Download 11.34 (PDF)

Reviewed Wines from the current Newsletter
PinotFile 11/34

From DION Vineyard: Exceptional Pinot Noir in 2016

2016 DION Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 342 cases, $30. Released April 2018. Clones 115, 114, 667, 777 and Pommard. Harvest Brix 22.4º-25.1º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas gain traction over time in the glass, revealing cherry, cola, spice and dried herbs. Light in weight in an easygoing and highly enjoyable style with a core of juicy red cherry, red berry and blueberry fruit flavors. A hint of savory herbs adds interest. Nicely balanced with some finishing generosity. This wine packs a lot of flavor despite being light in color and weight. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 DION Winemaker’s Reserve Special Release Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 139 cases, $45. Release November 2018. A barrel selection from the best blocks and wines that are most expressive of the vintage anchored by clone 115. Harvest Brix 22.4º-25.1º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of black cherry and rose petal. A very harmonious wine with great verve, very fine grain tannins, and a satisfying finish with honorable length. Middleweight in style, with vivid flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and purple berry with a hint of white pepper. A very stylish Pinot lover’s wine. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 DION Old Vines Special Release Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 99 cases, $60. Release April 2019. 100% self-rooted, nonirrigated Pommard clone from a 10-acre block planted in 1976. Harvest Brix 25.1º. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. · This is one of those wines that elicits emotion from the first sip. Gorgeous perfume of spiced cherries and blueberry-pomegranate fruits. Vigorous with black cherry flavor that is long and expansive in the mouth accompanied by impeccable harmony. Flavor packed, yet elegant, with supportive fine-grain tannins, integrated oak, juicy acidity and a ridiculously long finish. It is wines like this that have me proclaiming that Pommard is my paramour. A flat-out beautiful wine! Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Soliste: Frenchy’s Passion for Pinot Noir Shines Through in the 2014 Wines

2014 Soliste Contrebande Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 23 cases. 115 Monoclone®. 25% whole cluster. Aged 28 months in one new French oak barrel. · Gorgeous robe of moderate garnet in the glass. Enthralling perfume of black cherry and raspberry fruits accompanied by hints of spice and undergrowth. A lip-smacking wine with pristine balance, offering mid weight flavors of black cherry, purple berry, nutty oak and exotic spice. Everything you could ask for, including fine-grain tannins, exemplary acidity, and a vigorous finish that seems relentless. A killer wine with harmony that really stands out. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste Grands Charmes Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 23 cases, 777 Monoclone®. Sonatera Vineyard. 50% whole cluster. Aged 28 months in a single new French oak barrel. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very lovable wine with a seductive perfume of cherry, exotic spices and burnt tobacco. Elegant and silky, with a mid weight core of expansive cherry and raspberry fruits picking up depth over time in the glass. A dollop of oak and spice add satisfaction. The tannins provide supportive structure and the bright acidity contributes verve. Nicely composed, with an enduring finish. The wine rises to another level over time. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste L’Eternel Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

777 Monoclone®. 50% whole cluster. Aged 28 months in one new French oak barrel. Not reviewed. · WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste Ulysses Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

