Notable Pinots

Listed here are all of the Pinots that The Prince feels deserve special mention.

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2013 Van Duzer Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

13.1% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.64, 1,960 cases, $18, screwcap. Released June 2014 (sold out except Wine Club members). 63% Wädenswil and 37% 115. 100% estate grown. A rigorous block selection was used to create this wine. Selected vines were encouraged to produced a higher yield to retain acidity. An early pick of clone 115 and a later pick of Wädenswil clone were blended. This Rosé, like few others, is intentionally created through directives in the vineyard and winery to produce a distinctive wine. After gentle pressing, the juice was inoculated with four yeasts to highlight the aromas and mouthfeel. After a slow and cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine was aged on lees. · The color is an enticing modest orange coral in the glass. I loved the aromas of strawberry, blood orange and cut flower bouquet. This wine offers everything you could want in a Rosé with fresh flavors of strawberries, raspberries, orange zest, a hint of herbs in the background, a creamy mouthfeel and bright citrus-infused acidity. This dry wine is extremely agreeable to drink and unusually provocative for a Rosé. Score: 93. Reviewed June 24, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rocking K Vineyard Single Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., Unreleased. 50% whole cluster. Aged in 40% new French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, spice, s’mores and espresso. Brilliant Bing cherry flavor with a delicious finishing kick of fruit. Plenty of cola and oak-driven notes are evident. The tannins are suave and the mouth feel is dreamy. Could turn out to be the best and most age worthy of the three vintages sampled here. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine showed more whole cluster driven spice and much better integration of oak. Yummy. Score: 95. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.59% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.63, 517 cases, $52. From six separate sections of the vineyard. Each section was treated differently, using whole clusters on some but not on others, adding yeast to the must on some, but not on others, etc. The ultimate blend includes five out of the six sections. Clones are Pommard, 2A, 777, 115 and 114. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry pie glaze, baking spices and sandalwood. The delicious and seductive core of juicy iced cherry and red berry flavors is wrapped in gossamer tannins. Beautifully composed and harmonious with a refreshing finish of cherry goodness. Keefer Ranch terroir really shows through in this wine. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Pratt Vineyard-Sexton Road Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.66% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.63, 282 cases, $48. 25% whole cluster in the Pommard section of the vineyard. Other clones include 777 and 23. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. This is the kind of Pinot perfume that drives pinotphiles crazy. Uplifting aromas of cherry latté, spiced Halloween punch, and black raspberry preserves lead to a delicious core of sappy black raspberry, black plum and spice flavors. Mouth coating from entry to finish with complimentary oak highlights. A pleasure nest. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.68, 423 cases, $55. First single-vineyard Pinot Noir release from the 2012 vintage. Sourced from three sections of the vineyard which were fermented separately. Some whole cluster in two of the three sections. The final blend included 37% of the barrels, a strict selection not driven by profit but by quality. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of dark red and black cherry berry mix with a hint of oak vanillin. Delicious, intense flavors of dark berries and black plums, nicely spiced with a lush, long finish. The darkest fruited, most tannic, and most powerful wine in the 2012 Siduri lineup. When this wine enters your mouth, the experience is scintillating. If this wine doesn’t make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, you must be undead. A distinctive wine that is tré Pisoni. Score: 95. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Cargassachi Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.69% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.68, 211 cases, $52. 100% clone 115. Vineyard picked in two sections giving a mix of flavor profiles. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is quite typical of this vineyard with aromas of black berry and stone fruits, black currant, mesquite, iron and earth. Plush, soft, rich and inviting on the palate, this wine offers a mouthful of earth-kissed purple and black fruits perfectly matched to ripe tannins. The intense, grandiose, and aromatic finish is full of juicy fruit pleasure. Wines from this vineyard can be somewhat animale in character and brooding, but this wine sparkles with freshness and vibrancy as well as offering inviting finesse with power. The best Cargassachi Vineyard Pinot Noir I have ever tasted. Scary to think this will get better with more time in bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Loring Wine Company Cargassachi Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $50, screwcap. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring perfume of fresh blackberry tart, currants and earthy flora. A killer on the palate with massive concentration of deep purple and black berry fruits (but not jammy), with a subtle underlying earthy, animale character. The tannins are reigned in and balanced, and the striking finish grabs hold and won’t let go. An unabashed, unapologetic, hedonistic wine of uncommon flamboyance. The expression of earthiness in this vineyard sets it apart. A great vintage for Cargassachi Vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ken Wright Cellars Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 310 cases, $45. This vineyard was planted in 1988 to own-rooted Pommard clone. Yamhill soil - silty loam over basaltic bedrock. Owned and managed by Susan Meredith and Frank Mitchell. Typically produces small berries and clusters and is well-structured, requiring a bit more aging. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. A wide array of aromas appear in the glass, including black raspberry, forest floor, bramble, leather, vanilla and spicy oak. Very soft and smooth on the palate with ripe flavors of red and black raspberries, Satsuma plum and cherry. Impressive depth of flavor and a persistent finish that is almost painfully intense. The tannins are firm and muscular and make an appearance on the finish. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more integration of tannins. Tremendous aging potential. I find wines from this vineyard to be in the upper echelon of the Willamette Valley. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ken Wright Cellars Abbey Claim Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $45. 17 acres planted to Pommard, 777 and 115 at an elevation of 450 feet above sea level. Soils are varied but primarily ancient marine sediments among the oldest in the Willamette Valley. The vineyard is owned by Ken and Karen Wright and managed by Mark Gould. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is subdued and slowly evolving with aromas of dark fruits including spiced plum with a hint of earthy flora and oak. Flat-out delicious on the palate with attention-grabbing flavors of dark cherries and black raspberries accented by baking spice and an echo of oak. Discreetly concentrated with modest, firm tannins, and a lovely texture that is pure velvet. Beautifully composed with the balance for long-term aging. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 75 cases, $65. 100% Pommard clone planted in Jory soil on a southwest facing hillside. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine defies description. The nose is heavenly with broad aromas of black cherry, black raspberry tart, exotic rose petal, potpourri and a hint of truffle. Upon entry, the wine explodes with a delicious array of fruit flavors including black cherry and black raspberry with many nuances adding complexity including spice, rose hips tea, sassafras, vanilla and nutty oak. Not overwhelmingly rich but exceedingly flavorful with a royal presence, offering silky tannins, appealing barrel presence, and a finishing array of fruit that returns for several encores. Balance is spot on so this refined wine will age beautifully. I could go on, but you get the idea. Orgasmic. Score: 98. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Privé Vineyard le nord Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 100 cases, $55. 100% Pommard clone planted in Jory soil (rootstock dates to 1980) on a southwest facing hillside. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is complex and captivating initially, with aromas of black raspberry, black currant, licorice, spice and purple rose petals. The wine hits the mid palate with an unctuous core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit caressed by soft tannins and brought to vivid heights with bright underlying acidity. Very smooth and sexy, with a gorgeous finish replete with perfectly ripened blackberry fruits. Darker fruits, earthier and a little more sap and tannin than the le sud, with more evident acidity and a brighter finish. This wine is like le sud’s teenage sister - more rebellious, untamed and immature. Much better when re-tasted later in the day. Awesome. Score: 97. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Raptor Ridge Gran Moraine Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 127 cases, $45. Released November 2013. Willakenzie soils. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is extravagantly appointed with bright aromas of fresh black cherries, black berries and a hint of oak. Rich and sappy, but not jammy, with deep, mouth coating flavors of blackberries, black cherries and Hoison sauce with many additional nuances including spice, vanilla and cola. Very soft and luxurious on the palate with a firm, but not astringent tannic backbone, and a long, long finish. Still needs time to fully integrate the tannins but this wine is brimming with pleasure. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 George Vintage X Buena Tierra Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 165 cases, $60. Inaugural release from this vineyard which is adjacent the Russian River and across the river from Rochioli Vineyard. Dijon clones. Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh Bing cherries, dark rose petals and spice. Lush and plush on the palate, filling the mouth with overreaching sappy fruit bling, featuring flavors of dark cherries, black raspberries, cola and baking spices. Beautifully composed with balanced tannins. This wine really grabs your attention and holds on. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Waxwing Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 57 cases, $39. Released late 2013. Vines planted in 1998 on a sandy loam hillside bordered by redwoods in Corralitos. Farmed by Prudy Foxx. Dijon, Wädenswil, Mariafeld and Mt. Eden clones (this wine contains 667 and 115). 80% de-stemmed, 20% foot stomped whole cluster. 5-day cold soak followed by native fermentations. Age in once-used French oak barrels for 11 months and bottled with a light filtration. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is captivating with a bright, exotically spiced raspberry aroma. Delicious and polished, with discreetly concentrated flavors of deep red cherry, raspberry, and spice arriving in waves on the palate and leaving with aplomb. The tannins are very supple and the whole package is appealingly elegant. Still delightful two days later from a previously opened and recorked bottle indicating age ability. Clearly, the fruit was picked at the ideal time. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Tessier Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 150 cases, $37. Last vintage due to sale of the vineyard. Aged in 38% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Intense aromas of black cherry pie glaze, baking spices and sandalwood. The nose continued to pump out aromas over an hour sampling period. Juicy and crisp on the palate with bright Bing cherry flavor augmented with riffs of spice and cola. Comforting finesse and persistence without weight. A gorgeous wine that displays all the best features of Russian River Valley fruit without the overbearing fruit concentration that detracts from many bottlings from this area. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roadhouse Winery Dark Purple Label Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.625, 275 cases, $49. Release first quarter 2014. Sourced from Silver Pine Vineyard located at the western edge of the Sonoma Mountain at 980 feet above sea level.Harvest Brix 26.5º. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated fermentations, aged 12 months in 20% new, 60% 1 and 2- year-old, and 20% 3-year-old tight grain or very tight grain French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color and slight haze in the glass. This wine’s nose is the clear standout with effusive aromas of black cherry, blackberry, spice and earthy flora. The ripest and darkest-fruited wine of the four tasted today. This wine really stands out from the pack with mouth-filling flavors of black cherry pie, black raspberry jam and spice. Medium to full-bodied, and creamy in the texture, with a spectacular finish that explodes with fireworks in the mouth. The wine picks up allure over time in the glass. I have had some exceptional wines from this vineyard and this beauty follows suite. Score: 94. Reviewed February 4, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 McIntyre Vineyards Estate 25th Anniversary Edition Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.60, 340 cases, $36. Released December 2013. Harvest Brix 25.0º. Dijon 115 and a “heritage” clone from a 40-year-old own-rooted planting of Pinot Noir. Indigenous yeast and malolactic fermentations. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. The aromas have not arrived in this wine, but the delicious flavors are striking. An array of layered fruits meet the mid palate with ripe black raspberry, black currant, plum and dark chocolate notes. Full-bodied with firm but complimentary tannins. Impressive intensity with finishing power and persistence. An age worthy wine that needs time for the aromas to arrive and the tannins to integrate. More appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle sporting inviting aromas of dark berries, black cherry and spice. Decant if you must drink now. A handsome and pedigreed example of Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed February 4, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Failla Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 900 cases, $48. 100% de-stemmed, aged sur lie in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Vibrant aromas of fresh cherries, baking spices and sandalwood. Juicy and crisp, like biting into an iced cherry. Subtle touches of spice, earth and oak add interest. Very forward and easy to cozy up to with a long, aciddriven, mineral-laced finish. This wine really shows off the terroir of this Green Valley vineyard and could be a poster child for that cool-climate appellation. Will age beautifully. Score: 94. Reviewed February 22, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Pfendler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.586, 350 cases, $45. Pommard clone and Swan and Calera selections. Harvest Brix 23º. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day whole berry cold soak, 8 months sur lees aging, 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of fresh red cherries, with hints of spice, mushroom and cedar. Very polished and elegant in the mouth, featuring ripe darker red cherry and berry flavors accented with spice and earthiness. Impeccably balanced with gossamer tannins and a bright, persistent, lip-smacking finish. This wine conveys a special sense of richness, roundness and brightness you don’t find everyday in Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Cosa Obra Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.53, 294 cases, $27. After rigorous hand sorting, 100% de-stemmed with whole berries to tank. A 5 to 7-day cold soak was followed by fermentation managed with a combination of delestage and pumpovers. Extended maceration ranged from 3 to 4 weeks. Aged 12 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of Bing cherries, raspberry coulis and spice. The nose is literally intoxicating and persistent in volume even when sampled later in the day from a previously opened bottle. Bright, refreshing and light on its feet, with a delicious core of light to mid weight Bing cherry fruit accented with notes of tobacco, mocha, sassafras and sweet oak. The combination of balance and a light touch is hard to resist in Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bergström Gregory Ranch Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.,$47.50. From an estate-farmed vineyard owned by Wine Club members Dr. Kenton and Cindy Gregory. The vineyard was planted in 2007 to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 21 acres with 15 different clonal blocks on a steep hillside. Soils are sandstonebased marine. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic and alluring with bright aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, plum reduction sauce and spice. Exuberant and luscious on the palate with waves of black cherry, boysenberry and black raspberry fruits accented with spice. Velvety in texture with suave tannins and beautifully integrated oak. Highly pleasurable, this wine shows up the ripe, forward fruit of Oregon’s 2012 vintage. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more aromatic and flavorful. Wow! Score: 95. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 de Lancellotti Famiglia Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 75 cases, $35. A blend of estate fruit and sourced fruit all farmed Biodynamic. This wine is the least expensive in the de Lancellotti lineup, but I thought it was terrific. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas of cherry, spice and oak vanillin. Very smooth and likable on the palate, with an impressively intense mid palate attack of dark red cherry and black raspberry flavors with a compliment of cinnamon spice and oak in the background. Very crisp with a generous and persistent cherry-driven finish that is mouth watering. An impressive offering that was still pumping out the pleasure the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. No need to wait on this beauty. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Fire + Flood (Chapter 24) The Flood Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $60. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Penetrating aromas of darker stone and berry fruits flow from the glass and hold up over time. Full-bodied and boisterous flavors of Bing cherries, boysenberries and cassis caress the palate and persist with uncommon intensity on the very long finish. The wine still has an oak sheen which will integrate over time in the cellar. The soft texture is particularly appealing. A very special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Owen Roe The Kilmore Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $42. Winemaker David O’Reilly is one of the few Irish-born winemakers in the United States. This wine is named after the Kilmore Doorway which is displayed on the label in a photo. This Romanesque doorway was a sculpted entrance to the ancient Trinity Island Abbey in County Cavan, Ireland. Here the great patriot Owen Roe O’Neill sought solace during his quest for Irish independence. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones from vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton District. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers an array of enticing aromas including raspberry, dried cherry, sassafras, leather saddle and sandalwood. Modest in weight, but highly flavorful, the wine offers notes of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, dark chocolate and coffee. Very gracious and easy to drink now, this beauty has the balance and tannic backbone to age effortlessly in the cellar for 5 to 10 years. I loved the 2010 vintage of this wine, and this vintage is a hair better. Score: 95. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bacigalupi Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 300 cases, $65. 63% Wente and 37% Pommard clones. Brix at harvest 25.8º. 100% de-stemmed, whole berry fermentation. Inoculated with AMH yeast. Total cold soak and fermentation 19 days. Lees stirring weekly during malolactic fermentation and every other week thereafter. Aged 11 months in 42% new and 58% used French Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherries, strawberries, blackberries, forest floor and complimentary oak. Plenty of nuance to discover in this wine which offers flavors of dark cherry, sassafras, anise, exotic cinnamon spice, herbs and cola. Refined, seamless and quite approachable with balanced tannins and acidity and a clean, pleasant cherry-driven finish. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle predictive of age ability. Awesome! Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 450 cases, $50. Vineyard dry farmed for the first time ever. · Moderately deep reddish purple color in the glass. A sexy nose of black cherry, spice, root beer, toasty oak and iron and is a chameleon in the glass. Middleweight, refined flavors of dark red cherries and berries that expand in the mouth and leave an impression on the glorious finish. Suave tannins, juicy acidity and a judicious touch of oak add charm to the experience. This beauty leaves a lingering message of spiced plum and raspberry on the finish. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 275 cases, $75. · Moderately dark, very pretty garnet color in the glass. The aromas pull you into the glass with a fascinating array of scents including dark berry coulis, forest floor, molasses and even pulled pork. A delicious onslaught of dark plum and black raspberry fruit engages the palate with hints of earthy goodness and exotic spices. This wine has an exceptional presence on the palate. Beautifully composed, with supple, balanced tannins and integrated acidity, finishing with length and aplomb. An argument for old vines. Wines like this make you want to go to church to give thanks. Score: 97. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rivers-Marie Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 200 cases, $50. Inaugural bottling from this vineyard. Clones 115, 667 and Pommard. · The outlier in that it is clearly different from the other wines in the 2012 lineup. Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose has a vivid aroma of black raspberries and black cherries with oak-driven espresso highlights. This wine displays a riper profile, and has more concentrated sap, but is not jammy. The core of dark stone and berry fruits are nicely spiced and there is a hint of cola and sassafras peaking out. The tannins are silky and the finish is flush with black cherry goodness. The finish really stands out for its generosity and length. I love the sweet fruit and oak interplay in this wine. