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From WesMar: A Lasting Vestige of the Original Williams Selyem Winery

2016 WesMar Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $42. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of Bing cherry, exotic spices and subtle oak-driven notes of nuts and vanillin. Rich on the palate, with an intense attack in a mid weight style offering flavors of black cherry, ripe strawberry and cola framed by modest tannins. Slightly sweet, with an abundance of cherry goodness on the long finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 WesMar Oehlman Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $45. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose opens slowly to reveal enchanting aromas of black cherry, rose petal, spice, fertile earth and mocha java. A flood of well-spiced black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruits flood the mid palate. The wine is mid weight plus in concentration, with buried tannins, a thread of oak, and a sweet-fruited, extended finish. Powerful, yet balletic and goes down like mother’s milk. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 WesMar Balletto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $48. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy aromas of black fruits, black tea and toasty oak. Intense and boldly fruited in a mid weight plus style, with flavors of black raspberry and blackberry. A healthy tannic structure offsets the bombastic fruit load. This wine reveals the most oak overlay in the lineup. The finish is very long and intense. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 WesMar Hellenthal Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $55. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. This wine takes time to reveal itself in the glass and was considerably better when tasted several hours after opening. Aromas of cherry and rose petal lead to a discreetly concentrated wine featuring riveting flavors of black cherry, kirsch and spice. The satiny mouthfeel is highly seductive and the gracious tannins make for easy access. The wine’s harmony and vigor impress as does the waves of fruit echoing on the glorious finish. As good as this wine is now, it will benefit from cellaring for a few years and will last many more. A truly ephemeral wine from a great vintage. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Morgan: Crafting Highlands History

2017 Morgan Boekenoogen Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.64, 97 cases, $65. Clone 115. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing scents of black cherry and potpourri lead to a seductive, light to mid weight styled wine, offering a range of dark red fruit flavors embellished with a thread of oak. The gracious mouthfeel is the best feature of this very elegantly composed wine that freely offers its charms upon opening. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Morgan Double L Vineyard Pommard 5 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.33, TA 0.69, 96 cases, $65. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is extremely shy, even after extensive swirling, revealing only a whiff of black cherry fruit. Much more engaging on the palate, with flavors of black cherry, boysenberry and black raspberry with a slightly smoky undertone. The silken texture appeals, there is good energy, the tannins are well-balanced, and the finish is modest but compatible. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Morgan Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.66, 103 cases, $65. Clone 777. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of dark red cherry, purple berry, spice and peat. Delicious mid weight core of well-spiced black cherry and raspberry fruits with a compliment of toasty oak. Gracious and silky in texture, culminating in a lengthy, generous and lip-smacking finish. This is righteous juice that emotes. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Recently Tasted California Wines

2018 Waxwing Delfina’s Vineyard Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir Rosé

12.2% alc., 40 cases, $25. Released April 2019. · Moderate pinkish orange color in the glass. Aromas of pink grapefruit, rose flower water, blood orange and strawberry. A dry, French Provence style, featuring flavors of citrus, cranberry, raspberry and botanical notes, finishing with citrus-imbued red berry goodness. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 En Garde Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $30. Csaba Szakal says, “It is a wine near and dear to my heart as I modeled it after my grandfather’s rosé that I experienced growing up. Grandpa was focused on rosés exclusively and was well known for his wines’ special quality in our home town of Jaszbereny, Hungary. He was a fanatical grower and a dedicated winemaker always putting quality over quantity. I make this wine in his honor continuing the family tradition.” The grapes were harvested from several vineyards in the Sonoma Coast AVA. After crushing, the rosy juice was bled within the first hour to minimize skin contact. After a couple of days of settling, the juice on top was racked and the thick bottom juice discarded. After a long, cold fermentation, the wine sat on its lees to take on additional complexity before it was bottled February 7, 2019. · Delicate pink color in the glass. Aromas of honey and red maraschino cherry. Slightly creamy and completely dry, with flavors of strawberry, blood orange and pear. Nicely composed with upbeat acidity and a pleasing sense of harmony. This is the type of wine that would go well with almost any food. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Three Sticks Castenada Sonoma Coast Rosé