“828” Monoclone® from Van Der Camp Vineyard. 0% whole cluster. Aged 28 months in one new French oak barrel. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A savory nose offers aromas of red cherry and dried herbs. Light to mid weight in concentration, with flavors echoing the aromas. A bit shallow on the mid palate and finish, and soft in texture due to shy acidity. No change was evident over time after decanting. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste L’Espérance Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 147 cases, $85. 115 Monoclone®. 0% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in Rousseau French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Alluring scent of pie cherry, raspberry, blueberry-pomegranate and spice. Discreetly concentrated core of black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors along with notes of tar, exotic spice and earthiness. Exquisitely balanced with a silk and satin texture, integrated mildly firm tannins and adept oak treatment. The fruit really sings on the finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste Nouveau Monde Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.6% alc., 97 cases, $85. Pommard Monoclone®. 33% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in Siruge French oak barrels, 0% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The evocative nose offers aromas of dark red cherry, purple berry, rose petal, tobacco and earthy flora. Soft, smooth and stylish in the mouth with noticeable delicacy and refinement. The most savory and lightest wine in the 2014 lineup, with a bit of mushroom framing the dark red and purple fruits. There is also a carbonic quality to the fruit profile. The wine finishes fragrant and reasonably long. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste L’Ambroisie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 73 cases, $100. “828” Monoclone®. 43% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in Remond French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of dark cherry, black raspberry sous bois, spice and pipe tobacco soar from the glass over time. Charming on the palate with a mid weight plus core of richly flavored dark cherry and black raspberry fruits framed with a touch of oak spice and tobacco. Enviable vibrancy, with fine tannins, a silken mouthfeel, and a very persistent finish redolent in sweet cherry fruit. This is the most boisterous wine in the 2014 lineup, yet one that dances graciously in the mouth from attack to finish. The acid and tannin are compatible backbone companions predicting age ability. Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste L’Ermite Rouge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc. 27 cases, $100. Sourced from a monastic vineyard located off a winding road through redwoods. Claude calls it a “Hermitage of Peace.” 23 Monoclone®. 50% whole cluster. Aged 28 months in a used cigar shaped oak barrel from France. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasant but shy aromas of darker stone and berry fruits, along with scents of fertile earth and mulch. A richly fruited wine in a mid weight plus style, with dark black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors framed by modestly firm tannins that carry over on the gloriously long and intensely fruity finish. The gorgeous fruit was more expressive when the wine was re-tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine could use a little more time in the cellar but is hard to resist now. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste L’Age D’Or Russian River Valley Chardonnay

12.9% alc., $50. Aged 16 months in 600L thickstave French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Delicate aromas of lemon confit, white flower blossom, pineapple, pear and spice. Palate pleasing flavors of citrus fruits with a hint of oak-driven vanilla and nuts. Slightly viscous in texture, with integrated acidity. A gracious wine of enviable restraint offered in a Chablis style. Ideal for delicately seasoned or sauced seafood. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Dutton-Goldfield 2016 Pinot Noir: Whoa Nelly!

