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5th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout

A total of 276 Pinot Noirs were entered in this year’s Pinot Noir Shootout sponsored by Affairs of the Vine. A judging panel of 41 professionals sampled Pinot Noirs from all over the world to determine 40 finalists which were presented to 300 consumers at the Pinot Noir Summit held in San Francisco on Feb 10, 2007. The preliminary judging prior to the Summit is unique in that considerable time is spent judging each wine and judges only rate 32 wines a day. This year a new twist was added, with wines being rated with and without food. The top 40 wines ranged in price from $12 to $75.

The judge’s results without food:

Judge’s Choice

2005 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $45

2004 TR Elliott Three Plumes Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $32

Second Place

2004 David Bruce Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir $35 2004 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $60

Third Place

2004 D’Argenzio Klopp Thorn Ridge Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $48

2005 Phillips Hill Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir $40

The judge’s results with food:

Judge’s Choice

2004 Bogle Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $13

2005 Phillips Hill Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir $40

Second Place

2004 Ortman Fiddlestix Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir $40

2004 Woodenhead Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir $46

Third Place

2004 La Rochelle Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir $75 2005 Lucas & Lewellen Queen of Hearts Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir $12

The male and female judges were in general agreement with the above choices. However, among the consumers who attended the Summit, the women preferred the 2004 Sonnet Tondre’s Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($40), while the men preferred the 2005 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Peruse the website, www.affairsofthevine.com, for the full results of the competition. Reasonably high scoring Pinot Noirs priced inexpensively are listed in the “Bang for Your Buck” section.

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