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From Jeff Wilkes: Looking Back and Forward

2016 J. Wilkes Santa Maria Valley Pinot Blanc

13.9% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.697, 800 cases, $18. Sourced from the oldest Pinot Blanc vines (and a few Melon de Bourgogne) in California. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Dreamy aromatics featuring white peach, pear, banana, spice, white flower blossom and pastry cream. The flavors replicate the aromas with an added bit of lemon-lime. Bright, but integrated acidity, slight creaminess in texture, and finishing with lip-smacking, cleansing goodness. A consistently fine aromatic white wine, scoring annually in the 90-93 range and one of the best examples of this varietal that I have ever encountered. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 J. Wilkes Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.54, 500 cases, $30. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry are accompanied by hints of toast and vanillin. A middleweight style that is both delicate and refined, featuring the essence of red cherry. Noticeable juiciness, with a sleek mouthfeel, modest tannins, and a thread of oak in the background. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 J. Wilkes Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.655, 2,021 cases, $30. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of dark cherry, blueberry, cola, exotic spice, underbrush and seasoned oak. Light to mid weight in style, with a silky demeanor and an earth-driven core of black cherry fruit. A whisper of toasty oak plies the background, the tannins are easygoing, and there is some finishing drive. Considerably more enjoyable when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Lynmar Estate: Russian River Valley Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Standard-Bearer

2016 Lynmar Estate Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.64, 507 cases, $60. Release fall 2018. A blend of old vine Rued clones planted in 1971 and more recent plantings of Old Wente selections. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. A very outgoing wine, offering waves of cut yellow apple, lemon curd, pineapple, nectarine, floral, musk and buttered toast aromas. Creamy on the palate, with delicious flavors of yellow apple, pineapple, tropical fruits and toasty oak. A sybaritic wine, yet possessing enough acidity to energize the palate. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Susanna’s Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.63, 903 cases, $60. Release fall 2018. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 74% new. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of lemon oil, pineapple, white flower blossoms, spice and seasoned oak. Not as outgoing or flamboyant as the Quail Hill bottling, but more refined and high collar, offering flavors of citrus, toast, and spice. Impressive intensity of flavor and length on the extended finish. You need to relish oak to fully embrace this wine. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.62, 922 cases, $65. Release fall 2018. All 14 clones in this estate vineyard including Dijon 667 and 777, Pommard, Swan, 2A and Calera are included in this signature estate blend. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Vigorous aromas of Bing cherry, baking spice, cola, splintered oak and vanilla. Boldly concentrated flavors of black cherry, blackberry and cassis with a heavy dusting of toasty oak. Intense and lengthy in the mouth, finishing with plenty of sweet, dark fruit. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Monastery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.60, 465 cases, $70. Release fall 2018. This careful selection of Pinot Noir clones is meant to be a nod to the red wines of Burgundy, with a more savory and earthy character and higher acidity. Vineyard sources include Quail Hill, Kanzler, Gensler and Umino. clones 667, 115, 777, Beba and Pommard. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 53% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of well-ripened purple and black berries, with hints of nectarine, rose petal and forest floor. Definitely trends to a rustic, savory, earthy and tannic style, with a mid weight plus concentration of purple berry fruits. Silken and streamlined on the palate with a succulent, fruit-driven finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Old Vines Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.64, 183 cases, $70. Release winter 2018. Rued clone grown on 40-yer-old vines on a single block in the Quail Hill Vineyard. 24-hour cold soak on the skins prior to pressing off the juice. Aged 13 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Leading the appeal are aromas of lemon pie, caramel, parchment, toast and musk. Noticeably vibrant in the mouth with the invigorating flavor of lemonlime. This wine has a character all its own that challenges proper description. Just leave it as classy, juicy, and harmonious. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Block 10 Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.64, $80. Released spring 2018. Dijon 667 and 777 from a single east-facing block in Quail Hill Vineyard. Aged14 months in French oak barrels, 64% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enticing scents of blackberry jam, bramble, and oak spice. There is no shortage of boysenberry and blackberry fruit is this mid weight plus styled wine that fills the mouth with opulence. That said, the fruit load is beautifully balanced with appropriate oak treatment. Nuances of earth and spice abound. The long finish reveals why this block has a special calling. Considerably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Old Vines Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.60, 251 cases, $80. Released spring 2018. Swan selection planted in 1974. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 64% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Gorgeous aromas of black cherry, ripe strawberry and balsam. The wine floods the mouth with carnal energy, featuring flavors of black cherry and black raspberry. The wine has commendable harmony with both pleasing tannic power and uplifting acidity. There is only a dusting of oak. Somewhat more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, but I sense that this wine needs a few years in the cellar to reveal all of its charms. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Anisya’s Blend Susanna’s Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.59, 540 cases, $85. Released spring 2018. A selection of the very best barrels from Susanna’s Vineyard. This bottling is named in honor of the women of Lynmar. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 59% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Much to be discovered in the nose that offers aromas of blackberry, black currant, mocha, spice, earthy flora and dark rose petal. The purple and black fruit packs a punch on the palate, extending richness through a slightly astringent finish. The sleek texture is attractive as is the superb barrel treatment. This wine is fruit-driven with little nuance, yet can be delightful to those who relish hedonistic fruit. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From 2016 Black Kite Cellars: Sumptuous Pinot Noirs

