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I recently conducted a private wine tasting which allowed me to meet some really cool people, eat a fair helping of charcuterie, and share some delicious bottles of wine with them. The evening was fantastic and after some discussion about Pinot Noir with my new friend, Kristin, she gifted me a super cool bottle which I’ve not had – shocking, I know. I could not wait to open this.

Mueller Pinot Noir “Emily’s Cuvee”, 2013 is a stunning expression of what Russian River Valley can do with Pinot Noir. Named “Emily” because the fruit arrived the same day their daughter, Emily, was born in 1994 (their first vintage). Wine Spectator rated it 90 points but I’d give it a bit more. I was lucky to have experienced this as only 434 cases were made. This had supple aromas of bing cherry, black cherry, orange marmalade (which was totally cool!), vanilla extract, and some earthiness. The flavors were complex with cherries, blueberries, and strawberries. Oak had some presence, as if you knew it is there, hanging out, but it was not overbearing at all. This Pinot had a TON going on and evolved wonderfully over time in the glass.

I really appreciate and enjoy the fact that I get to work in the wine industry. Not only is it my passion, but it provides an opportunity to learn something new each day. Even more than that, I LOVE the fact that I get to meet people and gain new experiences. Wine is delicious on its own, but it is even more delectable and often more memorable when shared with friends. Sláinte! ABOUT THE WRITER

Eric McMillan, The Chicago Wino, is your source for lighthearted reviews of wine. also features links to fun tools like wine/food pairing, ideal serving temperatures, and "must try" bottles! Visit for a simple look at some complex flavors. "Like" Eric on Facebook–The Chicago Wino


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