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PinotFile 11/11

From Pinot Pilot Profiles

2014 Square Peg SP-SL Vineyard Block 1 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $55. 100% Calera selection. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of earth, mulch, black cherry, rose tea and spice with a delicate thread of oak in the background. Modest, suave tannins with a silky mouthfeel and generous finish. Score: 90-92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Square Peg SP-SL Vineyard Block 8 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $55. Primarily “828” with small addition of Calera selection. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Lovely nose that streams aromas of red berry, blueberry, spice, flower blossom and graham. Impressive balance and elegance with a mid weight core of spiced raspberry, blueberry and black cherry fruit flavors. Score: 91-93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Square Peg SP-SL Vineyard Block 8 “828” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $55. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, herbs and spice. Elegantly crafted in a mid weight style, featuring red fruits framed by soft tannins and demure oak in the background. Score: 89-90. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted California Wines

2016 Terragena Abbassi Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay

11.8% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.69, 71 cases, $29. Released June 1, 2017. 40+-year-old Chardonnay vines planted on .75 acre, clone 37 on 110R rootstock planted in a silty to sandy loam. Aged in 2/3 neutral and 1/3 new French oak barrels coopered in Hungary. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of green apple, yeast and parchment. Austere and racy in style with flavors of lemon-lime, greenest apple and papaya embellished with high-strung acidity and a soprano finish. This wine is not particularly enjoyable on its own, but may be more appealing with the appropriate food to balance the bright acidity. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Roger Roessler Wines Black Pine Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.563, $30. Sourced from three vineyards with the majority coming from a western Russian River Valley site farmed in Goldridge soils. Additional sources come from the Carneros region in the Sonoma Coast and the western edge of the Petaluma Gap. Winemaker Drew Huffine. Native and organic French yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months on lees in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of turned earth, mulch and tobacco lead to a full-bodied wine featuring full-ripened black fruits framed by firm but not astringent tannins. A thread of tobacco oak plies the background. I wished for more finesse, nuance and acidity. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Roger Roessler Wines Big Bend Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.25, TA 0.699, $30. Sourced from three sites in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Whole cluster pressed, organic French yeast fermentation, native malolactic fermentation, barrel fermented in tight grain French oak barrels, 30% new, for 18 months. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. A richly fruited style with aromas and flavors of lemon creme, pineapple, baked pear, butter. There is adequate natural acidity to temper the sappy fruit giving the wine a vibrant character. Slightly creamy in texture, with a refreshingly juicy finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Selection Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.8% alc., pH 3.24, TA 0.71, 4,368 cases, $35. Sourced from seven vineyards anchored by Westside Farms and Bacigalupi vineyards. Harvest Bris 21º-23º. Whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented in 30 to 40% new French oak barrels for 9 months. 100% MLF. Both traditional barrels and 500-L puncheons were used. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Delicate aromas of lemon oil, white flower blossom and nutty oak. More enjoyable in the mouth, with a citrus driven core of fruit. Crisp, clean, lean and silky, with a nut oil thread in the background. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Foley Rancho Santa Rosa Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.68, 2,326 cases, $40. Harvest Brix 24.5º-27.0º. 100% de-stemmed with no crushing. 4-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, inoculated yeast fermentation, manual punch downs, aged 18 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels, 28% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of strawberry, cherry and baking spices. Nicely composed, with bright flavors of spiced dark red fruits and a hint of cola and tobacco. Well-integrated tannins, with a cherry finish that really grabs hold. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Foley Bar Lazy S Ranch Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.67, 609 cases, $45. Brand Series. Rancho Santa Rosa East Vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.5º-27.0º. 100% gently de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, manual punch downs, free-run wine aged in French oak barrels for 18 months, 50% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely melange of cherry, strawberry, earth and sawdust aromas. A distinctive wine with mid weight flavors of cherry, raspberry and exotic spices shot through with a floral, tutti-frutti note. Barrel treatment is well coordinated, and the wine finishes long and generous. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Two Sisters Lindsay’s Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.68, $49.99. Clones 667 and 777. Average harvest Brix 25º. 100% de-stemmed with no crushing and cold soaked in open-top fermenters. Manual punch downs. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is largely dominated by oak-related aromas. Enviable core of oak-kissed purple grape, Hoisin sauce and black cherry flavors wrapped in modest tannins. Seductively silky in texture with noticeable purity of fruit, Better oak integration, more fruit aromas and overall a better drinking experience when re-tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Foley JA Ranch Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.71, 685 cases, $55. Brand Series. Rancho Santa Rosa East Vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.5º-27.0º. 100% gently de-stemmed with no crushing, 4-day cold soak in open top fermenters, manual punch downs, free-run juice aged in French oak barrels, 30% new, for 18 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of raspberry, cherry and cola are echoed in the flavors in this mouth filling wine that soars with fruit goodness and vibrancy due to high natural acidity. The oak treatment is reigned in, the tannins are in step, and the fruity finish leaves special aromatic memories. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Foley T Anchor Ranch Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.68, 691 cases, $55. Brand Series. Rancho Santa Rosa East Vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.5º-27.0º. 100% gently de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, manual punch downs, free-run transferred to French oak barrels for 18 months aging, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Attractive aromas of dark red fruit compote, brioche and dusty oak. Sleek and polished in the mouth, with a middleweight core of blueberry and cherry fruits backed by noticeable oak input. The lightest sap in the 2015 Brand Series lineup, with a rather delicate character. My only nit would be that the wine falls short of impressive mid palate and finishing presence, but is otherwise delectable. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.26, TA 0.65, 334 cases, $55. Released September 2017. The original historic block of Chardonnay at Bacigalupi Vineyard is one of the main components of the Bacigalupi Chardonnay blend. Harvest Brix 22º-23º. Whole cluster pressed, inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Barrel aged in 40% new French and puncheons on the right amount of lees for 8 months. 100% MLF. A barrel selection. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Shy aromas of lemon, lime, green shrub, ocean breeze and slightest oak. Uplifting flavors of lemon, apple and pear in a harmoniously styled wine with a silky mouthfeel and a quenching, lemony finish. A bit too lean and racy for my favor, but will appeal to those who seek out acid-driven Chardonnay. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Toboni Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.69, 911 cases, $55. Released September 2017. The Toboni Oakwild Ranch Vineyard is located in the Santa Rosa Plain, just south of the winery. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Gently 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 7-day cold soak, 7 to 10-days post fermentation extended maceration, inoculated for malolactic fermentation and aged 10 months on the primary lees in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of black cherry, rose tea, and tobacco arrive very slowly over time in the glass. Discreet concentration of black cherry and boysenberry fruits accented with cola and piney oak. Ripe, balanced tannins are supportive, and the natural acidity adds vigor. The wine is definitely less sappy than its 2014 counterpart that has more staying power in the mouth and finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Foley Barrel Select Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.65, 521 cases, $60. Rancho Santa Rosa East Vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, inoculated yeast fermentation, manual punch downs, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is quite reserved, offering only demure aromas of peppery spice, blackberry, underbrush and seasoned oak. Sleek and silky in the mouth with weighty flavors of purple and black berries accented with peppery, walnut oak. Ripe tannins ply the background, and the wine finishes with a quenching burst of fruit. The wine picks up interest and expression over time in the glass indicating it needs more time in the cellar for full enjoyment. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Hallberg-Dijon Clones Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.36, TA 0.69, 818 cases, $60. Released September 2017. Sourced from the 100-acre Hallberg Vineyard located just west of the town of Sebastopol. Clones 777 and 667. 100% gently de-stemmed, 4 to 7-day cold soak, 10 days post fermentation extended maceration, inoculated for malolactic fermentation, and aged 10 months on the primary lees in French oak barrels 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Heady aromas of boysenberry, earthy flora and bark. Noteworthy attack of mid weight boysenberry and blackberry fruits accented with baking spices and pine needle. Leaner than usual in this vintage, with bright natural acidity, immersed tannins, and some expansiveness on the finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.17, TA 0.76, 505 cases, $60. Majority of grapes from River Block clone 5, planted in 1989 with the balance from a field selection planted in 1993 and Allen Block 1, cone 15, planted in 1995. Harvest Prix 22º-23º. Whole cluster pressed, inoculated with Montrachet yeast, and barrel aged in 40% new French oak barrels and puncheons on the right amount of lees for 8 months. A barrel selection. · Moderately dark golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of roasted oats, caramel and warm brioche lead off but the oak influence dissipates over time in the glass. A riper fruit profile greets the palate, including flavors of lemon drop, pineapple and toasted almond. The generous and lingering soprano finish features green apple and citrus notes. Again, this wine will appeal to acid hounds. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.68, 555 cases, $70. Released September 2017. Pommard selection from the legendary Q Block, considered the most prestigious Pinot Noir block on this famous site. 100% gently de-stemmed, 4 to 7-day cold soak, 7 to 1-day post fermentation extended maceration, inoculated for malolactic fermentation, and aged 16 months on the primary lees in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Lovely mix of red cranberry, red cherry, spice and pipe smoke aromas with the slightest green note. Lighter in weight, feature delicate flavors of red fruits backed by gossamer tannins. Flavors of tobacco and dried herbs add to the mix. The wine finishes with a quenching Maraschino Cherry aroma. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Two Sisters Lindsay’s Vineyard Reserve Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.67, 301 cases. $80. Extremely heavy bottle. Clones 667 and 777. Average harvest Brix 25º. 100% destemmed with no crushing and cold soaked in open-top fermenters. Manual punch downs. 70% MLF. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Splendid aromas of black cherry, earth, herbs and toasty oak. Rich, full and sweet on the palate in a full-bodied style offering a plush black cherry fruit core accented by toast and licorice notes. The tannins are folded in and their is enough acidity for freshness. This is clearly a serious wine with intentions, but it will need more time in bottle to integrate more of the oak and reach full expression. Exceptional when tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Terragena Seppa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.573, 168 cases, $39. Released April 2017. The Seppa Vineyard is a family owned and sustainable vineyard planted in 2001 and located in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast. 100% 115 clones. Aged in a combination of 1/3 new, 1/3 used and 1/3 neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Shy earthbound aromas of clay and flora with a hint of dark berries. Light to mid weight in style, offering an assortment of dark red and purple fruits backed by complimentary oak. Forward drinking, with adequate structure for aging, and noticeable finishing persistence. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Terragena Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.69, 72 cases, $39. Released July 28, 2016. Inaugural release from this iconic vineyard located in the deep end of the Anderson Valley. Clones 777, 667, 115, 37, 538 and Pommard. Aged in Hungarian and French oak barrels. · Light ruby red color in the glass. The perfume of cherry, oak spice, forest and pipe smoke is appealing. Light in weight with a core of red cherry and red cranberry fruit laced with a burnt tobacco note. Exquisite balance, with a satiny mouthfeel, and a modest finish. The fruit seems to have been harvested a little short of full ripeness but that may be the intended style. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted Oregon Pinot Noir