14.1% alc., pH 3.23, TA 0.68, 180 cases, $45. Stubby port-like bottle. Released April 16, 2019. A blend of primarily Syrah and Grenache with contributions from Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. This wine honors Don Juan Casteñada, the first one housed in the Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe built in 1842 and now the winery’s tasting room. Vinified in stainless steel. · Dark pink color in the glass. Very appealing aromas of cherry, strawberry, blood orange and botanical elements. The flavors echo the aromas with an addition of persimmon and spice. A botanical green thread adds nuance to flavor profile of the wine. A bold, expressive rosé that is fresh and bright. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.73, RS 0.20 g/100ml, 8,076 cases, $25. The Arroyo Vista Vineyard was planted in 1988. The backbone of this wine is clone 76. First bottled in 1996, this wine is part of the J. Lohr Vineyard Series and represents the finest expression of the winery’s estate vineyards. Harvest Brix 27.6º average. Barrel fermented for an average of 7 days, 100% malolactic fermentation, weekly lees stirring by hand in barrel, aged 14 months in French oak, 46% new. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of white stone fruits, lemon curd and buttery brioche. Very rich in style, loaded with fully ripeened white peach, nectarine and citrus fruit flavors. Robust and mouth filling, with a hint of oakdriven coconut and clove embellishment. Creamy in texture, with a bold, pineapple and lemon infused finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Mansfield-Dunne Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.58, 600 cases, $38. Release May 1, 2019. Clones 667, Pommard 5, 115, 777, 2A, Mt. Eden and Calera. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 42% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Intriguing aromas of black cherry, fertile soil, tobacco and toast. Mid weight essence of boysenberry fruit with added notes of blackberry, dark chocolate and smoky, charred oak. The wine sports ubmissive tannins with a modest but satisfying finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 On Point Winemaker’s Selection North Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 142 cases, $39. A blend of Donnelly Creek (46%), Gap’s Crown (37%) and Wildcat Mountain (17%) vineyards. Pommard, 115, “828,” and 667. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 21% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Glorious aromas of purple grape, boysenberry, and oak-driven nuts and vanillin. A generous wine in a mid weight plus style, featuring flavors of blackberry and cassis with hints of vanilla and violet candy. The tannic backbone is well-matched and the modest finish hints at a bit of alcoholic warmth. Resembles the popular Meiomi Pinot Noir in flavor profile. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Cuvaison Napa Valley Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.54, $42. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Dark berry and plum aromas lead to a mid weighted wine with a core of earthy dark berry fruits accented with hints of mushroom and spice. Round and polished in the mouth, with restrained tannins, a complimentary hint of oak and some finishing boldness. A well-crafted, solid wine. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Fogline Spring Hills Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.1% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.80, 45 cases, $42. Clone 4 grown on a vineyard adjacent the winery. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of white stone fruits, blonde caramel, sea salt, lemon, piquant herbs and buttery brioche. Good energy, and slightly creamy on the palate with flavors of melon, white peach, spiced pear, yellow apple and burnt caramel. Nicely balanced. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Fogline Zephyr’s Block Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.55, 120 cases, $45. Old Wente and dijon 76 clones. Barrel fermented with 100% malolactic fermentation. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Reserved aromas of lemon oil and pineapple. Ripe and richly fruited, with flavors of lemon, grilled pineapple and toasty oak. Lacks energy, but delivers plenty of flavor. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Mansfield-Dunne Cortada Alta Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.63, RS < 0.1 g/L, 75 cases, $45. Release May 1, 2019. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately light golden yellow with slight haze (unfiltered). Shy aromas of lemon, spice, vanillin and toast. Clean, smooth and creamy on the palate. Richly appointed flavors of sweet caramel nougat, butterscotch and vanilla with a faint thread of citrus. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Mansfield-Dunne Peterson Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.49, RS 0.61, RS < 0.1 g/L, 50 cases, $45. Release May 1, 2019. Hyde clone. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light golden yellow with slight haze (unfiltered). Very shy but pleasant aromas of lemon, apple, baking spice, and petrichor. Flavors of citrus, oil, melon, pineapple and pastry creme. Rather austere and only hints at its Chardonnay origins. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Mansfield-Dunne Peterson Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.55, RS < 0.1 g/L. 200 cases, $48. Release May 1, 2019. Clones “828,” 667, Pommard 5, 115 and 777. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 75% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose blossoms over time in the glass, revealing welcome aromas of dark red and purple fruits and a compliment of earth and oak cask. Gregarious purple grape, blackberry and black cherry fruit with fortuitous oak enhancement. A trim wine with good energy, a silky mouthfeel and a finish that is ripe, pure and clean with some persistence. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Waxwing Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 115 cases, $48. Released March 2019. Sixth vintage from this vineyard first planted in 1998 and sustainably managed by consultant Prudy Foxx. Clones 115, 667 and Mt. Eden. 100% de-stemmed, inoculated with Assmanhausen yeast after a 5-day cold soak. Aged 10 months in once-used French oak barrels and bottled with a light filtration. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The aromas build in intensity over time in the glass, culminating in a force of earth-kissed blackened cherry righteousness. The harmony of this wine is evident upon first sip and the long, intense and haunting finish impresses. Mid weight in style, with an earthy core of black cherry fruit framed by gracious tannins, this wine is somewhat closed in and needs more time in the cellar. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Three Sticks Origin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.3% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.72, 181 cases, $50. Released February 20, 2019. Wente clone from Durell Vineyard. This wine is fermented in concrete eggs and amphoras and aged in stainless steel barrels on the lees 11 months with inhibited malolactic fermentation. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass with a tiny amount of spritz. Aromas of lemon meringue, white peach, olive oil and fig lean to a bright and rather austere wine with flavors of lemon-lime, green apple, and green olive. A prolonged lemon-lime finish is refreshingly clean. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Three Sticks Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.4% alc., pH 3.28, TA 0.73, 250 cases, $55. Released February 20, 2019. Clones 76 and 124. Barrel fermented, 100% malolactic fermentation, and aged 11 months in French oak, 25% new. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Welcoming aromas of citrus, honey, pastry creme, biscuit, fudge and a hint of flintiness. Gorgeous flavors of burnt lemon, apple and toast vye for attention. A flinty note pervades the background and captures the interest. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Three Sticks One Sky Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

14.4% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.63, 440 cases, $55. Released February 20, 2019. Vineyard is farmed organically and sits at 1,400 feet elevation that is unusually high for Chardonnay. Barrel fermented, 100% malolactic fermentation, aged 15 months in French oak, 29% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color with slight spritz and haze in the glass. Fresh aromas of lemon and honeyed biscuit. Discretely rich flavors of lemon, poached apple, toast and caramel in a style with good fullness and body. Silky in the mouth, with some but not a prolonged finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Waxwing Deerheart Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 42 cases, $55. Released March 2019. This newer vineyard is located in a secluded valley just five miles from the Pacific Ocean and exposed to its share of coastal fog in the mornings. It was planted from 2012 to 2016 by owners Bob and Joanne Larson. Winemaker Scott Sisemore takes all the fruit from this vineyard. Clones 667, 777, “828,”, 943, 459, 2A on a variety of rootstocks. 100% de-stemmed, inoculated with Assmanhausen yeast after a 5-day cold soak. Aged 10 months in once-used French oak barrels and bottled with light filtration. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherry, blackberry, spice, clay loam and nutty oak. Tasty middleweight plus flavors of blackberry, black currant, brown spice and black tea create a lasting impression on the fruit-filled finish. A hardy, giving wine that is also nuanced. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Mansfield-Dunne Cortada Alta Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.53, RS < 0.1 g/L. 300 cases, $58. Release May 1, 2019. Clones “828,” Mariafeld, Pommard 5, 667, Swan, Calera 2A and 943. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 64% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Blackberry fruit and smoky oak aromas combine on the nose. Mid weight flavors of blackberry and cassis that are overlain with smoky oak. Somewhat brooding, with some drying tannins on the finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, less oak infused the nose but the finish continued to show a slightly bitter, charred character. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 6,700 cases, $60. A blend of estate grown fruit - 51% Quarter Moon Vineyard and 49% Pastorale Vineyard. Aged 13 months in French oak barrels, 34% new and 66% twice-used. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, sous-bois and fertile earth lead off. Mouth filling goodness with layers of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors accented with a compliment of oak. Nicely balanced, with a seamless blending of fruit with supportive tannins and acidity, finishing long with an array of noble dark fruits. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Fulcrum Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 124 cases, $63. Clones 667, 777 and Pommard. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackest cherry, chocolate sundae, exotic spices and vanilla. Light to mid weight flavors of blackberry and black raspberry with a deft touch of oak. A very pleasing gulp of nicely ripened fruit backed by civilized tannins and finishing with good intent. Considerably more appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Domaine Della Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.4% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.63, 150 cases, $65. · Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Enthralling aromas of sea breeze, lemon and steel. Charming flavors of lemon, white peach, pear, spice and toast in a smoothly composed wine that finishes with purpose. The oak is nicely integrated creating a harmonious impression. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Domaine Della Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.2% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.67, 250 cases, $65. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 52% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy aromas of dark cherry and toasty oak. A flourish of confected black cherry and purple berry fruits greets the mid palate, carrying over with good intensity on the finish. Easy drinking, with soft tannins, leaving behind a welcome charge of dark cherry goodness. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Domaine Della Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.62, 150 cases, $65. Sourced from Ritchie Vineyard. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. The nose leads with charming aromas of lemon, warm biscuit and vanilla. The toasty oak infused citrus flavors have good energy and the wine finishes with an upbeat lemon-lime pronouncement. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Domaine Della Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.61, 250 cases, $65. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very shy aromas of wood-kissed black cherry. Light to mid weight in style, offering flavors of red cherry and berry framed by delicate tannins. The shallow, even dilute fruit core doesn’t excite and the finish is short and unrewarding. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Three Sticks Price Family Estates Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.64, 865 cases, $65. Released February 20, 2019. The core of this wine is from Walala Vineyard with contributions from Gap’s Crown, Durell and One Sky. Swan, 115, 667, 777, “828,” and Calera clones. 25% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 42% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry pie, fertile earthy and dusty oak. A real mouthful of sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit underlain with a thread of gracious oak. Mid weight plus in extraction, with a silken texture, demure tannins and some length on the finish. This wine packs a lot of pleasure. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Three Sticks Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.63, 378 cases, $65. Released February 20, 2019. Sourced from two estate vineyards located in Green Valley: Alana Vineyard and William James Vineyard. Pommard, 943, Swan and Calera clones. 28% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 46% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Bing cherry, fertile earth and vanillin aromas find traction soon after opening. Mid weight flavors of cherry and dark raspberry are framed by gracious toasty oak. The finish is expansive and appealing, but the wine loses some appeal over time in the glass. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Fulcrum Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 82 cases, $69. Sourced from Donnelly Creek Vineyard. Pommard clone. 10% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose was quite likable, offering scents of spiced cherry, s’mores, and cardamom. Seamless and seductive on the palate with an array of dark red and black fruits that saturate the mid palate and finish. Harmonious tannin management with a haunting silkiness. The oak presence is a bit aggressive but easy to overlook because of the tasty fruit core. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 218 cases, $69. Clones “828,” and 667. 10% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Oak-kissed black cherry and fertile soil aromas lead to a mid weight plus mouthful of nicely ripened stone and berry fruits accented with a bit of piney oak. Typical Gap’s Crown fruit extravagance but less than the 2016 vintage. The oak overlay is a little daunting but the wine would be ideal with a proper food accompaniment such as a grilled steak. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Domaine Della Earl Stephens Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.65, 150 cases, $75. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Reserved aromas of dark red and purple berry fruits intrigue. The core of purple fruits are stellar and nicely complimented by a deft touch of oak and gracious tannins. Impeccably balanced, with an intensely fruity and explosive finish. Still singing when tasted two days after opening. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Domaine Della Graham Family Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.60, 150 cases, $75. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely appointed aromas of cherry, ripe strawberry and purple berry are replicated on the palate with added spice. Very elegant and charming, with gossamer tannins and a juicy finish. Lacks concentration but the finesse-infused fruit appeals. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Domaine Della Terra De Promissio Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.60, 150 cases, $75. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 52% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The exotic nose offers intriguing spice, black cherry and toasty oak aromas. Silky and seductive on the palate, with a mid weight core of spiced dark cherry fruit. Very tasty, with delineated flavors and a modest finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Wonderment Dutton-Campbell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 314 cases, $44. Released December 15, 2018. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Engaging scents of black fruits, dark rose petal and toasty oak. Generously oaked upon opening, but much better oak integration when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. Mid weight flavors of blackest cherry, black raspberry, blackberry, toast and vanilla. Easily approachable with immersed tannins and an appealingly charming tone to the fruit. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Fogline Vineyards Starscape Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.55, $48. 115, 667, 777 and Pommard clones. Formerly the Floodgate Vineyard. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The fruit veers to the ripe side in this pleasant wine. Flavors of black cherry, strawberry, spice, dark chocolate and marzipan find more traction when the wine was tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Gracious tannins make for easy enjoyment. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Wonderment Dr. Stan’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 73 cases, $55. Dijon 115. Released December 15, 2018. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasing aromas of black cherry and oak spice. Rather seductive, with middleweight flavors of black cherry, raspberry and cardamom spice. Very gracious, with gentle tannins, a greased mouthfeel, and a noticeably long and gratifying finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Fogline Vineyards Hillside Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.60, $65. Clones are 115, Swan, Mt. Eden and Pommard from the winery’s estate vineyard located above Gap’s Crown vineyard in the Petaluma Gap AVA. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Super ripe fruits in the black realm on the nose. Full-bodied and velvety in the mouth, with a charge of sweet boysenberry and blackberry fruits accented with spice and tobacco notes. Impressive concentration with immersed tannins and some finishing length, but this wine is hardly recognizable as Pinot Noir. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 E16 E16 Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.61, RS 0.02 g/L, 335 cases, $N/A. This wine combines fruit from two Russian River Valley vineyards (Hawk’s Roost and Martaella) along with a 13% combined contribution from properties in Anderson Valley, Bennett Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands. Mariafeld, Dijon and “828,” clones. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Black and purple fruits are featured in this modestly concentrated wine that offers good harmony, restrained oak and a modest finish. Solid but not exciting. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 E16 Bowland Ranch - Moaveni Vineyard Bennett Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.61, RS 0.07 g/L, 375 cases, $42. A 10-acre planting of Pommard clone. Three blocks picked at slightly different stages of ripeness and later co-fermented in one tank. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Very shy nose offering delicate fruit aromas along with toast and char. Discrete, oak-kissed array of dark fruit flavors framed by modest tannins, finishing with a charge of purple grape and boysenberry goodness. Impressive balance but without plentiful intrigue. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 E16 Upper Bench - Escolle Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.57, RS 0.01 g/L, 395 cases, $42. Pommard clone planted in 2008. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of black cherry and pomegranate. A very gracious wine with mid weight flavors of dark red and black cherry and raspberry. Silky, with gossamer tannins and soothing harmony. The wine trails off on the finish with a downy elegance. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 E16 Trenton 1880 - Martaella Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.61, RS 0.092 g/L, 225 cases, $45. The 1880 designation acknowledges the year grapevines were first planted in the village of Trenton. Also called, “Trenton Station,” the area is located at the northern end of the Laguna Ridge and about eight miles east of where the Russian River empties into the Pacific Ocean. High-density plantings of Dijon clones and “828,” planted in 2007 in Goldridge soils. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose offers aromas of blackest cherry, blackberry, spice and nutty oak. Rather bold, with significant oak infusion, featuring flavors of black cherry, cola, earth and spice. The velvety mouthfeel and charming fruit are very seductive and the reserve tannins make for easy drinking. This wine shows the most barrel influence in the lineup. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 E16 The West End - Conzelman Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.61, pH 0.05 g/L, 350 Cases, $50. Pommard and 667 clones planted in 2001. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, cassis and vitamin lead to a mid-weighted style offering bold flavors of black cherry, boysenberry, blackberry and marzipan. Silky in the mouth, with an intense, fruit-filled finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Recently Tasted Willamette Valley Wines

2017 Broadley Vineyards Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $35. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Composed of a variety of blocks containing newer and older vines, this wine represents a cross section of the flavors produced by this more southern and warmer Willamette Valley site. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry pie and woodshed lead to a light to mid weight styled wine featuring red fruits and a botanical thread. A bit dilute, yet satisfying, with fine-grain tannins and a crunchy texture reflecting bright acidity. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Knudsen Vineyards Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.65, 250 cases, $45, screw cap. A blend from Block 9 planted in 1995 to Dijon 95 and 76 clones and Block 10 planted in 1995 to Dijon clone 76. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 23% new. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Invigorating aromas of fresh lemon and petrichor. Crisp, clean and rousing like a cold shower on a hot day. Flavors of lemon, white peach and pear carry through to a quenching finish. Impeccable harmony. More austere in this vintage but still classy and highly satisfying. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Lenné Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., $48. Estate grown. Barrel fermented in one new and one once-used oak puncheons from Damy. · Comfy aromas of lemon curd, buttery biscuit, warm pear and vanillin. A spirited wine with a welcoming fresh citrus core and delightful harmony. The added flavor of yellow pound cake adds appeal. Soothing in texture with only the faintest oak input and some finishing length. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Empyrean LYRA Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $50. Named for heavenly constellation Lyra. Clones 115, 777 and Mt. Eden. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, fertile soil, oak and apple core. Mid weight, earthbound black cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors with toasted oak plying the background. A straightforward wine with modest tannins and an unpretentious finish. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.7% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.60, RS 0.00 g/L, 275 cases, $34. Released September 1, 2018. 50% Dijon 76 and 50% Dijon 96. Whole cluster gently pressed, barrel fermented, full ML, lees stirring, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The aromas of lemon oil, pineapple and warm biscuit build in intensity over time in the glass. Joyous flavors of citrus, white peach, and tropical melon are presented in a bright style with a slightly viscous texture and some finishing verve. Recent Oregon Chardonnays continue to impress me. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.53, RS 0.00 g/L, 1,700 cases, $40. Released November 1, 2018. 33% Pommard, 33% 777, 29% 114, 5% Wädenswil. Grapes were 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, native inoculum, warm fermentation, native ML, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 27% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Gracious aromas of purple berry, black cherry, savory herbs and nutty oak. Light to mid weight in concentration, with tasty red and black cherry and purple berry fruit flavors. A little spice and complimentary oak add support. Suave on the palate and easy to cozy up to, with a juicy, quenching finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Bells Up Titan Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.58, 131 cases, $40. Released September 1, 2018. Clones 115 and 77 from a vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and Pommard clone from a Chehalem Mountains Vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.2º. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 39% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of red cherry, strawberry and sandalwood. A lighter, gentle and elegant wine featuring red fruits with an ancillary botanical note. Forward drinking, with gossamer tannins, good acidity, and a slightly tart and short red cherry finish. The wine gives the impression of under ripe fruit and displays somewhat shallow extraction on the mid palate and finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Riservata Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.61, RS 0.00 g/L, 300 cases, $50. Released November 1, 2018. 