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From Clarice Wine Company: An Innovative Approach to Crafting and Marketing Wine

2018 Clarice Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.08% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.59. 76.2% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 72.7% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Deep, dark and mysterious aromas of black fruits with an earthy tone. A little more fruit concentration and structure than the Rosella’s and not as welcoming at this stage. Still, the flamboyant fruit has charm, the suede tannins add textural seduction and the finish goes on and on and on. Still stellar when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle 5 days after opening. Cellaring will be beneficial, but this will always be the baddest boy in the three wine lineup. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Clarice Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.05% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.64. 80.8% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 72.7% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The most appealing and seductive aromatic profile among the 2017 and 2018 wines. Whole cluster inspired aromas of dark cherry, burnt tobacco, pine sap and spice. Engaging core of mid weight plus dark red fruits framed by fine-grain tannins. This wine is bursting with fruit goodness, yet there is a compatible contribution of tannins to hold the wine in perfect balance. Absolutely glorious when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle 5 days later. The finish seems to stick like glue to the palate. Score: 97. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

13.98% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.62,. 62.5% Garys’ Vineyard and 37.5% Rosella’s Vineyard. 77.9% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 37.5% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry and berry with exotic spices. A mid weight assortment of dark fruits saturate the mid palate and carry over through a generous finish. A tad more tannin than the 2017 bottling presumably due to the increased whole cluster but when tasted on the fifth day after opening, the tannins had modulated. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Clarice Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.69. Screw cap. 54% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 66.6% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of dark cherry and spice box. A tad richer and more structured than the Rosella’s bottling. Exquisitely composed with a wide range of dark fruit flavors and a touch of spice. There is a good acidic vibe and the finish is amazingly long. When tasted from a previously opened bottle after 4 days, the wine was still superb but will be even more rewarding in a few years. Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Clarice Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.72. Screw cap. 58% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 83.3% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass Deep aromas of red cherry and berry, cola, spice and sweet pipe smoke. A terrific wine with a plethora of dark red and blue fruits and a savory thread in a soft, sleek and satisfying package. The wine has impressive energy, merged tannins and a very lengthy finish. Wonderful now, but will age beautifully. Still grand when tasted 4 days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.44% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.72. Screw cap. 85.7% Rosella’s Vineyard and 14.3% Garys’ Vineyard. 57% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 42.8% new. Combines the structure of Garys’ Vineyard with the fruit-forward character of Rosella’s Vineyard. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of cherry, blueberry, rose petal, mushroom and dusty oak. Suave in the mouth with good energy, offering mid weight flavors of black cherry and spice. The explosion of fruit raises the senses. Nicely composed with a memorable finish. Re-tasted 4 days after opening the bottle with similar results and the finish again making an impression. I agree with Adam on this wine in that it is not a lesser appellation wine but rather a different expression of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sonoma County Wrap

2017 Line 39 California Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $7.99 (BB), $12.99 (SRP). Vinted and bottled by Line 39 in Parlier, CA. Gold Medal San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, splintered wood and vanilla creme. Light to mid weight in concentration and cherry driven, with underlying notes of oak-driven marzipan and vanilla. A simple, easily quaffable wine. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Laurier Carneros Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $11.99 (BB), $15.99 (SRP). Vinted and bottled by Laurier Vineyards, Sonoma. Bob Stashak is the winemaker. Part of the Bronco Wine Co. portfolio. Double Gold and Best of Class at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Small amount of Tannat, Malbec and Proprietary red grapes included (5% or less of each). Aged in American oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is nondescript, even unpleasant, with only a hint of muddled cherry and raisin. Light to mid weight in style, offering flavors of blackest cherry, prune and almonds. A bit awkward in an elegant style with a modest finish. The wine tastes much riper than the ABV would indicate. Score: 84. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Cinque Insieme Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 220 cases, $12.99 (BB), SRP N/A. Cellared and bottled by Cinque Insieme (CHEEN-kway) in Santa Rosa and crafted by winemaker Justin Lattanzio. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The very savory nose offers aromas of underbrush, pine cone, mulch and fertile earth. Ripe-fruited in a mid weight style, featuring black fruits, a hint of stem and a thread of piney oak. Sleek in the mouth with some finishing length. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.59, $19.99 (BB), $29 (SRP). Double Gold 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Gold Medal at the North Coast Wine Competition. Estate grown and bottled. Winegrower John Balletto and winemaker Anthony Beckman. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 32% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of Bing cherry and dark rose petal. Dark cherry and berry fruits are featured in a harmonious, accessible, mid weight style with staying power on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sonnet Tondre’s Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $23.99 (BB), $33.99 (SRP). This stellar vineyard is sourced by a number of producers. I find this wine is a consistent, excellent, well-priced offering from winemaker Tony Craig. It is hard to find, possibly available from Silver Mountain Vineyards website, but every year the wine shows up at Bottle Barn. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Deep aromas of dark berries, purple grape, spice and a hint of toast. The flavors echo the aromas in a mid weight plus style that is very sleek and comforting on the palate. The fruit is ripe, but not overripe. Complimentary oak chimes in with notes of vanilla, anise and tobacco. The finish is long, fruit-filled and juicy. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Davis Bynum Jane’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.58, 15,741 cases, $25.99 (BB), $35 (SRP). Double Gold and Best of Class at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Winemaker Greg Morthole, and consulting winemaker David Ramey. Clones 2A, 23, 113, 114, 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. Harvest Brix 26.4º. 5-day cold soak, native yeast fermentation, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 87% French and 13% Hungarian, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. On the nose, black cherry shows up over time along with aromas of vanilla and charcoal. Much better on the palate, with a plethora of black cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors in a middleweight style. A friendly wine with integrated tannins. A trace of alcoholic warmth shows up on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 CrossBarn (Paul Hobbs) Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $29.99 (BB), $39.99 (SRP). Gold Medal North Coast Wine Challenge. · Moderate garnet color in the class. Welcoming aromas of red cherry, red cranberry, herbs and dusty path. Delicately composed with a lighter weight core of red cherry fruit. More flavor intensity than one would expect from the elegant style. Very easygoing, with silky tannins, integrated oak, and some length on the finish. This wine exhibits the gossamer side of Pinot Noir and speaks of summer. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Recently Tasted Sonoma County Wines

2018 Tongue Dancer Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.19, TA 0.82, RS 0.5 g/L, 148 cases, $25. Released March 8, 2019. A saignée with juice left on the skins for two days, fermented and aged in stainless steel. Fermented with a yeast from the Bandol region of France. Partial MLF. · Deep pinkish-orange color in the glass. Clean aromas of cherry, cranberry, dried rose petal and dried herbs. Adroit in the mouth with appealing flavors of red cherry, apricot and orangetinged cranberry. Very dry, with the slightest tannins and a silky, apricot-lemon infused finish. Bring on the pizza! Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 1849 Wine Company Iris Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.58, $29.99. Released July 2018. Widely distributed in retail outlets. Striking label that is part of the 1849 Contemporary Art Collection. Aged 10 months in new French and Hungarian oak. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of black cherry and dark berry fruits and toasted oak. The modest, silky tannins are folded in around the mid weight black cherry fruit core that is imprinted with oak. There is a burnt quality to this wine on both the nose and palate. Will do in a pinch. Score: 85. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Decoy Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $25. This wine is part of the Duckhorn Portfolio. A majority of the fruit is sourced from Carneros and the Russian River Valley along with estate-grown grapes from Decoy’s sister wineries, Migration and Goldeneye. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 30% new and 70% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose offers oak-infused, spiced cherry aromas. Light to mid weight and elegantly styled, with a heavy imprint of oak confining the black cherry fruit flavor. True to the varietal, with gentle tannins, but lacks spirit. Unchanged when tasted a day later after opening. Score: 85. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.5% alc., 19,095 cases, $25. Screw cap. Sourced from Sangiacomo and Hi Vista vineyards in Carneros, Dutton and Martinelli vineyards in the Russian River Valley, and Steve MacRostie’s Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Whole cluster pressed gently, 85% fermented in French oak Barrels, 20% new, and 15% fermented and aged in stainless steel. 85% malolactic fermentation. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. The nose offers a nice mix of lemon, spice, white nectarine, butter and vanilla aromas. Impressive energy with good oak integration, displaying a range of citrus flavors and the slightest note of spice and flint. Slightly creamy in texture, with a lip-smacking finish that leaves a vibrant lemony impression. A terrific value. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sonoma-Loeb Sonoma County Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.74, $28. Grapes sourced from Parr Vineyard in Knight’s Valley and Sangiacomo Vineyard. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Minimal malolactic fermentation, fermented and aged in neutral French oak barrels for 8 months. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of lemon, spice and wine cave hold up over time in the glass. The flavors of lemon, pear, kiwi, yellow apple and pastry cream are fine, but the wine lacks verve and there is a burnt edge to the flavor profile. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sonoma-Loeb Private Reserve Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.67, $33. Sourced from Sangiacomo and Calesa vineyards. The emphasis is on Wente, Robert Young and Caterina clones of Chardonnay. Harvest Brix 23.7º. Partial malolactic fermentation, aged on the lees in French oak barrels, 35% new, for 8 months. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Engaging aromas of lemon, butter and friendly toasty oak. Flavors of lemon, pineapple, yellow peach and apricot keep giving as the wine opens in the glass. A riper-fruited style with judicious oak and some finishing persistence. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sonoma-Loeb Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $36. Grapes sourced from Sangiacomo, Calesa and Dutton Ranch vineyards. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Slightly confected aromas of dark cherry, baking spice, waffle cone, warm almonds and vanilla. Noticeable oak embellishment in this full-bodied style with giving flavors of black cherry fruit framed with notes of dark chocolate and vanilla. Expansive in the mouth, with a generous black cherry infused finish that also displays a slight bit of alcoholic warmth. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Tongue Dancer Platt Vineyard - Irwin Lane Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.95% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.62, RS 1 g/L, 96 cases, $39. Released March 8, 2019. Pratt Vineyard-Irwin Lane. Inaugural vintage from this vineyard. Grapes are from a certified organic block farmed by Jim Pratt, one of the most respected vineyard managers in Sonoma County. Clone 69. Whole cluster pressed to barrel, barrel fermented with native yeast, 100% MLF, once weekly lees stirring during primary fermentation, and aged 11 months on the lees in French oak barrels, 25% new. Bottled on July 24, 2018 unfined and lightly filtered. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. A classic Chardonnay nose offering scents of lemon custard, white nectarine, and cozy oak with a bit of flint showing up as well. Lovely flavors of lemon, white stone fruits and graphite. Sleek in the mouth with good brightness and appealing modest, leaner styling. Beautifully balanced with a lemon creme finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Migration Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., $40. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 35% new and 65% neutral. 75% MLF. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Demure, but pleasant aromas of lemon custard, pear, pineapple, butter and complimentary oak. Highly flavorful, with tastes of lemon, white peach and nutty oak. Slightly viscous, and easy to cozy up to with enough acidity for proper refreshment. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sonoma-Loeb Envoy Carneros Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.60, $40. Harvest Brix 23.0º-25.0º. Sourced from select blocks of the Sangiacomo Vineyard with which Sonoma- Loeb has been working for almost 30 years. Focus on Hyde Wente and Robert Young selections of Chardonnay. Partial malolactic fermentation, aged in French oak barrels for 8 months on the lees. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Nicely appointed aromas of guava, spiced pear, lemon and crème brûlée. Crisp, bright and fresh, with flavors of lemon-lime, pear and green apple with an underlying botanical thread. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Migration Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 23,000 cases, $42. Sourced from six vineyards in the Green Valley, Russian River Valley and Petaluma Gap. A blend of more than 80 small lots of wine that winemaker Dana Epperson has to work with. Amazing quality and value considering the huge production. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new and 60% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. This wine was really a pleasant surprise. Outgoing aromas of black cherry, spice and a hint of toast lead to a gorgeous core of mid weight black cherry fruit framed by silken tannins and infused with proper acidity. A harmonious construct makes this wine instantly enjoyable upon opening. This wine has everything that most consumers welcome in a Pinot Noir and possesses amazing quality at a very high production level. Easy to find in the marketplace and on restaurant wine lists. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 ess-eff Keller Estate Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 24 cases, $42. This small San Franciscobased producer of Sonoma and Russian River Valley varietals strives for approachable, food-friendly wines. Wines are available only through the winery by special order or through private tastings. 100% clone 115 from El Coro Vineyard at the Keller Estate. Harvest Brix 25.0º. 2-day cold soak, 7-day fermentation, aged 10 months in French oak barrels and bottled 7/24/18. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. The nose is very savory showing aromas of stem and wood along with demure fruit flavors of red cherry and berry. Light in weight, in an easygoing, shallow, elegant style, offering flavors of red cherry, baking spice and caramel oak. The tannins are restrained and silky and the finish leaves behind some alcoholic warmth. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sonoma-Loeb Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.65, $43. Clones 667, 777 and 115. Fermented with yeast strains from Burgundy and Germany. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is heavily oak-inspired with aromas of toast and tobacco accompanying fruit aromas of black cherry. Better on the palate, with noticeable grace, softness and suavity, featuring a mid weight plus essence of black cherry cola flavor with a mantle of oak. The finish is long, generous and spirited but with a slight sense of alcoholic warmth. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was still oak-driven, but the oak was better integrated on the palate. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Lombardi Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.75, 249 cases, $44. Sourced from Orsi Vineyards, Montrachet clone. Barrel fermented and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Winemaker is Cabell Coursey. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Heaven-sent aromas of buttery lemon, yellow flower blossom, crème brûlée, and a hint of toast. A voluptuous Chardonnay, with a fullthrottle complement of well-ripened melon, lemon and pineapple flavors backed by toasty oak. There is enough bracing acidity to bring the package into balance but you won’t find “minerality” in this wine. This is an unapologetic mingling of mature fruit and oak, that finishes awash in lemon-pineapple goodness. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Chappellet Grower Collection Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.58, 1,288 cases, $45. Sourced from some of the most prized sections of Pinot Noir at Dutton Ranch. Clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. Harvest Brix 24.8º. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Plenty of oakdriven perfume of dark chocolate, toast and vanilla upon opening, but the oak declines over time and blackberry and black currant aromas come to the front. The luscious core of purple and black fruits is quite satisfying. Silken in texture, with agreeable tannins, sooty oak in the background and a modest finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Chappellet Grower Collective Calesa Vineyard Petaluma Gap Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.63, 1,646 cases, $45. Vineyard is farmed by acclaimed grower Oscar Renteria. Shallow, gravelly loam soils. Sourced from five prized hillside blocks. Clones are ENTAV 548, Robert Young, Dijon 809 and Spring Mountain. Harvest Brix 23.1º. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. A complex nose offers aromas of lemon pith, white flower blossom, paraffin, butter and toast. A beautiful wine that is sleek and vivacious with energy to spare. Flavors of lemon and white stone fruits have good intention. The wine finishes with the slightest bitterness. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Chappellet Grower Collective El Novillero Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.69, 675 cases, $45. Vineyard planted by the Sangiacomo family. Well-drained rock and gravel soils. One block of Robert Young clone Chardonnay planted in 1993. Harvest Brix 24.7º. 100% malolactic fermentation and aged in French oak barrels, 42% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Very enticing aromas of lemon oil, apple and creme caramel. Rich and full-flavored on the palate offering expansive flavors of lemon, pineapple and pear. Excellent energy, deft oak accent, and a crunchy, juicy finish. This wine alerts all the senses and brings one’s attention to bear. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Chappellet Grower Collective Sangiacomo Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.68, 1,130 cases, $45. A cool, windswept vineyard bordering San Pablo Bay where the grapes slowly mature. Roberet Young, Hyde and Caterina clones. Harvest Brix 23.0º. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of lemon, pineapple, white peach and seashore. Beautifully composed with excellent harmony, offering fresh flavors of lemon and pear. The wine offers ideal oak integration, bracing acidity, a creamy mouth feel and some finish that displays a stony grip. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.6% alc., 1,595 cases, $46. Vineyard founded by Steve MacRostie and partners Nancy and Tony Lilly in 1998. Sparse volcanic soils. Cool and challenging, with a fog-shrouded location and exposure to strong winds off the Pacific Ocean most afternoons. Whole cluster pressed, cold settled, barrel fermented, and aged 10 months in the same French oak barrels, 22% new. 100% MLF. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. A complex nose offers aromas of dried apple, grilled lemon, wheat toast and creme caramel. Nice harmony in an mellow style that offers well-ripened fruit flavors of lemon, pineapple and tropical fruits. Oak contributes a little nuttiness and pain grille. The wine has a silky, gossamer finish but I would have wanted more lift from acidity. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Lombardi Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.60, 245 cases, $48. Sourced from Griffin’s Lair, Spring Hill and Sonoma Stage vineyards. Clones 667, 115, 777 and Calera. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 27% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherry, dark red berry, baking spice and graham. Luscious in the mouth, with waves of well-ripened black cherry fruit accented by baking spices and toast. A fruit-driven, unapologetic wine with modest tannins and an ebullient finish. The best Pinot Noir from this producer to date. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Tongue Dancer Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.62, RS 1 g/L, 328 cases, $49. Released March 8, 2019. Clones are Pommard, 777, 115, 667, 23 and a secret clone. Sourced from Placida, Van der Kamp and Putnam vineyards. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in small open-top tanks, 5-day cold soak, aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 36% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Savory aromas of underbrush and spice combine with fruity aromas of cherry on the nose. A charming light to mid weight style, offering elegantly composed fruit flavors of red cherry and berry with not even a touch of oak. Nice harmony, with congruous tannins and an uplifting cherry-driven, aromatic finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Chappellet Grower Collection Bateman Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.67, 273 cases, $60. Vineyard was founded by Paul and Lee Fay Bateman. It is located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. Clones 115 and 777 are planted in Goldridge sandy loam on a sloping eastfacing hillside that receives abundant morning sunshine but is protected from the afternoon heat. Harvest Brix 24.8º. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Fresh aromas of boysenberry and blackberry with a hint of oak and underbrush. A mid weight plus style offering waves of purple and black berry fruits that are mouth filling but not jammy. The tannins are complimentary, a bit of oak plies the background, and the wine finishes with fruitladen generosity. A wine for fruit hedonists. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.57, 540 cases, $40. Release July 2019. Sourced from five vineyards - Hallberg, Starscape, Bucher, 800 vines and Horse Shoe Bend. Multiple clones including 777, 114, 115, “828,” Pommard, Martini and Swan. Harvest Brix 25.9º. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is primarily oak-driven with aromas of toast and smoke overriding the black cherry fruit. Mid weight flavors of blackberry, boysenberry and black raspberry with generous toasty oak in the background. An unpolished, voluptuously fruity wine with a modest finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Joseph Jewell Shiloh Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.62, 125 cases, $42. Release July 2019. Clone 4 (Wente) planted in 1992 in gravelly loam soil. Barrel fermented, 100% MLF, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of golden apple, buttery lemon tart, yellow cake and a hint of green flora. Graciously styled, with flavors of lemon, pear and vanilla. Pleasant enough, but a bit shallow and mundane challenging me to reach for descriptors. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Emeritus Hallberg Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $44. This wine represents the diversity of the Hallberg Ranch. A blend of about 40 individual lots of Hallberg Pinot Noir. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 32% new. Estate grown, produced and bottled. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A heavy imprint of oak is evident on the nose that offers aromas of toast, savory spices, black cherry and clay. A middleweight plus style with layers of blackberry and black current fruit. Lush in texture with good structure, but there is a stemmy thread in the background and the wine could use more energy. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Joseph Jewell Bucher Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.58, 100 cases, $50. Release July 2019. Swan and Pommard 5 clones. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Bright cherry aromas arrive in the glass over time. Lip-smacking fruit flavors of black cherry and ollaliberry with complimentary frame of oak. Easy to drink and comforting, with suede tannins and an abundance of purple fruits on the very satisfying finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Ladera Pillow Road Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., 139 cases, $50. This vineyard is located southwest of the city of Sebastopol in an area known as the Sebastopol Hills.Old Wente and Mt. Eden 809 clones planted Goldridge sandy loam soil. Whole cluster pressed, cold settled, barrel fermented followed by partial malolactic fermentation. Aged on the lees in French oak barrels, 70% new, for 15 months. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of stewed apple, willow bark and grapefruit. Very richly fruited with a plethora of yellow peach, pineapple and grapefruit flavors underlain with notable pain grille. Slightly oily in texture, lacking vibrancy and finishing with a buttery note. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 MacRostie Thale’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 983 cases, $58. This vineyard (named after Steve MacRostie’s wife) was added to the winery’s estate program in 2013. Since acquisition, the Thale’s (Thay-Lee) Vineyard has undergone significant changes to refine the farming under the direction of viticultural guru Allen Holstein. The vineyard is also home to the MacRostie Estate House. 100% gently de-stemmed, open-top tank fermentation, inoculated with select yeast strain after a 3-day cold soak, pump-overs and punch downs, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 32% new and 20% once-used. · Light garnet color in the glass. The nose is both fruity (dark red cherry and berry) and savory (mushrooms on the grill). Light to mid weight in style, with a charming core of black cherry and blueberry fruits. A gentle, demure Pinot Noiir, with well-managed tannins and deft oak treatment. More feminine in style than most Middle Reach Pinot Noirs and some may find the juicy finish a tad shallow but I delighted in its delicacy. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Joseph Jewell Hallberg Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.61, 175 cases, $60. Release July 2019. Clones 777 and Pommard 5. Dry farmed. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of an array of dark red and black fruits with a compliment of oak spice. The flavors mimic the aromas in a nicely balanced mid weight styled wine with gracious tannins and a fruit-driven finish. Silky in the mouth and forward drinking. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Ladera Pillow Road Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

4.2% alc., 311 cases, $60. Calera, Swan, Dijon 777 and Pommard 4 clones. Small amount of whole cluster, 7-day cold soak, drained without pressing and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 76% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. There is a whack of new oak on the nose producing aromas of campfire embers and vanilla. Plenty of blackberry, boysenberry and dried black current fruit is at the core, framed by pain grille flavor and a beefy note. The tannins are well balanced and the wine strives to please with a plethora of fruit, but it is hard to find a lot of Pinot character under all the oak. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sanglier Cellars Emilia’s Cuvée Bennett Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.62, 115 cases, $60. Sourced from the Henry David Vineyard that the winery has farmed since 2005. Calera and Swan clones. 100% de-stemmed, aged 19 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Savory aromas of stem, dried herbs, dried rose petal and earth combine with fruity aromas of muddled cherry. Darker fruited on the palate in a middleweight style, featuring flavors of black cherry, boysenberry and red candy spice. Mouth filling with mid palate persistence and a special finish of uncommon length. The velvety texture is particularly seductive. This wine is deserving of the “Reserve” designation. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Joseph Jewell Starscape Vineyard Martini Clone-Old Girls Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.61, 75 cases, $65. Release June 2019. 100% Martini clone planted in 1971. Yield 0.9 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Somewhat brooding aromas of blackberry compote, dark chocolate and forest underbrush lead off. Locked and loaded in the mouth, with a richly flavored mid weight plus core of blackberry, ollaliberry, black tea cedary oak and spice flavors. Generously fruited, yet possessing good energy with an openness that appeals. This wine has a velvety texture, welcome umami and a finish replete with ollaliberry goodness. A unique wine that reflects the nature of the Martini clone and will appeal to the adventurous. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Emeritus Pinot Hill East Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 300 cases, $75. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Pinot Hill East is a significantly cooler east side of the vineyard. · Pleasing aromas of black cherry, blueberry, savory herbs and balsam. Similar to the Pinot Hill West bottling but more appealing aromatics. Mid weight in style and quite earthy in tone, with an array of black fruits. Sleek in the mouth with modest tannins and a modest finish. Like the Pinot Hill East botttling, this wine also displays a taste of guaiacol. I have found this flavor in certain vineyards such as Hansen and Bucher in the Russian River Valley and not everyone finds it unpleasant. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Emeritus Pinot Hill West Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 225 cases, $75. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 42% new. The west side receives more afternoon sun producing more overt fruit flavors. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of burnt tobacco, rose petal and black cherry. A mid weight style, with oak-infused and ostentatious purple and black fruits. Quite earthy with a noticeable taste of guaiacol. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Emeritus Wesley’s Reserve Hallberg Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 450 cases, $75. This debut vintage is made exclusively from a selection of the prized center blocks of Hallberg Ranch, an area that yields the vineyard’s most robust and dark-fruited wines. Wesley’s Reserve is named after Brice’s father, William Wesley Jones, a former Air Force Colonel. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry vanilla cola and savory herbs come to the fore. A flood of blackest cherry, blackberry and Hoison flavors are framed by a healthy tannic backbone that keeps the generous fruit in balance. The wine saturates the mid palate and carries over to a boisterous finish of deep purple and black fruited goodness. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Fort Ross Stagecoach Road Fort Ross Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 140 cases, $80. 100% Calera selection. 100% de-stemmed, several day cold soak and fermented in 5 and 10-ton stainless steel tanks. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% neutral. Bottled August 2015 unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A very savory nose offers aromas of fertile earthy and herbs. Earth-kissed cherry fruit is framed by sinewy tannins that add textural interest. Oak plies the background and surfaces on the finish that has some length. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Fort Ross The Terraces Fort Ross Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 142 cases, $80. 100% Calera selection planted on a terraced block carved out of the rugged hillside that faces the cool Pacific. With its steep southwestern aspect, this may be one of the most extreme plantings on the Sonoma Coast. 100% de-stemmed, several day cold soak, native fermentation in 5 and 10-ton stainless steel tanks. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled August 2017 unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Deep aromas of cherry, earth and sweet pipe smoke arrive over time in the glass. A mid weight style, with racy fruit flavors of black cherry and ripe strawberry. The noble tannins produce a slight bit of astringency on the dry, lengthy finish. Silky in the mouth, with inviting juicy acidity. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Fort Ross Top of the Land Fort Ross Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 107 cases, $80. Calera and Swan selections. 100% de-stemmed, several day cold soak, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 35% new and 65% neutral. Bottled August 2015 unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of red and black cherry and graham. A hint of bruised apple (VA) shows up. Mid weight plus in concentration and rustic in style, with voluptuous blackberry and black raspberry fruits, finishing with slight astringency. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Fort Ross FRV Fort Ross Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 715 cases, $52. Calera, Pommard and Swan clones. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled August 2015 unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Really nice aromas of red cherry, sandalwood and sous-bois. Good drive on the palate, with flavors of cherry and spice. Some tannins and oak show up over time in the glass. Gracious in texture and juicy with some finishing purpose. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From More Recently Tasted California Pinot Noir & Chardonnay

216 Goldeneye Confluence Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 521 cases, $86. Vineyard planted in 1996. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, 20% second vintage, 20% neutral. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Good aromatic expression of blackberry jam, graham, underbrush and piquant herbs. A full-bodied wine with a deep well of fruit yet with balancing tannins and acidity, offering flavors of blueberry, blackberry and cassis. Fruit-driven, with integrated tannins and inconspicuous oak. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Etude Santa Barbara County Rosé

13.2% alc., pH 3.15, TA 0.675,10,800 cases, $22, screw cap. Primarily Pinot Noir from the estate North Canyon Vineyard in the Sana Maria Valley. Dijon 115, 667, 777 and 113. Grapes grown specifically for Rosé. Fermentation in stainless steel fermenters, no MLF. · Moderate pink color in the glass. Fresh aromas of strawberry, peach and white flower blossoms. Crisp and bright, with flavors of strawberry, orange flower water, edible flower and dried herbs. The finish is satisfying and quenching, featuring orange and lemon pith. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 1849 Wine Company Au Jus Monterey County Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.62, $24.99. Aged 6 months in French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of confected lemon, vanilla and dried herbs. Better on the palate, with flavors of lemon, yellow apple, spice and a subtle herbaceous thread. A lighter, rather austere style that is soft and creamy in texture and has appealing gentleness, but I wanted more acid verve. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Cuvaison Napa Valley Los Carneros Pinot Noir Rosé

13.5% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.66, $30. Estate grown, certified sustainable. Grapes grown specifically for Rosé and harvested earlier at lower Brix. Fermented in stainless steel, aged 5 months on the lees in stainless steel. No MLF. · Light pinkish orange color in the glass. Aromas of macerated strawberries, white peach, blood orange and vanilla. Elegant and charming, with a silky texture and fresh flavors of red raspberry, strawberry and apricot. Completely dry, with some finish. A wine of relaxation and cheer. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir Rosé

13.5% alc., pH 2.19, TA 0.69, RS 0.6 g/L, 798 cases, $34. Estate grown. Martini, Pommard and 115 clones. Grapes picked and vinified specifically for this bottling. Fermented in older French oak barrels, then aged on the lees for four months with no MLF. · Moderately light pink color in the glass. Fresh aromas of cherry, strawberry, watermelon and pastry creme. More body and intensity than the Santa Barbara Rosé offering, bringing a cordial flavor profile of yellow nectarine, blood orange and Rainier cherry. A noticeably long finish, rare for Rosés, features yellow peach. This is always a fine example of the varietal and a long-time featured wine of this winery. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Arroyo Seco Monterey Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.57, RS 0.10 g/100 ml, 1,173 cases, $35. Clones 115 and 777. Harvest Brix 26.7º. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of blackberry and cigar oak. A full-bodied flood of oak infused blue and black fruits greets the palate. A huge wine, yet maintains some balance. Lacks classic Pinot Noir character which is subjugated to the sheer volume and ripeness of fruit as well as aggressive oak. The wine tastes good, but this is a Pinot Noir for Cabernet fans. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Martellotto Le Bon Temps Roule Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 500 cases, $35. Sourced from the new and organic Spear Vineyard that is located between Sea Smoke and Foley and across Hwy 246 from Dierberg. 