2015 Love & Squalor Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.54, 1,100 cases, $28. Release November 2017. A multi-vineyard, multi-appellation blend intended to capture the essence of the vintage. Clones are Pommard, 667, 777, 113, 114, 115, “828,” and 23. Grapes were mostly de-stemmed (3% whole cluster). Small-lot fermentations were not inoculated and punched down by hand. Aged in neutral French oak barrels for 18 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Faint aromas of black cherry, blackberry and Nutella. Straightforward mid weight flavors of black cherry and raspberry backed by significant tannins that tilt the balance. Decent attack of fruit and mid palate richness, and a juicy, cherry-fueled finish. No oak involved. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Oregon Syrah

14.9% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.66, 495 cases, $40. Sourced from six Oregon vineyards in warmer growing regions. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 35% one-yearold, 15% two-year-old and 20% neutral. l don’t review Syrah but I have a fondness for Oregon cool climate Syrah so what the heck. · Dark garnet color in the glass. A serenade of cassis, white pepper and tobacco aromas lead off. Full-bodied and robust with hefty tannins. A man’s wine with plenty of delectable blackberry, boysenberry and black currant fruit accented with spice. Impressive length in the mouth with a persistent finish. This wine needs a big ribeye steak. I had my neighbors try this one since they like bigger wines and they went ga-ga over it. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.54, 9,100 cases, $40. Sourced from 13 vineyards. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 29% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. This nose is entirely seductive over time, exhibiting aromas of black cherry, fertile soil and warm spices. A very forward and friendly wine featuring middleweight flavors of black cherry and blackberry fruits that have an expansive presence in the mouth and finish with stellar length. There is a significant tannic backbone and the right touch of nutty oak. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Love & Squalor Sunny Mountain Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.59, 50 cases, $52. Release spring 2018. This vineyard is located above the town of Monroe in the southernmost reaches of the Willamette Valley AVA. 12 acres tended by Steve Price, a former Professor of Viticulture at Oregon State University in Corvallis. The vineyard was planted in 2005 to Pommard, “828,” and Mariafeld clones in sedimentary Belpine soil.100% de-stemmed, short cold soak, uninoculated fermentation, manual punch downs, aged in neutral French oak barrels for 18 months. Racked twice before bottling. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is earthbound, with aromas of earthy flora and underbrush. On the palate, this mid weight plus wine offers a stunningly intense attack of berry flavors including black raspberry, blackberry and Marionberry. Rich and lush, with matched, sultry tannins and a fruit-filled finish that lingers. The wine reflects its warmer terroir origins. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Love & Squalor Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.52, 50 cases, $52. Release spring 2018. Vineyard is one of Oregon’s most esteemed. Planted in 1981 and now spreads over 100 acres of volcanic soil. Farmed by Das Crisp and his team. Most likely 100% clone 667. 100% de-stemmed, un-inoculated fermentation, and aged in mostly neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Comforting aromas of berry compote and fertile earth. A mid weight melange of raspberry, cherry and blueberry fruits bring the wine a regal presence. Satiny in texture, with a remarkable sweet fruited finish of uncommon pleasure. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Estate Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.55, 1,000 cases, $65. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 27% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. An arsenal of dark red cherry and berry fruits emerge over time in the glass. Slow to give up its charms initially but regal and great when tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle. A mid weight assortment of purple and black fruits are fresh and deep, backed by a taut tannic spine and enough acidity for freshness. The harmonious mouthfeel draws you back to the glass and nuances of spice and earth show up in time. Built for aging, this wine will benefit from more time in the cellar and may be deserving of an even higher score over time. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Zena Crown Vineyard Eola- Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.49, 500 cases, $65. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas arrive over time in the glass, including blackberry, cassis, toast, warm spices and bacon. Mid weight plus in weight, with a substantial black fruit load balanced by burly tannins. Oak is deftly matched to the fruit that has an earthy underpinning. The wine was considerably better when tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle and may deserve a higher score with a few years in the cellar. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Pas de Nom Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.47, 350 cases, $125. Sourced from Bella Vida, Shea, Penner-Ash Estate, Elevée, Hyland and Zena Crown vineyards. Select barrels in the cellar. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new, 25% one-year-old, 30% two-yearold and 5% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Easy to find superlatives for this special wine with no name. Intense aromas of cherry, rose petal and forest floor, broadening over time to deeper tones. Delicious mid weight black raspberry, black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors that offer pleasing density and a mouth coating finish. Stunning mid palate presence with a dreamy texture, integrated tannins, and a deft touch of toasty, peppery oak. Considerably better when tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle and still embraceable two days later. This is a celebratory wine for special occasions. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Tendril Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 195 cases, $40. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Winemaker Tony Rynders has crafted Oregon Chardonnay since 1998. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The nose leads with scents of buttery brioche, lemon custard and nutty oak. Discreetly rich in the mouth, with flavors of lemon, pineapple and golden apple. Slightly creamy, with a restrained oak imprint. A thoroughly satisfying wine with commendable balance and spirit. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Tendril Extrovert Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 367 cases, $48. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 43% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Very demure aromas of cherry and sweet oak. Light to mid weight in style with cherry and blueberry flavors that extend the juicy finish. An easygoing and forward style with enough tannin to pair with the fruit. Very solid wine, and embodies its “extrovert” name, but lacks aromatic intrigue even over time in the glass. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Love & Squalor Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.53, 25 cases (1 barrel), $52. In release. Clones are Pommard, 667, 113 and 114. 10% whole cluster, 90% de-stemmed, short cold soak, un-inoculated fermentation, manual punch downs. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% once-filled. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy aromas of boysenberry, blackberry jam and nutty oak. The mid weight core of sweet, sappy black fruits is well-spiced. There are harmonious tannins and acidity, an appealing earthiness, an easygoing texture and some invigorating fruit on the finish, but the wine loses my interest when tasted several hours later. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Tendril Mt. Richmond Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 104 cases, $60. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. A dry-farmed vineyard planted in sedimentary soils west of Yamhill owned by Adam Campbell of Elk Grove Winery. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromatics of cherry, rose and nutty oak lead to a middleweight wine that is both husky and sleek, as well as harmonious. Intriguingly earthy, with a dark cherry and berry core of fruit framed by the typical tannins of Yamhill-Carlton. The wine finishes with exceptional joy and length. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Tendril Pretender Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 124 cases, $60. Aged 15 months in 0% new French oak barrels. A Pinot Noir Blanc wine in which a red varietal is “pretending” to be a white wine. Winemaker Tony Rynders introduced this style of Pinot Noir to Oregon while working at Domaine Serene. · Moderately light golden yellow color with a slight pink tinge. Aromas of cut apple, poached pear and brown butter lead to a polished wine in the mouth offering flavors of apple, white grape, watermelon and subtle spice and nuttiness. Satiny, even slightly viscous on the palate, with a polished demeanor and a quenching finish. Still fine when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, if not a little bit more enjoyable. I am not a big fan of Pinot Noir Blanc, so the wine may be slightly underscored. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Tendril Tightrope Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 150 cases, $64. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 67% new. The goal of this wine is to capture the best qualities of the vintage. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, blueberry compote and white rose petal draw you into the glass. The tasty cherry core saturates the mid palate with goodness. Impressive vibrancy and length in an easy to like wine that ends with plenty of aromatic cherry pleasure. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Tendril C Note Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 73 cases, $100. Aged 17 months in 100% new French oak barrels with 3-year, air-dried staves. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. An array of pleasurable aromas arrive in the glass including dark cherry, spice box, burnt tobacco and a feminine perfume. The oak treatment is overbearing upon opening, but when the wine was tasted later in the day, the oak had integrated beautifully. The wine is mid weight in style with waves of black cherry and dark berry fruits accented with a touch of oak-driven tobacco. The ripe, very fine-grain tannins create textural charm. Perhaps the most striking feature of this wine is the extra, I mean extra, long finish. Decant or keep your hands off this another couple of years. Clearly a special wine. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Supermarket Pinot

