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Recent Sips of Pinot Noir

2012 AEQUOREA Seafarer San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $38. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass with an unfiltered appearance. Aromas of oak-kissed cherry and spice. Nicely composed with mid weight flavors of cherry pie, raspberry and cranberry with a noticeable oak sheen. The tantalizing red fruits leave a pleasing impression on the mid palate and expand through the finish that offers some persistence. Very creamy the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89

Bohème

Bohème is project of Kurt Beitler, whose uncle is Chuck Wagner of Caymus fame. In 2000, Wagner charged Beitler with farming his Pinot Noir vineyard, Taylor Ridge, located near Occidental. This led to an epiphany about the sensational Sonoma Coast wines. The name of the winery comes from the Bohemian Highway that runs through Occidental. The bohemian spirit implies individual, artistic and virtue. Beitler grows all the vineyards from which he makes wine - about 20 acres in three different locales. His winemaking approach is traditional, except that he uses no new oak in the aging process. This produces wines with less tannin, more elegance, and no added sweetness and spice that comes with new oak exposure. Visit www.bohemewines.com.

2010 Bohème Stuller Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 285 cases, $49. Vineyard is located at 1,209 feet elevation on a coastal ridge, 6.4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Clones 115 and 667. Yield .99 tons per acre. Aged 2 years in neutral French oak barrels. From owner-vintner Kurt Beitler. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Cherry is the dominant scent on the nose with added compliments of forest floor and leaf. Earth-kissed cherry flavor with hints of raspberry and dark chocolate. Very mild tannins and easy to drink, but a little delicate for my taste on the attack and finish. Score: 88

2010 Bohème Taylor Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 189 cases, $55. Vineyard is at 915 feet elevation, 5.3 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Swan selection, yields 1.09 tons per acre. Aged 2 years in neutral French oak barrels. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of red cherry, Christmas spice and sandalwood. Soft and elegant in the mouth with supple tannins backing the delicious core of red cherry and cranberry fruits. A delicate wine, but flavorful and very enjoyable. The cherrythemed finish is noteworthy. Score: 90

2010 Bohème English Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 221 cases, $49. This vineyard is located on the southwestern edge of the Russian River Valley. Clones are 115, 667, Vosne-Romanee, and Calera selections. Yield .89 tons per acre. Aged 2 years in neutral French oak barrels. · Plenty to like on the nose with uplifting aromas of black cherry, spice and earthy flora. Elegant and suave, with darker stone and berry fruits augmented with cinnamon spice. There is a good cut of acidity and some finishing persistence. Score: 89

2012 Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.58, $25. An amalgam of different clones and vine ages with some very old vines dating to 1974. Named after proprietor Barbara Banke’s youngest daughter Julia. Clones 4, 2A, 23, 667, 115, 12, 5 and 777. 7-day cold soak, aged 7 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. This wine is often one of my favorite value priced offerings, but this edition has too much oak sheen for my taste which is surprising since the percentage of new oak is very modest. The fruit aromas of dark cherry and blackberry are overshadowed by oak. The lovely fruit core of black cherry, blueberry and pomegranate is earth-blessed, but somewhat buried in oak-driven flavors of tobacco and toast. The finish is satisfying but offers a rush of tannin. Another 6 to 12 months in bottle should mitigate some of the tug of oak and soften the tannins. Score: 87

2011 Colene Clemens Vineyards Margo Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $34. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, rose petal and sandalwood emerge slowly over time in the glass. Very similar to Adriane but with darker fruit flavors of black cherry and sassafras with a pleasant oak sheen. Light to medium weight with balanced tannins and a very dry finish. Seems a bit tight and should benefit from a year in the cellar. Score: 89

2011 Colene Clemens Vineyards Adriane Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $45. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Rather shy aromas of oak-shaded black cherries. Mid weight core of red and black cherries and cranberries with tobacco-laced oak in the background. Well-managed tannins and some finishing length, becoming better over time in the glass. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the oak-kissed red cherry theme persisted. Could use a little more time in bottle. Score: 90