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Angel Camp Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.55, 370 cases, $58. Sourced from a 11.5-acre vineyard located west of Philo on a knoll overlooking the Navarro River and valley. Clones “828,” 667, and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top cofermentation of clones, aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose opens slowly in the glass to reveal pleasing aromas of dark red cherry and black raspberry fruits with prominent spice. Bold, yet polished and easily approachable, featuring mid weight flavors of boysenberry, black cherry and spice. A moderately firm tannic backbone adds needed support for the lush fruit load. Nicely composed, with a grand finish filled with black cherry fruit. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Azaya Ranch Vineyard Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.58, 246 cases, $62. This Marin County vineyard was planted by Mark Pasternak for the McEvoy family. Clones 667, “828,” and 115. Great natural acidity is a hallmark of this site. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Easy to find superlatives for this beauty that offers enticing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, pomegranate, spice and rose petal aromas. Plush and engaging on the palate in a mid weight plus style feature a gorgeous array of fruits including blueberry, blackberry and raspberry. This wine has impressive harmony, freshness and vibrancy that draw the drinker back to the glass. Simply sublime. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch - Emerald Ridge Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.58, 798 cases, $62. Vineyard planted by Steve Dutton in 2001. Clones “828,” Pommard, 2A, and 667. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, opentop fermentation of clonal blocks separately. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry preserves and forest floor lead to vigorous mid weight flavors of earth-kissed purple and black berry fruits. The supportive oak chimes in with a hint of toast, spice and savory tobacco. The wine offers a glossy mouthfeel with integrated tannins and a perfumed, cherry-fueled finish. Wines like this are a blessing. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.57, 767 cases, $62. The vineyard is located on the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. Goldridge sandy loam soil is very sandy leading to low vigor vines and slow ripening. Dan Goldfield and Steve Dutton planted this 8-acre vineyard in 2002. Clones 667, 777 and 115. 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top fermentation of clones separately. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, raspberry, vanilla, baking spices and Thanksgiving kitchen lead off. Lightest in weight of all the 2016 single vineyard wines, yet packed with fleshy flavors of cherry, raspberry and spice with gentle oak treatment. Silky in the mouth with gracious tannins and a lively, lip-smacking finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield McDougall Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.55, 392 cases, $62. The vineyard sits on a ridge at 1,100 feet neighboring Hirsch and Martinelli vineyards. 9-acres planted to two Dijon clones. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh black raspberry, black cherry, vanilla and fertile earth. The black cherry and boysenberry fruits show impressive phenolic ripeness in this mid weight plus styled wine. The fruit seems to grab hold of the palate on attack and refuse to let go on the finish. The balance is impeccable with envious integration of oak, and the overall impression is delight. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Redwood Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.60, 502 cases, $62. The 32-acre Putnam Vineyard is located in the Annapolis area of the far Sonoma Coast six miles from the Pacific Ocean. The site is above the fog line and surrounded by giant redwoods native to the area. The combination of gravelly soil and deficit irrigation leads to low yielding vines producing thick-skinned, small berries and concentrated flavors. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. I loved the intriguing nose of Bing cherry, exotic spice, clove, and woodsy perfume. This delicious beauty makes you sit up in your chair. Luscious mid weight flavors of boysenberry, black cherry and briar are complimented by gracious tannins and invigorating acidity. The oak is deftly positioned, the elegant composure is alluring, and the finish is like a Hollywood movie you never want to end. The epitome of Pinot Noir. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Docker Hill Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.58, 264 cases, $68. Vineyard planted in 2010 to a variety of Dijon and heritage clones. This bottling contains clones “828,” Pommard and Swan selection. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top co-fermentation of clones. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of black cherry, blackberry and underbrush and peat. There is a noticeable redwood forest tone to the black cherry and black raspberry fruits offered in a middleweight style. Sleek and silky, with a modestly firm tannic spine, and finishing with a forest floor fragrance. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Deviate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.59, 499 cases, $72. A blend of grapes from Jentoft Vineyard in Green Valley planted to the Calera clone by Steve Dutton in 2003, and Putnam Vineyard near Annapolis on the far Sonoma Coast. 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. A message of quality is clear in this wine that leads off with aromas of black cherry, wine cave and nutty oak. Expansive, mouth filling purple and black berry fruits engage the mid palate with purpose and persist through a very long finish. There is just a kiss of oak, a touch of spice, and a subtle smoky thread. The tannins are invisible and the overall impression is one of harmony. Even better when tasted two days after opening. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Devil’s Gulch Vineyard Marin County Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.57, 395 cases, $72. A steep, terraced vineyard owned and farmed by Mark Pasternak. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · A Burgundian nose of earth, mulch, potpourri and meat. An array of dark fruits including blackberry and black current show up on the satisfying mid palate and finish. Silken in texture, with melded tannins, finishing long with an earthbound fruit fragrance. Tasted two days later, the fruit aromatics were just beginning to arrive. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch - Freestone Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.62, 627 cases, $72. This vineyard is located in the extreme southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley on the coastal side of the Petaluma wind gap at the climatic margin for ripening grapes. Planted in 1996 and 1997 above the little town of Freestone. Tiny grape berries with thick skins produce highly concentrated wines. A combination of the 1996 planting of 115, 2A and 114 co-fermented and the 1997 planting of 667. Although fermented separately, the two blocks were blended soon after draining. No press wine in this blend. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. A big wine with graceful intentions offering aromas of fertile earth, spice, boysenberry and blackberry. Full-bodied flavors of sappy purple and black fruits flood the mouth with goodness. There are tones of earth and iron in the background. The supportive oak and tannins keep the wine sleek and honorable. The bodacious fruit shows uncommon persistence on the finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From More Recently Tasted Pinot Noir

