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San Francisco Pinot Days: Pinot from All Over

2012 June 20

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The eighth annual Pinot Days grand tasting occupied San Francisco’s Fort Mason Festival Pavilion this past Saturday. This was my sixth year attending the event, and I’ve seen it shrink, particularly over the past couple years, from a two-day-plus extravaganza, featuring several seminars with winemakers in addition to the Sunday grand tasting, to now a single, half-day event on Saturday. Yes, there were a couple of related dinners with winemakers, and a retail store tasting that coincided with the event. Pinot Days claims to still be the biggest Pinot Noir festival in the world, with over 200 producers and around 500 wines. Nonetheless, this is not the three-day-weekend, wall-to-wall Pinot fest it used to be.

Has the Pinot frenzy following Sideways finally cooled off? Certainly a great deal of Pinot has been planted in California in the last several years, and the high demand for the grape of a few years back seems to have slaked. It may also be that with a growing number of trade and public tastings focused on particular regions that excel in Pinot—like the stellar Sta. Rita Hills tasting I reported on here, Santa Cruz Mountains’ Pinot Paradise, and the upcoming West Sonoma Coast tasting this August—people may be less attracted to a Pinot-from-anywhere event, as Pinot Days has become.

Pinot Days was also missing several of the top producers it has featured in the past—names like Arcadian, Hanzell, Littorai, Kosta Browne, Merry Edwards, Mount Eden, Peay and Pisoni. With reduced yields in the last couple of vintages, the word around the festival was that producers like these passed on this event because they didn’t have wine left to sell. Even producers represented at the event were, in some cases, not pouring their more celebrated wines since, again, they had little or none of those wines remaining in inventory.

The geographical reach of the event, however, expanded further, from the usual California and Oregon contingent, with a sprinkling of Burgundy, to include New Zealand and even Chilean Pinot. And, as always, there were new producers from all over.

To focus my tasting efforts, I passed on great producers from regions I’d tasted recently, like Sta. Rita Hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and targeted wineries that were new to me, or regions I’ve tasted very little lately, like New Zealand. As a result, I had to pass up tasting wines from terrific producers like Alma Rosa, Baxter, Big Basin, Cargasacchi, Clos Pepe, Fort Ross, Mahoney, Scherrer and Siduri.

The vintages represented were largely 2008, 2009 and 2010. Of these, 2008 was the weakest in California—due to fires and untimely rains–although it was a very good vintage for Oregon. The 2009s from California tended to show well, with ripe fruit and structure, but the 2010s were also very good, in a lighter style. In fact, having now tasted 155 domestic Pinots from 2010, compared to 480 Pinots from 2009, I find I’m scoring more 2010s at a higher level—giving more of them 92 and 93 points—than I did proportionately with the 2009s. Some of these may age well too, but it’s largely a vintage that will be enjoyable in the shorter term, while we wait for our ‘09s and ‘07s to mature.

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Some other noticeable, and commendable trends, from the 2010s I tasted at this event, and otherwise recently, are higher acidities and lower alcohols than in years past, thanks both to the cooler weather conditions in 2010 as well as to decisions by many growers and winemakers to pick earlier and to favor acidity over super-ripeness. There continues to be quite a bit of experimentation with some level of whole cluster inclusion, but I felt even in the wines where the stem or whole cluster inclusion went above 15 or 20%, the green, stemmy flavors weren’t as overwhelming as they were a couple years back when the stem inclusion trend started to become really noticeable and, for me, obtrusive.

The 2010 vintage was apparently a very good one too for New Zealand, with a relatively long growing period. Their Pinots were more savory and higher in acid than their California counterparts, making them excellent food wines. My favorite New Zealand producers at this event were Ellero and Spy Valley.

The French Pinots poured were quite mediocre, and not at all representative of the glories of red Burgundy. I’ve recommended in the past that the Burgundy offerings be omitted at this event, in favor of keeping the focus on local West Coast Pinot, and I think that’s still good advice.