66% Pommard, 20% 115, 14% Wädenswil 2A. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 10% new. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry and red raspberry combine with pipe smoke and baking spice aromas to draw you into the glass. Fresh and juicy with a dark red fruit character in a mid weight style. Elegantly composed, with good harmony and the slightest hint of friendly oak. My cup of tea. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Duckhorn Napa Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., 37,700 cases, $36. Barrel fermented with lees stirring. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromatically fine, offering scents of lemon, pineapple, honey, spice and vanilla wafer. Straightforward flavors of lemon, grapefruit, honey and vanilla. Slightly creamy with redeeming balance. A reliable everyday drinker. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Joseph Jewell Eel River Valley Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.61, 125 cases, $36. Sourced from organically farmed Elk Prairie Vineyard (Martini, Pommard and 115 clones) and Alderpoint Vineyard (Martini clone). Harvest Brix 23.5º-24.4º. 100% destemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Dark red cherry and berry and spice are featured in the nose and on the palate in a middleweight style. The wine has a charming personality, is easily accessible and displays superb barrel management. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay

13.4% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.58, 125 cases, $36. Whole cluster pressed. Native yeast barrel fermentation in neutral French oak puncheons for 13 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Alluring scent of apple pastry, lemon butter, pineapple and flint. Bright and lively in the mouth, blessed with sound acidity and showing no distracting oak overlay. Flavors of lemon-lime, green apple, pear, a hint of pineapple and a saline note are immensely satisfying. The finish is clean and refreshing. The winemakers have done a commendable job of balancing acidic verve with enough fruit richness. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sanglier Tusque Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.62, 444 cases, $36. Clones 667, 777, 115, “828”, Pommard and Swan. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry tart and toasty oak. Richly flavored with black cherry fruit framed by modest tannins. The texture is quite sensual, there is less oak input on the palate, and the finish is modest but pleasing. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $38. Sourced from the estate Savoy Vineyard as well as Ferrington and Donnelly Creek vineyards. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 36% new. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Heady aromas of dark red cherry and berry and cardamom spice. Light to mid weight styled with a gloriously fresh cherry core. A very friendly wine, with dog’s paw tannins, a compliment of oak and a juicy finish. An excellent everyday wine. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.29, TA 0.66, 1,900 cases, $50. 9.4 acres of ownrooted vines first planted in limestone in 1984 along with a 1998 newer block. Calera selection, some vines own-rooted. Yield 2.7 tons per acre. Harvest Brix 24.5º. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Inviting aromas of white peach, lemon curd, spice and arrowroot. Soft and gracious in the mouth with flavors of yellow stone fruits, apple, and pineapple. There is some appealing chalkiness with a trace of tannins showing up on the dry finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Tolosa 1772 Edna Ranch Edna Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 902 cases, $68. Released November 5, 2018. A blend of five clones of Pinot Noir from five blocks of Edna Ranch Estate Vineyard. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, sandalwood and espresso lead to a charming middleweight offering with a tasty core of vivid cherry and raspberry fruits, baking spices and tobacco. Silky in the mouth, with gracious tannins and a very long cherry-fueled finish. Better oak integration and more enjoyment when tasted from a bottle a day after opening. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Tolosa Hollister Edna Ranch Edna Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $125. Black label. Released November 5, 2018. Composed primarily from the Hollister portion of Edna Ranch planted to clone “828”. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black fruit reduction, spice, dark chocolate and fertile earth. Mid weight plus in style, offering rich flavors of black cherry and blackberry with oak embellishment. A masculine wine that is deeper and darker flavored than the 1772 bottling with a bigger tannic backbone. Silken in texture, with nice harmony including alcohol integration, and a noticeable long and fruity finish. A good steak wine that would benefit from decanting. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Tolosa Primera Edna Ranch Edna Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $140. Heavy bottle, wax closure, metal badge. Released November 5, 2018. A blend of the best of the best. The best of up too 100 small lots from Edna Ranch are chosen. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose opens slowly to release heady aromas of cherry, dark rose petal, underbrush, toast and burnt tobacco. A cherry-fueled mid weighted wine with a noticeable imprint of oak. The tannins are sleek, the mouthfeel is silky and the wine is quite approachable. This wine is a more feminine offering with redder fruit and a pleasing, but not persistent finish. Unchanged when tasted a day after opening. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 J. Lohr Highlands Ranch Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc. pH 3.76, TA 0.56, 585 cases, $35. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark red and black wild berry mash, biscuit and char. A very ripe array of purple and black berry fruits are composed in a mid weight plus style that has noticeable sweetness. There is enough acidity and tannins to balance the hedonistic fruits and the alcohol is submerged, but toasty oak chimes in. Too much sweet fruitiness and not enough acidic verve for my taste. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Nelson Hill Deep End Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $44. Clones 114, 115, 777 and Pommard. Estate grown. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, sous-bois, and rose petal. A charge of black cherry fruit and spice greets the palate. Nicely composed with gracious tannins, finishing with black raspberry goodness and a hint of alcoholic warmth. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 28,000 cases, $58. Primarily estate vineyard fruit. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, 20% second vintage and 20% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Deep, dark cherry, blueberry-pomegranate and spicy oak aromas. Light to mid weight in style with heady flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and spice with a toasty oak frame. Forward drinking, with modest tannins. The most accessible wine in the 2016 Goldeneye lineup. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Calera de Villiers Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