2011 Colene Clemens Vineyards Victoria Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $58. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Expressive aromas of dark cherry liquor, black raspberry jam, spice and briar. The most polished and rich wine of the three 2011 Pinot Noirs, featuring a flavorful core of dark cherry accented with spicy oak. Very harmonious, but not fully forthcoming and will need a year or two in the cellar. Score: 91

2012 Drew Gatekeepers Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $32. Grapes are from Valenti and Perli vineyards. 60% 667, 25% 777 and 15% Rochioli selection. Harvest Brix 22º-23º. 15% whole cluster fermentation. 100% native fermentation. 10% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of fresh cherry pie glaze, spice, toast and sunflower seed. Elegant and fresh, with mid weight flavors of black cherry, raspberry, and cranberry with a touch of spice and oak. Tangy acidity and mild fine-grain tannins. Plenty of verve to grab on and hold through a long, cherry-themed finish. Very generous in its youth, but fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating it can be cellared for several years. Score: 90

2012 Drew Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $55. Vineyard is owned by Burt Williams and located in the deep end of the Anderson Valley on a steep, south-facing hillside. Multiple field selections including Rochioli and La Tache “828.” Harvest Brix 22.5º-23º. 30% whole cluster fermentation. 100% native fermentation. 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, red grape, brown spice and sandalwood. Refined and elegant in style, with deep cherry and red raspberry flavors underlain with hints of spice and stem. A complete wine with balanced tannins, refreshing acidity and a long, bright, raspberry-infused finish with no hard edges. Good for long-term cellaring but thoroughly enjoyable now. Score: 92

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Angel Camp Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.59, 306 cases, $58. This vineyard is owned by Dan Goldfield’s good friend Brian Zalaznick, who planted this 11.5-acre vineyard in memory of his brother and family. It is located west of Philo on a knoll above the Navarro River, overlooking the valley. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, co-fermentation of clones (Pommard, “828,” and 667), 50% of press wine added back to enhance aromatics, aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple robe in the glass. This is one of those wines that you know is special from the get-go. Enormous aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, spice and sweet oak. Medium to full bodied and lush, it is crammed with zesty black cherry and black raspberry fruit with an undertone of cola, Asian 5-spice and dark chocolate. The tannins are modest and fine-grained, the lip-smacking acidity adds juiciness, and the supple finish is remarkably long and focused. The wine holds up beautifully after an hour in the glass. Like biting into a just picked, perfectly ripe black raspberry. An absolute knockout! Score: 94

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Emerald Ridge Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.58, 498 cases, $58. This vineyard just outside the town of Graton was planted by Steve Dutton in 2001. Clones are Pommard, Wädenswil 2A, and “828” in Goldridge soil. 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, each clone fermented and handled separately, aged 11 months in 55% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very shy initially and evolves reluctantly over time to reveal aromas of blackberry preserves, blueberries, and an appealing floral note. Mid weight flavors of blackberry, blueberry, pomegranate and Tootsie Roll with a touch of spice, backed by suave, dusty tannins and good acidity. Texturally interesting and soft in the mouth, with admirable balance, and a generous dark berry driven finish. Decant this beauty if you must open now, but it will be more giving with another year or two in bottle. Score: 92

2011 Elk Cove Mount Richmond Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $34. This vineyard is located on a steep southeast facing slope with well-drained Willakenzie soil. Planted in 1996 with cuttings from Elk Cove’s Roosevelt Vineyard. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Deep aromas of cherry, strawberry, leather wallet and oak. Satisfying flavors of cherry and red berries with complimentary oak in the background. Supple tannins with a tangy, cherry themed finish. A good food wine. Score: 90

2010 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $48. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Initially, the aromas of red strawberry, red cherry, spice and sandalwood are quite charming, but oak dominates over time in the glass. Light weighted flavors of red berries, rhubarb and cherry with a tarry oak note that intrudes in the background. Supple tannins and some finishing intensity. Score: 87

