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Anderson Noir Valley: Trade Tasting



2010 Balo Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.63, 248 cases, $39.95, released May 1, 2012. 46% 777, 22% Pommard, 16% 828, 11% 115, 5% Martini. 30% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherries and rose petals. Bright, brisk and juicy, with delicious flavors of fresh cherries elevated with vivid acidity. An exceptional wine. Very good (+).

2009 Baxter Langley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.64, 150 cases, $45, released November 1, 2011. Planted exclusively to Martini clone in 1982. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 18 months in neutral French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of forest, moss, cranberry and red cherry. Soft and crisp in the mouth with spiced red cherry and raspberry flavors backed by supple tannins, finishing with some length. Very good.

2009 Black Kite Cellars Angel Hawk Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.58, 109 cases, $75, released winter 2012. A reserve bottling from Kite’s Rest Vineyard produced only in select vintages. “Angel Hawk” is the colloquial name of the Black Shouldered Kite, for which the winery is named. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Angel Hawk are donated to the Golden Gate Raptor Conservancy. Aged 20 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherries, plum, exotic spices, oak and rose petals. An attention grabbing core of delicious black cherry fruit with subtle notes of spice and oak. Creamy on the palate with extraordinary length. A hedonist’s Pinot that will attract many fans. My only nit is the high alcohol which peaks out when the wine warms in the glass. Very good.

2010 Breggo Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.59, 2,021 cases, $38, released April 1, 2012. A blend of numerous clones from Donnelly Creek, Savoy and Wiley vineyards. Aged 13 months in 48% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, cranberry, brier and oak. Light and gentle on the palate, with flavors of black cherries encased in supple tannins with complimentary oak in the background. An easy drinker. Good.

2009 Claudia Springs Klindt Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.59, 245 cases, $32, released May 1, 2011. Pommard and Dijon clones. 10% whole cluster. Native fermentations. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very floral nose with hints of graham and baking spices. Medium weight flavors of red cherries with savory herbs and oak in the background. This bottle not showing as well as one reviewed last year. Good.

2010 Drew Morning Dew Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.66, 165 cases, $48, released May 15, 2012. From Burt Williams’ vineyard in the deep end of the Anderson Valley. Rochioli selection, a DRC field selection and Dijon clone 828. Jason Drew now draws from Burt’s own choice block since Burt no longer produces Pinot Noir. 50% whole cluster, 50% native fermentation, aged 11 months in 30% new and 70% seasoned French oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Amazingly fragrant with the scent of fresh pie cherries, strawberries and spice. Fresh and vibrant on the palate with good tension, featuring an array of red fruits, edible flowers and spice, offering a lively cut on the highly aromatic finish that lingers forever. In a word, stunning. Very good (+).

2009 Elke Vineyards Donnelly Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.90, TA 0.65, 840 cases, $34, released May 1, 2011. 100% de-stemmed, inoculated primary and native secondary fermentations. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Cherry and herbal oak aromas with a little horse saddle funk (? Brett). Flavors of plum, black cherry and herbs with mild, firm tannins and a soft mouth feel. Good.

2009 Expression Annahala Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 224 cases, $48, released May 1, 2012. This vineyard is located between Philo and Boonville on Highway 128. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very appealing aromas of cherries, plum cake and spice. Soft in the mouth with a moderately rich core of tasty dark cherries and plums accented by spice and savory herbs. Very approachable with mild, relaxed tannins, offering interesting nuances with each sip. Has improved over time in bottle. Very good (+).

2009 Foursight Charles Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.63, 405 cases, $46, released fall 2011. Clones 777, 114, 115 and Pommard 5. 70% de-stemmed and fermented with 30% whole clusters and wild yeast. Aged in 15% new , 57% 2nd year, 14% 3rd year and 14% neutral French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Aromas of dark cherries and exotic woods. Pleasing generosity of Pinot fruit flavor, backed by well-proportioned tannins and acidity. Very good.

2010 Fulcrum Londer Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 149 cases, $56, released June 16, 2011. Clones 115 and Swan. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Effusive and spell binding aromas of fresh black cherries and baking spices. Very tasty core of darker red cherries and berries wrapped in fine-grain, firm tannins. A beguiling wine of great interest. Very good (+).

