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From 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs: Time to Pop the Corks?

2008 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc.. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. Scents of fresh raspberry coulis with hints of candied rose, spice, and toasty oak. Very smooth on the palate with soft tannins, offering middleweight flavors of dark red raspberry and cherry with an underlying vein of earthy minerality. A prominent oak presence spoils the experience for me and the oak was even more noticeable the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Your tolerance for oak will dictate your pleasure. Enjoyable now or hold mid term. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, sous-bois, spicy oak and wine cave lead to a moderately rich palate of black cherry, black raspberry and anise flavors. Still showing firm tannins but quite enjoyable, especially for its showy, fruitfilled finish. Peaking now, but could hold short term. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Daedalus Cellars Labyrinth Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc.. · Moderately light dark cherry color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of cherry, wilted rose, spice and timber. Delicious attack of cherry and cranberry fruits infused with suave tannins. Somewhat ephemeral, with a lip-smacking cherry-infused finish. Ideal now, but could hold short term. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Daedalus Cellars Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.4% alc.. · Moderately light red cherry color in the glass. Terrific aromatic presence with vivid aromas of cherry and rose petal. Juicy and light on its feet, feminine in character, with a charge of cherry and red berry fruit on the attack and an amazingly long finish that seems to return in waves. Ideal now, but could hold short to mid term. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Drouhin Laurène Drouhin Family Estate Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.. A selection of the finest lots from the estate vineyard, produced since 1992. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intriguing aromas of black cherry pie glaze, brown spices, leather, smoke and vanilla. Delicious mid weight flavors of very ripe black cherry and raspberry fruits with a hint of smoky oak. Close, but not yet supple, with modest dry, fine-grain tannins. The finish is long and pleasing with a flourish of cherry goodness. Enjoyable now, but would hold mid to long term. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Serene Two Barns Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A very ripe fruited wine with scents of cherry, sassafras, leather and peppercorn leading to a full-bodied, sappy palate of black cherry and black raspberry fruits accented with a touch of oak-driven spice and vanilla. The tannic backbone is apparent but not aggressive. Enjoyable now or hold short term. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Haden Fig Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry pie glaze, underbrush and the slightest oak lead to bright and juicy flavors of cherry, red raspberry and red plum. The wine still has a firm tannic backbone. The finish is replete with cherry goodness. Enjoyable now or can be cellared short term. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Johan Vineyards Nils Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color with very slight rim bricking. Aromas of dried rose petal, spice, barnyard and sweaty saddle (probable Brett). Delicious mid weight core of ripe cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruits framed by dry, balanced tannins. A real mouthful of fruit that offers an impressive attack and finish. Best now or can be cellared short term. Your enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for Brett. Score: NR. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kelley Fox Wines Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., screwcap. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass with very slight rim bricking. A very silky and elegant wine that offers appealing aromas and flavors of black cherry and black raspberry, underlain with a stem and root vegetable thread. The thirst quenching finish leaves a lasting impression. Enjoyable now or can be aged short term. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 LaVelle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Haunting aromas of fresh cherries and baking spices. Very fresh and vibrant flavors of black cherry and raspberry in a mid weight style with soft, lush tannins, a compliment of oak, and admirable harmony. This wine had amazing staying power over time in the glass. Drinking perfectly now. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lange Estate Winery & Vineyards Freedom Hill Vineyard Eola- Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Very dark reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of blackberry jam, purple grape, spice and rose petal. A full-bodied charge of boysenberry and blackberry fruits fill the mouth with astonishing fruit intensity. Monstrous tannins back the prodigious fruit and infuse the finish with some astringency. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still monolithic, but the mouthfeel was smoother and the tannins less daunting. This is close to Syrah in character and atypical for Oregon. Decant it now if you want to pop the cork and pair it with a prime ribeye steak. Best to hold mid to long term. Score: 92-93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lange Estate Winery & Vineyards Lange Estate Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry pie glaze, boysenberry jam, conifer and dried herbs lead to a rich mouthful of sweet darker cherry and purple berry fruits. Still young, with somewhat daunting oak and tannin on the fruit-filled finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the fruit was more apparent and pleasing and the wine was slightly more supple. Hold mid to long term in the cellar. Score: 90-91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderate light cherry color in the glass. Fruity aromas of black cherry and black raspberry with a hint of sous-bois initially with a noticeable oak overlay appearing over time in the glass. The mid weight flavors of ripe black cherries clothed in very fine-grain tannins and toasty oak. Silky and smooth in the mouth with a modest finish. This is the one wine of those tasted from the 2008 vintage that seems a bit tired and should be drunk up. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Captivating aromas of black cherry pie, spice, rose petal and Prada leather coat. Deep and bold black cherry and boysenberry fruit flavors, but with good freshness. Substantial, but not imposing tannins persist. Long and memorable finish. Thoroughly enjoyable now, but probably better in 2 to 3 years, and should easily hold for another several years. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Patton Valley Vineyard Lorna-Marie Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. An estate grown, reserve bottling. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, dusty oak and mesquite. Soft and silky on the palate with juicy flavors of cherry, raspberry and pomegranate. Modest in weight with supple tannins and some finishing burst of fruit. Enjoyable now but could hold short to mid term. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Ponzi Vineyards Abetina Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of blackberry jam and cassis. A big-boned wine that has layers of purple and black fruits that saturate the palate. There are plenty of muscular tannins evident, yet the mouthfeel is smooth. The finish is striking with persistent and infused with generous sweet boysenberry fruit. Cellar this wine mid to long term for full enjoyment. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Ponzi Vineyards Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy nose with primarily oak and BBQ aromas with no fruit appearing over time. Still very reserved and rugged with full bodied flavors of black raspberry, boysenberry, cassis, spice and toasty oak. The tannins are still mildly foreboding. Best to cellar this wine several more years. Score: 89-90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 TYEE Wine Cellars Estate Barrel Select Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Extravagantly perfumed with aromas of cherry, raspberry and spice. Bright and exquisitely balanced, with a very seductive charge of cherry goodness that lasts and lasts on the finish. Great now, but plenty of backbone to last long term. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.. This wine was reviewed in December 2014 and the review is repeated here. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, stem, roasted nuts, graham and chocolate. Mid weight + flavors of cherry, black raspberry and cranberry with a touch of brioche, tobacco and cola. Intense on the attack with a burst of cherry fruit, finishing with good length. The tannins are well-integrated and the texture is very smooth. Enjoyable now, but plenty of lively fruit to easily last another five years. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Winderlea Ana Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderately light cherry red color with very slight rim bricking. Lovely scent of black cherry, spice and a hint of espresso. Silky smooth on the palate, with waves of luscious black cherry cola flavor, backed by a tug of toasty oak. Birds would love these grapes. Perfect now but will hold mid term. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted California Pinot Noir & Chardonnay

2013 Laetitia Arroyo Grande Valley Chardonnay

13.8% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.67, 15,000 cases, $20. Harvest Brix 23.7º-25.8º. Clones 96, 97, Wente 17 and Clone 4. Whole cluster pressed, 75% malolactic fermentation. 100% barrel fermented for 9 months in Francois Frères and Rousseau French oak barrels (25% new, 75% neutral). · Moderately light golden straw color and clear in the glass. A pleasing compliment of aromas including lemon, tropical fruits, vanilla cream and buttery oak. Crisp and bright in the mouth with flavors of citrus, lemongrass, grilled white peach, brioche and baking spices. The wine finishes clean with a refreshing cut of lemon zest on the finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Bernardus Saignée Santa Lucia Highlands Saignée De Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 414 cases, $24, screwcap. A saignée of Pinot Noir that is cold fermented in stainless steel at cold temperatures. · Moderate pink salmon color in the glass. Aromas of alpine strawberry peach and fig leading to flavors of strawberry, blood orange, raspberry and citrus. Slightly creamy, refreshing and easy to like. Chill for most enjoyment. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.63, 32,000 cases, $25. Harvest Brix 23.6º-26.1º. Clones 113, 115, 959, 667, 777, “828,” Pommard 5, Wädenswil 2A, Martini 13 and Mt Eden. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, quick fermentation lasting 4 days, aged 11 months in a combination of Francois Frères and Rousseau French oak barrels (30% new, 70% neutral). · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Fragrant with aromas of plum reduction sauce, boysenberry, blackberry, oak spice and vanilla. A big mouthful of well-spiced purple berry fruits in a mid weight style with a hint of savory tea and earth in the background. Very satisfying and expansive on the palate with a fruit-driven, long finish of some note that offers a subtle citric tang. Tremendous value and amazing quality for such large production. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Vivier Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $37. Sourced from vineyards in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast. Aged in French oak barrels without fining or filtration. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy aromatics with only a peek of fruit and cedary oak. Middleweight flavors of purple and black fruits with balanced tannins and acidity. Pleasant, but nothing stands out. Check back in a year. Score: 87-88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.61, $38. The heart of this wine is old vine and old clone vineyards located in the Green Valley: Mill Station, Walker Hill and Rued. Rounded out with Morelli Lane Vineyard Hyde clone and some Dijon 95 from JJJS by the old Dutton shop. Indigenous and inoculated yeast strains. 