2010 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $58. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Deep, glorious aromas of black cherry with a hint of spice and sandalwood. More structure and finish and a riper fruit profile than the regular bottling offering flavors of black cherry, plum reduction sauce, cola, dark chocolate and anise. The fruit pushes the ripeness envelope resulting in a cooked fruit tone and a little heat peaks out on the finish. Score: 87

2011 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $48. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, cut flowers and sandalwood. Mid weight flavors of strawberry, raspberry with a compliment of nutty oak. Noticeable tannin and zippy acidity producing a tangy finish of some length. Score: 89

2011 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 100 cases, $58. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very nice perfume of Bing cherry, raspberry, caramel and spice. Tasty essence of Bing cherries with a long cherry-driven finish. Seamless with balanced t n‘ a. Juicy and very satisfying. Highly accessible now, but has the balance to age effortlessly. Score: 91

2012 Eric Kent Small Town Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.66, 382 cases, $48. Released spring 2014. 44% Cleary Ranch and Michael Valentine, 31% Grand Vent, 13% Stiling, 12% Roberts Road vineyards. Clones 667, 777, Swan, Pommard and 113. Celebrating tens years of wine and art. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Attractive aromas of cherry and baking spices with a little dark chocolate showing up over time. Middleweight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, cola and sassafras, with a hint of tarry oak and orange zest showing up on the long, palate-cleansing, juicy finish. The tannins are nicely managed and the acid adds zest and vibrancy. Develops more interesting nuances over time in the glass. Score: 93

2012 Geyser Peak Winery Pluto’s Fury Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.60, 500 cases, $28. Pluto’s Fury takes its name from one of the historic geysers that dot the landscape around the winery. Historically, the geysers were located in an area of mineral wealth and were given colorful names derived from Greek mythology, stemming from the belief that mineral wealth originated in the domain of Pluto. Winemaker Ondine Chattan. Aged 11 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of cherry, brown spice, mushroom and sweet oak. A lighter weight, easy drinking wine that is soft and silky in the mouth. The flavors of cherry, strawberry and oak spice are enjoyable, and there is commendable harmony. The finish is pleasant but not remarkably long. A solid wine for the daily table. Score: 88

2011 Gundlach Bundschu Heritage Selection Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.83, TA 0.56, 308 cases, $N/A (allocation only). Released March 2014. Grapes are from the Bundschu family’s 150+year-old vineyard located on the southwestern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, eight miles north of San Pablo Bay. Huichica clay loam with gravel deposits. Two distinct blocks of 40+year-old Heritage vines were harvested and vinified separately for this limited barrel selection bottling. 7-day cold soak, indigenous yeast and malolactic, partially fermented in upright open-top French oak puncheons, aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Effusive aromas of black cherry, blueberry, rose petal and spice rub. Striking flavor attack on entry with plenty of dark cherry and black raspberry fruit that really pops! Hints of anise, black tea and nuts from supportive oak add interest. Very soothing in texture with balanced fine-grain tannins and a drawn out finish. A unique, nuanced wine that changes constantly in the glass. An argument for old vine Heritage clones. Score: 94

Hirsch Vineyards

Hirsch Vineyards experienced a marvelous 2011 vintage, with a difficult spring (cold, winds and rain) evolving into a cool, clear summer. The skies were clear and dry, temperatures were consistently moderate, and the weather was equable throughout the crucial growing season and veraison. Physiological development was in harmony with fruit and sugar development. Fruit from all 60 farming blocks reached maturation at about the same time, but a shortage of harvest labor forced crews to start work around midnight initially, then as early as 7pm, and work until mid morning. The crew was working 14 hour days to pick pristine fruit and keep ahead of the rain. By October 2, all but two acres were in (a client wanted to wait out the rains for more sugar ripening) and then over 6 inches of rain fell.