The California producers whose wines I sampled that were showing best for me at this event, scoring an average of 91 points or higher, were Abiouness, August West, Benovia, Freeman, Joseph Phelps, Joseph Swan, Kanzler, Ladd, Mansfield-Dunne, Small Vines and Sojourn. My favorite Oregon producers were Rex Hill, Stoller, William Hatcher and Winderlea.

For an upcoming Pinot-dominated event that is expanding, and focused on one of California’s hottest regions—in terms of popularity and attention, not climate—I highly recommend the second annual West of West Festival August 3-5. This event spotlights the West Sonoma Coast, and will include such top producers as Anthill, Benovia, Cobb, Fort Ross, Hirsch, Littorai, Peay, Small Vines and Sojourn. The weekend-long event will include informative seminars and grand tastings, as well as dinners and related activities. Tickets may be purchased here.

The wines I rated highest at this tasting, at 92 points or higher, were all from producers I’ve lauded in the past, so no new wineries (to me) in these ranks:
2010 Benovia La Pommeraie – 93 points
2010 Benovia Bella Una – 92 points
2010 Freeman Keefer Ranch – 92 points
2008 Joseph Swan Trenton Estate – 92+ points
2009 Ladd Cellars Cuvee Abigail – 92 points
2010 Small Vines Russian River Valley – 92 points
2010 Small Vines Baranoff Vineyard – 92+ points
2010 Sojourn Rodgers Creek Vineyard – 92 points
2010 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard – 92+ points
2010 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard – 93 points
2010 Sojourn Ridgetop Vineyard – 92+ points
2010 Sojourn Wohler – 93 points

For my complete tasting notes, see below. Note: in a few cases below, my notes record wines that I tasted the preceding month, when I tasted through the wines of a few Pinot Days producers at an open house at Vinify Wine Services in Santa Rosa.

A to Z Wineworks

  • 2010 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir – USA, Oregon
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; roses, tart cherry nose; soft, tart cherry, roses palate; medium finish (89 pts.)

Abiouness

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  • 2008 Abiouness Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Medium cherry red color; redolent, floral, baked cherry nose; baked cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Abiouness Pinot Noir Hudson Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Medium dark cherry red color; sous bois, tart red fruit, raspberry nose; tasty, tart cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (clones 777 & Pommard) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Abiouness Pinot Noir Silacci – USA, California, North Coast, Carneros
    Medium dark cherry red color; hibiscus, rosehips nose; tart cherry, hibiscus palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points (Pisoni clone) (91 pts.)

Arista

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  • 2010 Arista Winery Pinot Noir Mononi Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; light reduction, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, ripe red fruit palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Arista Winery Pinot Noir Toboni Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, spice nose; ripe cherry, spice, ripe raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)

August West

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  • 2010 August West Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, ripe raspberry, baked cherry nose; tasty, ripe raspberry, baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2010 August West Pinot Noir Graham Family Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; floral, tart raspberry, tart cherry nose; floral, tart raspberry, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)

Bachelet

Belle Glos

  • 2010 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Meiomi – USA, California
    Dark ruby color; lifted, tart cherry, baked cherry, baked raspberry nose; tart cherry, baked cherry, baked raspberry, cherry syrup palate; medium-plus finish (85 pts.)

Benovia

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  • 2011 Benovia Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light pink color; light floral, tart raspberry nose; tart cherry, Rainier cherry, raspberry palate; medium finish (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Benovia Pinot Noir La Pommeraie – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark ruby color; appealing, cherry, ripe raspberry, floral nose; tasty, ripe raspberry, cherry, light berry palate; medium-plus finish (93 pts.)
  • 2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark ruby color; ripe cherry, black cherry, berry nose; ripe cherry, black cherry, berry palate; medium-plus finish (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Benovia Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Tart cherry, tart baked cherry, raspberry nose; tart cherry, tart baked cherry, raspberry, strawberry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Benovia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Dark cherry red color; cherry, raspberry, light pie crust nose; cherry, raspberry, light pie crust palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Bernardus

