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PinotFile 10/50

From Rogstad: Wines of Place

2013 Rogstad Van der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 66 cases, $42. This 30- acre vineyard is located at 1,400 feet elevation just below the summit of Sonoma Mountain. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely fusion of black cherry fruit aromas and savory aromas of game and earth. A middleweight styled wine with a core of black cherry, dark raspberry, plum, savory spice, black tea and iron flavors supported by very fine-grain tannins. Excellent vibrancy and an uplifting finish that leaves the drinker reaching for more. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rogstad Thornton Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 142 cases, $48. Produced from a single 1-acre block of this vineyard located on a flank of Sonoma Mountain over the crest from Gap’s Crown Vineyard at 1,800 feet elevation. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Deep perfume of dark cherry, black berry, baking spice and nutty oak. Eager to please and very accommodating mid weight plus flavors of black cherry and darker berry with a gritty earthiness. A deft touch of oak is complimentary, the mouthfeel is lush and lifted, the balance is spot-on, and the juicy finish is dreamy. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rogstad Walala Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 111 cases, $55. This vineyard is located on the West Sonoma Coast at 1,200 feet elevation near Annapolis just two miles from the Pacific Ocean. The 25-acre vineyard sits on a lonely ridge in a 19,000 forest above the fog line. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black fruits, mulch and roasted almonds lead to a full-bodied and delicious display of gorgeous purple and black fruit goodness attacking with intent and saturating the mid palate. Astonishing depth of flavor, with firm, matching tannins, a thread of toasty, spicy oak in the background, and a finish with eye-opening persistence. You won’t be able to keep your hands off this one. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted Wines

2016 Sante Arcangeli Santa Cruz Mountains Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 75 cases, $25. A combination of direct pressed grapes (Dalardi Vineyard) and saignée (McConnell Vineyard, Lester Family Vineyard and Saveria Vineyard). Harvest Brix 23.0º-24.5º. Swan, “828,” 115, 777, 2A and 667 clones. Native and M83 yeast fermented. Aged 4 months on the lees in stainless steel. · Pale pink color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, strawberry and dried herbs lead to a clean and crisp tasting wine with flavors of cherry, strawberry, peach, melon and savory herbs. Very satisfying with a good cut of acidity and a burst of fruit on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Blank Canvas California Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $12.84. Vinted and bottled by American Vines Cellars, Napa (this label term means the bottler made less than 10% of the wine and possibly did not make any of the wine). Gold Medal, 2016 Orange County Fair Wine Competition. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Very woody and off putting nose that fails to come around with swirling. Better on the palate, with light-weight flavors of black cherry and boysenberry and noticeable oak overlay. Silky tannins make for easy drinking and some fruit rises up on the finish, but the oak treatment ruins the experience. Score: 80. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma County Chardonnay

14.1% alc., $24. Cellared and bottled by Cattleya Wines. A value-priced offering from Bibiana Gonzalez Rave, the winemaker for Wayfarer, Pahlmeyer and Cattleya. A low malolactic, lightly oaked style. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon, pear, flint, petrol and buttered toast lead off. Light in style, with flavors of lemon, pineapple, golden apple and crusty bread. A polished, clean mouthfeel adds to the appeal. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sante Arcangeli Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.2% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.72, 175 cases, $30. 60% Bald Mountain Vineyard (Bonny Doon) and 40% Split Rail Vineyard (Corralitos). Harvest Brix 21.5º-24.0º. Native and proprietary yeast fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 14% new. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Enticing aromas of lemon, hazelnut, bread dough and yeast. Sleek and mouthwatering on the palate, with flavors of citrus, honey, poached pear, caramel and brioche. Beautifully composed in a bright and lip-smacking style, that finishes with good cut and plenty of citrus goodness. This wine confirms my conviction that the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the best wine regions in California for Chardonnay. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Longboard Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.61, 714 cases, $39. Clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. 3-day cold soak, open-top fermentation, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, cassis, vanilla and root beer lead off. Rather lush and intensely fruity, featuring flavors of very ripe dark raspberry, boysenberry and blackberry complimented with oak-driven notes of vanilla and nuts. Energetic, but supportive tannins, with a consuming, fruit-driven finish. Quite a contrast from the 2014 vintage of this wine that has considerably more ripeness, sap and grip and less Russian River Valley in character. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Knudsen Vineyards Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