David Hirsch points out the vines don’t do much below 50º F and above 95º F. At the vineyard’s latitude, 38 north, temperatures above 75º F drive vegetative growth and sugar ripening if the skies are clear at the expense of ripening for flavor, aroma, depth and tannin development. It is in the sweet spot of 65º F to 80º F with good sunlight that the vine expresses its full development in the vintage, and by doing so, elaborates the potential of its site. This miracle occurred in 2011.

Hirsch Vineyard lies but 2.5 miles from the San Andreas Fault on the extreme western Sonoma Coast. It consists of a single vineyard of 68 acres divided into 61 individual farming blocks. The resulting degree of fragmentation is unmatched even by the famously subdivided vineyards of the Côte de Nuits. There is a far ranging variety of soils, topography and microclimates. Each block is individually developed and farmed, harvested and vinfied separately.

2011 Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.59, 3,091 cases, $60. The winery’s signature wine that represents the entirety of this multifaceted vineyard. This wine has fruit from 27 distinct farming blocks, more than any other wine made from the Hirsch Vineyard. Vines planted between 1980 and 2003. Clones are Pommard and Wädenswil (48%), Swan (21%), 777 (14%) and small amounts of Mt Eden and 114. 10% whole cluster inclusion. Aged 18 months in 35% new French oak barrels. Second vintage crafted by winemaker Ross Cobb. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A haunting, searching perfume of black fruits, spice box, rose petal and herbs. Mid weight flavors of plum, boysenberry and cassis that are ripe and pure framed by balanced tannins. Invigorating and accessible, with an explosive finish of uncommon length. Score: 92

2011 Hirsch Vineyards East Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.62, 301 cases, $85. East Ridge is a distinct microsite within Hirsch Vineyard, comprising an area of 18 acres divided into 16 farming blocks. This wine is a selection of the very best barrels from five of the oldest blocks on the East Ridge. 58.3% Pommard and Wädenswil, 33.3% Mt Eden and 8.3% Swan. Vines planted between 1990 and 1998. 20% whole cluster inclusion. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Pure, clean aromas of blackberry jam, Hoison sauce, spice and damp soil. More intensity and length here, with rich flavors of earth-kissed purple and black fruits flooding the palate, complimented by a dusting of tannins and a bright spark of acidity. The wine finishes with an immensely satisfying finish that goes on and on. Terrific juice. Score: 94

2011 Hirsch Vineyards West Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.61, 195 cases, $85. West Ridge is a series of hilltop vineyard blocks along the main ridge of Hirsch Vineyard covering 28 acres and divided into 27 farming blocks. This bottling is a selection of the most exceptional barrels from three of the very best blocks on West Ridge. 50% Mt Eden, 47.5% Swan and 12.5% Pommard and Wädenswil. Vines planted between 1992 and 1995. 10% whole cluster inclusion. Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Delicate, but pleasing aromas of red cherry, raspberry jam and Christmas pine. Lighter and more elegant, with a little more oak sheen overshadowing the crisp cherry and raspberry fruit. More citrus-driven acidity in this wine that offers very suave tannins and easy accessibility. A more feminine wine, but like the San Andreas and East Ridge bottlings, a very long and tantalizing finish. Score: 92

Kutch Wines

Jamie Kutch has experienced remarkable growth in 2012 with the production of the first vintage in a new Sonoma facility and the arrival of 30 new tanks including Grenier 4-ton wood tanks from France (the same as used at DRC). The 2012 growing season on the Sonoma Coast was seamless in Jamie’s words. Because of the quality of the grapes, everything was fermented with 100% whole cluster (stem inclusion). The wines had a darkness of color that exceeded any previous harvest at Kutch. The wines were bottled January 27, 2014. Visit www.kutchwines.com.