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Angel Camp Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.59, 306 cases, $58. This vineyard is owned by Dan Goldfield’s good friend Brian Zalaznick, who planted this 11.5-acre vineyard in memory of his brother and family. It is located west of Philo on a knoll above the Navarro River, overlooking the valley. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, co-fermentation of clones (Pommard, “828,” and 667), 50% of press wine added back to enhance aromatics, aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple robe in the glass. This is one of those wines that you know is special from the get-go. Enormous aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, spice and sweet oak. Medium to full bodied and lush, it is crammed with zesty black cherry and black raspberry fruit with an undertone of cola, Asian 5-spice and dark chocolate. The tannins are modest and fine-grained, the lip-smacking acidity adds juiciness, and the supple finish is remarkably long and focused. The wine holds up beautifully after an hour in the glass. Like biting into a just picked, perfectly ripe black raspberry. An absolute knockout! Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Whole Cluster Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.59, 420 cases, $40. Harvest Brix 23.8º-26.8º. 45% whole cluster maceration and fermentation. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Better be sitting down when you drink this knock out wine. Copious aromas of black cherry, spice, rose petal and other exotic flowers. Reminds me of a classy woman’s perfume. Seamless and sensual on the palate, offering a festival of spiced black cherries and black raspberries with perfectly integrated tannins and acidity, and a long, supple finish that leaves an impression. Everything good about whole cluster is exemplified in this beauty that has that magical je ne sais quoi that makes people go ga-ga over some red Burgundies. Score: 95. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Block M Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.60, 67 cases, $55. Second vintage produced exclusively from fruit planted in the 1.25-acre Block M of Fe Ciega Vineayrd. Mt. Eden Clone. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, inoculated 14-day fermentation. Aged 25 months in 55% new French oak. Lightly filtered, but not fined. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very ingratiating, offering plenty of dark red and black berry fruit aromas. In fact, one sniff of this beauty and you know that you are in for something special. Delicious, perfectly ripened flavors of black raspberry, black cherry and plum reduction sauce. Medium to full bodied with round, dry tannins, a very polished mouth feel and a long, long finish. Clearly a very classy wine that any red-blooded pinotphile will adore. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ferrari-Carano Middleridge Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.59, 497 cases, $55. Release summer 2014. 22 acres of Pinot Noir planted at 1,600 feet elevation planted to Swan and Calera selections. 100% de-stemmed, 2-3 day cold soak, aged 10 months in 48% new and 52% older French oak barrels. Planned release later part of 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. An aromatic feast of fresh cherry, warm baking spices, sandalwood and a touch of grilled mushrooms and beef stew. Mid to full-bodied flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice are enticing, supported by gentle, submerged tannins. The generous fruit sap floods the mid palate with enjoyment, holding fort as well on the amazing peacock finish. Balance is impeccable. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ferrari-Carano Sky High Ranch Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.59, 634 cases, $55. Release summer 2014. A vineyard perched above the fog and frost line at 1,500 feet elevation that receives early morning sun and cool afternoon breezes, never allowing the temperature to rise as high as the in the Anderson Valley below. 100% de-stemmed, 2-3 day cold soak, aged 10 months in new and neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Fresh and lively aromas of cherry tart, strawberry, and vanilla lead to remarkably delicious core of red cherry and red berry fruits that are vivid and well spiced. Elegant, with balanced tannins and a mighty finish of uncommon length. A well-crafted, provocative wine that you can enjoy now or with age. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Freeman Akiko’s Cuvée Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

405 cases, $62. A barrel selection chosen by Akiko Freeman, Ed Kurtzman and assistant winemaker Mitchell Masotti. A blend of 6 vineyards with the most contributed by Campbell Ranch near Annapolis (clone 777) and the El Coro Vineyard at Keller Estate (Swan and La Tache selection). Aged 11 months in 33% new and 67% 1 to 4-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose was initially closed for business, opening slowly in the glass with swirling over time to reveal wonderful aromas of blackberry jam, black raspberry coulis, rose petal and spice. Delicious essence of fresh dark berries with hints of cola and Hoison sauce. Modest in weight, but highly flavorful, with suave tannins, a satiny smooth texture and an expansive finish. The balance is spot on and the overall impression is magical. You can drink it now for its elegance, but it will be even better after a few years in the cellar. Best Akiko’s Cuvée ever. Score: 95. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heintz Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.56, 200 cases, $48. 100% Swan selection. Aged 11 months on lees in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Highly aromatic, with bright scents of perfectly ripened cherry, cranberry and spice. A cherry bomb in the mouth that finds every nook and cranny, saturating the palate and holding tight through a long and mighty finish. Power without weight. Accents of spice, cola and oak add interest. The whole harmonious package. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 9,375 cases, $55. 100% estate grown, 40% Pastorale Vineyard and 60% Quarter Moon Vineyard. Aged 13 months in 35% new and 65% 2 to 3 year old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is complex and persistent with hi-tone aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, forest floor, spice and red licorice. A seamless wine with serious extract of black raspberry and blackberry fruits nicely accented with spice and oak. The finish is remarkably intense, leaving quite an impression. Probably the most concentrated Pinot Noir ever from this very cool locale, yet displays the cool-climate vibrancy to support the fruit load. A beauty that will attract many fans. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sojourn Cellars Campbell Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., H 3.66, TA 0.57, 275 cases, $59. This vineyard is located in the remote far west Sonoma Coast near Annapolis and is now managed by Ulises Valdez. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Clones 115 and 777. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose evolves beautifully over time in the glass, revealing an enticing array of aromas including cherry pie glaze, spiced raspberry, red plum and garden flora. Velvety on entry and exit with mid weight flavors of blueberry and cherry with the slightest riff of spice. This wine is more than fruit centric with an appealing earthy, forest undertone. Beautifully balanced with submerged tannins and welcoming finishing intensity. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sojourn Cellars Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.55, 1,150 cases, $54. This vineyard is located on Roberts Road at the western base of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap. Clones 115 and 777 form the foundation of this wine with some Pommard clone and Swan selection blended in. 100% destemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of dark red cherries, raspberries and rose petals bring the nose to attention. Delicious flavors of fresh cherries, baking spice and sandalwood on a seamless frame. Very satisfying, with an appealing modesty and elegance and a silky mouth feel. A cherry kiss on the generous finish encourages another sip. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate Anderson Family Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.71, 118 cases, $90. Released. Harvest October 11, yield 1.7 tons per acre. Self-rooted Dijon 115. 100% whole cluster fermentation. 9-day cold soak, 26 days total skin contact, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Voluptuous, persistent aromatic pleasures including black cherry, spice and wilted rose. Boldly concentrated plum and black raspberry flavors are vibrant on the attack, showing numbing intensity as well on the huge finish. The tannins are supportive but not intrusive. Despite its sappy load, the wine has an elegant, polished mouth feel. Score: 94-95. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.62, 257 cases, $90. Released. A special cuvée from winemaker Jesus Guillen who choses his favorite barrels in the cellar. A blend of White Rose, Guillen, Vista Hills, Luciole and Red Hills vineyards. Vineyards planted 1978-2006 primarily in Jory soils. Harvest Oct 11-26. 93% whole cluster fermentation on average. 6-9-days cold soak. 20-26 days skin contact. Aged 16 months in 9% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Fabulous nose perfumed with aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, dark rose, exotic spices and peppery herbs. A terrific, well-structured wine in a masculine style (jesus prefers this) with layers of flavors including Bing cherry, black raspberry pie filling, sassafras and cola. The fine-grain tannins are nicely integrated and the finish is generous and satisfying. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate “The Neo-Classical Objective” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 428 cases, $80. Fall release. After meticulously tasting barrel samples blind before bottling, only vineyards that meet the neo-classical objective for a given vintage are selected for this blend. White Rose Vineyard (11%), Vista Hills Vineyard (11%), Anderson Family Vineyard (17%), Guillen Vineyard (28%), Lia’s Vineyard (22%), and Luciole Vineyard (11%). Pommard, Wädenswil, 777 and 115. Harvest Oct 11-26. 100% whole cluster fermentation. Total skin contact 16-26 days. Aged 16 months in 14% new French oak. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is shy initially, opening slowly to reveal scents of fresh dark berries, spice and cut flowers. Much more elegantly styled with a satisfying core of black raspberry, plum and black cherry flavors expansive on the palate and generating a lengthy, spice-laden finish highlighted by sweet oak and suave tannins. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.77, 235 cases, $125. Fall release. Harvest Oct 26-27. Yields only 0.5 tons per acre due to poor set. Self-rooted Pommard. 100% whole cluster fermentation. 6-day cold soak, total skin contact 20-21 days, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Well-perfumed with hitone aromas of cherry, raspberry, baking spices and sandalwood. Gorgeous fruit core replete with striking flavors of fresh red and black raspberries and exotic spices. Structured for the long haul with an amazingly long, peacock tail finish. This wine typifies the neo-classical objective of juiciness and freshness with enough tannic backbone to age and a minimum of oak intrusion to allow the fruit to clearly speak. Score: 95-96. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lenné Estate Karen’s Pommard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 150 cases, $55.The best barrels from the Pommard block. Named after Steve Lutz’s spouse, Karen. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very complex nose offering an array of pleasurable aromas including black cherry, cola, mocha, spice, rose petal, and sweet oak. The discreetly concentrated core of perfectly ripened black cherries is complimented by a riff of cola and spice. The peacock finish is the most intense and lengthy of the 2012 Lenné wines. Score: 94. Reviewed June 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Guillen Family Damian Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 61 cases, $40. Sourced from Vista Hills Vineyard Block F planted in 2005 with Dijon 667. Jory soils. 4-day cold soak, 22 days skin contact, basket pressed, aged 11 months sur lie in neutral French oak. Racked twice and filtered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Invigorating aromas of black cherry pie glaze, vanilla, wilted rose and spice. Eye-opening attack of well-ripened black cherry and black raspberry fruits which are vivid and juicy. The tannins are beautifully managed and balanced acidity adds verve. The aging potential is obvious from the full and persistent finish. Score: 94. Reviewed June 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Guillen Family Adrian Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 23 cases, $60. Sourced from Vistal Hills Vineyard Block F planted in 2005 with Dijon 667. Jory soils. 4-day cold soak, 22 days skin contact, basket pressed, aged 17 months sur lie in one new French oak barrel. Racked twice and filtered. Bottled very recently. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is reticent, giving up reluctantly some hints of darker fruits, spice and a subtle oak. Rich and sappy, with a plethora of fruit flavors including black raspberry, plum, cassis and spice, supported by broadshouldered, yet refined tannins. The wine has a caressing mouthfeel, and a finish of startling length. I think Grand Cru entered my mind while tasting this beauty. Still very young, but the potential is obvious. Score: 95. Reviewed June 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Beckham Estate Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 225 cases, $30. Contains all four clones from the estate vineyard. 100% de-stemmed and whole berry fermented. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The vibrant nose picks up intensity and nuance over time in the glass, offering a rainbow of aromas including black cherry, ripe strawberry, black raspberry, spice and rose. Delicious well-sustained attack of black cherry fruit accented with clove and cola, carrying over to a magnificent finish of impressive fruit concentration. Very smooth in the mouth with the structure to age many years. This wine has a racy personality. Score: 94. Reviewed June 16, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Seven of Hearts Special Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.59, 147 cases, $45. This wine includes fruit from four vineyards in different appellations. A barrel selection. Clones are Pommard, 115, 777 and “828.” At least 40% whole cluster fermented. Aged in 33% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of fresh red berries lead to a panoply of strawberry, raspberry and spice flavors that fill the mouth with goodness. Impressive fullness and length. The tannins are evident but are broad, ripe and supportive. The berry fruit returns in waves on the wonderful finish. A special wine with potential. Score: 94. Reviewed June 26, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Seven of Hearts Very Special Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.59, 126 cases, $75. This wine is only made in very special vintages. From Luminous Hills, Armstrong, Lia’s and Durant vineyards. 33% whole cluster fermented. Aged in 23% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Extroverted nose offering aromas of wild berries and exotic spices. Forceful and assertive on the palate, yet elegant, with a perfectly ripened core of berry fruit still mildly compressed by tannins. Similar to the Special Reserve, but more aloof at this stage. An ethereal wine that oozes pinotosity. Score: 95. Reviewed June 26, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,700 cases, $33. 20% 114, 20% 115, 20% 777, 10% 114 and 10% 667. Aged in 21% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry coulis and sandalwood. Delicious array of mid weight fruit flavors including black cherry and black raspberry with plenty of spice and a graceful oak sheen. Impressive harmony with remarkable persistence on the royal finish. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Reserve Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 420 cases, $46. 30% Pommard, 30% 777, 20% 115, 10% 114 and 10% 667. Aged in 37% new and 29% once-filled French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose invigorates with effusive aromas of fresh cherries, spice and dark red rose petals. Bright and elegant on the palate, with a pleasing core of cherry fruit accented with hints of brown spice and white chocolate. The suave tannins are nicely integrated, the texture is silky, and the finish is clean and refreshing. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Mark VII Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 90 cases, $66. 50% Pommard and 50% 777. Aged in 50% new French oak. The only unfiltered wine in lineup. A masculine, age worthy expression of the vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. My notes say,“fantastic nose,” with aromas of an array of dark red fruits and exotic spices. Discreetly bold flavors of dark red cherries and berries and red plums with a hint of dark chocolate in the background. A grand wine with excellent balance and length, ending on a high note with a rush of aromatic sweet cherries. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Table Farm Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 224 cases, $48. 30% whole cluster. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A glorious nose offers upbeat aromas of black raspberry, cherry, blueberry, spice, and espresso. This wine has more oak presence than I like initially, but the fruit intensity can take it, and the wine sheds its oak the longer it sits in the glass. Vibrant fruit flavors of well-ripened black raspberry and black cherry, nicely spiced. Similar to the Willamette Valley wine in flavor profile but more intensity, a longer finish, and a more seductively plush mouth feel. This wine grows on you, the longer you spend with it. Easily a ten year wine.5 Score: 94. Reviewed July 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Haden Fig Bjornson Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 123 cases, $30. 5 favorite barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Interesting aromatics featuring scents of ripe cherry, fig (seems appropriate) and bourbon. Extra-delicious core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit, nicely spiced with an additional peppery note. Admirable harmony, and a long, memorable finish that makes the knees weak. This is a wine that tugs at your emotions and defies adequate description. One of the best values in Oregon Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed July 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Scott Paul Audrey Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $83. Magnums too ($175). Sourced from special old vine blocks of Maresh Vineyard. · Moderately dark reddish purple color that glows in the glass. Spectacular aromas of raspberry, dark cherry and spice that pick up intensity over time in the glass. Mid to full-bodied core of juicy black cherry and black raspberry flavors that are vivid and uplifting. The finish is intense with flavors fanning out in unabashed generosity. This wine has that old vine nuance that emotes. Big and curvy in this vintage, this normally elegant bottling still retains some of that seductiveness. More restrained at this stage than the Le Paulée, but offers more upside long term. A wine to contemplate. Score: 94. Reviewed July 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Brooks Note Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 150 cases, $44. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring perfume of dark raspberry, blackberry and earthy flora. Striking attack of blackberry, cassis and black currant fruits that are mouth filling and finish with chewy concentration. An earthy undertone adds interest. Very sleek with harmonious tannins. This wine has the balance to age beautifully and will benefit from additional patience. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $53. Another in a long string of impressive wines by Terry Bering, the long time cellar master at Rochioli Vineyards. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A beautifully composed wine with enticing aromas of Bing cherry and spice echoed on the palate with added notes of blackberry, cola and loamy earth. Well-structured, but not imposing tannins, generous, layered concentration and an endlessly long finish. Still very young (Castalia Pinot Noirs typically need a year in bottle for full expression), but a quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard 777 Oak Tank Fermented 17% Whole Cluster Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.70, 120 cases, $65. Released June 2014. Clone 777 from Block M of the 100- acre Hallberg Vineyard. Partially de-stemmed with whole clusters placed on top of the de-stemmed fruit so the stems could dry and develop more spice and refined tannins. Foot treading of the grapes was used initially to macerate, then 1 to 2 punch downs per day. 10 to 15-day post fermentation extended maceration. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels on primary lees. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very shy upon opening but explodes with aromatic goodness the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Plenty of spicy black berries seduce the senses on the mid to full-bodied palate and fruit-charged finish. Rather exotic, even fascinating, with many nuances unfolding over time in the glass. There is enough fruit to balance the wine’s broad shouldered tannins which will need some time in bottle to fully soften and integrate. A connoisseur's wine. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kosta Browne Cohn Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 36 cases, $84. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of dark fruits, wine cave, seasoned oak and spice cabinet. Bold and dense charge of purple and black berry fruits with hints of cassis and spice, filling the mouth with goodness and lasting on quite a glorious finish. This wine sports admirable balance and plenty of old vine goodness. Even better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A special, even exceptional wine. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kosta Browne Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 1,266 cases, $84. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Love this nose which has big-time volume with swirling. Aromas of cherry, cranberry and nutmeg lead to mid weight flavors of cherry, strawberry, cola, mocha and baking spices. The brightest wine in the 2012 KB lineup with a good cut of underlying juicy acidity, and a substantial peacock finish. This is one remarkably provocative wine. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kosta Browne 4-Barrel California Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 98 cases, $84. · Darkest wine in the 2012 lineup. The aromas are clean, pure and elevating, featuring notes of ripe cherry, raspberry and blueberry with a hint of nutmeg. My notes say, “Wow!” Delicious array of perfectly ripened Bing cherry, raspberry and ollaliberry fruit with riffs of oak-driven mocha and tea. Very suave in the mouth with impeccable balance and a long, multifaceted finish. This wine is always special. In Pinot veritas. Score: 95. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Littorai Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $65. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Vivid aromas of alpine strawberry, raspberry coulis, briar and vanillin oak. Delicious fruit charge featuring raspberry, strawberry and cherry with stylish spice. Crisp and clean with modest tannins and a cherry and raspberry fueled finish of notable length and vibrancy. Still young and will take on more complexity with aging. Even better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. You will like this one. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Martin Ray Reserve Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.54, $35. Released November 2013. Tasting room only. Sourced from the Tina Marie Vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.4º. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very exotic aromas of spice, wild berries and earthy flora. Delicious essence of fresh black raspberries and blackberries that makes a statement on the mid palate. A touch of spicy oak adds interest, the acidity is nicely integrated, and the tannins are soft and composed. A stunning wine that finishes with uncommon length. Wow! Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sinor-LaVallee Anniversary Cuvée San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 48 cases, $50. A blend of all the vineyards Mike Sinor works with. 100% whole cluster. Only produced in special vintages. Fermented in 60 gallon barrels with one end removed. Native primary and malolactic fermentations. Average 12 days in fermenter. Pressed off using an imported Italian basket press. Aged 15 months in 50% new Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This is a wine that demands your attention. Lovely aromas of wild berries, redwoods, and exotic spices. Discreetly concentrated dark red and purple fruits fill the mid palate with goodness. The tannic backbone is firm and sculpted at this stage, but not intrusive. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, the wine had elevated, showing more integration of tannins, and a spectacular peacock finish. This is a connoisseur's wine that will reward time in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste Nouveau Monde Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 117 cases, $Not released. MonoClone® Pommard from Keller Estate. Large percentage of whole cluster. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The whole cluster is evident in a good way on the nose and palate. Plenty of exotic spice and flowery bouquet compliments the dark cherry and black raspberry core of fruit which has remarkable length. Crisp, fresh and elegant, yet has a substantial tannic spine. The memorable finish is filled with exotic spice and is endlessly long and gracious. Score: 95. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lynmar Estate Old Vines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.60, 301 cases, $70. SF. Swan selection from a 1971-1972 planting of 2+ acres. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. I loved this wine! Enticing aromas of cherry, raspberry, spice and cola lead to a full-bodied entourage of fruit flavors including black cherry, dark berry, plum, cola and rhubarb. Layers of pleasure with nuances showing up with each sip. The tannins are still a little firm and grippy in this young wine which will benefit from cellaring. The finish is spectacular, with a velvety array of fruits fanning out in peacock fashion. A glorious old vine offering. Score: 95. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lynmar Estate Quail Hill Vineyard Bliss Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $70. SF. A massale selection of organically farmed fruit (? Dijon and Pommard). 10% whole cluster fermentation. Aged in 55% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The fruit is remarkably expressive in this wine but not overwrought. The aromas and flavors of blackberry, black raspberry and plum strike the mid palate with a vengeance, expanding to coat every nook and cranny, before departing with uncommon density and length. The tannins and oak are beautifully integrated and supportive. A decadent wine that I really liked. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lynmar Estate Five Sisters Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $100. SF. A special barrel selection consisting of five barrels. Includes Mt Eden, Swan, Calera, and Quail Hill selections. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A full-bodied, voluptuous wine, with exuberant aromas and flavors of black cherry, black plum and black raspberry with a subtle earthy underpinning. Very smooth and seductive on the palate with balanced tannins and a remarkable finish that brings you to attention. This is a connoisseur’s wine that should age ten years effortlessly. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 LIOCO Klindt Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 287 cases, $N/A. Harvest Brix 21º. Clones 115, 667, and 777. Clones co-fermented, 30% whole cluster fermentation, native yeasts, 5-day cold soak. Aged 11 months in 20% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. A swan song (vineyard sold and fruit no longer available to LIOCO). · Light garnet color in the glass. Uplifting aromas of fresh cherry, red rose petal, spice and sandalwood. Much more flavorful than color would suggest, with mid weight tastes of dark red cherry and whole cluster spice and floral goodness. The velvety texture is of special interest as is the wine’s remarkable harmony. The class of this tasting. Score: 94. Reviewed July 28, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Navarro Deep End Blend Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $49. Sourced from Middle Ridge, Marking Corral, Garden Spot and South Hill vineyards. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is both exotic and fruity, offering scents of dark cherries, black raspberries and redwood forest. A beautiful wine in all respects with plenty of spicy black cherry and black raspberry fruit supported by integrated fine-grain tannins, and an intensely fruited finish. This wine has a special texture which is hard to describe, but stands out from the other two 2012 Pinot Noir bottlings from Navarro. So juicy and tasty, you can “nibble” at it. Score: 94. Reviewed July 28, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Broadley Vineyards Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 50 cases, $59. A barrel selection consisting of a 50/50 blend of Zenith and Shea vineyards. 30% whole cluster, aged in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of dark berries, spice and floral perfume. A full-bodied charmer that floods the mouth with well-ripened black cherry and dark berry fruit accented with spice, and supported by firm, balanced tannins. Despite its fruit load, the wine is bright and refreshing and has the structure to age. A big boy wine that is flat out delicious. Score: 94. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Broadley Vineyards Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc. 250 cases, $50 (sold out at winery). Clones 777 and Wädenswil from blocks 11 and 19. 100% de-stemmed, wild yeast fermentation in 3-ton open-top Taransaud wood fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged 12 months in 30% new and 70% neutral Francois Frères barrels. · Superlatives can’t do this wine justice. Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherry, plum and exotic spice. Intense and mouth filling with layers of amazingly pure red and purple fruits, wellspiced, and matched with fine, mouth coating tannins. Sturdy on the palate, yet bright, succulent and juicy. The haunting finish is remarkably long, returning with waves of pleasure. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating long-term potential. Heaven sent. Score: 95. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Estate Whole Cluster Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.59, 420 cases, $40. 45% whole cluster maceration and fermentation. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Previously reviewed April 19, 2014 and notes are from that review. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. You better be sitting down when you drink this knock out wine. Copious aromas of black cherry, spice, rose petal and other exotic flower scents. Reminds me of a classy woman’s perfume. Seamless and sensual on the palate, offering a festival of spice black cherries and black raspberries with perfectly integrated tannins and acidity, and a long, supple finish that leaves an impression. Everything good about whole cluster is exemplified in this beauty that has that magical je ne sais quoi that makes people go ga-ga over some red Burgundies. Score: 95. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Crittenden Estate The Zumma Mornington Peninsula Australia Pinot Noir

13.7% alc.. This a small family owned winery. Gary Crittenden was one of the first to plant grapevines in the region in 1982. The Zumma name was adopted by the family’s 27-acre farm (now vineyard) when purchased in 1981. This limited bottling is sourced from the estate’s oldest vineyard plantings. Wild yeast fermentation, bottled unfined and unfiltered. · This is clearly a special wine from the moment the cork is pulled. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The aromatics are engaging and persistent featuring aromas of cherry, spice and a subtle hint of oak. The delicious mid weight core of cherry, cranberry and raspberry fruits make an impression on the mid palate and deliver a long and generous finish. Soft in the mouth with integrated tannins, the wine holds up nicely over time in the glass. A very giving wine that aims to please. Still enticing later in the day from a previously opened and re-closed bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Eldridge Estate Single Clone MPV6 Mornington Peninsula Australia Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wonderful wine is showing a modest oak sheen that will integrate over time. The nose offers aromas of cherry, sandalwood, spice and sweet oak. Impressive fullness and richness on the palate that features discreetly concentrated flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum. Soft, even velvety in the mouth, with a richly fruited, very long finish. Hard to resist now, this gorgeous Pinot Noir will benefit from a few years in the cellar. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Montalto Vineyard Single Vineyard Main Ridge Block Mornington Peninsula Australia Pinot Noir

13.1% alc.. Clone D5V12 planted in deep red volcanic soils. Wines are produced from 6 vineyards across the Mornington Peninsula including Main Ridge, the highest and coolest site. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. I love the nose that fills the glass with aromas of perfectly ripened cherries, raspberries and spice. Very smooth and seductive on the palate with pleasingly vivid flavors of black cherry and plum. Well-structured for the long haul, with a finish that has a vibrant, mouthwatering fruit presence that lingers endlessly. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evesham Wood La Grive Bleue Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $25. This wine pays homage to the Western Bluebird, preservation of whose habitat was a prime motivation for the winery’s decision to farm the estate Le Puits Sec Vineyard organically. Non-irrigated vines. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh cherry pie and rose petals. Delicious core of red cherry, red raspberry fruit flavors accented with notes of spice and floral goodness. Soft, silky and suave on the palate with supple tannins and appealing harmony. Amazing phenolic ripeness and flavor at this low ABV. Very special. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.57, 172 cases, $59. Planted in 2002, this is one of the Sonoma Coast’s preeminent vineyards. It is located on the western hillside of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of dark red berries and cherries, blueberries and baking spices. Engaging and harmonious, with a charge of chocolate-covered cherries flooding the mouth with pleasure. The vivid fruit is perfectly ripened and accented with an array of spices. Beautifully crafted, this wine is silky in the mouth, and ends with a glorious, black cherry-laden, peacock tail finish. Still highly aromatic and flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Fulcrum Brousseau Vineyard Chalone Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.61, 148 cases, $55. This unique site has limestone soils. Third vintage from this vineyard. Aged 16 months in 33% new French oak. · Distinctly darker in color with a deep purple tone. The nose is rich with aromas of blackberry jam, ollaliberry, spice and campfire. Although rich with serious extract, the wine is beautifully balanced and caressing with husky, but not overbearing tannins. The delicious flavors of dark berries, currants, and plum are juicy and persist on the expansive finish that echoes with waves of earthbound dark fruits. This is a terroir-driven wine and clearly the best I have ever had from this vineyard. Brousseau Pinot Noir is typically black fruited with imposing tannins, but this wine is tamed and refined. Hat’s off to David! Even better the following day with a smoother presence. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Gary Farrell Rochioli-Allen Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.69, 317 cases, $70. Released September 2014. Sourced from Rochioli Vineyard and Allen Vineyard which lie opposite on Westside Road. Both vineyards are farmed by the Rochioli family. Clones are Pommard from the Allen Old (planted in 1974) and New (planted in 1996) North Hill blocks, with the balance consisting of Pommard from Rochioli River Block. 10% whole cluster. 5 to 7-day cold soak, 10 to 15-day extended maceration, aged on the primary lees 14 months in 40% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Vibrant aromas of raspberry, black cherry, rose petal and baking spice are attention-grabbing. A vigorous mid palate attack of black raspberry and ollaliberry flavors is tenacious and palate soaking. There is a compliment of spice, earth, oak and savory herb notes in the background. Very smoothly textured with well-managed tannins, bright acidity, and a remarkable intensely fruited finish. Still fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with the grand cru finish still in evidence. This dreamy Pinot will age gracefully. Score: 93-94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sanglier Old Camp Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.56, 49 cases, $45. The vineyard is just above the Russian River on the eastern ridge and enjoys slightly more brilliant sunshine than the valley below, but still has exposure to the Pacific fog that creeps into the Valley each summer night. Pommard and 667 clones. Aged in French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is alive with scents of Bing cherries, cola and cinnamon spice. An evocative wine with a plush attack of black cherry and black raspberry fruits that alert the palate. Nicely spiced and showing a hint of oak, this wine delivers a generous charge of cherries jubilee on the expansive finish. Highly flavorful, even hedonistic, but not overweighted or sweet. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste L’Ambroisie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 60 cases, $100. Tasted from a bottle that was opened 2 days prior at a luncheon. Clone “828.” 12% whole cluster. · There is plenty of drama and personality to this wine. The nose is replete with engaging aromas of wild cherry, exotic spices, forest floor and fresh rose petals. Flavors of black cherry and spice dance on the palate, framed by elegant, suave tannins (surprisingly reserved considering the high percentage of whole cluster). A charming, silken wine with impressive fruit intensity and length on the spice-filled finish. Impeccable balance and freshness after opened for 2 days predicts longevity. Score: 92-94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Wayfarer “The Traveler” Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.62, 170 cases, $N/ A. A single “suitcase clone” from Burgundy’s most revered vineyard. 22% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 15 months in 63% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The intriguing nose is embellished by the whole cluster, offering an array of scents including dark berries, rose petal, sous-bois, and oak-driven spice and vanilla. The mid weight boysenberry, raspberry, plum and red currant flavors are satisfying on their own, but added notes of savory herbs and floral nuance bring the wine up a notch. This beauty has a touch more body and intensity than the “Wayfarer Vineyard” bottling, with more finishing length. Tannins are well managed. Though a bit reticent, I was able to discover more subtleties over time in the glass, and the wine was considerably more expressive the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has not been released and understandably so, but there is much to look forward to. Score: 93-94. Reviewed October 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Wayfarer “Mother Rock” Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.59, 400 cases, $N/A. Clone 37 (Mount Eden) and Dijon 777 co-fermented. 24% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 15 months in 56% new French oak. This wine is named for Wayfarer’s sandstone substrate. · Moderately deep reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is highly expressive, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Aromas of fresh raspberries, cherries and strawberries are glass filling, accented with very subtle spice and vanilla. The mid palate attack is rich and satisfying with mid weight flavors of red berries and plum carrying the charge through a generous finish. This wine has very complimentary integration of oak, the balance is spot on, and the texture is soft and luxurious. I was completely seduced by the mouthfeel which sets this wine apart from all the Wayfarer wines in this tasting. Still delightful the next day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $55. This is an expression of the Green Valley and is composed of Pommard and Dijon clones. This is one of the coolest climate sites in the Russian River Valley. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The glorious nose is deep and inspired, with vivid aromas of fresh cherries, spice, Prada leather coat and rose petal. A cherry bombast on the palate that really made me sit up and take notice. Discreetly concentrated with added accents of spice, raspberry and plum with a complimentary note of smoky oak. An absolutely delicious and harmonious wine that floods the mouth with flavor. Score: 94. Reviewed October 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Campbell Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $65. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This is a stunning wine upon opening with invigorating aromas of fresh cherry tart, raspberry sauce and spice that jump from the glass. Very satisfying, with a silken richness of perfectly ripened wild berry and black cherry fruit accented with vanilla and a savory, dark sous-bois riff. The mid palate attack is vivid and mouth filling, and the generous finish echoes with an exotic goodness. This wine is blessed with perfect harmony between the supportive, sinewy tannins and the pleasing acid tension. It is scary to think this wine will undoubtedly improve over the new few years in bottle. A special occasion wine that reflects the extraordinary terroir of the West Sonoma Coast. Score: 95. Reviewed October 21, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 345 cases, $55. Release August 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 50% de-stemmed and 50% whole cluster, all fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged sur lie for 10 months without racking in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Striking nose offering extroverted scents of black cherries, spice, briar and rose petal. Mouth watering flavors of ripe black cherries and dark red berry jam, with a joyful hint of spice. Very soft and smooth, almost ephemeral, but with eye-opening fruit intensity. There is an extra depth of flavor on the finish that keeps rolling along just when you think it must be finally done. I was really taken by this wine, and as I sat in my chair, I kept looking at the glass and shaking my head in wonderment. Even better the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Similar in some ways to the great 2009 vintage of this wine, but more approachable and elegant in style. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., 50 cases, $55. Release August 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 50% de-stemmed and 50% whole cluster, all fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged sur lie 10 months without racking in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose picks up intensity and interest over time in the glass, slowly revealing attractive aromas of blackberries, black raspberries and candied plum. Intensely fruity on the attack and mid palate, the broad flavors finishing with impressive length. Deep plum and dark berry flavors caressed in supple tannins with a velvety smooth mouth feel. A very subtle stem note in the background disappears and the flavors really blossom the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Give this wine some time in the cellar and you will be a happy camper. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Heart & Hands Brut Rosé Finger Lakes Sparkling Wine