14.0% alc., pH 3.33, TA 0.71, 320 cases, $45, screwcap. Vineyard still Knudsen family owned since 1971, Salmon Safe and LIVE certified sustainable. This wine debuted February 25, 2017, at 2017 Oregon Chardonnay Celebration. Release April 4, 2017. Harvest Brix 22.6º. Dijon clones 95 and 76 planted in 1995 in Jory soils at an elevation of 655-760 feet. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 27% new. · Very light platinum color in the glass. Demure aromas of apple, citrus, almond biscotti and buttery brioche excite the senses. Serene and sophisticated on the palate, with flavors of apple, pear and coconut. Impeccably balanced, with a sleek mouthfeel and a lip smacking, dry finish. Very classy juice. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sante Arcangeli Hall Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.61, 75 cases, $45. Vineyard is located at 2,000 feet elevation in the Summit region. Harvest Brix 23.3º. Pommard 4 clone. 100% de-stemmed. Native and proprietary yeast fermented. Aged 10 months on less in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is primarily oak-driven, offering aromas of cigar, toast and tundra along with some black cherry fruit. Discretely concentrated flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, and purple grape fruits are accented with baking spices. Plush in the mouth, with an appealing finish flush with oak-imbued cherry goodness. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sante Arcangeli “Selezione Susie” Family Reserve Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.58, 125 cases, $65. Harvest Brix 25.5º. Clones are 667, 777, 115 and Pommard. 20% whole cluster. Native and proprietary yeast fermented. 6-day cold soak, Aged 11 months on lees with stirring every 2 weeks for 3 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. Bottled unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The fruit in this wine pushes ripeness but never enters the compote realm. Aromas of spice, black fruits and a hint of oak lead to a richly appointed charge of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors. This wine has serious sap with a supporting backbone of brawny tannins. Much more appealing the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with inviting harmony and glorious fruit exuberance. This is meant to be an age worthy wine and more time in the cellar will fulfill that promise. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 MacMurray Estate Vineyards Central Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.60, $18.56. Primarily sourced from Olson Ranch Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Clones 777, 2A, 459, 667 and 23. Aged in 40% used French oak barrels and 60% in stainless steel. Best of Class at the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasant nose offering streaming aromas of dark fruits and hints of vanilla and dark chocolate. Modest in weight, featuring a charge of blackberry and blackberry flavors with a bit of black cherry and spice as well as oak chiming in. Rather typical of Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, with ample mid palate presence, a pleasant mouthfeel, and some finishing length. This wine is in wide distribution and is a good value. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sarah’s Vineyard Santa Clara Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,211 cases, $25. Sourced from the Dwarf Oak Block of Sarah’s Vineyard, clones 667, 777, 115 and a “DRC” selection. 100% de-stemmed, native and inoculated yeast whole berry fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 10% new. Formerly the winery’s “Central Coast Series” Pinot Noir. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherry, rose petal, hazelnut, sandalwood and earthy flora lead to a very charming mid palate display of unctuous cherry and baking spice flavors. The wine’s elegant tannins and a polished mouthfeel attract attention in this forward drinking offering with plenty of Pinot talking. Like cherry pie day at baking school: cherries, spices, and very interesting results. Still charming when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Longboard Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.64, 581 cases, $39. Clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. 3-day cold soak, open-top fermentation, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Elevating aromas of Bing cherry, blueberry and oak spice lead to a mid weight styled wine with a core of fresh red cherry and berry fruits offering good vibrancy. The silky tannins make for forward drinking. A thread of citrus plies the background and shows up on the slightly tart finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Longboard Vineyards Mystos Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.62, 108 cases, $55. The owners of the vineyard do not want their name on the bottle but the grapes are from a Russian River Valley hillside vineyard. Mystos is the name of a popular surf spot on the Sonoma Coast known only to locals. Rochioli selection. 3-day cold soak, open-top fermentation, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing marriage of Bing cherry and blackberry fruit aromas with barrel input. Eye-opening, mid weight core of earth-kissed boysenberry and blackberry flavors. The silky and polished mouthfeel is tres Pinot, the tannins are integrated, and the juicy and lengthy purple berry driven finish is glorious. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the fruit seemed noticeably more ripe, but otherwise this wine was a stellar offering. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Black Kite Angel Hawk Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.61, 152 cases, $85. Released February 2017. A reserve bottling comprised of the vintage’s best and most age worthy barrels from each block of the Kite’s Rest Vineyard. Clones 114, 115 and Pommard. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is filled with spices such as clove, cardamom and turmeric in harmony with well-ripened dark cherry fruit. Potent and sappy on the palate, with well-spiced dark fruit flavors flooding the mouth, yet light on its feet, with integrated firm tannins and skillful use of oak. Not really a terroir-driven wine, but offers an unrivaled hedonistic drinking experience. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Santa Arcangeli “Selezione Susie” Family Reserve Split Rail Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, 50 cases. David Bruce selection and Roederer clone 32. Harvest Brix 23.5º. 20% whole cluster. Aged 10 months on lees in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Moderate reddish purple color with slight rim bricking in the glass. A full flight of aromas build in intensity over time in the glass showing off black cherry, dried rose petal, raspberry, spice, burnt tobacco and nutty oak. The cherry fruit is still showy without dryness, and the earthy, underground tone gives the wine character. The tannins are nicely integrated. A bit of oak intercedes on the slightly tart but refreshing finish. Drink now to 2000. (Reviewed October 2013, score 90). Score: 91. 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.