2016 Black Kite Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.4% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.61, 140 cases, $58. Dijon clones 76, 95, and 96. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderate golden yellow in the glass. This is an oak-inspired Chardonnay offering aromas of toast and brioche along with pineapple, lemongrass and honey. Richly fruited and intensely flavored, offering tastes of pineapple, yellow apple, tropical fruits and a bit of oak-driven toast and coconut. The fruit assaults the palate with purpose, yet the experience benefits from adequate acidity. The mouthfeel is slight viscous and comforting. This wine is a dead ringer for the Aubert style of very expensive Chardonnay that many Chardonnay lovers are enamored with. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Black Kite Redwood’s Edge Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.64, 132 cases, $60. Dijon 114 and 115 clones. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Deep aromas of dark cherry and blueberry-pomegranate. The mid weight plus palate of long and powerful black fruits are framed by integrated bold tannins. There is a nice complement of grilling spice flavor with a deft kiss of oak. The finish is blissful and lengthy and the balance is flat-out impeccable. Extremely seductive when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, again showing off gracious harmony. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Black Kite River Turn Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.67, 131 cases, $60. Pommard clone. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of ripe black fruits, seared beef, black olive and fertile earth. A mid weight plus styled wine with a deliciously rich core of blackberry, black raspberry and cassis flavors supported by subtle oak flavors. Despite the stunning fruit load, the wine is light on its feet with firm, but needed tannins and complimentary acidity. The finish is noticeably extended. Still fat and lush when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. This wine shows the most oak of the three block wines tasted, yet the barrel treatment is not unduly aggressive. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Black Kite Stony Terrace Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.64, 132 cases, $60. Pommard clone. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose features ripe, black fruits along with noticeable gravelly “minerality.” Prodigious purple and black fruits flood the mouth with goodness, backed by bold tannins in a mid weight plus style. The wine builds in appeal over time in the glass and when tasted the following day. The seamless finish is gloriously long. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Recently Tasted Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