23% Pommard, 36% 777, 29% 114, and 12% Wädenswil. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, native inoculum, warm fermentation, native ML, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 49% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A step up in seduction, with hi-tone aromas of cherry and savory oak. Quite elegant but flavor packed, offering cherry and Marionberry fruit flavors with a gregarious spice compliment that wakes up every taste bud. Sleek and seamless, while underscored with an ever-so-subtle savory component. Very fine tannins coat the teeth with grace and the barrel treatment is dazzling. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the wine was just about perfect in every way. Dollar for dollar, the best Oregon Pinot Noir I have tasted from the stellar 2016 vintage. Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Broadley Vineyards Marcile Lorraine Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $55. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Named for founder Craig Broadley’s mother. Produced from a distinctive block of old vines. In production, cooler fermentation, tighter-grained wood and low toast barrels are used. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of black cherry, fertile earth and marzipan. Well-ripened fruit profile in a mid weight plus style offering fruit flavors of black cherry and black raspberry. Plenty of lush fruit to satisfy, with oak checking in with a marzipan note. Good overall balance and a full tannic backbone predict age ability. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Youngberg Hill J-Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 620 cases, RS 0.00 g/ L, $60, screw cap. The J-Block, also known as the Jordan Block, sits on 4 acres facing south and was planted in 1989. This steep, high slope is more exposed to the coastal breezes each afternoon. 40% Wädenswil and 60% Pommard. Harvest Brix 23.9º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 37% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of black cherry, fig paste and wood bin. Exhilarating mid weight flavors of black cherry and black berry that saturate the mid palate and hold court through an impressively long and intense sweet cherry finish. Beautifully balanced, with suave tannins and commendable energy. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Youngberg Hill Natasha McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 859 cases, RS 0.00 g/L, $60, screw cap. The Natasha Block at Youngberg Hill Vineyard consists of 6.6 acres at 600 feet elevation planted in 1989. Marine sedimentary Willakenzie soil. 40% Wädenswil and 60% Pommard. Harvest Brix 24.2º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 37% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Sensual aromas of blueberry and black raspberry fruits. Soft and polished in the mouth, with a discreet core of dark fruits backed by agreeable tannins, finishing with aplomb. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Broadley Vineyards Claudia’s Choice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $70. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Named for Broadley Vineyard’s co-founder Claudia Broadley. This wine is made from a section of the estate vineyard that produces a distinctive big, dark and complex character. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of cherry, strawberry, syrupy waffle and nutty oak. The delicious cherry core caresses the palate. An accompanying hint of raspberry and nutty oak adds nuance Silky and seamless, with gracious tannins and a noble finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Youngberg Hill Bailey McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 197 cases, RS 0.00 g/L, $75, screw cap. Released September 2018.The Bailey Block at Youngberg Hill Vineyard was planted in 2008. Named for the last name of the winemaker, it is planted to clone 777 at 660-700 feet elevation. Soils are primarily volcanic. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 36% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, rose petal and milk chocolate. Light to mid weight in style with expansive array of purple and black fruit flavors. A slight smoky thread pervades. Easily approachable with mild, dry tannins and a very lengthy finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Justina Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.54, RS 0.00 g/L, 300 cases, $95, wax closure. Released November 1, 2018. 100% Dijon 777. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, native inoculum, warm fermentation, native ML, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 78% new. · This wine is completely different from the Riservata, yet admirable in its own way. Moderate garnet color in the glass. Reserved aromas of brooding black fruits. Nearly full bodied in a dense, black-fruited style with somewhat lower acidity and a seductive, velvety mouthfeel. Loads of fruit march with style and grace through the mid palate, culminating in an intense and riveting finish. There is plenty of new oak on this wine but one never thinks oak when drinking it because the fruit load ameliorates it. More enjoyable when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. 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.