12.5% alc., 115 cases, $25.99. Grown on shore of Seneca Lake. Whole cluster pressed and fermented in a stainless steel tank. · Pretty pink salmon color. Perfume of alpine strawberries and cranberries. Red fruited with imbedded citrus and minerality and slight alpine, herb note in the background. Slightly creamy with a healthy bead. Very crisp and completely dry. A satisfying offering. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 McIntyre Vineyards Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.62, 241 cases, $36. From the SIP Certified McIntyre Vineyard. Dijon clone 777 and 115. Indigenous yeast fermentation and indigenous bacteria malolactic fermentation. · Deep, dark purple color in the glass. Very fragrant with intense aromas of blackberry jam, black plum sauce, black currants, spice and darkly colored rose petals. Just gorgeous. Delicious earth bound flavors of black plum, blackberry and black currant with a very subtle citrus note on the finish. Full-bodied, but not heavy or jammy. Very soft and ephemeral in the mouth with gossamer tannins and impeccable balance. This wine really speaks of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Tessier Saralee’s Vineyard Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 45 cases, $42. Clone 115. Aged in 50% new oak. Decanted. · Light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Similar to the regular bottling but displaying more body and tannin and showing more potential for mid-term aging. Aromas and flavors of dark Bing cherries, baking spices and dark red rose petals with a hint of oak. Very polished and seamless, taking on more character and interest over time in the glass, but still holding back enough to suggest that the wine has a ways to go before it fully reveals itself. My only nit would be a subtle sense of heat on the finish, but I like this wine a lot. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Masút Estate Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,041 cases, $40. Low yields, about 2.5 tons per acre. Native and selected yeast fermentations. Aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrels from several coopers. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherries, dark raspberries and a hint of toasty brioche. Very fruity and fragrant. Mid weight flavors of black cherries and raspberries with a touch of spice and a subtle earthy, savory note. Good energy, with mild tannins, bright acidity, and a raspberry-infused finish that slips off the back of the tongue with a lasting impression. Terrific! Reviewed February 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Masút Estate Vineyard Block 1 Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 115 cases, $55. From a 1.86-acre block of 1690 vines of clone 115 planted in 1997 on 104-14 rootstock. Aged 11 months in 100% new Cadus French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of earthy dark red fruits with a touch of red rose floral scent in the background. Impressive attack of mouth coating, silky and well-spiced cherry fruit complimented by perfect oak integration and supple tannins. A dreamy wine of great flavor that displays impeccable balance. Clone 115 is one of the few Dijon clones that can make a great stand-alone wine. Reviewed February 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 george Vintage IX Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.,157 cases, $60. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromatic presence with scents of fresh black cherries, dark currants and spice. Delicious core of moderately rich dark red berry, plum and black cherry flavors with complimentary notes of spice and cola. Well-balanced tannins, focused acidity, and a very appealing crisp and juicy finishing note like biting into a fresh, cold, plump cherry. Very admirable effort in a difficult vintage. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $44. Released October 2012. Own-rooted Martini clone planted in 1972. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels. Dark violet color in the glass. 100% de-stemmed, extended cold soak, aged 9 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Plenty to like on the nose with hi-tone aromas of spicy black plums, fresh blackberries and vanilla cream. A big gulp of exotically spiced plum and dark berry fruit is front and center, very seductive, expanding in the mouth, permeating every nook and cranny, and finishing with power, length and a velvety appeal. The creme soda-laced oak and cinnamon and clove spice flavors are complimentary. Similar to the 2010 version which was an “All-American.” This wine has something unique and recognizable to me. Not even close to classic or Old World traditional Pinot Noir, but it tastes great and drinks seamlessly. Cool package too. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Siduri Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

235 cases, $48. Adjacent Garys’ Vineyard but rows are oriented differently so the winds pass through the vineyard more evenly and because it is more fertile, the vines are planted closer together. Fourth leaf. Pisoni selection, and 667. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark currants, ripe plum and brandied raisins. Delicious and harmonious, with gorgeous flavors of black plum and blackberries with a note of spice and citrus in the background. The fruit really sparkles in this wine and lasts and lasts on the finish that offers a teasing hint of spice and mocha. Spectacular the following day from a previously opened and closed bottle showing an Elvis on velvet mouth feel. A complete wine that is very refined and sophisticated and clearly the jewel of this vintage for Siduri. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Siduri Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 419 cases, $52. Grapes picked prior to October rains. Pisoni selection on two rootstocks. Some whole cluster. Aged 14 months prior to bottling. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose explodes upon opening with fresh cherry aroma and hints of spice, herbs and redwood. On the palate, the layers of flashy cherry and raspberry fruit really draw your attention and hold it through a finish like a three hour movie you don’t want to end. Spend some quality time with this one as it will gradually become significantly better in the glass. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 536 cases, $55. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Typical aromas and flavors of Pisoni but more approachable and welcoming in this vintage. The nose offers scents of black currants, black grapes, and blackberries with hints of black licorice, dark chocolate and oak. Delicious, full-bodied core of black fruits including plum and grape with a hint of root beer, clothed in noticeable but relatively restrained tannins, finishing with power. The velvety mouth feel is very seductive. A wine of recognizable breeding, crafted with great skill. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 ROAR Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.58, 641 cases, $52. Pisoni clone harvested at 26.8º Brix.. Aged 11 months in 77% new and 23% 1-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of red and black berry cobbler, black cherries and clove. Delicious core of dark red fruits with a slight savory accent. Full-bodied with a seductively soft texture and very fine tannins. Beautiful integration of oak. A little big and high in alcohol for me personally, but this is a great wine in its style. Garys’ Vineyard seemed to perform beautifully in this vintage. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Sinor-LaVallee Aubaine Vineyard San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 143 cases, $40. This 12-acre vineyard is south of Laetitia Winery on the eastern side of Highway 101. Primarily 667 with a small amount of 777. 33% whole cluster. 50/50 inoculated and native fermentation. Aged 17 months in 50% new Francois Frères French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Dark purple color in the glass. Scent of loganberry jam, raw beef, and roasted plum. Deep plum flavor with a subtle sidecar of spice, dark chocolate and citrus. Very seductive velvety mouth feel with a robust, long, long finish. Beautiful integration of oak. This wine can be a ball buster, but it is a chiseled ballerina in this vintage that is oozing charm. Always a terroir-driven wine of distinction. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Block M Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 53 cases, $60. Release May 2013. The first vintage from a block Rick planted in 2008. It is a 1.25-acre block located on the steepest part of the site and planted to Mt. Eden clone. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of black plum and black grape. Ambrosial core of dark plum, berry and purple grape flavor with appealing hints of iron and spice. The fruit is striking and it carries over to an unbelievably intense and long blackberry-driven finish. The fine-grain tannins are more reserved in this vintage making the wine very approachable. One of the best wines I have had from this vineyard. Reviewed April 13, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 the Gardener Carneros Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.62, 200 cases, $35. Scintilla Vineyard, clone 667. Vineyard Certified Organic by CCOF. Harvested at 23.5 Brix. 20% whole cluster. Aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas jump out of the glass with remarkable clarity, displaying notes of fresh black cherries and spice. Delicious core of perfectly ripened and well-spiced cherries and plums. The wine is impeccably balanced with supple tannins, and features a remarkably long, cherry driven finish. My notes are filled with superlatives. This wine is like the girl you could never have but always wanted. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.61, 288 cases, $34. The vineyard is on a steep mountainside three ridges in from the Pacific Ocean at 2,642 feet elevation. Relatively shallow and rocky soils. Wide variety of clones and selections including Pommard and Swan. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 16% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak. Native fermentation in one-ton fermenters. Aged 11 months in 33% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, deep red rose petals and pine needle. Tasty with good intensity, featuring flavors of black cherries black raspberries and pomegranates with a hint of tea. Impeccable balance with mild tannins and juicy acidity, finishing with impressive intensity. Blossomed beautifully the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, displaying a dreamy, velvety mouth feel and seductive flavors. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Dragonfly Block Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.634, 72 cases, $39. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 25% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak, native fermentation, aged in 66% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Incredible nose that keeps pumping out aromas of fresh dark berries over time in the glass. Delicious core of black cherry and dark berry fruits, exotically spiced with a hint of toasty oak in the background. A seamless wine with powdery tannins and a finishing lift of decadent fruit that returns in waves for several encores. An exceptionally dreamy wine. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Eric Kent Small Town Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.61, 414 cases,$48. Release Spring 2013. 38% Cleary Ranch and Michael Valentine, 23% Roberts Road, 23% Kiser/Vella, and Stiling. Clones 777, Swan, Pommard, 667, 114 and 115. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Enchanting nose offering aromas of exotically spiced black cherry and plum with a hint of smoky oak. Elegant and soft on the palate, with juicy flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and cardamom spice caressed by gentle tannins and ending on a clean, bright, dark cherry note. One of the most suave Pinots ever from Eric Kent. I like this wine for its seductive character. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 90 cases, $50. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly fragrant in the glass with aromas of darker berries and cherries, rose petals, and the inside of a well-perfumed woman's leather glove. Ambrosial on the palate with layers of flavor including cherry, raspberry and pomegranate. This wine has the most tannin in the 2011 lineup, but enough fruit to take it on. The good acidity gives the wine vigor and the finish is ridiculously long. This is one of those wines that makes you sit back in your chair, smile and exclaim, “Wow!” I have had several great wines from this vineyard and this one joins the crew. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Sojourn Cellars Ridgetop Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.55, 275 cases, $59. Release fall 2013. This vineyard is owned and managed by Thomas Rivers Brown and Fred Schrader and farmed by Ulises Valdez. Located in the remote coastal mountains near Annapolis, it is surrounded by redwoods at 1100 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Yields are minuscule with concentrated flavors. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. The perfume draws you into the glass with aromas of darker plum and berry with notes of balsam and salt air. Delicious middleweight core of vibrant plum, black cherry, berry and cola flavors clothed in soft, lacy tannins, finishing with a lingering memory of cherry liquor. Very smooth in the mouth and discreetly sappy, this wine displays impeccable balance. Memorable. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Sojourn Cellars Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.57, 975 cases, $48. Released February 2012. This vineyard is located at the western base of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap. Clones 115, 777 and small portions of Swan and Pommard. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Vibrant aromas of fresh cherry pie glaze and baking spice with oak in the background. Juicy and light on its feet, with flavors that echo the nose.Very smooth and comforting, slipping off the palate at the end leaving an impression of perfectly ripe black cherry fruit. A rather feminine wine that packs a wallop of flavor. Still satisfying the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.59, 211 cases, $78. Vineyard is located in the Sebastopol Hills, an area featuring morning and evening fog, breezy afternoons, and bright, mild afternoon sun. Cooler temperatures lead to a longer hang time and this vineyard is usually the last to be harvested. Clones 115, 667 and Pommard. Yields 2.1 tons per acre. 100% destemmed. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Tighten your seat belt when you open this one. Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. With a nose you could drink, and a core of liquid magic that you can drink, this is one great wine. Aromas of dark red berries sprinkled with vanilla cream lead to sumptuous flavors of black cherries, blue and dark red berries, spice and dark chocolate. Power without weight, juicy without being cloying, this beautifully balanced wine is soft in the mouth and finishes with length and opulence. The pick of the litter. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kosta Browne Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.60, 368 cases, $78. A partnership between Gary Franscioni and Gary Pisoni planted in 1997. 100% Pisoni clone. Average yield 2.7 tons per acre. 8% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Whereas Rosella’s is decidedly feminine, Garys’ is more macho. Aromatic overload with deep scents of spiced black cherry and plum fruit with a hint of leather and conifer. Delicious, mouthfilling richness, with a bright core of black cherry fruit and a dusting of oak. Very smooth and seamless with tannins so fine as to be imperceptible. A delight to drink because nothing stands out except the luscious fruit. The wine finishes on a high note with remarkable intensity. Oh yah! Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kosta Browne Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.60, 125 cases, $78. Pisoni Vineyard is 45 acres perched at 1,300 feet overlooking the Salinas Valley to the East. Average yield 2.5 tons per acre. 100% Pisoni clone. 100% destemmed. Aged 16 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose on this wine is stunning and the most fragrant in the 2011 lineup. Fresh, bright, penetrating aromas of cherry tart, raspberry coulis, sandalwood and oak vanillin. Very soft, very flavorful, and very sexy with a plethora of dark red and black cherry and berry fruits in a mid to full-bodied style with a subtle sheen of oak in the background. The tannins are very reserved, allowing the extroverted fruit to shine. This is the most elegant and approachable Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir I have ever drank. If Rosella’s is feminine and Garys‘ is masculine, this wine is metrosexual. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kosta Browne 4 Barrel California Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.62, 98 cases, $78. Kosta Browne’s smallest lot but requires the most attention to detail. The four barrels are identified from 70 different lots, whittled down to the final four. There are no appellation or vineyard restrictions. 25% Gap’s Crown 667, 25% Koplen 667, 25% Keefer Ranch Pommard 5 and 25% Garys’ Pisoni. Average yield 2.1 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Patience is needed with this wine and decanting is recommended if you open now as it is the least approachable wine in the 2011 lineup. Slowly evolving nose, offering aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, and plenty of extroverted spice, reaching a crescendo after 30 minutes in the glass. Like all the 2011 Pinots from Kosta Browne, this wine is very soft in the mouth. Still a bit monotone and closed, the potential is obvious. Layered flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, blackberry and cassis with a dusting of oak and spice. Seamless, with excellent balance and length. This will be one helluva wine in a couple of years. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bluxome Street Winery Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 144 cases, $45. · Medium garnet color in the glass. The nose is quite enjoyable, offering scents of briar, red cherries and violets, but the flavors are remarkable. Red and black cherries, red plums and spice coat the mouth and finish with a peacock tail of glorious note. The finish lasts at least a minute, returning several times for an encore. In addition, the wine is seductively soft and smooth on the palate with a good cut of underlying mineral-driven acidity. The whole package. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.56, $46 (Magnums too, $90). Released April 27, 2013. Sourced from the estate Monument Tree Vineyard and Ferrington Vineyard. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Glorious aromas of fresh black raspberry jam, potpourri and spice. I just love that smell. Really delicious marriage of dark berries and cherries with a subtle mocha note. The ripe fruit really pops, reaching every corner of the mouth, and finishing strong and satisfying. There is an appealing tension and focus to this wine and the satiny texture is captivating. An incredible effort in a difficult vintage and my kudos to winemaker Ben Cane. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when my family polished it off. A 2013 All American. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Twomey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $50 (Magnums too, $100). Middle reach vineyard sources. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Bing cherry, holiday spice and subtle oak all sing in harmony in this terrific wine that does not have quite the bling of the Anderson Valley bottling but it is just as satisfying. The mid palate attack of cherries and cola nearly brings you to your knees and the silky texture is outrageously seductive. Ripe tasting but not over ripe with just the right tension: Russian River Valley Pinot Noir as it should be. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Reserve Humboldt County Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 25 cases, $45. Inaugural offering. A blend of 2011 vintages from Bosco, Phelps and Ronda’s vineyards. Aged 18 months in oak barrels. · The nose is rather shy, offering only a hint of dark red fruit and oak aromas. The flavor profile is more developed with delicious notes of perfectly ripened black cherries, black raspberries and plum underlain with hints of graham and cardamom spice. The fruit has real presence on the palate and offers layers of pleasure. Beautifully balanced with well-integrated acidity and tannins. Very impressive length on the peacock tail finish. This wine needs more time in the cellar for the nose to catch up to the palate. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.60, $42. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of black cherries, black plum, balsam and spice which grabs your attention. More concentration and structure than the Kali Hart and Logan, but still very approachable and light on its feet. Beguiling flavors of dark stone fruits with a riff of oak vanillin and spice. Admirable balance with seamless tannins and a pleasing finish of extended length. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard M Block Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.58, 49 cases, $ $80. Martini clone. Yield 0.7 tons per acre. 33% whole cluster, spontaneous fermentation, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Dark purple color in the glass. Deep, penetrating aromas of dark berry jam, black plum, dark purple rose petals and oak spice. On the palate there is real concentration without weight with flavors of dark red and black berries and black plums with a slight flowery note indicating some possible whole cluster. The mouth feel is velvety and the finish is seriously captivating. Impeccable balance. A special wine you can drink now but will age beautifully. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Henry Ayrton’s Block Estate Grown Santa CruzMountains Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.62, 50 cases, $80. From a 6-acre vineyard planted in 1981. Henry Ayrton's Block was formerly known as the B Block. Martini clone planted in well-drained, very shallow fractured shale soil. 30% whole cluster, spontaneous fermentation. Aged 18 months in once filled 3-year-old air-dried, tight-grained French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is reserved, offering delicate aromas of spiced berries. Delicious entry and exit featuring middleweight array of blue and black berries with a welcome accent of oak in the background. Not fully giving yet and definitely needs time in the cellar. The fruit really opened up and sang the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and was the best wine of the three terrific wines from the Rapley Trail stable. Score: 96. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 scratch KW Ranch Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.65, 35 cases, $45. Pommard 4 and 667 clones. 50% whole cluster. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly scented with aromas of darker berries, savory spices, rose petal and forest floor. Soft and enticing on the palate with a vivid array of dark red cherry and berry flavors that are well spiced and carry over with aplomb on the extended finish. The impeccable balance and drink ability is striking. Tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more appealing. My wife was gaga over this wine and she is more picky about Pinot Noir than I. Score: 95. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Morlet Family Vineyards Coteaux Nobles Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $59. From a hillside vineyard (Coteau) on an eastern slope (Cote) on the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean (Eaux). The Nobles family have farmed this land for four generations. The name then is Nobles Hillsides or Coteaux Nobles. Luc Morlet winemaker and proprietor. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, offering inspirational aromas of fresh boysenberries and seasoned oak. Reasonably concentrated and quite delicious, with virile flavors of black cherries, black cherries and boysenberries. Beautifully put together with silky tannins and a lingering finish. Highly charming on the palate now, but could use more time in bottle for the aromas to catch up to the flavors. Score: 95. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bluxome Street Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 175 cases, $45. · Medium garnet color in the glass. The nose is really enticing, offering scents of briar, red cherry, and violets, but the flavors are remarkable. Red and black cherries, red plums. brewed tea and spice coat the mouth and finish with a peacock tail of glorious note. The finish lasts at least a minute, returning several times for an encore. In addition, the wine is seductively soft and smooth on the palate with a good cut of underlying mineral-driven acidity. The whole package. Drink or hold. Score: 96. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.4% alc.., 90 cases, $50. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Incredibly fragrant, alive with aromas of black cherries, dark berries, dark red rose petals, mocha, and baking spice. Intense, delicious mid palate flavors of cherry pie glaze, black raspberry, purple plum, spice, and dark chocolate with a touch of oak in the background. Plenty of acid-driven vigor and balanced tannins. Soft in the mouth and easy to drink. The finish is outrageously long, juicy and intense. Drink. Score: 95. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Paul Lato “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 175 cases, $70. 50% 115, 30% 667, 20% 777. 70% new French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Always one of my favorite Paul Lato Pinot Noirs and this vintage is no exception. The nose is quite shy, but aromas of black cherries and spice emerge with coaxing. The plush and creamy palate features intensely flavored blueberries and dark stone fruits wrapped in modest tannins. A sexy, wondrous wine that finishes with uncommon length and generosity and mouthwatering acidity. The wine shows amazing fortitude so soon after bottling. Score: 94. Reviewed September 29, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 ROAR Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.61, 278 cases, $60. Pisoni clone. Aged 11 months in 58% new and 42% 1-year-old French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Wondrous aromas of black stone fruits, potpourri, forest floor and oak. Stunning on entry with copious flavors of dark cherries and berries and Hoison sauce that has real grip. The wine has some structural muscle but is approachable now. A very smooth mouth feel and an intense, peacock tail finish complete the experience. A hosanna to the Pisoni family. Score: 95. Reviewed September 29, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Adelsheim Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.60, 363 cases, $68. 100% clone 667 planted in basaltic-origin (volcanic) soils. This 100-acre vineyard was established by Edward and L.S. Koo in 1981. Adelsheim replanted on of the ideal sections of the vineyard. A late ripening site. Fifth single vineyard bottling. Aged 10 months in 33% new medium toast French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is striking with bright aromas of Bing cherries, raspberries, and spice. Outstanding depth and length of flavor featuring a core of dark red cherries and berries with a hint of graham, cola and spice. Seductively ethereal in the mouth, with firm, supportive tannins, and a long, long, long finish. A brilliant wine with superb balance. Still extraordinary when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 11, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, 300 cases, $55. I have been a long time fan of the Castalia Pinot Noirs produced from Rochioli Vineyard fruit by winemaker Terry Bering, the cellarmaster at Rochioli. This wine is 50% Rochioli River Block fruit and 50% from a 20-year-old block of Rochioli West Block selection planted in another vineyard on Westside and Rochioli Estate wine. Aged 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Terry told me his wines need time to evolve and I found this to be the case. I first tasted the wine last February and thought it was very good but not extraordinary then. My recent tasting found the wine had blossomed into something very special and it is certain to be one of my 2013 All-Americans. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of Bing cherries, strawberries, spice and musk which literally jump out of the glass over time. The flavor of cherry syrup caresses the palate with complimentary notes of spice and vanilla. The classy, lush fruit is perfectly buffered by ripe tannins and brought to life by bright acidity. The lengthy finish is simply gorgeous. Quintessential Russian River Valley richness, yet sleek, balanced and refined. Score: 96. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Davis Family Vineyards Soul Patch Estate Grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. A barrel selection from the Estate Vineyard. A combination of Pommard, 777, 667 and 115 planted in 1996. Farming has always been organic. The vineyard is in the sub region of the Russian River Valley known as Laguna Ridge featuring Goldridge series soils containing a high amount of volcanic ash. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Initially this wine is quite reserved and takes some coaxing in the glass to bring it into the open. Enticing aromas of Bing cherry, red berry, fruit cake, spice and sandalwood. Bold and intense with a meaty core of black cherry, black raspberry and blueberry fruits backed by complimentary oak. The luscious fruit is pulled into line with fine tannins and acidity. The finish deserves special mention as it is extraordinarily long and intense. The wine was much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. In fact, it was so tasty you could nibble at it. Decant if you must drink now, but the wine will benefit from a few years in the cellar. It’s wines like this that make Pinot my paramour. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Big Table Farm Wirtz Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.6% alc., 119 cases, $45. This vineyard is old by Oregon standards as it was planted in the early 1970s. Brian likes to say he was still wearing diapers when the vines went into the ground in this vineyard. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine reminds of cherry pie baking day at cooking school. Deliciously flavored with ripe cherries and baking spices with a hint of sandalwood and wintergreen. Crisp and juicy with a long, spirited finish. Hard to put your finger on the reasons for it, but this wine grabs your interest and holds on. An old vine treasure. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 287 cases, $48. This vineyard is the warmest site in the Big Table Farm lineup. Typically this wine needs a few years to mature and this is evident in this vintage as well despite spending a year in barrel and a year in bottle. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. A well-mannered wine with aromas of dark cherry, marionberry and spice that fill the glass. While the core of black cherry fruit is delicious now, the wine is relatively primary at this stage. Still, it is obviously a classy and sophisticated offering. The tannins are firm but balanced and the finish is juicy and well-endowed with grandiose fruit flavor. Hold for 2-3 years or decant if you must drink now. Score: 93-94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 White Rose Estate Winemaker’s Cuvee

13.0% alc., 99 cases, $85. Sourced from White Rose Vineyard and Luciole Vineyard. Pommard, 115 and 777 clones in Jory soil. Harvested November 4 (White Rose Vineyard) and November 1 (Luciole Vineyard). Fermented 75% whole cluster on average. 8 day pre-fermentation maceration, total skin contact 23.5 days. Aged 16 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose draws you into the glass with aromas of dark cherries, dried rose petal, exotic spice and a hint of smoke. Delicious from the get-go with a rush of spiced cherry and strawberry fruits on entry, penetrating every nook and cranny in the mouth, and finishing with uncommon grace and generosity. The spice is particularly evident on the finish. Despite the flavor onslaught, this wine remains elegant and refined. The healthy tannic structure predicts a long life ahead. A very special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Littorai The Haven Estate Bottled Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $80. · This is a wine that will make you sit up in your chair. The darkest wine of those tasted here with a moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose offers brooding aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, black currant, seasoned oak and forest floor. Delicious, round, polished and sassy with plenty of enticing sappy dark red and black fruit. The velvety mouth feel is quite sensual and the juicy finish leaves the hair stand up on your nape. Terrific the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Littorai B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $75. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The chameleon of a nose unfolds slowly offering a wide array of aromas including black cherry pie glaze, black raspberry jam, tea leaf, smoked bacon, and exotic spices. Quite reserved, offering its charms slowly over time in the glass to reveal a hearty core of black berry and stone fruit flavors enhanced by subtle oak notes. The dry tannins tend to dominate at this young age, but I can see through that as I have drank plenty of bottles of Thieriot Pinot Noir. The big, lengthy peacock finish elevates this wine to another level. In the words of Jan McInerney, “I’m obsessed, crazed with lust, spending ridiculous amounts of money on the object of my desire. Because when she’s good, she’s very, very good.” Score: 95. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.64, 425 cases, $50. Released June 2013. Lone Oak is smallest and northernmost Pinot Noir estate vineyard. The cool 2011 vintage resulted in a relatively small crop, but the grapes that were harvested had greater intensity and concentration. Clones Pommard 5, 667 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, native and proprietary yeasts, aged 13 months in 40% new and 60% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Scandalous aromatics featuring bright aromas of red cherries, raspberries, sandalwood and spice. A chewy wine that you want to nibble with a perfectly ripened array of red stone and berry fruits. Soft and nimble, with delicate dry tannins and a refreshing cut of acidity on the ridiculously long finish. This beauty has the balance that predicts longevity in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Lucienne Smith Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.66, 438 cases, $50. Released June 2013. One of the first vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands and one of the original vineyards of Hahn Estate. It is the southernmost of the vineyards of Lucienne and located at the highest elevation, with the least influence from marine fog. Clones are Mt. Eden, Jardini, Pommard 5 and 2A. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, proprietary yeast, aged 13 months in 42% new and 58% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh black cherries, dark red berries, cardamom spice and a hint of toasty oak. Discreetly concentrated flavors of dark cherries and berries with a complimentary riff of spice and oak. Outstanding harmony, very smooth and sensual, with an appealing cherry tang on the juicy and lengthy finish. The wine continues to pick up charm over time in the glass. Very easy to drink now, but should get even better with another year in bottle. Very impressive, even extraordinary. Score: 95. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Anthill Farms Comptche Ridge Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $44. This vineyard is located a few miles from the Mendocino coastline just north of the town of Navarro and is dryfarmed by the Weir family. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherry pie glaze, peat, potpourri, sea breeze and a touch of oak. Delicious marriage of black cherry and blackberry fruit with a compliment of spice and anise. A little earthiness grounds the wine which really attracts your attention with impressive depth of flavor and class. The tannins are nicely balanced, the acidity is harmonious, and the finish is fruit-filled and generous. Extraordinary in this very cool vintage. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 383 cases, pH 3.56, TA 0.62, 383 cases, $58. This 8-acre vineyard is located at the far western edge of the Green Valley on Stoetz Ridge. Low vigor soil and tiny crop. Clones are 667, lesser amounts of 777 and a touch of 115. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium garnet color in the glass. Terrific nose that draws you into the glass with bright aromas of wild berries, black cherries, tea leaf and spice. Super-delicious and captivating, with layers of enticing flavors including black cherry, black raspberry, plum reduction sauce, vanilla and spice. The depth of flavor really sets this wine apart. The oak is complimentary, the mouth feel is creamy, and the lengthy finish offers a refreshing grip. A scintillating wine. Score: 95. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch - Freestone Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.60, 503 cases, $72. This vineyard is located on a south-facing hillside above the town of Freestone at the far southwestern edge of the Russian River Valley only a few miles inland from Bodega Bay. A very cold climate very suited to Dijon clones. Yields are low with tiny berries and thick skins. Aged 17 months in 55% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy, but very lovely aromas of wild berry preserves, rose petals and spice. Delicious essence of blackberries and black plums with a wonderful spice presence which makes itself more known over time in the glass. An earthy, sous-bois underpinning adds interest. The svelte tannins are well balanced and there is admirable length to the finish. Still young and somewhat closed, but clearly an extraordinary wine. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 LIOCO Klindt Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.85, TA 0.57, $50. This vineyard is located in the cooler deep end of the Anderson Valley. Sandy clay loam soil with fractured rock. Farmed by Bob and Claudia Klindt. Pommard, 115, 667 and 777 clones co-fermented with wild yeast. 30% whole cluster. Harvest Brix 22.4º. 18-day fermentation, aged 16 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · The nose is exotic and intriguing, featuring aromas of dark red cherries and berries including strawberries, dried rose petals and Nutella spread. Two days later the wine had become even more aromatic, taking on notes of grilled mushrooms with intense scents of spice and bright red fruits. Flat-out delicious on the palate with layers of dark red cherry and berry flavors enhanced with a dollop of exotic spice and toasty oak. The sweet, sappy mid palate attack is attention-grabbing and the finish is fruity and generous. There is a firm backbone of tannin that should integrate with more time in the bottle. A special offering that should age beautifully. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 WesMar Balletto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $40. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intriguing aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, plum, dark rose petal and whole cluster spice. Discreetly concentrated flavors of darker cherries and berries and black plum which are long in the mouth. Substantial structural bones match up to the fruit nicely. Very satisfying, with a dramatic, drawn-out, Hollywood finish. The most tannin, the most concentration of fruit, and the biggest finish in the 2011 WesMar lineup, yet not as big a wine as the previous two vintages. I always seem partial to this Pommard clone offering. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Williams Selyem Foss Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% a;c., $55. This vineyard is located on Westside Road just north of Williams Selyem. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Dreamy nose that draws you into the glass with aromas of spiced Bing cherry, cola and dark red rose petals. Ambrosial flavors of black cherry, red and black raspberry and spice on a moderately rich frame with supple tannins and a silky, raspberry-infused finish of considerable persistence. Beautifully balanced and extremely soft and smooth on the palate. Quintessential Russian River Valley character but with a lighter, immensely appealing light footprint reflective of this vintage. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Williams Selyem Burt Williams’ Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $75. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is filled with hi-tone strawberry, cherry and baking spice aromas. Vivid and flamboyant on the palate with discreetly concentrated and sappy flavors of dark red cherries and berries and a hint of spiced purple plum. An enchanting wine with a velvety mouth feel, balanced tannins, bright acidity, welcoming finesse, and an extremely long and intense finish that will leave you saying, “Oh man!” In my opinion, Williams Selyem’s best Pinot Noir. Burt’s legacy lives on in his vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir 13.5% alc., pH 3.70, 642 cases, $45. Released November 14, 2013. Harvested November 1, 2011. 30-acre vineyard on a steep south facing slope east of the town of Yamhill. Shallow soils, dense spacing and diverse clonal mix (Pommard, 115, 114, 777 and 667). Best barrels of each harvest. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely, fresh and vibrant aromas of cherry, red raspberry, cherry tart and Christmas spice opening nicely over time in the glass. Round and polished, elegant and restrained, featuring flavors of red berries and cherries and a hint of Moroccan spice and sous bois. Soft, but evident tannins, and nicely integrated acidity. The finish is highly satisfying offering a flourish of spicy cherry fruit. Extraordinary the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A dancing Pinot that is a fabulous food magnet. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 CIRQ. Treehouse Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.60, 462 cases, $100. Decanted for two hours before tasting and re-tasted eight hours later. · Very dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine has a nose you could drink with deep aromas of black raspberry jam, plump blueberries, black cherries, spice and subtle oak. Ripe and exuberant on the palate, with a full arsenal of rich flavors including blueberry, black raspberry, pomegranate and black currant, finishing with a burst of luscious berry fruit. A hint of the finest artisan dark chocolate and humus add interest. This is a bombastic wine that is extremely flavorful, yet balanced, sensual and inviting. It tastes like it was made from very small berries with a high skin to juice ratio. After decanting, the tannins were supportive but not imposing. The more I tasted this wine, the more I liked it as I continued to contemplate its nuances. When tasted later in the day, the wine had evolved and became silkier and livelier, and was a beautiful accompaniment to grilled King salmon. The flavor profile and structure are more reminiscent of true Sonoma Coast than Russian River Valley. It’s an outrageously flavored and expensive wine, but it is damn good. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Soliste L’Ambroisie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 29 cases, $100. 100% clone ”828” from Guidicci Vineyard (MonoClone®). One site, one clone, one cooperage. Rigorous cluster selection, very low yields, 30% whole cluster, aged 16 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. This is a wine that benefits greatly from decanting now. Wonderful aromas of black cherries, forest floor and spice. Layered flavors of black cherries, plums and black raspberries with an earthy, savory and spicy undertone. A touch of smoky, vanillin oak adds interest. Surprisingly concentrated and robust at such a low alcohol percentage. Supple tannins make for a seductively silky mouth feel and bright acidity leaves the finish clean and vivid. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and still pumping out pleasure two days later. Tremendous aging potential. A kick-ass California Pinot that is powerfully flavored, yet elegant. Score: 96. Reviewed December 30, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Soliste L’Espérance Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 104 cases, $75. 100% clone 115 from Sonatera Vineyard. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Wonderful aromatic presence with scents of black cherry, spice, and sous-bois. The nose really picks up intensity and interest over time in the glass. Enticing flavors of black cherry, spiced plum and black raspberry with an earthy, savory undertone. Very silky in the mouth with comforting elegance, a soft tannic backbone, and some finishing persistence. Better the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle and still solid two days later. This wine will benefit from further cellaring but is hard to resist now. Drink the more forward 2011 L’Ambroise while this one mellows in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed December 30, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Arista Two Birds Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.58, 195 cases. Released fall 2013. Aged in 25% new, 50% 1-year and 25% 2-year French oak barrels. Vineyard named after proprietors Al and Janis McWilliams who call each other “bird” and live adjacent these vines. Planted in 2007, the 3-acre vineyard contains Pommard clone, Swan and Calera selections. Soils are a well-drained mixture of loam and clay formed from weathered sandstone. Each year select barrels are chosen for the final Two Birds Vineyard bottling. · More structured and intensely flavored than the Harper’s Rest and not as forward. The big-boy fruit veers to the dark red and purple side (black cherry, black raspberry, plum) and is accented by a meaty and bay leaf note. The intense finish is especially noteworthy, lasting what seems like a minute. I would have liked to spend a few hours with this wine to experience it as it unfolded. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hilliard Bruce Sky Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.57% alc., 420 cases, $55. Clones include Calera, Pommard, 115, 667 and 777. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas of fresh black raspberry, spice and subtle oak really draw you into the glass. There is plenty of sappy fruit concentration like the Sun, but there is more vibrant acidity and resulting juiciness. The core of darker berry and stone fruits is flatout delicious and very plush on the palate. The finish is strikingly endowed offering waves of bright fruit returning over and over for an encore. This beauty blurs the line between wine and heaven. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 148 cases, $55. Aged 11 months in 66% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Be sure you are sitting down when you taste this charmer. The aromas leap out of the glass with purpose, offering scents of black cherry, black raspberry, Asian 5-spice and a hint of oak. The most sappy and forward of the three 2011 Pinots tasted here. Flat-out delicious with layers of flavor including black cherry liquor, black raspberry jam, and Hoison sauce. The fine-grain tannins are svelte, the balancing acidity is spot on, and the finish is filled with sweet-scented and saucy fruit. The finish is even more intense and persistence the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Log on to deliciouspinot.com for a good time. Score: 94. Reviewed February 4, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Williams Selyem Block 10 - Mass Selection Estate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $75. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose unfolds beautifully over time in the glass, offering lovely aromas of fresh blackberry jam, earthy flora, and oak. A gorgeous wine with layers of flavor and nuance fanning out over the palate. Earthy black plum, red and black cherry and dark raspberry flavors are enlivened by bright acidity which lifts the orgasmic finish. Even better the next day from a previously opened and recorked bottle with an even more generous display of Pinot goodness. Extraordinary. Hold short or long term. Score: 95. Reviewed February 22, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bernardus Soberanes Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 312 cases, $55. Vineyard farmed by Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni and located adjacent Garys’ Vineyard. Pisoni “clone” and Dijon 667. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. I really liked the nose on this beauty featuring bright aromas of black cherry, blackberry jam, cassis, brewed tea and oak. The delicious fruit including dark cherries and blackberries really jumps out. Nicely composed with integrated tannins, and a lengthy, intensely fruity finish. This wine has broad shoulders but is refined. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bernardus Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 429 cases, $65. This vineyard was planted by Gary Franscioni and named after his wife. Pisoni “clone” and Dijon 777. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddishpurple hue in the glass. Highly aromatic and intoxicating, with scents of cherries, dark strawberries and spice. The delicious core of cherry fruit is accented with hints of cola and oak-driven mocha. Very approachable with harmonious tannins and a lovable finish. Shows off the typical red-toned fruits and femininity characteristic of this vineyard. A dancing Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards Cuvée Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $50. Fourth generation Burgundian winemaker Alexandrine Roy joins Phelps Creek in Hood River, Oregon, each fall after placing her Gevrey-Chambertain wines in barrel. This wine is made from a selection of estate fruit. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Elusive aromas upon opening that emerge over time in the glass to reveal scents of cherry, raspberry and vanilla. Intensely flavored on the mid palate and finish exhibiting ripe cherry and raspberry fruits with a little dash of herbs and earth. A striking wine that has the tannins in the forefront at this young age, but is uniquely interesting. The finish is particularly noteworthy for its persistence and charm. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has obvious French breeding and will require patience. Over time, there will be plenty to discover. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Gundlach Bundschu Heritage Selection Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.83, TA 0.56, 308 cases, $N/A (allocation only). Released March 2014. Grapes are from the Bundschu family’s 150+year-old vineyard located on the southwestern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, eight miles north of San Pablo Bay. Huichica clay loam with gravel deposits. Two distinct blocks of 40+year-old Heritage vines were harvested and vinified separately for this limited barrel selection bottling. 7-day cold soak, indigenous yeast and malolactic, partially fermented in upright open-top French oak puncheons, aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Effusive aromas of black cherry, blueberry, rose petal and spice rub. Striking flavor attack on entry with plenty of dark cherry and black raspberry fruit that really pops! Hints of anise, black tea and nuts from supportive oak add interest. Very soothing in texture with balanced fine-grain tannins and a drawn out finish. A unique, nuanced wine that changes constantly in the glass. An argument for old vine Heritage clones. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hirsch Vineyards East Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.62, 301 cases, $85. East Ridge is a distinct microsite within Hirsch Vineyard, comprising an area of 18 acres divided into 16 farming blocks. This wine is a selection of the very best barrels from five of the oldest blocks on the East Ridge. 58.3% Pommard and Wädenswil, 33.3% Mt Eden and 8.3% Swan. Vines planted between 1990 and 1998. 20% whole cluster inclusion. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Pure, clean aromas of blackberry jam, Hoison sauce, spice and damp soil. More intensity and length here, with rich flavors of earth-kissed purple and black fruits flooding the palate, complimented by a dusting of tannins and a bright spark of acidity. The wine finishes with an immensely satisfying finish that goes on and on. Terrific juice. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Joseph Jewell Hallberg Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.95% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.62, 145 cases, $44. Clones 777 and Pommard 5. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of cherry, raspberry and Middle Eastern spices. This is a nose you want to nibble. The flavors echo the nose with mid weight intensity and impressive polish. Baking spice and a good herbal note add interest. The tannins and acidity are nicely balanced and the finish is refined and flavorful. This is a beautiful wine that you want to keep coming back to. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 LaRue Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 139 cases, $60. Aged 17 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An “Oh Man” nose with vibrant aromas of black cherry pie glaze, cranberry relish, spice cabinet and the slightest oak, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Juicy and refined on the palate with a perfectly ripened, dark red cherry core and what seems like whole cluster spice. Slightly earthy with supple tannins, floating over the palate in an ephemeral jaunt, picking up power as it goes until the finish explodes in delightful exuberance. When tasting this one, I had to swallow. Score: 95. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 La Rue Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 47 cases, $N/A (allocation only). Katy’s first vineyarddesignated wine. This vineyard is 6-acres located south of the town of Sebastopol. Soils are Goldridge sandy loam and volcanic ash (the ash is unusual for this area). Dijon clones. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels, then aged another year in bottle before release. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A high brow nose featuring scents of cherries jubilee, baking spice and dried rose petals. Charming in every way, with fresh, bright cherry and raspberry flavors accented with spice. Noticeably seamless and elegant with an endlessly long peacock finish that lasts over a minute. Totally amazing and impossible to score. Score: 97. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 442 cases, $95. Latest harvest ever, November 4-5. Made from selected mature vines. 5-day average cold soak. Fermented 100% whole cluster. Total skin contact 25 days. Aged 16 months in 13% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Distinctive whole cluster aroma featuring an array of exotic spices, a floral display, and a compliment of sweet oak. Light to mid weight flavors of black cherry and raspberry with plenty of spice and a kiss of oak. The finish is noticeably juicy and persistent. Overall, the impression is one of harmony and enthralling brightness. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Guillen Family Adrian Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 23 cases, $60. One barrel of reserve wine. Sourced from Vista Hills Vineyard Block F planted in 2005 with Dijon 667. Jory soils. 11-day cold soak, 22 days skin contact, basket pressed, aged 24 months sur lie in one new French oak barrel. Racked twice and filtered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring, bright aromas of darker stone and berry fruits accented with spice and dark red rose petals. Powerful, yet very polished, with a layered array of dark red and purple fruits, well-spiced, with nonintrusive oak. Suave tannins show up on the glorious finish. Score: 95. Reviewed June 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 De Ponte Cellars Estate Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $55. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with bright aromas of strawberry, cherry and raspberry coulis. Lighter in color than the 2010 vintage Estate bottling, but brighter and more tantalizing with a crisp expression of red fruit. The tannins are nicely integrated, the oak is complimentary, and the finish is refreshingly crisp. A wine of great finesse, charm and harmony. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 De Ponte Cellars Baldwin Family Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $70. A winemaker selection of full-bodied and complex barrels in the cellar. Limited production. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose envelopes your senses with aromas of red cherry, raspberry and exotic spices that reveal themselves gradually in the glass over time. Superlatives can hardly due justice to this wine which is extraordinary in every way. It is polished, balanced, elegant and hi-collared, with a delicious core of vivid cherry, raspberry and spice flavors, a caressing texture, and remarkable persistence on the finish. This wine seduces with charm, not power. A connoisseur's wine that will age beautifully. Score: 96. Reviewed June 18, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Van Duzer Alchemy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.60, 70 cases, $65. A barrel selection of wines with the most complex and intense fruit characteristics. 66% Van Duzer Vineyards (Flagpole and Homestead Blocks) and 33% Saffron Fields Vineyards. 50% Pommard, 30% 114, 20% 115. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Uplifting aromas of Bing cherry, alpine strawberry, baking spice and sandalwood. Mid to full-bodied sweet and sappy core of black cherry, black raspberry and black plum fruits accented with the right touch of oak. An impressive offering with impeccable balance that will reward cellaring. Score: 94. Reviewed June 24, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Soliste L’Ambroise Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 29 cases, $100. MonoClone® “828” from Guidicci Vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring aromas of cherry, raspberry preserves, and spice, picking up intensity over time in the glass. A harmonious wine with delicious Bing cherry fruit singing in tune with supportive suave tannins and bright acidity. Amazing expression of dark cherry fruit which saturates the mid palate and persists on the big finish. Delightful pinotosity. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Soliste Nouveau Monde Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 79 cases, $75. MonoClone® Pommard from Keller Estate. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Wonderful perfume of red berries, red cherries, baking spice and sandalwood. In the mouth, this wine makes you sit up and take notice. Delicious mix of fresh, vibrant wild cherry, raspberry and red plum fruits with a touch of exotic spice in the background. Seamless and caressing with supple tannins. Lighter in weight but highly flavorful with a very long and charming spiced-cherry finish. Currently in a state of near perfection. Score: 96. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Estate Grown Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 579 cases, $115. Drawn from the best blocks and barrels from estate vineyards, it is made up of the top 1.5% of estate grown Pinot Noir. The wine is a result of more than 50 trial blends of wines from Gowan Creek, Confluence and Split Rail vineyards (96 blocks and 49 combinations of clones and rootstocks). · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, sweet oak and rose petal build in intensity over time in the glass. Juicy and bright on the palate, with a special energy and vibe, featuring an array of berry and stone fruits complimented by oak. This wine has the structure and balance to age ten years and beyond. A connoisseur’s wine of uncommon grace and composition that easily justifies its lofty price. Score: 94. Reviewed July 28, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Peter Michael Le Caprice Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $110 (secondary market). Vineyard is located in the Ft. Ross-Seaview AVA. Winemaker Nicolas Morlet. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. This is a sophisticated, polished offering that hits all the right notes. The nose picks up interest over time in the glass exhibiting aromas of black cherry, purple berries, spice, rose petal and vanilla. Delicious mid palate attack of fresh black cherry, black raspberry fruits with a hint of spice and aniselaced oak. There is a nervy minerality in the background which is very appealing. Silky in the mouth, with modest chalky tannins, this elegant wine finishes with an enjoyable nutty cherry note that lingers. This harmonious and almost ephemeral wine drinks so effortlessly, one could easily polish off a bottle without realizing it. Score: 94. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Talisman Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 121 cases, $52. Release April 2015. This is from the highest elevation vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA. Soils are decomposed volcanic basalt. The site is very cool with exposure to maritime breezes from San Pablo Bay. Clones 115, 667, 777 and Swan selection. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The deep, earthy nose features black raspberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit in abundance. This wine really wows the palate upon entry with layers of luscious dark cherry and raspberry flavors. Very silky in texture, with tame tannins and a persistent, extremely long and intense berry-driven finish. Beautifully balanced for age ability. Still stunning the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Superlatives do little justice to this special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed October 21, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Valli Gibbston Vineyard Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., screwcap. Grant Taylor and Tim Valli carry on the tradition of Giuseppe Valli who emigrated from a winemaking background to New Zealand in the 1870s. Imported by Terrell Wines, San Francisco, CA. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Uplifting aromas of black cherry, dark red berry, sous-bois and complimentary oak. Delicious attack of fresh dark fraise de bois, boysenberry and cranberry fruits with perfect oak seasoning. Beautifully balanced, silky and seductive, with a peacock tail finish replete with gorgeous red berry and cherry fruit that really attracts attention. Clearly the star of this New Zealand Pinot Noir tasting and one to search out. Score: 94. Reviewed October 21, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Rocking K Vineyard Single Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 128 cases, $55. 100% de-stemmed and aged in 33% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh Bing cherries, ripe strawberries and cardamom spice which maintain over time. Delicious middleweight core of dark cherry flavor with accents of cola, anise and spice. Enticing finesse and supple, well-balanced tannins. Ready to drink now but the balance will keep this wine fresh for years. Like cherry pie day at cooking school: cherries, baking spices and very interesting results. Will work beautifully at the table, complementing rather than fighting with food. Score: 95. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 La Rochelle Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir Rosé

13.2% alc., 157 cases, $22, screw cap. Released April 16, 2011. Pommard and Mariafeld clones. · Pretty pinkish coral color in the glass. Very pleasing aromas of blood oranges, bananas, strawberries and pink lemonade. Crisp and tangy on the palate with a tasty array of red berry, guava, melon and orange flavors. I really liked this wine, put the partially emptied bottle in the refrigerator, and polished it off over the next two days. I don’t often get excited by a rosé, but this one caught my eye. I am buying some of this perfect summer afternoon drink for myself. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Ellipsis Wine Company Russian River Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $15, screw cap. · Pale pink with a very slight spritz upon pouring. Lovely array of fresh scents including strawberries, watermelon, rose petals, wild flowers and nuts. Crisp, bright and dry with flavors of red berries and blood oranges and a slight grassy, herbal note in the background. An edgy wine that is everything a Rosé should be. Source: website (e-mail inquiry) and retail (Raley’s Markets, Sonoma County). Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Inman Family OGV “Endless Crush” Russian River Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

12.3% alc., pH 3.24, TA 0.75, residual sugar 0.04. $30, screw cap. This is a rosé made intentionally, not a saigneé. Estate fruit. Aged and fermented in stainless steel. First produced in 2004 to commemorate the Inman’s 20th wedding anniversary, it is now produced every other year. · Light pink coral color in the glass. Intense aromas of red berries and blood oranges. Juicy, brisk and discreetly concentrated flavors of strawberries, raspberries and orange zest with a pleasingly refreshing finish. Among the best rosés made in California and highly recommended. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Felton Road Block 3 Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $69, screw cap. Imported by Wilson Daniels, St. Helena, CA. · Darkly colored in the glass. Brooding aromas of black fruits, brier, black tea, cardamom spice and leather. Reserved but interesting dark stone fruit and berry flavors with a hint of citrus in the background. A wine of character, tasting mysterious and intriguing but very young and only hinting at its ultimate potential. Silky smooth on the palate with marvelous structure and acid interplay. One of Central Otago’s benchmark wines. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Drew Morning Dew Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.66, 165 cases, $47. Second release from this vineyard. Owner is Burt Williams of Williams Selyem fame. Includes Rochioli selection, a suitcase DRC selection and clone 828. 50% whole cluster fermentation. 50% native fermentation. Aged 11 months in 30% new and 70% seasoned French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserve but pleasing aromas of fresh dark cherries and Pinot Noir must with exotic spice highlights. Delicious core of dark cherries and raspberries with a subtle floral note and complimentary oak features. Very complex, offering different flavor angles with each sip. Lighter weighted and elegant and soft in the mouth with mild tannins and a good cut of acidity on the finish. A world apart. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Brewer-Clifton 3-D Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 290 cases, $52. Second vintage from a 3-acre vineyard planted to Swan, Pommard and 667 clones in sandy loam. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Bright aromas of dark pie berries and plum, spice, slate and oak char. Medium bodied essence of darker Pinot fruits including black plums and black raspberries with a hint of cherry and Asian 5-spice. Complex and layered rather than simply fruity. Admirable crispness and smoothly textured with remarkable persistence on the finish. Very impressive composition and highly recommended. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Brewer-Clifton Machado Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 290 cases, $46. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of plums and dark berry jam. Delicious and majestic in the mouth with flavors that replicate the aromas. The tannins are supportive and the mouth feel is very soft and comforting. Impressive length on the fruit-filled finish. Seamless and beautifully balanced. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Like rough sex play: it can raise your interest. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Brewer-Clifton Mount Carmel Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 882 cases, $56. Steep slopes of botella clay, diatomite and limestone planted to a quintet of Pinot Noir clones with diverse spacing. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is remarkably nuanced, offering scents of fresh raspberry coulis, fragrant tea, dark red rose petals and spice. Rich and sumptuous on the palate, replete with a delicious core of black raspberry and dark red berry fruit that is looking for attention but still encased in tannins. Very impressive mid palate statement that carries over to the big finish that is sure to get better over time. The least approachable wine in the lineup at this time, but this wine has a very bright future. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Siduri Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 96 cases, $50. Ripeness was a challenge at Hirsch Vineyard with lower than normal crop size. Despite this, the resulting wine is quite alluring. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromatics are stunning with bright aromas of cherry pie glaze, fresh berries, tea leaf and spice. Perfectly ripe fruit offered in an elegant display of delicious dark red cherries and berries with a hint of cherry cola. Silky with perfectly matched tannins. Very appealing and quite approachable now. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Siduri Keefer Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 395 cases, $50. Six clones separately fermented and barrel aged. The ultimate blend was 43% clone 23, 31% clone 114, 19% clone 2A and 7% clone 777. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose features redder fruits with a nice whiff of spice and sandalwood. Very typical for this vineyard with a nicely spiced black cherry flavor, good crispness, and fine, dusty tannins. Oak adds a complimentary accent. In two words, very charming. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $69. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Slow to open, becoming more complex over time, offering aromas of black cherry liquor, spice, new leather, and cedar. Moderately rich essence of fresh Bing cherries with hints of cola, oak and spice. Beautifully crafted and very polished with a well-proportioned tannic backbone and an appealing finish of some length and good cut. Will benefit from another year in bottle. A special occasion wine. Reviewed March 21, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 August West Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 373 cases, $45. Picked October 16, latest picking date in 9 vintages. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is both fruity and savory offering herb-imbued, pie cherry aromas. This wine is a stand out with its tasty core of dark, perfectly ripe red berries caressed by soft tannins, displaying a seductive and satiny mouth feel, and finishing with a bright cut of acidity. Intensely flavored, yet light on its feet. The whole package. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Sandler Wine Co. Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 2nd bottling from this vineyard. Pommard clone. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Beguiling array of dark stone fruits and berries on the nose accented with cardamom spice. Broad flavors of fresh dark berries with enough tannin to keep the wine in line. A toasty oak accent is complimentary. A seamless wine showing presence without weight. Still terrific two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle demonstrating potential age worthiness. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Sandler Wine Co. Keefer Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., From 1 acre budded over to clone 23, a favorite of winemaker Ed Kurtzman. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very appealing hi-tone aromas of fresh-picked cherries, baking spice and sawdust. A cherry bombast with gossamer tannins, and a refreshing citrus-kissed cherry note on the finish. This wine really grows on you over time in the glass. Still stellar two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A striking contrast to the Bien Nacido bottling, displaying more vibrancy and acidity, and equally appealing. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 george Vintage VIII Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.,195 cases, $60. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Beguiling dark, deep cherry perfume. A clear standout that seduces from the get go, offering moderately rich flavors of black cherries, red plums, and cola wrapped in fur coat tannins. Softly textured with bright acidity and admirable length on the refreshing finish that draws you back for another sip. A ripper. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Loring Wine Company Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $48, screw cap. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of fresh cherries and ripe strawberries. Round and polished in the mouth with a refined core of ripe, dark red cherries and berries, finishing long with a cherry-fueled intensity. This wine displays the most juiciness and tension of the Loring wines tasted this day and exhibits impeccable balance. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains AVA Oregon Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $65. 100% Pommard, 100% de-stemmed, whole berry fermented in 100% new French oak barrels. · Strikingly aromatic featuring scents of ripe black cherries, black raspberries, black plums, and dark rose petals. Retains aromatic intensity over time in the glass and I am wondering if it is possible to capture this aroma in a perfume. Very polished with moderately rich and glorious black cherry, black raspberry, cassis, and cola flavors with perfect integration of oak, complimentary acidity and soft, ripe tannins. The fruit hangs on like a 3 hour movie you don’t want to end. Very plush for a 2010 Oregon Pinot Noir. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A sensual pleasure that will persuade you to make Pommard your paramour. Reviewed April 18, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Antica Terra Erratica Willamette Valley Rosé