2017 J. Lohr Falcon’s Perch Monterey County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.58, $17. This wine is drawn from multiple vineyard sites in the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations. Clones 777, 667, 115, Pommard, 2A and 114. Harvest Brix 25.3º average. 3-day cold soak, open-top fermentation, aged in two-thirds stainless steel tanks and one-third aged French oak cooperage. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Cherry and strawberry aromas are framed by nutty oak. Light in weight, but endowed with pleasing red cherry and strawberry flavors cloaked in subtle espresso oak. An easy drinker, with integrated tannins and a suave mouthfeel. A forward drinking wine that can be a daily workhorse at the dinner table. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Lucky Rock Wine Co. County Cuvée California Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 1050 cases, $20. 56% San Benito County (Vista Verde Vineyard), 24% Sonoma County (Morelli Lane Vineyard), and 20% Monterey County (White Sage Vineyard). Winemakers Aaron and Jesse Inman have made wine since 2006. They were raised by gold-mining parents. The wine company was named after on of the more memorable mines of their youth. “Wines made with intention, not pretension.” Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. · Light ruby red color in the glass. An easygoing, elegantly styled wine with aromas and flavors of dark red cherry and raspberry framed by silken tannins and a sniff of oak. Light to mid weight in style, with bright acidity and a modest finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Cloudline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $22, screw cap. From the Drouhin family. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose offers aromas of briar, dried herbs, new oak and a hint of cherry. Light in weight and shallow in concentration, offering oak-infused flavors of cherry and red berry. The tannins show up in force on the finish. Score: 85. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Kingston Family Vineyards Tobriano Casablanca Valley Chile Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 740 cases, $26. Released September 2018. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. My first thought in smelling and tasting this wine was oak. Aromas of espresso and toast overwhelm the cherry fruit scent. The light to mid weight core of red cherry fruit is overlain with dark espresso and tobacco flavor. The wine has some charm in the form of an elegant composure, gentle tannins, good juiciness, and a silky texture, but there is just too much oak at play. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Kingston Family Vineyards Sabino Casablanca Valley Chile Chardonnay