100% malolactic fermentation, aged sur lie with twice monthly stirring through the winter. Aged a total of 10 months in French oak barrels (40% new). · Moderate golden straw color and clear in the glass. Inviting aromas of pear, peach skin, lemon and fresh butter. Somewhat richly fruited with flavors of lemon curd, pineapple, green apple and poached pear. Nicely balanced with complimentary oak treatment, finishing dry with bright acidity. A complete wine of considerable charm. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.58, $40. 100% de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters where must is cold soaked for 5 days. 14-20 days on the skins. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels (40% new). · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Lovely Pinot perfume of rose petals, spice and Bing cherry. Discreetly concentrated flavors of strawberry, cherry, nutmeg spice, and cola with a compliment of oak. Easy to like with modest tannins and a bashful fruitfilled finish. A solid appellation wine that should benefit from another 6 months in bottle. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Cameron Hughes Lot 409 Central Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $16. A large negociant producer producing a diverse range of wines with lot numbers on the labels. This wine was sold by Costco. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of black plum, black currant, cardamom spice and toasty oak really attack the senses. Soft and easy to drink with suave tannins, sporting mid weight flavors of black plum, cassis, black raspberry and spicy oak. A good value priced wine that will please depending on the drinker’s tolerance for oak. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 4,773 cases, $35. A blend of several vineyards. Aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels of which 40% were new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas trump the flavors in this very smoky wine. Scents of blackberry, plum, spice and tobacco lead to a mid weight core of dark berry fruit enveloped by smoky and spicy oak and black tea flavors. Easy too drink with modest tannins, but oak intrudes on the pleasure. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.7% alc., 343 cases, $40. Dijon clones. · A unique bottling reflecting a special vintage and deserving of a vineyard designation. Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Exotic array of aromas including white grape, mango and lemongrass. Ripe and rich with flavors of cooked apple, lemon curd and caramel. Slightly creamy on the palate with a compliment of oak in the background. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.4% alc., 406 cases, $40. · Satisfying scents of lemon curd, grilled pineapple and oak. Plenty of lemon-infused goodness with notes of toasty oak and clarified butter. Welcoming tension and uplifting acidity. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.5% alc., 225 cases, $40. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon curd, yellow apple, toasted coconut and nutty oak. Robust flavors of lemon, peach, poached pear and toasty oak. A rich, California-styled Chardonnay with mature fruit flavors and plenty of oak flourish. Very silky and ephemeral mouth feel. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roadhouse Winery Green Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.57, 175 cases, $49. Sourced from Tina Marie Vineyard featuring clones 115, 667 and 777 planted in 2005. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated primary and secondary fermentations, aged 20 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% of which were new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light red cherry color in the glass. Lovely, sexy aromas of red cherry, red raspberry, rose petal and sandalwood. Very charming, with vibrant iced cherry fruit flavor and mild fine-grain tannins. Bright and satisfying on the attack, with an impressive breadth of hi-tone cherry fruit on the finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roadhouse Winery Martini Clone Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.54, 250 cases, $49. Sourced from Vine Hill Road Vineyard planted to Martini clone in 1989. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated fermentations, aged 20 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% of which were new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light red cherry color in the glass. The nose reluctantly opens slowly over time to reveal demure aromas of ripe cherry pie glaze, rose petal and oak. The cherry fruit core seems a bit roasted and is dominated by oak-driven flavors of coffee nibs, dark chocolate, cola and spice. The fine-grain tannins offer textural interest and the finish is long and plush with black cherry goodness. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ancillary Cellars Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $50. From Robert’s Road Vineyard, located directly below Gap’s Crown and Sun Chase vineyards. Clones are 115 and Pommard. Aged on the lees for 10 months. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, red berry, Provencal spices and underbrush lead to a light to medium weight core of cherry and strawberry fruits. More savory than the Sun Chase with a vein of herbs in the background. Elegant and easy to drink with supple tannins and some finishing length. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ancillary Cellars Sun Chase Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $50. From a high elevation (900’ to 1400’) vineyard located in the Petaluma Gap region. Clones 667, 777 and “828.” · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very nicely perfumed with scents of black raspberry, black cherry, spice, balsam and subtle oak. Silky, elegant and refined, with layers of black cherry and pomegranate flavor accented by complimentary tobacco-laced oak. Very soft and polished on the finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Cherry Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Syrah