2012 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $39 ($78 per magnum). A blend of two-thirds Campbell Ranch located on a rugged portion of the true Sonoma Coast, and one-third from Sonoma Stage Vineyard on the northern edge of San Pablo Bay. 100% whole cluster. · Deep, dark reddish purple color in the glass. Complex nose with expressive aromas of blackberry, cassis, and whole cluster spice and floral goodness. The full Monty with thick, broad flavors of dark berries, black currants, spice and slate. Although sappy, the wine is not cloying. The sinewy tannin structure is neither astringent or particularly intrusive, but bottle aging will lead to more softness and integration. The finish is satisfying but shy at this stage. Amazing phenolic ripeness at this low alcohol level. Still quite aromatic the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Best to cellar for a few years at least. Score: 90

2012 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $59. Falstaff has a shallow layer of Goldridge soil over marine sandstone that imparts a minerality to the wine. 100% whole cluster. · Deep, dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of blackberry jam, black currant, anise and smoky oak. Remarkable fruit intensity with a full-on array of dark berry fruits embellished with hints of spice and earthy goodness. The wine exhibits a tannin-filled personality that is in balance with the prodigious fruit. Very soft and smooth in the mouth with a long, fruit-laden finish. More aromatic with the telltale floral and spice attributes of whole cluster and more flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Tremendous potential that will require several years of cellaring, but can be enjoyed now with decanting. Score: 92-93

2012 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.62, 27,240 cases, $25. Harvest Brix 23.6º-26.1º. Clones 113, 115, 459, 667, 777, “828,” Pommard 5, Wädenswil 2A, Martini 13 and Mt. Eden. De-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, quick fermentation lasting 4 days, aged for 11 months in 30% new and 70% neutral Francois Frères and Rousseau French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Sweet aromas of spiced raspberry, cherry, strawberry and a hint of vanilla. An easygoing, very flavorful mid weight wine with polished tannins. A red fruit brigade is featured with plenty of spice, finishing with a flourish of slightly tart red cherries. Eager to be enjoyed now. Widely available in the retail marketplace. Score: 89

2012 Laetitia Reserve Du Domaine Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.61, 1,200 cases, $40. Harvest Brix 23.8º-26.8º. Composed of fruit that is given a longer hang time on the vine and a longer period of aging in oak. It is the winery’s Tête de Cuvée representing the paramount of the vintage. Aged 11 months in 40% new and 60% neutral French oak barrels. Clones 115, 667, 459, “828,” Wädenswil 2A and Martini 13. · Gorgeously composed nose of black cherry black raspberry and spice aromas. Concentrated and strapping, with layers of chewy black cherries and dark berries, yet refined and polished with impeccable balance for the long haul. The finish delivers loads of extended pleasure. This wine has the backbone to age well into ten years but is irresistable now. Score: 92

2012 Laetitia Whole Cluster Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.59, 420 cases,$40. Harvest Brix 23.8º-26.8º. 45% whole cluster maceration and fermentation. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Better be sitting down when you drink this knock out wine. Copious aromas of black cherry, spice, rose petal and other exotic flowers. Reminds me of a classy woman’s perfume. Seamless and sensual on the palate, offering a festival of spiced black cherries and black raspberries with perfectly integrated tannins and acidity, and a long, supple finish that leaves an impression. Everything good about whole cluster is exemplified in this beauty that has that magical je ne sais quoi that makes people go ga-ga over some red Burgundies. Score: 95

2011 Lea Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 635 cases, $32. A blend from Turner, Buona Terra and Moorman vineyards. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, tea leaves and hay. Straightforward and accessible with flavors of black cherry and dark red berries accented by dusty oak in the background. This wine grows on you over time, offering a notable long finish with a good acid tang. Score: 89

2012 Longoria Lovely Rita Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.64, 405 cases, $32. Grapes are from Fe Ciega Vineyard. Harvest Brix average 23.0º. Primarily Pommard clone. 100% de-stemmed, aged 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Gently fined and filtered two weeks before bottling. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of boysenberry, black cherry, forest floor, herbal oak and salinity. Enjoyable core of fresh, sweet red, spiced cherry and berry fruit. Nicely crafted, with mild tannins and a citrus-infused finish. Winemaker Rick Longoria advises a cellaring potential of 4 to 8 years. Score: 88