Bichot

Brack Mountain

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  • 2011 Brack Mountain Winery Origine Rosé of Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light pink color; tart red fruit, blood orange nose; tasty, dry, tart blood orange, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • 2011 Brack Mountain Winery tramanto Rosé of Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light orange pink color; tart red fruit nose; tart red fruit, dry, tart strawberry palate; medium-plus finish (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Bench Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium cherry red color; strawberry, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, strawberry palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • 2010 L’Oliveto Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; floral, tart cherry nose; tart raspberry, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Cyprus Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; tart raspberry, floral nose; tart raspberry, tart cherry, rosehips palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)

Brandborg

  • 2011 Brandborg Pinot Noir Scarlet Cuvée – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley
    Light medium pink color; floral, cranberry nose; reduction, tart cherry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (87 pts.)
  • 2009 Brandborg Pinot Noir Bench Lands – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley
    Light medium red color; lifted, tart red fruit nose; tart red fruit, cranberry palate with medium acidity; medium finish (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Brandborg Pinot Noir Love Puppets – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; reduction, light cranberry nose; reduction, light cranberry, rosehips palate; medium-plus finish (86 pts.)
  • 2008 Brandborg Pinot Noir Estate Ferris Wheel Vineyard – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; floral, tart cherry nose; floral, tart cherry, cranberry palate; medium-plus finish (88 pts.)

Couloir

  • 2010 Couloir Wines Pinot Noir Londer – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; floral, roses, tart cherry nose; tasty, coiled, tart cherry, mineral, floral, rosehips palate with medium acidity; needs 2-plus years; medium-plus finish 91+ points (clones Pommard and 115; 1/3 whole cluster; 1/3 new oak) (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Couloir Wines Pinot Noir Monument Tree – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; reduction, tart cherry, rosehips, floral nose; tart strawberry, stems, floral, rosehips, mineral palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points (Dijon clones 777. 667 & 115; 1/3 whole cluster; 1/3 new oak; 13.3% alcohol) (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Couloir Wines Pinot Noir Chileno Valley Vineyard – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Marin County
    Light medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; green bean, rosehips, stems nose; rosehips, green bean, tart strawberry, forest floor, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (1/2 new French oak; 1/3 whole cluster; 12.8% alcohol) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Straight Line Pinot Noir – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino
    Medium cherry red color; lifted, roses, tart cherry, cinnamon nose; tart strawberry, tart cherry, rosehips palate; medium finish (45% whole cluster; 13.9% alcohol) (90 pts.)

Craggy Range

  • 2010 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Te Muna Road Vineyard – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Medium dark cherry red color; lifted, tart cherry, stems, savory nose; tart cranberry, tart cherry, stems palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Daniel

  • 2010 Daniel Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Light medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; lifted, floral, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, floral, rosehips palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Daniel Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cherry, hibiscus nose; tart cherry, hibiscus palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Ellero

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  • 2009 Ellero Pinot Noir Pisa Terrace – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Medium dark cherry red color; focused, baked strawberry, raspberry nose; baked strawberry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)

Freeman

  • 2010 Freeman Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; floral, hibiscus, rosehips, cranberry, tart cherry, Jolly Rancher, pie crust nose; tart cherry, cranberry palate with medium acidity; would benefit from a year in bottle; medium finish 90+ points (14.2% alcohol) (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Freeman Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; tart cherry, ripe cranberry, tart raspberry, pie crust nose; tasty, cherry, raspberry, baked raspberry, pie crust palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (14.2% alcohol) (92 pts.)

Greywacke

  • 2010 Greywacke Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Dark cherry red color; reduction, ripe cranberry nose; tart cranberry, tart red fruit palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Inception

  • 2009 Inception Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Medium cherry red color; intense, spicy, baked orange, baked cherry, clove nose; spicy, baked orange, baked cherry, clove palate; medium-plus finish (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Inception Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast
    Medium red color; spicy, black cherry, black raspberry nose; tea, black cherry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (12 mos in 15% new French oak) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Inception Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Rita Hills – Sta. Rita Hills
    Medium dark cherry red color; spicy cherry, orange nose; spicy cherry, orange, baked raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)