2015 Martin Ray Sonoma County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $22.84 - $6.85, screwcap. Vinted and bottled by Martin Ray Winery, Santa Rosa, CA. Bill Batchelor is the winemaker. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark cherry, timber and Asian 5-spice. A friendly mid weight wine with flavors of black cherry and black raspberry framed by easygoing tannins and juicy acidity. A touch of oak adds interest. I like this wine for everyday drinking. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 J Vineyards & Winery Monterey County, Sonoma County and Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $24.27 - $17.28. Produced and bottled by J Vineyards & Winery, Healdsburg, CA. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of black cherry, raspberry, and compost hold up in the glass over time. Very satisfying, with a middleweight core of fresh black fruits accented by warm spices. Good attack, balanced tannins, a silky mouthfeel and some finishing generosity. A steal at 17 bucks. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 alta maria Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $15.70 - $4.71, screwcap. Produced and bottled by alta maria Vineyards, St. Helena, CA. Winemakers are James Ontiveros and Joseph Wagner. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is not particularly appealing, offering scents of fertile earth, crushed purple grapes and oak splinter. Light to mid weight in style, featuring a core of blackberry fruit offset with a noticeable overlay of burnt toast. Soft tannins and a very modest finish. This wine has the backbone of Pinot Noir but the burnt tone may or may not appeal. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $18.56 - $5.57. Cellared and bottled by Z. Alexander Brown Wines, Napa, CA. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. This wine exhibits a very ripe fruit profile offering aromas and flavors of slightly roasted black cherry, blackberry and rhubarb. There is noticeable oak overlay with notes of tobacco, hay and anise chiming in. The texture is satiny and the wine has a good tannic backbone. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Evolution Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $31.99 -$9.60. Produced and bottled by Sokol Blosser Winery, Dundee, OR. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Upon opening, there is delicate aromas of red cherry, cranberry and rose petal but with time in the glass aromas of tobacco, toast and stinky barnyard take over. Light and elegant in style, with a core of red fruits accent with piney oak. Easygoing with balanced tannins and some Dundee Hills typicality but lacks interest. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 We Believe Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $38.56 - $8.57, screwcap. Cellared and bottled by Chateau Diana, Healdsburg, CA. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of dark cherry and berry, with hints of Herbs de Provence and tutti-frutti. Good freshness and vibrancy in a mid weight wine with flavors of Bing cherry, spice and cola. Good oak harmony and gentle tannins that have moderated with additional bottle age. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »


Robert Parker’s 100 point wine scoring system, which became popular in 1983 and adopted by the Wine Spectator in 1988, has been a homing beacon for consumers seeking to buy good wine. Currently, a majority of United States based wine critics and magazines use the 100 point scale.

The reality is that the 100 point scale is actually a 10 point scale. MORE»
A Note About Prices

Price shown in a tasting note is either the winery-direct price or the retail price paid by the Prince.