2012 Longoria Bien Nacido Vineyard Block N Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc, pH 3.51, TA 0.59, 168 cases, $45. 20th vintage of Pinot Noir that Longoria has produced from this vineyard. Block N is one of the original blocks of Pinot Noir at Bien Nacido planted in the 1970s. Harvest Brix 23.8º. 100% de-stemmed, 3- day cold soak, inoculated 7-day fermentation. Aged 14 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · This is a very distinctive wine. Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose starts off with prominent notes of evergreen tree and tomato leaf with a hint of black raspberry and cherry. Over time in the glass, the vegetal notes recede and the fruit is more sparkling. Similarly on the palate, the earthy dark cherry and raspberry fruit is clothed in tobacco leaf and dried herb flavors initially, shedding those notes over time in the glass and developing more pure fruit flavors. This unique wine grows on you over time, with the herbal notes declining and becoming more complimentary. Decant or hold this wine in your cellar for a year or two. Score: 90

NV Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.64, 326 cases, $48. A blend of clones 115, 667, Pommard and Mt. Eden. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, inoculated fermentation, average 12 day fermentation. Aged 14 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Lightly filtered but unfined just before bottling. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Big aromas of blackberry, black plum, peppercorn, spice and subtle contributions from oak. Full flavored, with mid weight purple fruits and Hoison sauce leading the parade. The finish is remarkably intense and persistent. Easy to drink now because of modest tannins, but has the balance to age nicely for several years. One of the most elegant vintages of Fe Ciega that Longoria has produced. Score: 92

2012 Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Block M Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.60, 67 cases, $55. Second vintage produced exclusively from fruit planted in the 1.25-acre Block M of Fe Ciega Vineayrd. Mt. Eden Clone. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, inoculated 14-day fermentation. Aged 25 months in 55% new French oak. Lightly filtered, but not fined. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very ingratiating, offering plenty of dark red and black berry fruit aromas. In fact, one sniff of this beauty and you know that you are in for something special. Delicious, perfectly ripened flavors of black raspberry, black cherry and plum reduction sauce. Medium to full bodied with round, dry tannins, a very polished mouth feel and a long, long finish. Clearly a very classy wine that any red-blooded pinotphile will adore. Score: 94

2012 Sante Arcangeli Family Wines Split Rail Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, 245 cases, $36. the vineyard is located 1,700 feet above Monterey Bay in Corralitos. An unusual combination of David Bruce selection, UCD 32 (Roederer clone) and Pommard clone. Harvest Brix 23º-25º. 10% whole cluster inclusion. Native and AMH yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months in 90% French and 10% Hungarian oak barrels, 50% new and 50% used. Bottled unfiltered in August 2013. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Gentle aromas of cherry, strawberry and baking spices lead to a light, elegantly styled wine with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry complimented by hints of cola, herbs and oak. Bright and juicy with charming Pinot modesty. Score: 90

Siduri

The following Siduri wines have only been in bottle 10 weeks and some are not scheduled for release until June of this year. Taking this into account, I decanted several wines and tasted all of them over an extended period. I have given a range of scoring with the consideration that several wines should improve with more time in bottle. The wines may warrant higher scores with an additional 6-12 months in bottle. All wines are bottled under screwcap.

2012 Siduri Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 1,175 cases, $32. Released April 2014. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Fantastic nose with hi-tone aromas of fresh strawberries, cherry pie, spice and oak accent, holding up over time in the glass. Mid weight, juicy array of red cherry and berry fruits backed by supple tannins and good acidity. An elegant, fruit-forward, very accessible wine. Score: 88

2012 Siduri Arbre Vert Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 399 cases, $42. Released April 2014. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. A festival of earth-kissed cherry fruit on the nose and palate with riffs of clove and citrus, opening slowly over time in the glass. Discreetly concentrated, softly textured and harmonious, with an oak skirt showing. Some length in the mouth and finish with a little grip of tannin and citrus on the finish. Still not very showy the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Definitely needs another 6 to 12 months in bottle for most enjoyment. Score: 89