Jacob

John Tyler

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  • 2002 John Tyler Wines Pinot Noir Bacigalupi Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium red color; mature, Burgundian, sous bois, tart cherry, floral nose; mature, tart red fruit, mineral, mushroom, iron palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • 2004 John Tyler Wines Pinot Noir Bacigalupi Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light medium red color with pale meniscus; mature, redolent, dried cherry, tart raspberry, pie crust nose; mature, dried cherry, tart raspberry, pie crust palate, a little tight yet; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2008 John Tyler Wines Pinot Noir Bacigalupi Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light medium cherry red color; unusual, spicy cherry, cranberry, sous bois, earthy nose; mature, dried cherry, baked raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Joseph Phelps

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  • 2009 Joseph Phelps Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Dark cherry red color; tart cherry, tart raspberry, oak, sous bois nose; tart cherry, tart raspberry, oak, sous bois, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (20% whole cluster) (91 pts.)

Joseph Swan

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  • 2010 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Cuvée de Trois – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark red color with pale meniscus; appealing, tart cherry, hibiscus, floral nose; nice, light-medium bodied, tart cherry, tart strawberry, mineral, hibiscus, rosehips palate; medium-plus 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Saralee’s Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; lifted, floral, hibiscus, tart cherry, tart strawberry nose; floral, hibiscus, tart cherry, tart strawberry palate; needs 2-plus years; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Trenton Estate – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light medium red color; VA, tart cherry, floral, roses nose; very appealing, tart cherry, roses, rosehips palate; needs 3-plus years; medium-plus finish 92+ points (92 pts.)
  • 2009 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Great Oak Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; a little VA, roses, floral, tart cherry nose; tight, tart red fruit, floral, hibiscus palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Kanzler

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  • 2010 Kanzler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Dark cherry red color; padron chilies, stems nose; tightly wound, padron chilies, tart cherry palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish (20% whole cluster) (91 pts.)

La Crema

  • 2010 La Crema Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium ruby color; fresh, ripe cherry nose; ripe cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2009 La Crema Pinot Noir Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Medium ruby color; reduction, tart cherry nose; reduction, tart cherry, tart raspberry palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Ladd

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  • 2009 Ladd Cellars Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, tart cherry, sous bois nose with some reduction; tasty, tart cherry, sous bois palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Ladd Cellars Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; appealing, hibiscus, cranberry, tart cherry nose; poised, tart strawberry, cranberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points (Moore Ranch fruit; clones 667 & 777) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Ladd Cellars Pinot Noir Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; reduction, tart cherry, floral nose; tart cherry, cranberry, floral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Ladd Cellars Pinot Noir Cuvée Abigail – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium dark cherry red color; French oak, tart cherry, raspberry, sandalwood nose; appealing, ripe cherry, raspberry, oak spice palate that will integrate with time; medium-plus finish (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Ladd Cellars Pinot Noir Moore Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light medium red color; reticent, tart cherry nose; tasty, tart cherry, raspberry, rhubarb palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)

Longfellow

  • 2009 Longfellow Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Very dark cherry red color; reduction, tart black fruit nose; heavy reduction, tart black fruit palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (clones 667 & Pommard) (87 pts.)
  • 2003 Longfellow Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Bricking medium dark cherry red color; mature, tart cherry, black fruit nose; mature, tart cherry, black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)

Lost Canyon

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  • 2009 Lost Canyon Pinot Noir Morelli Lane Vineyard Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, black raspberry, spicy cherry nose; tasty, black cherry, black raspberry palate with good balance; medium-plus finish 90+ points (20% whole cluster; French oak for 10 mos, 40% new) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Lost Canyon Pinot Noir Goff-Whitton Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Very dark cherry red color; bay leaf, tart cherry nose; tight, tart cherry, bay leaf palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish (there are bay trees near the vineyard) (91 pts.)

MacPhail

  • 2010 MacPhail Pinot Noir Pratt Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium dark cherry red color; appealing, tart cherry, sous bois, tart orange nose; tasty, tart cherry, sous bois, tart orange palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2010 MacPhail Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Medium cherry red color; VA, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, black cherry palate; medium-plus finish (90 pts.)

