiscent of the 09’s with slightly more mid-palate weight, likely due to the maturing vines at Devoto Gardens. The new oak (2/9, or 22%; one French, one Hungarian — both used as press barrels, with free run in neutral) was there, but mostly hiding, which is fine; still evaluating the Hungarian. My once-filled Taransaud barrel also lent some tannic presence. The Pommard fruit from Flanagan Vineyards along Starr Road has particularly come around and will be the backbone to the Russian River blend. An austere Devoto barrel sitting at 12.7% alcohol in a neutral Radoux barrel is my leading candidate to blend with the Flanagan fruit; the two together were very satisfying, comfortable.