2012 Siduri Muirfield Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 211 cases, $42. Release June 2014. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is inviting with deep aromas of darker cherries and berries, forest floor and savory highlights. Middleweight core of black cherry fruit which is nicely ripened and bright. Fairly bold with a substantial tannic backbone and a juicy finish with hints of citrus and irondriven minerality. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine could use another year in bottle. Score: 90

2012 Siduri Hawk’s View Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 235 cases, $42. Release June 2014. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. The most flamboyant and interesting nose of the Oregon offerings with aromas of black cherry, sassafras, forest floor and graham. Pleasing flavors of black cherry, black raspberry with good fullness and polish on the palate. Impressive persistence on the fruit-filled finish which leaves a modest amount of tannins in its wake. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, this was clearly my favorite with the most memorable finish of the 2012 Oregon offerings. Will only improve in the cellar. Score: 92

2012 Siduri Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 2,232 cases, $32. Sourced from Pratt Vineyard-Sexton Road and "828" from Camp Castro Vineyard with some Sonatera Vineyard and a few barrels of Hirsch Vineyard. Released April 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Fresh aromas of berries, black grapes, forest floor, toast, vanilla and leather. Mid to full bodied core of black raspberry and blackberry fruits backed by muscular tannins. Finishes with reasonable length and intensity leaving some oak and tannin behind. Should be better in 6 months. Score: 88

2012 Siduri Sonatera Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 368 cases, $48. Release June 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of cherry pie glaze, raspberries and exotic wood. Rich and luscious flavors of dark plum, black cherry, sassafras and spice with complimentary oak and balanced tannins. A pleasurable, fruit-driven wine with a plush mouth feel. A touch of heat shows up on the finish. Score: 89

2012 Siduri Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 276 cases, $55. Release June 2014. Three new sections of vineyard added in 2012 as original section sourced wince 1995 was largely pulled out due to disease. A selection of 39% of the barrels for the final wine. 5 barrels of Pommard, 3 barrels each of Mt Eden and 114. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very reticent, but shows tremendous potential. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry jam and sassafras. Mid weight flavors of black raspberry, black cherry and pomegranate with an earthy, leathery undertow. Very classy fruit with well managed tannins and admirable balance. Not particularly interesting now, but the pedigree shows through. Should be a killer in a year or two. Score: 91

2012 Siduri Van Der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 207 cases, $44. Release May 2014. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. The nose unfolds slowly in the glass to reveal bright aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, tea and wet leaves. Very tasty, with a classy core of black cherry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits backed by sweet oak. The tannins are firm but refined and the finish is spectacularly long. The higher alcohol is evident in the background, but this is a trade off for the sweet, luscious fruit presence. Score: 91

2012 Siduri Ewald Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 257 cases, $48. Release May 2014. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Complex nose with aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, briar, pine, spice rub, and others I could not pinpoint. Full-bodied, sweet and sappy, with a plethora of black fruits. Tremendous luscious fruit intensity with matched tannins. Complimentary oak in the background. The wine becomes softer and more cohesive with more nuance over time in the glass, but make no mistake, this is a fruit driven wine. Score: 90

2012 Siduri Lingenfelder Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 211 cases, $48. Release June 2014. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Very aromatic, with expressive scents of cherry, nutmeg and rose petal. Good attack and finish with plenty of sappy black cherry fruit. Juicy and refined, but shouldering too much oak at present. This wine should be cellared for at least a year to integrate the oak. Score: 90

2012 Siduri Parson’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 258 cases, $50. Released April 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Black fruits are featured with a heavy dose of charred oak and cigar box evident on the nose and palate. Luscious black cherry and blackberry core with muscular, slightly astringent tannins and a generous finish filled with plenty of fruit goodness. An awkward bruiser right now that will benefit from more time in bottle. Score: 87-88