2009 Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.52, 1,000 cases, $80, released March 1, 2012. Gowan Creek is the home of Goldeneye winery. Aged 16 months in 70% new and 30% second vintage French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Rich, dense and heady, featuring intense, dark berry and black currant flavors, a muscular backbone of tannin, and oak-driven accents of toast and caramel. Not particularly to my taste, but well made in its style. Very good.

2010 Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Hundred Point Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.63, 50 cases, $50, released January 1, 2012. Inaugural release of this bottling. The name comes from a rocky promontory on the nearby Mendocino coast where, legend has it, one hundred ships have been wrecked. Aged 8 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Slightly confected aromas of fresh raspberries with hints of baking spice, brioche and vanilla. Elegant and soft on the palate, offering a discreetly concentrated core of well-ripened red cherry and raspberry fruit caressed by supple tannins, and finishing with a cherry calling card. Very good.

2009 Handley Cellars RSM Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.53, 266 cases, $52, released May 1, 2011. 100% de-stemmed, retention of about 40% whole berries during the process to encourage the fruitier flavors that occur with carbonic maceration. Rockpile yeast isolate used for fermentation to enhance the mineral flavors typical of this vineyard. Aged on the lees 10 months in 37% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, brioche and spice. Impressively rich mid palate attack of darker cherries and berries with complimentary notes of mocha and coffee from oak. Should age nicely. Very good.

2006 Harmonique Elegancé Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.65, 675 cases, $36.50, released spring 2011. Winemaker Robert Klindt. Aged 19 months in 70% new French oak barrels, and aged in bottle until release. Four vineyard sources (Conzelman Vineyard Old Block, 21% Cerise Vineyard, 16.5% Wiley Vineyard and 12.5% Klindt Vineyard). 7 Pinot Noir clones. · Very light in weight, featuring red cherry and berry flavors with underpinnings of oak and savory herbs. Fruit has faded and is swallowed up by tannin. I have had this wine before and do not believe this was a representative bottle. Withhold judgment.

2009 Husch Knoll Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., TA 0.56, 410 cases, $40, release July 1, 2012. Old vines originally planted in 1971, the first Pinot Noir vines in Anderson Valley. The vines thrive in an outcropping of sandstone with shale lenses, possessing excellent drainage. 75% de-stemmed, 25% whole cluster. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple robe. Heady aromas of dark red cherries and berries with hints of spice and an earthy bent. Discreetly concentrated core of spiced black cherries, wrapped in big-boned, ripe tannins typical of this site, finishing with crispness and very impressive length. Considerable nuance lies within this special wine. A connoisseur's wine. Very good (+).

2009 Knez Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 400 cases, $39, released September 1, 2011. 30-year-old dry-farmed vines. 30-50% whole cluster native fermentations, aged 16 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color and slightly cloudy in the glass. Appealing aromas of cut flowers, cherry and spice. Lean and tight on the palate with flavors of dark red cherries and savory herbs. May come out of its shell with further cellaring. Good.

2009 Lazy Creek Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.62, 809 cases, $38, released May 14, 2012. Heritage and Dijon clones in one of the oldest vineyards in Anderson Valley. Partially whole cluster fermented. Aged 16 months in 28% new and 72% older French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very ripe fruit profile on the nose and palate. Black cherries and black raspberries are featured with well-proportioned tannins. A bit tart on the finish which shows some length. Good.

2009 Londer Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.59, 286 cases, $48, released spring 2012. From a 16-acre vineyard planted in 2001. Pommard, 115, 777 and Swan clones. Aged in 30% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of freshly ripened black cherries and compost. Soft and silky on the palate with a profusion of red and black fruits backed by ripe, firm tannins and bright acidity. Nicely balanced. Tremendous potential but needs a few more years in the cellar. Very good.