13.0% alc., 250 cases, $30, screw cap. Released September 2018. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels and concrete egg vat. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Very inviting aromas of lemon, apple, white peach and floral bouquet. The flavors of lemon, pineapple and pear are arrayed in a very satisfying style with commendable balance and polish, with hardly perceptible oak input. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Kingston Family Vineyards Alazan Casablanca Valley Chile Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 350 cases, $40. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels and concrete egg vat. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of espresso, black cherry, raspberry and earthy flora. Mid weight flavors of black cherry and toasty oak in a polished style with mouth filling mid palate presence, finishing long with generous cherry goodness. Less oak overlay is evident when the wine was tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Acrobat Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $19.99, screw cap. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of strawberry, red cherry and sandalwood. Simple, yet satisfying, in a light weighted style offering an array of red fruits and a touch of oak in the background. Easygoing tannins make for gracious drinking. An elegant introduction to Oregon Pinot Noir. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Rainstorm Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $20, screw cap. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry and toasted oak lead to a light weighted wine with red cherry and red berry flavors framed by gossamer tannins. A sleek, Pinot Noir beverage. Score: 85. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Siduri Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.62, $35, screw cap. A blend of grapes from Hilliard Bruce, La Encantada, John Sebastiano and Radian vineyards. 30% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Clean and fresh aromas of blackberry, blueberry-pomegranate and spice. Saucy, fat and lush flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and pomegranate. The gregarious fruit makes an impression on the mid palate and finish. Nicely composed with integrated tannin and juicy acidity along with a compliment of oak in the background. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Siduri Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.55, $40, screw cap. A blend of grapes from Garys’, Rosella’s, Pisoni, Sierra Mar, Soberanos, Lemoravo and Escolle vineyards. 15% whole cluster. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels, 54% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose offers primarily grounded aromas of mulch and potpourri with only hints of black cherry and vanilla. Full-bodied flavors of blackberry, black raspberry and cassis in a fat, saucy, lush style with modest tannins, a silken texture, and well-integrated alcohol. A weighty wine that packs a wallop but lacks a bit of verve. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Siduri John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.59, $55, screw cap. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Intriguing aromas of dark berry mash, oak spice and rose petal. Sleek and sexy in the mouth in a mid weight plus style with waves of purple and blackberry fruits underlain with vibrant acidity. The whole package is harmonious with an uplifting finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Williams Selyem Eastside Road Neighbors Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $59. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose opens reluctantly to reveal aromas of black cherry, cola and Middle Eastern spices. The flavor profile replicates the aromas in a middleweight styled wine. Tastes very close to black cherry cola. Bright acidity adds verve, yet moderately aggressive tannins stick out a bit. The wine finishes with impressive deep cherry fragrance that persists. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Kelley Fox Wines Maresh Vineyard Red Barn Block Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 46 cases, $60. Sourced from the Maresh Vineyard’s original blocks of Wadenswil and Pommard surrounding the Maresh Red Barn. Jim Maresh, who founded Maresh Red Hills Vineyard (fifth oldest vineyard in Oregon) still tractor farms the vines each year. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Expressive nose offering aromas of red cherry, blueberry and rose petal. Elegant and refined in a comforting, classy mid weight style with pleasing richness of dark red cherry flavor. Exquisitely balanced with a modest but thoroughly agreeable finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Siduri Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.63, $60, screw cap. 30% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of turned earth, oak cask and black cherry. A muscular, full-bodied style offering thick flavors of dark red and black cherry, blackberry, black tea, and espresso. There is sprightly acidity that keeps the fruit load upbeat. Highly atypical for this vineyard showing unusually prominent tannins, dark rather than red fruits, and sappy rather than demure fruit character. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Kelley Fox Wines Momtazi Vineyard “TIR” Mc Minnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 86 cases, $75. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Inviting scents of black cherry, seasoned beef and toasty oak. A bold and rich wine in a mid weight plus style with flavors of sweet black cherry and blackberry fruits. Packed with fruit, yet vibrant and refined with a plush mouthfeel, genteel tannins and a generous dark fruit fueled finish. When you drink a wine, you want to taste fruit and this wine delivers. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Williams Selyem Burt Williams’ Morning Dew Ranch Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $85. Last vintage as Burt Williams sold the vineyard in 2015. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Very reserved aromas of cherry, underbrush and smoky oak. A gentle wine that picks up some intensity over time in the glass but remains drab. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry and raspberry lack mid palate and finishing resolve. There is a prominent citric note that pervades through the finish. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $85. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of Bing cherry, exotic spice, blueberry, briar and toasty oak lead to a mid weight styled wine presenting the essence of black cherry underlain with oak-inspired licorice and toast flavors. Soft in the mouth, with shy acidity, balanced tannins and some length on the finish. Hard to criticize but not much to get excited about. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Estate McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.57, $22, screw cap. This winery has been family owned and operated since 1983. The estate vineyard was planted in 1983 and consists of 150 acres planted to multiple clones. Harvest Brix 24.2º. 100% de-stemmed, 1- day cold soak, inoculated and fermented in 1.5 ton microbins. Free run aged 10 months in 11% new oak. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Inviting aromas of cherry, cranberry, underbrush and spice. Both savory and fruity on the palate in a well-mannered, relaxed style featuring flavors of red fruits and dried herbs. Excellent lift and juiciness with no oak intrusion, balanced tannins, and a lip-smacking finish. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Kelley Fox Wines Momtazi Vineyard “TIR” McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 75 cases, $60, screw cap. Sourced from unique small block vines surrounded by Oregon oak trees. “TR” is Farsi for “star.” A Demeter Certified Biodynamic® wine. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose offers aromas of red cherry, cranberry, underbrush and oak spice and toast. The core of cherry and raspberry fruit has personality and is accompanied by subtle purple berry and plum flavors. Discreet in weight, with husky ripe fruit tannins, yet no astringency on the finish. A bit of complimentary oak plies the background. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Kelley Fox Wines Maresh Vineyard Star of Bethlehem Flower Block Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 86 cases, $75, screw cap. Old, self-rooted vines. “Star of Bethlehem” flowers grow in the vine rows of this block. · Light ruby red color in the glass. A perfumed nose offers aromas of white flowers, red berry, cherry, spice, sandalwood and red licorice. Light in weight in a very delicate style with flavors of red cherry and red berry, a touch of spice and a hint of herbaceousness. The tannins are very fine grained and the acidity provides good verve. This diaphanous wine may be too demurely extracted for those seeking richer fruit flavor. 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.