2012 Siduri Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 1,834 cases, $32. Released April 2014. A blend of fruit from John Sebastiano, Clos Pepe and Cargasacchi vineyards. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Oak-kissed blackberry, cassis and vanilla aromas. Vivid and juicy on the palate, with a packed and stacked complement of sweet black cherry and blackberry fruits underlain with a good cut of acidity and backed by modest tannins. Very approachable now. Score: 90

2012 Siduri Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 235 cases, $48. Release June 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Exuberant nose with vibrant aromas of dark red cherries and berries, rose petals and wet earth. Highly flavorful featuring black raspberry, cassis and plum with an oak sheen. Velvety soft and silky in the mouth with balanced, suede tannins. The wine finishes with ornate fruit and a slight bit of heat. Needs more time to integrate the oak. Score: 90

2012 Siduri Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 376 cases, $50. Release May 2014. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Shy red cherry fruit with accents of stem and oak spice on the nose. The earthy cherry core has a cooked fruit tone. A feminine wine that is very dainty in this vintage. Currently, the oak and tannins stick out. Slightly tart cherry holds on at the finish which has a slight burn. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 88

2012 Siduri John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 352 cases, $48. Released April 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of blackberry jam, sassafras, vanilla and earthy flora. Delicious array of dark cherry and berry fruits supported by suave tannins. Very charming soft mouth feel with plenty of finishing grace. A very appealing, beautifully composed and seamless wine that will only get better in the cellar. A real standout. Score: 94

2011 Trombetta Family Wines Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 530 cases, $58. Clones are Swan, 777 and “828” planted between 2002 and 2005. Yield 2.3 tons per acre. Harvest Brix 25º. Fermented with native yeast, extended cold soak and maceration, native MLF in barrel, aged 9 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry and toasty oak are slow to arrive on the nose, but when they do, the experience draws you into the glass. Mid to full-bodied essence of dark Bing cherries with cola and oak in the background and a touch of citrus on the finish. A cohesive wine with plenty of sappy fruit balanced by integrated tannins. I liked the wine more as it unfolded in the glass over time. Very similar in character to a moderately bold Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Runner up at recent Pigs and Pinot Sommelier Smackdown in Healdsburg. Score: 90

2011 Waterstone Carneros Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.56, 868 cases, $22. Sourced from Diamond Vineyard and Truchard Vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, whole berry fermented in open top fermenters, aged 16 months in 35% new and 65% used French oak barrels. Minimal fining and filtration before bottling. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, plum and nutty-tobacco infused oak. Mid to full bodied core of earthy dark cherry, raspberry and plum fruits with modest tannins and a short finish. Good without being special. Score: 85

2012 Windy Oaks Terra Narro Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $29. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Expressive aromas of black cherry, rose petal, cedar and sandalwood hold up nicely over time in the glass. Moderately light on the palate with pleasing flavors of red cherry and supportive oak. A forward-drinking, friendly wine with juicy acidity. Score: 89

2012 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $39. A mix of 5 clones from the estate home vineyard. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very floral initially, becoming more fruity over time. Intoxicating aromas of spice-infused cherries, roses, herbs, and subtle oak. Delicious essence of fresh cherries with an amalgam of accents including spice, cola, graham and anise. Modest in weight and very polished, with balanced tannins and a lengthy finish filled with cherry goodness. Score: 92

2012 Windy Oaks Diane’s Block Klein Family Mountain Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $45. Grown on a 5-acre slightly warmer site at a lower elevation than the Schultze Family Vineyard. The vineyard is located in an old apple orchard perched 600 feet above Monterey Bay adjacent Schultze Family Vineyard. · Modest reddish purple color in the glass. Plenty to discover in the nose which offers aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, cola and leather glove. Welcome fullness and roundness to the sweet cherry-driven core of fruit complimented by subtle oak highlights. Impeccable balance and easy accessibility with a pleasingly silken finish. Score: 93

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