2009 MacPhail Frattey Shams Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.58, 181 cases, $49, released fall 2011. 100% de-stemmed, 14 days total cuvaison, both indigenous and inoculated primary ferments and native malolactic fermentation in barrel. Batonnage in barrel once every week for 3 months. Aged 11 months in 60% new and 40% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Extremely oak driven with aromas and flavors of mocha and coffee obscuring a luscious core of black cherry fruit. Modest in weight with bright acidity. Decent.

2010 Navarro Vineyards Methode à l’Anciene Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.74, 2,463 cases, $29, release November 1, 2012. 100% de-stemmed, aged in 39% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of hibiscus, deep red cherries and spice. Mid weight flavors of darker red stone fruits with a complimentary hint of oak. Very drinkable now with a highly aromatic, fruitfilled finish. Very good.

2009 Phillips Hill Estates Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, 380 cases, $38, released December 1, 2011. This vineyard is located in the cool deep end of the Anderson Valley and is often the last Pinot Noir vineyard harvest in this AVA. Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777. Yields 2 tons per acre. Aged 11 months in 35% new, 30% 1 year and 35% seasoned French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Smoky, toasty nose with a hint of cherry. A lighter, elegant style with pleasing flavors of red cherries, vanilla, cinnamon and oak. Solid but not remarkable, leaning a little too heavily on oak for me. Good.

2009 Philo Ridge Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.69, 455 cases, $32, release June 1, 2012. Sourced from Philo Ridge Vineyards and Ferrington Vineyards. Clones 115, 777, 667, Pommard and 2A. 100% de-stemmed, long cool fermentation, basket pressed, aged 24 months in 35% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Fragrant with aromas of darker cherries and strawberries with a hint of mocha. Tasty core of mid weight fruit complimented by savory herbs and oak-driven accents, finishing with refreshing acidity. Good (+).

2009 Richard Berridge Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.62, 247 cases, $45, released October 1, 2010. 94% Londer Vineyard. Aged in 41% new, 35% twice used and 18% once used French oak barrels. · Well oaked with fruit aromas and flavors of dark red cherries, plums and ripe strawberries. Soft on the palate with supple tannins. Nicely crafted in its style, but I prefer less oak. Good (+).

2007 Roederer Estate Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.57, 685 cases, $23, released May 1, 2010. More than seven clones make up this wine. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in 15% new French oak barrels and bottled with light filtration. · Medium reddish-purple color with slight haze in the glass. The nose is herbal and green. Light and easy to drink, with demure flavors of red cherries and cranberries, finishing with an herbal riff. Very austere. Decent.

2009 Saintsbury Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 704 cases, $45, released January 1, 2012. Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777 clones. Aged 10 months in 24% new, 27% once used and twice used French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Effusive aromas of fresh, spiced berry compote. Medium weight core of perfectly ripe and vibrant dark red berry fruits wrapped in tame tannins. Impeccable balance. Very good (+).

2008 Toulouse Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.89, TA 0.56, 550 cases, $50, released November 1, 2010. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass with early rim bricking. Aromas of cherries and ashtray. Smoke tainted. Unsatisfactory.

2009 Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.61, 1,853 cases, $46, released April 28, 2012. Sourced from Ferrington Vineyard, Savoy Vineyard and Monument Tree Vineyard (estate owned). Aged 15 months sur lies in 45% new and 55% once used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with an array of red berries, hibiscus and rose petals. Crisp and bright, with vivid flavors of dark red raspberries, cranberries and pomegranates. The fruit really sings on the long finish. Very good (+).

2009 Waits Mast Deer Meadows Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 49 cases, $47, released September 1, 2011. Vineyard farmed by Rich Savoy off Deer Meadows Road above Boonville. Clones 115 and 2A. 100% whole berry, aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A savory wine with herb-scented and herb-flavored deep red cherry and berry fruits backed by dusty tannins, finishing with reasonable length. Very good.

2010 Walt Hein Family Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 250 cases, $52, release June 29, 2012. From a vineyard owned by Richard Roessler which is farmed organically. Clones 777, 115 and Pommard. 30% whole clusters. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of boysenberries and plum. Pleasing array of dark berry flavors in a mid weight style with a very polished, satiny mouth feel. Very good.

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