Mansfield-Dunne

  • 2010 Mansfield-Dunne Pinot Noir Peterson Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
    Medium dark cherry red color; sous bois, mineral, tart baked red fruit nose; distinct, tart red fruit, iron, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)

Mercy

  • 2009 Mercy Vineyards Pinot Noir Cedar Lane Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Seco
    Medium red color; lifted, baked cherry nose; baked cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (Pommard & 667 clones, in 25% new oak) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Mercy Vineyards Pinot Noir Griva Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Seco
    Medium dark cherry red color; sous bois, savory, tart red fruit nose; tart red fruit, baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (clones 667, 777 and Pisoni) (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Mercy Vineyards Pinot Noir Griva Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Seco
    Medium dark cherry red color; hibiscus, floral nose; hibiscus, tart red fruit palate; medium-plus finish (clones 667, 777 and Pisoni) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Mercy Vineyards Pinot Noir Zabala Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Seco
    Medium red color; redolent, tart cherry, oak spice nose; tart cherry, oak spice; medium-plus finish (clones 115, 667 and a little Pommard) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Mercy Vineyards Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Seco
    Medium cherry red color; cranberry, baked cherry nose; cranberry, baked cherry, sous bois palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (88 pts.)

Mooney Family

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Mountford

  • 2008 Mountford Pinot Noir Liaison – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Waipara
    Light red color with pale meniscus; stems, sous bois, savory nose; tasty, tart red fruit, vaguely smoky palate with integrating oak; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Mountford Pinot Noir Estate – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Waipara
    Light medium red color; lifted, cranberry, tart cherry nose; sous bois, tart cranberry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Nautilus

  • 2010 Nautilus Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Light medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; heavy reduction, tart red fruit nose; tart red fruit, strawberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (88 pts.)

Olson Ogden

  • 2009 Olson Ogden Pinot Noir Manchester Ridge Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino Ridge
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; tart cherry, oak spice nose; tart cherry, cinnamon, oak palate; medium-plus finish (17 mos in French oak, 50% new) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Olson Ogden Pinot Noir Alder Springs – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino
    Dark cherry red color; a little VA, black cherry, berry nose; tart black cherry, tar, cherry palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish (17 mos in French oak, 65% new) (89 pts.)

Palliser

  • 2008 Palliser Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Light medium cherry red color; savory, tart cherry, dried cherry nose; savory, tart cherry, dried cherry palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)

Papapietro Perry

Poulleau

Rex Hill

Small Vines

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  • 2010 Small Vines Wines Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, baked cherry, spice nose; tasty, plush, baked cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Small Vines Wines Pinot Noir MK Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Dark red color; reduction, sous bois nose; tight, sous bois, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Small Vines Wines Pinot Noir Baranoff Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; reduction, spicy, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, tart red fruit, floral palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish 92+ points (92 pts.)

Sojourn

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  • 2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium ruby color; ripe cherry, floral, baked raspberry, spice nose; baked cherry, tart baked raspberry, tart raspberry, tart strawberry palate with medium acidity; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; floral, strawberry, baked strawberry nose; tasty, light-medium bodied, floral, tart strawberry, ripe cranberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium dark cherry red color; floral, roses, tart raspberry, tart cherry nose; tasty, tart raspberry, tart cherry, floral palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (93 pts.)
  • 2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium ruby color; baked cherry, floral, tart cranberry nose; intense, structured, tart cranberry, floral, tart cherry palate; needs 2-plus years; medium-plus finish 92+ points (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Ridgetop Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium red color; appealing, floral, tart cherry nose; tasty, tart cherry, tart raspberry, floral palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Wohler Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cherry, tart raspberry nose; tasty, tart raspberry, baked raspberry, tart cherry, raspberry syrup palate; medium-plus finish (93 pts.)