13.8% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.67, 501 cases, $50. Clones 470, 383 and 877. Vinified similar to Pinot Noir but aged 20 months in French oak barrels (40% new). Racked twice for initial blending and barrel honing, and a second time to further develop flavors and tannins. · Deep, dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry jam, boysenberry, white pepper, wintergreen, malt and mocha. Bright flavors of blueberries and blackberries, pomegranate and iodine with matching tannins. Made in a Pinot Noir style but with more sap but with similar crisp acidity. The finish is very fruity and seductive. A Pinot lover’s Syrah. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ancillary Cellars Sun Chase Vineyard Whole Cluster Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $55. This wine is meant to bridge the gap between the ripe California style of Pinot Noir and the Old World style. Clone “828.” · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is pleasant but unusual and hard to describe with only a hint of black cherry and a touch of floral bouquet. Very soft and smooth on the palate with an earth-kissed core of cherry fruit. Not as giving and a little more structured than the regular Sun Chase bottling, although the tannins are still rather suave. Score: 89-90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 453 cases, $55. “828” and Pisoni clones. Aged in 100% new French oak barrels of which 40% were new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is big, bold and luscious, but tannins are in their place, and the wine is in impeccable balance. The mouth coating flavors of black and purple berries, spice and anise are imposing, yet charming. A winner. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 451 cases, $55. 667 and Pisoni clone. Aged in 100% French oak barrels of which 40% were new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and oak are presented in a mid weight plus wine that is fruity but not complex. Nothing really stands out at this time and seems to need more time in bottle. A bit of alcoholic heat peaks out on the finish. Score: 88-89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roadhouse Winery Russian River Valley Pink Label Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.65, 150 cases, $59. Sourced primarily from Nunes Vineyard. Clones 114, 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated fermentations, aged 20 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% of which were new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, brewed tea, forest floor and oak spice. Solid mid palate attack of very ripe Bing cherry and black raspberry fruit with a hint of cola and anise, and some oak in the background. The wine’s finish is lip-smacking. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roadhouse Winery Sonoma Coast Green Label Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.62, 300 cases, $59. Sourced from Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap. Pommard clone. 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, 14 days total cuvaison, inoculated fermentations, aged 20 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% new. Unifined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Intriguing aromas of clove, cardamom, peppercorn, forest floor, mushroom and raisin. Very ripe fruited, featuring flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, and sassafras. Silky smooth on the palate with balanced tannins and a dry, mouthwatering finish. Nicely crafted in a ripe, dark fruited style. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 165 cases, $65. Pisoni clone. Aged in 100% French oak barrels of which 40% were new. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. Friendly aromas of darker berries plum sauce and subtle smoky oak. Very smooth and refined on the palate with intensely flavorful blackberry, black raspberry and black plum fruits backed by modest tannins. Impressive persistence on the glorious fruit-driven finish. The fruit really stands out in this wine. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 418 cases, $65. Clone 777 and Pisoni. Aged in 100% French oak barrels of which 40% were new. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Inviting aromas of ripe strawberries, black raspberry, spice and floral goodness. Very charming, with plenty of black raspberry, plum and spice flavors that persist on the long finish infused with a plethora of dark berries. The wine’s modest tannins and restrained oak make for pleasing drinking now. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Ingrid’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 124 cases, $70. This 3.5- acre estate vineyard was planted in 1999 with clones 667, 777 and Pommard. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The wine is very shy and brooding upon opening with only cedary oak evident on the nose. Flavors of black raspberry and black cherry brighten the palate and exhibit staying power on the smooth finish. This wine will probably garner a higher score with more time in bottle. Score: 89-90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bernardus Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 448 cases, $70. Pisoni clone. Aged in 100% French oak barrels of which 50% were new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The brooding nose offers restrained aromas of blackberry, cassis and black tea. A bruiser with fruit that really grabs hold on entry, offering flavors of blackberry and cassis that build in intensity on the huge finish. The onslaught of fruit and tannins is daunting now and this wine should benefit from several years in the cellar. Score: 91-92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 North Wines Edna Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $74. A new wine from John and Lorraine Alban, Rhone varietal specialists, sourced from Alban Estate fruit. Label says, “Grown, produced and bottled by Perro Docs Cellars in Arroyo Grande.” Highly rated by critics, but this bottle, which was heavy with an impressive label and long cork, was not to my liking. 100% de-stemmed and aged in 60% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very ripe, roasted fruits including prune aroma on the nose. Full-bodied flavors of very ripe dark berries and cassis with balanced tannins and a noticeable overlay of cedary oak. Lacks Pinot charm. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roadhouse Winery Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.58, 150 cases, $75. Sourced from Weir Vineyard. DRC selection and Wädenswil 2A clone planted in 1992. 100% de-stemmed, 5- day cold soak, inoculated fermentations, aged 20 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% of which were new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate light red cherry color in the glass. Perfumed with effusive scents of cherry, leafy herbs, sous-bois and woodpile. Very elegant, soft and smooth in the mouth with refined tannins, offering light to mid weight flavors of red cherries and berries, with hints of spice and red plum, that hold your attention on the finish. This wine shows more finesse than others in the 2012 Roadhouse lineup. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 DuMOL eoin Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $90. Sourced from Sonoma Stage Vineyard located at the southern edge of the Sonoma Coast AVA. Unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Ripe fruited aromas of black cherry and black raspberry with a hint of oak. Deliciously rich core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits with a touch of spice, cola, anise and earth. Very forward and giving, yet has the balance and the structure to age. The noticeably long finish is appealing. More Carneros in character than Sonoma Coast. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 DuMOL ryan Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $90. Sourced from Dutton-Widdoes Vineyard located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy nose that never really comes around in the glass over time. More expressive on the palate and packed with dark red cherry and berry flavors wrapped in significant tannins and oak. Despite its heft, the wine has a gentle demeanor and is quite silky in texture. Rather brooding and in need of more time in bottle. Score: 90-91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Nelson Hill Deep End Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 300 cases, $42. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy initially, but opens nicely over time, offering scents of black cherry and sandalwood. Light to mid weight cherry essence that really pops like a cherry pie out of the oven. Silky in the mouth with balanced tannins and a very tasty and lively cherry-driven finish. Definitely better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Whitethorn Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $35. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens slowly in the glass to reveal inviting aromas of cherry and dark red berries. Delicious spiced cherry and raspberry flavor with supple tannins and an impressive, cherry-fueled finish of unusual length. Very Pinot in character with appealing finesse and impeccable balance. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Whitethorn Elk Prairie Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $40. · Ripe fruit aromas and mid weight plus, sappy flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and cassis are featured. Lovely fruit, which stars on the generous finish, but is somewhat buried by muscular tannins. Need a big ribeye steak for this one. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Nelson Hill Deep End Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 300 cases, $42. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing with scents of black cherry, rose petal, spice and herbs. Moderately rich core of black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate fruits backed by soft but supportive tannins. A slight herbal vein peeks out in the background. A little more ripeness than the 2010 vintage of this wine with a bigger, lush fruit-filled finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2002 Whitethorn Hyde Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $27. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass: still bright in color with no bricking. Primary black cherry fruit aromas persist along with secondary aromas of cigar box, black tea leaves and old trunk. Very tasty black cherry and raspberry fruits that veer to the ripe side with a hint of tobacco and tea in the background. A delightful aged California Pinot Noir with merged tannins, and a long, juicy finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted Oregon Pinot Noir

2013 Gresser Vineyard Select Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 100 cases, $18. Aged 9 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Light yellow color and clear in the glass. Welcoming aromas of lemon curd, apple, buttery brioche and nuts, and bright lemon, pineapple and green apple flavors driven by bright acidity. Slightly viscous in texture, with a refreshing burst of acidity on the finish. A very enjoyable wine for the dinner table. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Broadley Vineyards Palmer Creek Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 50 cases, $30. A 10-acre vineyard owned by Janet and Larry Richards who meticulously farm the vines. Pommard clone. 30% whole cluster. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 50% of which were new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very tight on the nose with demure aromas of black cherry and oak. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate with a touch of spice and savory herbs and a generous oak overlay. A luscious, friendly wine which should be more giving with another year in bottle. Soft and smooth on the palate with classy fruit and balanced, refined tannins. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was still reticent and the oak still evident. Score: 89-90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards Winemaker’s Reserve Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.68, 600 cases, $39. Warmest vintage since 2004. From estate Prayer Rock and Romancing Rock vineyards. 