2017 Broadley Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 2,200 cases, $22. Sourced from several vineyards in the Willamette Valley. 100% de-stemmed. Fermented for 10-14 days in open-top stainless steel and plastic bin fermenters. Aged 9-10 months in neutral oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of black cherry and strawberry in a rustic style with a note of savory herbs in the background. Simple, with mild dry tannins, made in an easily approachable package. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Winter’s Hill Watershed Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 800 cases, $25. Fall 2018 release. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Exalted nose that really caught my attention with aromas of dark cherry, purple berry and burnt tobacco. Light to mid weight in style, with a captivating core of black cherry fruit. Sleek and polished, seamless and revealing, with a quenching finish that leads the drinker to take another sip. Even better when sampled the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Quintessential Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and a great value to boot. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Winter’s Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 317 cases, $39. The winery’s flagship selection that includes 100% estate fruit. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Persistent aromas of fresh strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, iron and mulling spices. Fresh and juicy in the mouth, with charming mid weight flavors of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry. The gossamer tannins add to the appeal as does the lengthy, lip-smacking finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Old Vines Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., $42. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Boastful aromas of red cherry, strawberry, underbrush, herbal oak and a hint of iron. Dark red fruited in a mid weight style with an underlying earthiness. The fruit is ideally ripened with a superb richness on the middle palate. What really stands out in this wine is the finish that is satiny smooth and uncommonly persistent. This special wine is more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age worthiness. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Winter’s Hill Single Block Series Block 10 Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 73 cases, $49. Release fall 2018. 100% de-stemmed. · Light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of raspberry, cherry and toasty oak. Lighter-weighted in a teasing, demure style with flavors of cherry and red berry. Silky, refined and feminine in character, with the slightest fine-grain tannins and some length in the mouth. Hard to criticize, but pretty straightforward. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Winter’s Hill Single Block Series Block 10 Whole Cluster Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 73 cases, $49. Fall 2018 release. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Haunting aromas of dark cherry, spice and burnt tobacco. This wine offers significantly more concentration than the 100% de-stemmed version with a darker fruit profile, somewhat more tannins, and a very slightly astringent finish. That said, I find it more appealing for its black cherry, spice and tobacco flavors as well as its seductive texture. I am a whole cluster junkie and my score reflects that preference in comparison to the de-stemmed version of this wine. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Winter’s Hill Single Block Series Block 9 Pommard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 73 cases, $49. Fall 2018 release. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of Bing cherry, grilled mushrooms and shaved oak. Deeply-flavored essence of dark red cherry and berry offering an intense attack and middle palate presence. Well-crafted, with integrated tannins and plenty of finishing goodness. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Broadley Vineyards Jessica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $50. Named for Morgan Broadley’s wife and partner in Broadley Vineyards. Produced from Dijon 667 and 115 clones on the estate vineyard surrounding the Broadley’s home. Wild yeast fermentation, significant percentage of whole cluster. Fermented in 5-ton French oak open-top wooden fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged n14-18 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas blossom beautifully over time in the glass, offering notes of darker cherry, boysenberry, violets and a hint of beneficial nutty and vanillin oak. Very suave in the mouth with gracious, silken tannins, becoming more engaging with time. Middleweight in concentration, with well-bred, saucy flavors of black cherry and black raspberry. Enviable balance, with lasting flavors on the finish. Irresistible when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Winter’s Hill Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 195 cases, $65. Release spring 2019. A selection of the finest blocks of the estate vineyard. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of black cherry, raspberry, spice and earthy flora. Packing plenty of black cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors, the pretty fruit load is reigned in by compatible tannins and acidity. The finish is remarkably long. A classy wine built for aging that will need another couple of years in the cellar to completely come out of its shell (although you can drink it now). This wine is deserving of the Reserve label. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., $69. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherry, strawberry, rose petal and underbrush. The wine’s brightness and purity of red berry and red cherry fruit is very appealing. The fruit is beautifully supported by righteous tannins and crisp acidity, making for seamless drinking. A delightful grip of cherry on the finish reminds of the Dundee Hills origin of this exceptional wine. Even more enchanting when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Bow & Arrow Vitae Springs Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $28. Aged in barrique for 10 to 12 months. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is redolent of aromas of cherrywood, cardamom spice and burnt tobacco. The mid weight plus core of black cherry and boysenberry fruits shows a good attack and length on the palate with some finishing persistence. Sleek in texture, with vibrant acidity, complimentary tannins and a noticeable infusion of oak. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Bow & Arrow Hughes Hollow Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $29. An interesting story behind this vineyard. Originally planted 30+ years ago on a north-facing slope, it was not given a name and was used by large production houses for color and bulk. Bow & Arrow winemaker Scott Frank convinced the owner to switch to organic farming and sell him the Gamay block planted on the site. Pinot Noir became part of the deal grudgingly, but it has turned out that this is the best source of Pinot Noir that Frank has worked with. Dry farmed vines. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of fresh cherry, oak spice and burnt tobacco. Generous mid weight flavors of purple and black berries that charm the palate through a noticeably long finish. The tannins are well-matched, and there is a modest oak contribution. This wine is more appealing than the Vitae Springs bottling and has a much longer finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $59. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and sawdust. Ripely fruited as befits this warm vintage, this mid weight plus styled wine has layers of black cherry and blackberry fruits. Big and ripe by Oregon standards, but still quite satisfying with a silky mouthfeel, mild tannins and an agreeable finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Another Picpoul Blanc Surfaces from Anaba Wines

2017 Anaba Snow Vineyard Sonoma Valley Picpoul Blanc

12.0% alc., pH 3.36, TA 0.56, 169 cases, $28. This vineyard is located just a few miles from Sonoma Plaza. The warm days and cool evenings provide ideal growing conditions for Picpoul Blanc. Harvest Brix 20.0º. Pressed immediately after harvesting into a stainless tank where it was racked off the lees post settling. 100% stainless steel aging. Bottled in February 2018. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with aromas of yellow apple, honey and brioche. Bright and clean on the palate, with flavors of pear, honey, apple, and a hint of vanilla. Highly enjoyable with an uplifting, soprano finish. Score: 92. 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.