Spy Valley

  • 2007 Spy Valley Pinot Noir Envoy – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium dark cherry red color; savory, sous bois, cranberry nose; cranberry, spicy tart red fruit palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Spy Valley Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color; stems, savory, tart cranberry nose; cranberry, tart red fruit palate; medium finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Stoller

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  • 2009 Stoller Pinot Noir SV Estate Dundee Hills – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Medium cherry red color; floral, rosehips, hibiscus, tart cherry nose; floral, rosehips, hibiscus, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Stoller Pinot Noir SV Estate Dundee Hills – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Medium dark red color; lightly savory, cranberry, tart red fruit nose; solid, tart cranberry, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)

Veramonte

  • 2010 Veramonte Pinot Noir Ritual – Chile, Aconcagua, Casablanca Valley
    Dark ruby color; reduction, bird poop nose; reduction, bird poop, tart red fruit palate; medium-plus finish (82 pts.)

Villa Maria

  • 2010 Villa Maria Pinot Noir Private Bin – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color; oak, red fruit nose; oak, ripe cherry, raspberry palate; medium finish (86 pts.)
  • 2010 Villa Maria Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Taylors Pass – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Awatere Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; intriguing, savory, dried red fruit nose; tight, tart cherry, tart red fruit, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (90 pts.)

White Rose

William Hatcher

Wilson-Daniels

  • 2010 Wilson-Daniels Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast
    Medium cherry red color; savory, tart red fruit nose; slight, cranberry palate; short medium finish (84 pts.)

Winderlea

June 2012 082

  • 2009 Winderlea Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Vineyard – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Medium dark cherry red color; floral, baked raspberry, tart red fruit nose; tasty, spicy, ripe cherry, baked raspberry palate; long finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Winderlea Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Vineyard – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Light medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; earthy, savory, tart red fruit nose; earthy, savory, tart red fruit, cranberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 88+ points (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Winderlea Pinot Noir Legacy – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Light cherry red color with pale meniscus; focused, floral, savory nose; savory, tart cranberry, tart red fruit, rosehips palate; long finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Winderlea Pinot Noir Legacy – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; floral, rosehips, sous bois nose; floral, rosehips, sous bois, tart cranberry palate; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)

Wither Hills

  • 2010 Wither Hills Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Wairau Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; light reduction, cranberry, stems nose; tart cherry, cranberry, baked cranberry palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)

Woodenhead

June 2012 090

  • 2008 Woodenhead Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light medium red color; earthy, tart red fruit nose; spicy, baked cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Woodenhead Pinot Noir Wet Kiss Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Pre-release – medium cherry red color; redolent, baked cherry nose; cherry pie, baked cherry, raspberry palate with grip; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)

Wren Hop

  • 2010 Wren Hop Chardonnay Gap’s Crown – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Light lemon yellow color; focused, tart apple, lemon, pear nose; tight, tart apple, apple skin, tart peach palate with saline notes; medium-plus finish (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Wren Hop Pinot Noir The Fire Messenger – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; tart cherry, floral, tart black cherry nose; tight, tart black cherry, oak palate; needs 3-plus years; medium-plus finish 90+ points (100% Swan clone; 11 mos. in 100% new French oak) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Wren Hop Pinot Noir Siren’s Lure – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Very dark cherry red color; oak spice, tart raspberry, tart cherry nose; tart black cherry, tart raspberry, oak spice palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points (good fruit but showing too much oak; clones 115 and 777; 12 mos in 100% new French oak) (90 pts.)
m4s0n501
4 Responses leave one →
  1. Lee permalink
    June 21, 2012

    What was up with the lack of appropriate glassware?
    It does seem like a Pinot event should at least have Pinot/Burgundy Glassware even if they are cheap and clunky… (Like they were last year)
    The low (paid) attendance, and the missing glassware, and the lack of food options etc, etc, did seem to give this event the smell of a death sprial.
    I hope not…

  2. John Duval permalink
    June 21, 2012

    First time attending for me. I enjoyed the wines and talking with the vintners, but I was disappointed in the organization of this event. The list of wineries attending was not provided until the day before the event and it was a 26 page PDF file. And the brochures were not available until midway through the event. The Park Police were aggressive and threatening if one walked outside for a breath of fresh air. And the organizer Steve so and so appeared hyper agitated and waved his arms about when I told him that there were bicycle locks on some of the designated exit doors. He ran back into his office and slammed the door. This event needs a mature spokesperson and not a hysterical man-child.

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