100% de-stemmed, inoculated yeast ferments in 1-ton fermenters, aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, 85% of which were new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Demure wild berry aromas with hints of floral bouquet and oak. Very smooth and polished on the palate with mid weight flavors of ripe, sweet cherry, black raspberry and cola. Nicely integrated tannins and oak. More sap and structure than the 2011 bottling tasted here, offering more overall pleasure. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Broadley Vineyards Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 250 cases, $50. Clone 777 and Wädenswil. 100% de-stemmed, wild yeast primary fermentation for 14-21 days, pump overs in early stage and 3 punch downs a day subsequently. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new Francois Frères and 70% neutral. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Rather shy aromas of black cherry, dark red berries and a touch of oak. Enjoyable core of cherry and raspberry fruit, but the wine is not giving its whole energy. Plenty of soul in this wine, but very shy with a prominent oak overlay. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the aromas had still not arrived. Cellar this wine for another year or two. Score: 91-92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 LUMOS Five Blocks Wren & Temperance Hill Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $N/A. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing but shy aromas of dark berries, rose petals and spice. Attention-grabbing attack of mid to fullbodied blueberry, boysenberry and black cherry fruits with an earthy undertone. This wine is still young, sporting defined tannins and toasty oak which show up on the huge, generously fruited finish. Still a bit tight the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle but the potential is obvious. No rush to drink this one. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 LUMOS Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $N/A. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy nose offering a whiff of black cherry and ashen oak. Fullbodied, luscious core of black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate fruits backed by firm, but not obtrusive tannins. Very vivid and classy, soft and smooth in the mouth, with a lengthy finish of uncommon generosity. The oak overlay is a bit much now, but should mitigate some over time. A man’s Pinot. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Gresser Vineyard Select Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 500 cases, $32. Clones 29, Dijon 113, 115. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light crimson color in the glass. Very inviting in the glass with aromas of fresh cherry and spice that hold up over time in the glass. Deep red cherry and raspberry flavors with toasty oak in the background. Sheik and silky, with many nuances that show themselves over time including savory herbs, cola, and black walnuts. Nicely balanced with dry tannins and welcome acidity. Still very solid the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age ability. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 DION Winemaker’s Reserve Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 97 cases, $35. Harvest Brix 24.3º-25.0º. Clones 115, 114, 777 and Pommard. A barrel selection including for the first time a Pommard block. Aged 13 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate red cherry color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherry, rose petal and sandalwood. Mid weight pleasing flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and fig with well integrated oak. Beautifully balanced, with fine-grain tannins, supportive acidity and a sexy, soft and silky texture. Riper in this vintage, but not too ripe. Highly enjoyable now, but will age long term. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards “Pichon Bloc” Prayer Rock Vineyard Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.90, TA 0.63, 625 cases, $34. Sourced from Pichon Block in Prayer Rock Vineyard, named for river that flowed out of the Garden of Eden as noted in Genesis 2:11. High elevation at 660’. Dijon clones. 100% de-stemmed, inoculated yeast ferments, aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, 84% of which was new. · Light red cherry color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dusty cherry and raspberry with an oak compliment. Elegantly crafted, with light to mid weight flavors of red cherry and red berry with a hint of spice. Supple tannins and easy drink ability. A nice reflection of the vintage. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 DION Winemaker’s Reserve Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 97 cases, $35. This 60-acre vineyard is located in the northern Willamette Valley on Laurelwood soils at 300’ to 500’ elevation. Proprietors are Kevin Dion Johnson and Beth Klingner. Clones 114, 115, 667 and 777. Harvest Brix 20.4º-22.7º. Latest harvest start ever. A barrel selection. 50% new oak. · Moderately light black cherry color in the glass. Rather closed with demure aromas of ripe black cherries and wintergreen. Admirable harmony and finesse with modest flavors of black cherry and plum backed by oak, finishing with slightly astringent tannins. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 DION Old Vines Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 48 cases, $40. Own-rooted, dry-farmed Pommard vines planted in 1977. This block was one of the last picked in a late harvest. · Moderately light dark cherry color in the glass. Scents of black cherry, dark chocolate and seasoned oak lead to a very inviting core of black cherry fruit accented with notes of spice, tobacco, mocha and iron minerality. Rich and mouth filling, with a good structural backbone, and a very long, eye-opening finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 DION Winemaker’s Reserve Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc.. · Medium cherry color in the glass. Very aromatic with waves of red cherry, rose petal, spice and herbal oak aromas. More savory than fruity on the palate with a core of cherry fruit enhanced with dried herbs and oak flavors. The tannins are silky and the texture very suave, making for easy drinking. 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.