13.95% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.67, 1,220 cases, $65. 15.6 acres planted in limestone soil at 2,200 feet in 1996. 1,290 vines per acre, yield 1.09 tons per acre. Calera selection. Harvest Brix 24.0º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 20% second vintage and 50% neutral. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A complex nose offers scents of black cherry, fertile earth and mushroom. Mid weight flavors of earth-kissed purple and black fruits are charming and infused with only a hint of oak-driven notes of dark chocolate and vanilla. Silky in the mouth, with a good cut of acidity and a satisfying, slightly drying finish. More fruity and revealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Always the boldest and most tannic of the vineyard-designated bottlings. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Calera Reed Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.63, 375 cases, $75. 5.94 acres planted at 2,200 feet in limestone soils in 1975. 726 vines per acre, yield 1.0 tons per acre. Calera selection. Harvest Brix 25.4º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 20% second vintage and 50% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing, with scents of fresh, dark cherry and boysenberry, spice and modest toasty oak. Dark red cherry and purple berry fruits are featured in this mid weight styled wine that is sleek in the mouth and finishes long with waves of sweet strawberry and boysenberry fruit. The wine is exquisitely balanced with tannins that are more reserved than the de Villiers bottling. Much more engaging when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A superb wine. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 1,350 cases, $86. Vineyard planted in 2000. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, 20% second vintage and 20% neutral. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of cherry, ripe strawberry, wine cave, anise, char and vanilla. A hardy wine with good vibrancy and expressive dark fruits. The tannic backbone is sturdy revealing some astringency on the finish. Silky in the mouth, finishing with generous blackberry and pomegranate fruits and the slightest hint of alcoholic warmth. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Goldeneye Split Rail Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 360 cases, $86. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, 20% second vintage, 20% neutral. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with vivacious aromas of black cherry and friendly oak. Welcome charm in this mid weight plus offering that offers a suave texture that satisfies. The black fruits are well ripened, accented with oak spice and framed by modest tannins. The wine has satisfying vibrancy that shows up on the juicy finish. There is slight alcoholic warmth on the finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Goldeneye The Narrows Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 462 cases, $86. Vineyard planted in the :deep end” of the Anderson Valley with vines dating to 1991. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, 20% second vintage, 20% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is medicinal and woody with shy fruit aromas. Lighter in weight in comparison to other wines in the 2016 lineup, featuring flavors of dark red fruits and tobacco. The wine seems flat with a modest finish. This bottle could be corked so I reserve judgment (no second bottle available). WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Calera Jensen Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.63, 1,000 cases, $95. 13.6 acres planted in limestone soils in 1975 at 2,200 feet elevation. 726 vines per acre yield 0.9 tons per acre. Calera selection. Harvest Brix 24.5º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 20% second vintage and 50% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of plum, blackest cherry, and sous bois. Gracious in the mouth, with a mid weight core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits with deft oak dressing. Firm, but not intrusive tannins and noticeable cut on the the finish that goes on and on. There are several features of this wine that make it special including the seductive texture, the energy imparted by good natural acidity, the purity of fruit flavor, the subtle savory thread, and the extremely long, grand cru finish. Much more appealing when sampled the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An exceptional wine. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 1,156 cases, $125. The winery’s finest lots and considered the “pinnacle of the winemaking portfolio.” Aged in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackest cherry, blackberry and pain grille emerge slowly over time in the glass. This wine has a strong physique, with loads of black raspberry and blackberry fruit tangling with muscular tannins. A big boy wine that comes at you with intent. Still compact and unyielding, with a generous infusion of oak. The finish is mildly astringent and this wine will need more time in bottle to meld the tannins and integrate the oak. A wine for the cellar. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sea Smoke Sea Spray Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Sparkling Wine

12.01% alc., pH 3.09, TA 0.75, $80. Released October 2018. A no dosage méthode champenoise blanc de noirs from Pinot Noir grapes. Sur lie aging in neutral French oak barrels for 12 months, then extended bottle aging for 24 months prior to disgorging, with 10 months under cork prior to release. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Complex nose offering aromas of pear, pineapple, apple, hay, yeast and pistachio. Completely dry with an excellent mousse, offering flavors of quince, pear, white peach, green apple and roasted nuts. This excellent wine is “sparkling” with excellent energy along with some finishing generosity and edgy cut. Score: 93. 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.