13.0% alc., $50 (sold out). This wine has serious intentions, sporting a heavy bottle and wax top. Named for the giant rocks that are carried on the backs of glaciers and left to rest hundreds of miles from their true home. The juice is macerated on the skins for a little over a week. Between day 6 and 8, the aromatics of the fermentation reach a peak of expression and at this point, just before it becomes red wine, the juice is siphoned from the fermenters and sent to barrel, where the juice finishes its fermentation and ages on the lees for a year before bottling. In a conventional sense, this is not how rosé is produced. · Light orange-red color in the glass. Lovely and seductive on the nose, with delicate aromas of fresh strawberries, pomegranate, rhubarb, herbs, oak and even pear. Creamy and substantial, with vivid flavors of strawberries and red currants with a hint of oak-driven mocha and vanilla. Delicious and inviting, with a refreshing lift of acidity on the finish. A perfect compliment to grilled salmon. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $75 (sold out). Built around fruit from Shea Vineyard in the Yamhill- Carlton District where grapes are sourced from 8 acres of Pinot Noir split between East and West Hill. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas of black cap raspberries and plum sauce waif from the glass. Round, rich and Rubenesque, yet very smooth, seamless and light on its feet, offering delicious flavors of black plum, black raspberry and spice, caressed by gossamer tannins. Amazing flavor at a modest alcohol level. Perfect integration of oak and impeccable balance. Approachable now, but can go the distance. America, this is a Pinot Noir we can be very proud of. Winemaker Maggie Harrison is in it to win it! Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.6% alc., 125 cases, $48. Label features Ronnie the steer at Big Table Farm. 75% whole cluster, aged sur lie in 30% new French oak barrels for 10 months. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is a little tight, but offers attractive scents of dark red cherries and strawberries. A transparent wine of great pedigree and delicacy, with inviting flavors of pie cherries and ripe strawberries caressed by supple tannins and crisped by bright acidity. A very charming wine that won’t knock your socks off with powerful extraction, but offers a gentile, extremely enjoyable drinking experience. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 329 cases, $28. Released February 15, 2012. 115, 667, 777 and Pommard clones. Low yielding vintage. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of perfectly ripe black cherries, tea leaf and stem waif from the glass. Delicious essence of black cherries with riffs of black raspberries and spice. Full-flavored and sensuous, with pinpoint balance and a special finish in which hauntingly aromatic cherries return for what seems like an eternity. Kissed by an angel. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Luminous Hills Lux Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 112 cases, $35. Released February 15, 2012. Exclusively Pommard and 777 that combines dark fruited notes from the Pommard on lower elevation sedimentary soil coupled with the intense redder fruits of the 777 on the upper elevation Jory soil. The two clones were co-fermented. Aged in 23% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Hi-tone and pure aromas of black cherries and black raspberries. Delicious mid palate fruit offering a mélange of dark red and black berries, stone fruits and black grapes. Supple tannins make for easy drinking now. Impeccable balance and very polished. Hard to top the Estate Grown bottling, but this one does with slightly more flavor and length. Crazy good at a modest price. Will be one of my 2012 All-Americans. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Owen Roe The Kilmore Yamhill-Carlton District Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 988 cases, $42. Sourced from Lennè and Merriman vineyards. Aged in 33% neutral, 39% 2-year and 28% 1-year French oak barrels. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon Clones. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued but very pleasing aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, plum and violets. Hits the mid palate with enormous tenacity, offering delicious black raspberry, marionberry, cola and vanilla cream flavors which linger on the spiced, fruit-scented finish. Very soft and alluring in the mouth. Plenty of Pinot singing in this sensational wine that is ready to drink now. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Sineann Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 400 cases $42, Vino-Loc glass closure (love this!). Small crop, low production. Vineyard farmed by Kevin and Carla Chambers using biodynamic techniques. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of red berries, red cherries, potpourri and the slightest oak. Herb-flecked red berry flavor in a light and elegant style finishing savory and juicy. Velvety in the mouth and long and ephemeral on the finish. A delicate wine, yet flavorful, offering immense charm. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. The best barrels from each harvest. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherries, darker berries, sassafras, sandalwood and coffee. Hits the palate with remarkable intensity, offering delicious, slightly sweet flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and ripe strawberries which persist on the long, dreamy, citrus-toned finish. Good structural bones and balancing acidity. 1 to 2 years from super stardom, although you can indulge yourself now. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Lenné Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton District Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 60 cases. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding, darker cherries and berries on the nose offering more pleasure over time in the glass. Full-bodied and highly pleasurable flavors of black plum and black raspberry wrapped in firm tannins and underpinned with complimentary oak. Speaks more of the soil. I am not usually a fan of single Dijon clone Pinot Noir, but this wine is a head turner. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Lenné Karen’s Pommard Yamhill-Carlton District Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 60 cases. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of black cherries and black raspberries with a hint of oak-driven toast and java. A luscious core of dark red and black fruits is powerful and ripe, wrapped in balanced tannins and brought to life with bright acidity. A riff of exotic Middle Eastern spices really perks up the palate. A very ageworthy wine that needs to shed some oak, but offers a mesmerizing drinking experience even now. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains AVA Estate Grown Oregon Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $80. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Strikingly aromatic featuring scents of ripe black cherries, black raspberries, black plums and dark rose petals. Retains aromatic intensity over time in the glass and I am wondering if it is possible to capture this aroma in a perfume. Very polished with moderately rich and glorious black cherry, black raspberry, cassis and cola flavors with perfect integration of oak, complimentary acidity, and soft, ripe tannins. The fruit hangs on like a 3-hour movie you don’t want to end. Very plush for a 2010 Oregon Pinot Noir. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age ability. A sensual pleasure that will persuade you to make Pommard your paramour. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Privé Vineyard le nord Chehalem Mountains AVA Estate Grown Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $70. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Gorgeous nose featuring bright aromas of pie cherries, pie berries, and spice. Intense core of vibrant dark red plum, berry and cherry flavors, well-spiced. A very slight smoky, grilled note is evident. A little meatier than le sud and not as showy. Beautifully balanced with supple tannins, finishing long with intense black cherry aromatics. Rarely get fruit expression like this in the Willamette Valley, especially in 2010. Even though the wine has more vivid fruit, structurally it is lighter than the 2006 and 2008 vintages. Highly enjoyable. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Arista Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

$52. Tasted at the winery. · A stunning wine that really made me sit up in my chair. Demure aromas of oak-kissed cherries with discreetly concentrated flavors of dark cherries, dark berries, spice, and subtle oak, wrapped in soft, silky tannins. Elegant, polished, and highly approachable now, the impeccable balance will lead to further rewards in the future. Like the 2009 vintage of Perli Vineyard, a wine to treasure. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Balo Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.90, TA 0.63, 248 cases, $39.95. Released May 1, 2012. 1.5 tons/acre. 46% 777, 22% Pommard, lesser amounts of 828, 115 and Martini clones. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Crafted by Jason Drew. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of deep red raspberries black cherries and rose bouquet. Moderately rich, earth-kissed flavors of black cherries with a hint of spice and cherry cola. Bright acidity, supple tannins and generous length. Very polished and sophisticated. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Champ de Rêves Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $35. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very seductive aromas of fully ripened cherries with hints of spice, leather and dark chocolate. Delicious core of black raspberry and black cherry fruit framed by toasty oak and a bright cut of acidity. The finish is crazy long: my notes say amazing! Beautifully composed and balanced. Reminds me of a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in character but with better acidity typical of Anderson Valley. Impressive debut. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Hundred Point Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 50 cases, $50, screw cap. · Medium reddishpurple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of fresh black cherries, dark red berry jam, caramel and spice. Medium weight, luscious dark red fruits wrapped in svelte tannins, elegant in composition, finishing long and aromatic. I like this wine for its delicacy, purity of fruit and transparency. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.61, 1,853 cases, $46. Sourced from Ferrington, Savoy and Monument Tree vineyards. Aged 15 months sur lies in 45% new and 55% once-used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish color in the glass. Muted, but pleasing aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, dried rose petals and sandalwood. Delicious core of raspberry flavor elevated by brisk acidity, draped in well-proportioned tannins, underlain with a complimentary note of oak and savory herbs, and finishing with a vivid riff of cherry fruit which lingers for a remarkably long time. A seamless wine that is uncommonly refreshing. Tasted against several very good Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs, this was the clear standout. Re-tasted the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had become more aromatic and generous in flavor. Irresistable. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Drew Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.62, 98 cases, $42. First planted in 1992 under the guidance of Burt Williams (Williams Selyem). 15 acres planted to Wädenswil 2A, a DRC selection and a Rochioli field selection (1/3 each in this wine). Owner Bill Weir strives to achieve old world character from his vineyard. 30% whole cluster. Native fermentation. Aged 11 months in 25% new and 75% seasoned French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of berry jam on toast, forest floor and floral notes. A wine with character, featuring flavors of dark berries, plums, and subtle oak, clothed in balanced, ripe, dry tannins, finishing crisp with a good cut of acidity. Silky in the mouth with a long, dramatic finish Hollywood would envy. Not as tannic as some previous vintages. I love wines from this vineyard! Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Dragonette Cellars Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 150 cases, $54. 17% whole clusters. Native and commercial yeasts. Aged 16 months in 35% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasant aromas of dark red cherries and berries, with a hint of herbs. Delicious core of black cherry fruit with accents of spice and oak. Modestly rich and plush. Soft in the mouth with very well managed tannins (this vineyard can produce very tannic wines). Impeccable balance. Very approachable now, but will benefit from a few more years in the cellar. A complete wine and one of many I have had the pleasure of drinking from this venerable vineyard. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Kori KW Ranch Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 200 cases, $38. From the 14-acre terraced KW Ranch Vineyard. The vineyard has previously supplied fruit to several famous vintners. Clones are 667 and Pommard 4. Grower is Kirk Williams and winemakers are Kori Violini and Sabrine Rodems. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Impressively aromatic with bright, intense aromas of black raspberries, kirsch and dark plum sauce. Medium weight flavors echo the nose with added accents of toasty oak and floral notes, finishing with a flourish of black raspberry fruit. Soft and velvety on the palate, and very comforting to drink. Admirable balance with silky tannins and wellhoned acidity. A complete wine that brings out the best in Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. A big, but pleasant surprise to me, as I had never previously met with this label. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.82, TA 0.52, 51,000 cases, $20. Aged 7 months in 98% French (21% new) and 2% American (1% new). Racked once out of barrel just prior to final blending. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very fragrant aromas of perfectly ripe berries include strawberries with hints of spice and vanilla. A charming wine that aims to please with a medium weighted core of luscious dark raspberries, strawberries and boysenberries accented with cola, cassis and oak. Nicely buttressed with soft tannins and offering good length on the finish. Great balance. All you can ask for in California Pinot Noir for the price of a Jackson. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 McIntyre Vineyards Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.63, 240 cases, $38. Predominantly Dijon clone 777. Indigenous yeast fermentations. Crafted by Byron Kosuge. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Opulent aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, cardamom spice and toasty oak. Pumps out the fragrance consistently over time in the glass. Very tasty core of dark cherry and dark berry fruits with a subtle hint of oak toast and vanillin in the background. Smooth and luxurious on the palate with soft, restrained tannins and some persistence on the finish. Very drinkable now, but the balance predicts a long life ahead. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 McIntyre Vineyards East Block 3 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.65, 100 cases, $46. Released spring 2011. Sourced from select lots of the 60-acre estate sustainably farmed home estate vineyard. Native yeast fermentation. Owner and grower Steve McIntyre. Winemaker Byron Kosuge. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of dark berries, plum pudding and subtle oak. Delicious middleweight flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and black plum wrapped in soft tannins, finishing with remarkable fruit presence on the lengthy finish. Impeccable balance. Can age but drinkable now. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $55. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Deep, dark aromas of boysenberry jam, plum reduction sauce, spice, oak and tobacco. Enticing middleweight flavors of black cherries and dark berries, displaying the plush, vivid fruit that the Russian River Valley is famous for. Impeccable balance with well use of oak accents, offering restrained tannins, good length, and easy drink ability. Continues in the tradition of consistently excellent wines crafted by Rochioli cellarmaster, Terry Bering. California through and through. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Twomey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.65, 2,600 cases, $50. Released April 28, 2012. Sourced from the sustainably farmed, estate West Pin Vineyard and sustainably farmed Crinella Vineyard. Aged 15 months sur lie in 50% new and 50% once used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of fresh Bing cherries, blueberries, spice and floral notes. Delicious core of mouthwatering dark cherry and strawberry flavors with cinnamon and other baking spices, and supportive oak in the background. Very silky in the mouth. Vibrant in character due to uplifting acidity, producing a refreshingly bright finish that lasts and lasts. A beautiful, elegant wine of distinct character that is very food-friendly. Still needs time to reach its apogee and will benefit from decanting if you drink now. This wine will convert you to Pinotholicism. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 189 cases, $56. Clones 667 and 777. Aged 15 months in 33% new Remond French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Brightly perfumed with aromas of black plums, blackberry jam and Chinese Five Spice. Deliciously rich core of blackberry and plum reduction sauce flavors with a very appealing accent of spice. The wines fills the mouth with fruit, grabbing your attention, but is light on its feet due to supple tannins and impeccable balance. A big boy Pinot with black tie class and flat-out terrific. Reviewed July 5, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $44. Released December 2011. The vineyard is located in one of the highest plantable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (540 to 1200 feet). The southern locale is warmer by day and cooler by night with less wind than the northern portion of the AVA. Yields 1.76 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, cold soaked, punchdown and punch-over techniques. · Dark purple color in the glass. Scents of black fruits, tea and wine cave. Striking flavor of perfectly ripe black raspberries which coats the palate and expands in the mouth, finishing with a long, intense flourish and a bright cut of acidity. Subtle notes of spice and vanillin add interest. Seductively smooth with supple tannins. Powerful, but light on its feet. Not quite as big as the Clark & Telephone but equally satisfying. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 3,475 cases, $44. Released December 2011. Established in 1972, this vineyard is planted own rooted to the Martini clone. 100% de-stemmed, inoculation of yeasts to match each lot, punch down and punch-over techniques. Yields 1.67 tons per acre. · Deep, dark purple robe in the glass. The nose is remarkably intense and persistent, pumping out aromas of dark berry jam, black currants, spice and vanillin over extended time in the glass. Flat-out stunning flavors of fresh black raspberries and blackberries with a complimentary exotic spice bent. Some refined tannins lead to a silky mouth feel. Astonishing length on the fruit-laden finish. I have rarely experienced a California Pinot Noir with such an incredibly long finish. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 780 cases, $78. · Medium deep purple color in the glass. Bright and alive in the glass with aromas of earthy dark raspberries, sassafras and spice. Intense, but not too intense flavors of dark red and black berries with an attractive sauvage character. Well-balanced tannins, very soft in the mouth, finishing with echoes of gorgeous fruit. Plenty of fireworks in the mouth. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 458 cases, $78. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of perfectly ripe cherries and berries with hints of malt and granite. Still young and a bit muddled at this early stage, but plenty of dark plum and blackberry fruit singing. Very appealing soft fruit intensity. The most striking feature is the length of the finish, like a three hour movie you don’t want to end. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Hold onto this one or decant if you must saddle up soon. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Kosta Browne Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 1,615 cases, $78. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is spectacular. Aromas of candied cherries, black raspberries, tea leaf, and Chinese 5-spice. Full-bodied, but light on its feet with luscious flavors of dark berries and black currants caressed by supple tannins and underlain with good acidity. The flavors search out every nook and cranny in the mouth. Very spicy. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle predicting age ability. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Kosta Browne 4-Barrel California Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 351 cases, $78. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure, pretty aromas of exotic berries with a complimentary hint of vanilla and spice. Exceptional fruit flavor and the most polished wine in the KB lineup. An ephemeral blend of black raspberry and boysenberry flavors with an underpinning of nutmeg spice. Great purity of fruit. Supple tannins, a beguiling satiny texture and endless length on the finish. Not the biggest wine, but a complete and sophisticated wine. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An All-American. Consider yourself very lucky if you are able to snag a bottle or two of this gem. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Valerie’s Vineyard “One Acre” Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 58 cases, $40. 8th vintage. Aged 18 months in new and 2-year-old French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Intriguing nose offering scents of dark red berries, earth, black pepper and coffee. Hits the mid palate with a vengeance, empowered with attention grabbing flavors of blackberries, plum, cola, mushroom, tobacco and spice. Very well-crafted with a seamless character, plush on the palate, with wellproportioned tannins, and a long, long finish. A very unique and interesting wine that you will want to spend considerable time with. Great the following the day as well from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Vivier Sun Chase Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc. $54. From a vineyard in the Petaluma Gap region at 1200 feet elevation above the fog. Clone 777. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex nose offering a panoply of aromas including dark plums, blackberry jam, sassafras, and cardamom spice. Delicious essence of fresh dark berries, nicely spiced, with a hint of sous-bois, dried rose petal and oak. Moderately rich and nicely balanced, with a velvety texture. Ready for current drinking, but will age. Still terrific the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when my wife and I polished the bottle off. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Heart and Hands Polarity Finger Lakes White Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.76, 81 cases, $26.99. Whole cluster pressed with limited skin contact. Fermented in barrels with lees stirring postfermentation. Aged 9 months in barrel. · Delicate orange color. A chameleon of a nose with aromas changing constantly, the most notable of which are strawberries, white peaches, buttered brioche, vanilla and herbs. Delicious and soft and smooth in the mouth with an array of red and white fruit flavors that challenge your perception of Pinot Noir. The fruit is beautifully framed by bright acidity and the tannins are supple, combining to add to the contemplative experience. Simply put, a great wine. Reviewed July 23, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Andrew Rich Verbatim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 833 , $30. Rich’s blend that best captures the vintage and the expression of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Sourced from Ribbon Ridge, La Colina, and Momtazi Family vineyards. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Immediately appealing upon opening the bottle with fresh red cherry and berry aromas accented with notes of spice and sandalwood. Dances lightly on the palate, and delivers plenty of Pinot flavor. Impeccably balanced with supple tannins, finishing with a cherry focus that lingers. Captures the 2010 Willamette Valley vintage perfectly. Reviewed September 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 814 cases, $55. Wild and cultured yeast fermentations, 10% whole clusters, aged in 60% new French oak barrels, bottled without fining or filtration. First designated as a single-vineyard bottling in 2004. This 7-acre vineyard is planted in Goldridge soils at the far western edge of the Russian River Valley AVA (Green Valley) overlooking the Chenoweth family’s homestead. It is farmed exclusively for Patz & Hall. Dijon clones. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Upon opening, the nose is an array of savory notes of briar, Herbs de Provence and dairy, becoming more fruity over time exhibiting aromas of lovely, spiced raspberries. Upon entry, the wine immediately grabs your attention with ever expanding, palate satisfying flavors of dark cherries and dark red berries complimented by a hint of oak-driven vanillin and maple. Beautifully composed with balanced, suave tannins and focused acidity, finishing with a long and amorous kiss of black cherries. An exceptional wine that will reward furthering cellaring. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Paul Lato “Atticus” John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 125 cases, $65. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Masses of perfume emerge over time in the glass revealing scents of perfectly ripe dark berries, black currants, wood shed and spice. Mouthfilling flavors of blackberries and black plums with an earthy undertone, expanding in the mouth and lingering long and stout on the finish. Very silky on the palate with suave tannins. A harmonious wine with a fruit core that is extremely pure and vivid. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Paul Lato “Seabiscuit” Zotovich Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 75 cases, $65. · Dark reddish-purple robe in the glass. Glorious aromas of dark red and black stone fruits and dark strawberries, with hints of spice, red rose petals, and forest floor. Intense and sappy on the palate with luscious black cherry and blackberry flavors, lifted by bright acidity and complimented by ripe tannins. The fruit intensity is stunning but not jammy, and beholds an intensity that lasts and lasts on the peacock tail finish. A thoroughbred. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Paul Lato “”Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 75 cases, $60. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A feminine perfume of ripe Queen Anne cherries with an exotic array of spices. Stunning entry, with delicious dark cherry, black raspberry, ripe strawberry, stem and white chocolate flavors, enriched by lively acidity and framed by soft, rich tannins. Amazing fruit clarity and intensity. The most expressive wine immediately upon opening among those tasted at this session. Plenty of pinotosity at work. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Paul Lato “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 150 cases, $70. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is brooding initially, opening over time to reveal very appealing aromas of spiced berry cake, forest floor and cedary oak. Moderately rich core of dark cherry, berry and plum flavors with a hint of oak vanillin. Think sweet blackberries with fresh cream. Gathers intensity and interest over time in the glass, reaching a state of flamboyance that is striking. Seamless, with well-managed fine grain tannins and integrated acidity. Finishes long and scented. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even better, continuing to pump out the pleasure at a welcome pace. My favorite by a hair among the five wines reviewed here. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Monterey Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.64, $40. 50% Martini clone planted in 1972 and 50% Dijon clones ranging in age from 15 to 20 years, all from the finest blocks of Sleep Hollow Vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved but pleasing aromas of black fruits, violets, tar and oak. Very pretty mid-weight fruited core offering flavors of black currents and blackberries balanced beautifully with ripe tannins and acidity. Impressive freshness, polish, lift and finish. Still relatively reserved and needs time in the cellar, but this wine clearly speaks loudest of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard terroir. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Twomey Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.63, 1,100 cases, $50. Released September 29, 2012. The backbone of this wine comes from Blocks 1, 7 and 9, all organically farmed hillside plantings. This is the first vintage that grapes were obtained from Block N, one of the original 1972 plantings of own-rooted Martini clone. Aged 15 months sur lies in 35% new and 65% once-used French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of dark red cherries and berries with hints of rose petals, spice and underbrush. Moderately rich with an array of red and black berry flavors supported by svelte tannins and lifted by bright acidity. Elegant and soft in the mouth, with an impressively long, crisp finish. Much more expressive and enjoyable the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing hi-tone aromas of cherries, exotic woods and spice. Will need the most cellaring of all the 2010 Twomey Pinot Noirs, but will be well worth the wait. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $50 (sold out at winery). Imported by Classic Wines LLC, Denver, CO. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy initially, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass to reveal enticing aromas of dark red fruits, exotic spices and forest floor. Good attack of tasty black cherry, dark red raspberry and dark plum fruit supported by firm, ripe tannins and lifted with bright acidity. Very juicy and pleasing, becoming more intense over time in the glass. Flat-out great the next day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, showing a slip of its true potential including a marvelous peacock tail grand cru finish. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Felton Road Bannockburn Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $40, screwcap. Imported by Wilson Daniels, St. Helena, CA. 100% organic and biodynamic viticulture. 20% whole cluster. Wild yeast fermentations, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry liquor, black raspberries, blackberries and oak toast. Moderately rich with impressive mid palate presence, a seductively plush mouth feel, and a lengthy finish featuring black raspberry fruit. Oak plays a supporting role and the tannins are well-managed. The most impressive features are the soft, polished texture and the impressive concentration of the fruit. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Bailiwick Foray Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.53, 140 cases, $40. From The RLR vineyard located just outside Forestville. Soil is Goldridge sandy loam and clones are 113, 114 and 115. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of earth-kissed black cherries, forest floor and deep red rose petals. Richer and more deeply flavored than the Russian River Valley bottling, endowed with a perfectly ripe core of sappy, dark red and black cherries and raspberries, supported by smooth oak and fruit tannins, and finishing with very impressive length. Still young and undeveloped, but displaying impeccable balance that predicts an optimistic future. Clearly special. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Bailiwick Silver Pines Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.64,140 cases, $44. Growers are Norm and Carole Silverman. The vineyard overlooks Bennett Valley from an elevation of 900 feet. Planted in 2000, the loamy-clay volcanic soil is low in vigor limiting yields to about 2 tons per acre. Clone 115. Aged in 34% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark red fruits, cardamom spice and candied rose petal. Juicy red cherries and berries saturate the mid palate, embellished with spice and magic. Healthy, but non-aggressive fine-grain tannins add grip and support. Still young and takes its own sweet time opening up. Tremendous finishing power with fruit coming and going in waves. Cellar this another year or two and you will be happily infatuated. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Bailiwick Borderline Marin County Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.56, 100 cases, $36. Sourced solely from the Kendric Vineyard farmed by Stewart Johnson. Clones 115 and 777. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. A panoply of scents including black cherries, pie berries, clay, oak, and white chocolate that come and go in the glass. Strikingly fresh berry flavor, seemingly wild and exotic, underlain with well-integrated oak and supple tannins. Unusually ripe for cool Marin County. An evocative middleweight, that enters with aplomb, and finishes smooth and polished. I really like this Pinot. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Cambria Estate Winery Clone 4 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.57, 262 cases, $52. Aged 10 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. A complex and alluring nose offers scents of black cherries, spice, wood shop, mushroom and sandalwood. Polished and very appealing with impeccable balance, offering flavors of fresh, spicy black cherries, with a hint of toasty oak in the background. Lavish, seductive and satiny, this is pure pleasure. Given a choice, I always seem to prefer single Pommard clone wines over single Dijon clone wines. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Evening Land Evening Land Estate Memorious Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 122 cases, $60, released summer 2012. Last part of vineyard to be harvested and the vineyard's most vigorous wine. The name comes from the seedling block that resides inside it. 7,000 seedlings planted, taken from Evening Land vineyards in Sonoma. Because these seedlings display the genetic diversity of Pinot Noir, they represent the "memory" of Pinot Noir. The fruit from these seedlings was not included in this wine. A little more new oak but less than 10%. Indigenous yeast fermentations. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A generous array of purple and black fruit aromas with a complimentary hint of spice and oak, taking on more intensity over time in the glass. Very tasty blackberry core which enters with aplomb and expands in the mouth, filling every nook and cranny. A slight fresh citrus-driven acidity in the background gives the wine lift and a savory note adds interest. This one really grows on you over time. The following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the evocative fruit had picked up intensity and the aromatics were still fresh and lively. This wine is a real attention-getter. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Alexana Signature Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 236 cases, $75. A barrel selection from estate fruit. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy nose picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass offering alluring aromas of dark red cherries and berries accented with nutmeg spice. Seamless and soft in the mouth, even creamy, with a full-bodied core of deep red cherry and berry fruits backed by well-integrated oak. Similar to the regular bottling in flavor but more stacked and packed. Remarkable phenolic ripeness and intensity at a relatively low alcohol percentage. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Carabella Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 550 cases, $37. 6 blocks including Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon clones. Each block fermented separately. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose wows you with bright, perfectly ripe cherries and dark berries. Very polished and elegant in style, with delicious cherry and strawberry flavors accented with complimentary spice, cola and oak. A high class offering with beautiful balance that reeks of pinotosity. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Carabella Inchinnan Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 150 cases, $54. Dijon 114,115 and Wädenswil clones cropped to ridiculously low levels. · Moderate light reddish color in the glass. Brightly perfumed with aromas of fresh cherries and sandalwood. Very soft and elegant with marshmallow tannins supporting a well ripened array of red fruits. This wine won’t overpower but it will seduce with a sneaky appeal. Not as big a wine in this vintage as usual, but still very charming. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Evesham Wood Cuvée J Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 150 cases. $44. Exclusively from Le Puits Sec Vineyard. Aged in 40% new French oak. Unfiltered. · Moderately light purple color in the glass. Wonderfully perfumed with fresh scents of black cherries, briar, compost, rose petal and spice. Well-endowed with attention-getting flavors of black cherries, kirsch and spice. Riper with more body, more structural bones, and less noticeable acidity than the Le Puits Sec bottling. Incredible length on the generous finish. Very age worthy. A real crowd pleaser and one of the best wines I have sampled from Oregon in this vintage. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Penner-Ash Dussin Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.52, $60. This estate vineyard is planted in sedimentary and volcanic soils to Dijon and Pommard clones on a southeastern slope. Aged 10 months in 38% new, 29% one-year-old, 29% two-year-old and 4% neutral French oak. · Moderately light reddishpurple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of dark red and black berries with a hint of oak-derived mocha. Delicious heart of richly flavored spicy black plum and boysenberry fruit with a topcoat of cherry cola, vanilla and mocha java. Well-behaved tannins make for easy approachability. Very silky and seductive. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Penner-Ash Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.87, TA 0.50, 500 cases, $60. Released July 2012. Almost equal parts Pommard, 777 and 114 clones, sourced from multiple blocks at Shea Vineyard. The Wädenswil did not make into the 2010 blend. Cold soak was shorter than normal (3 days) due to botrytis and coldness of the fruit when it came in. Fermented in 2-ton stainless steel tanks with hand punch downs. Aged in 25% new French oak, 25% once-filled barrels, and 50% seasoned barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with aromas of dark stone fruits and berries with a touch of oak. Ambrosial flavors of black cherries and black raspberries with a touch of spice. The fruit is perfectly ripe and vivid. Excellent concentration with firm matching tannins, exhibiting deep cherry flavor in a lasting finish. This is a “Wow” wine that really emotes. Still terrific the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when my wife and I happily polished it off. A 2012 All-American. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Roots Saffron Fields Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 74 cases, $35. · Evocative perfume of black cherry pie glaze with hints of oak and slate. Delicious, deeply flavored essence of perfectly ripe dark cherries nicely spiced with a complimentary note of oakdriven mocha. Striking flavor on entry, expanding in waves on the palate, and finishing with a taunting, memorable intensity. Still great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when I finished the bottle with dinner. Exceptional. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard Homer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 450 cases, $82. 56% Wädenswil, 31% Dijon 777, 13% Pommard. Aged in 81% new French oak. A blend of the best barrels in the cellar and always the biggest, most structured wine in the lineup, needing several years to reach a peak drinking window. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure but pleasing aromas of black raspberries, blackberries and spice. The most structured wine in the lineup and built for the long haul. Also, displays the most length on a brambly blackberry finish. Very polished with a velvety mouth feel and complimentary smoky oak. More approachable than usual for this bottling, but should get even better with more time in the cellar. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Whole Cluster Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.57, 97 cases, $95. Yields 0.5 tons per acre from blocks 1 and 3 planted from 1978 to 1982 with self-rooted Pommard clone. 100% whole cluster. 5-day cold soak, 10 day fermentation, 9 day post-maceration skin contact. Pressed off in an old world, half-ton, wooden basket press. Aged 15 months in French oak. Racked once after malolactic fermentation and then again just before blending. · Moderately light red rose color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh baked cherry pie and sandalwood. A cherry bombast that is soft and smooth on the palate with mouth-filling presence, tamed and focused tannins, crisp, well-integrated acidity, and an intense, cherry-driven and spicy finish that won’t quit. The whole-cluster driven spice is very enticing to me. A beguiling wine that was still remarkable the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $48. Planted in 1988 by owners Susan Meredith and spouse Frank Mitchell on a 104-acre site located at 450 to 650 feet elevation in the Coast range foothills of the McMinnville AVA. The 25-acre vineyard is primarily planted to own-rooted Pinot Noir Pommard clone, with smaller blocks of Pinot Blanc (1996) and Pinot Gris (1995). Soils are rocky, broken basalt, sedimentary in type.The vineyard is managed by Susan and Frank. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of pie cherries with a fragrant floral note. Darker cherry, berry and plum flavors enter strong and finish long. The fruit is striking in purity and made me sit up straight in my chair. A welcome underlying cut of acidity urges another sip. Simply a great wine. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $48. Sourced from Block 21 on West Hill. Wädenswil and Pommard clones. · Moderately light reddishpurple color in the glass. Brimming with aromas of ripe red cherries and berries with complimentary oak. Plush in the mouth with an explosion of bright fruit on the mid palate, finishing like a three hour movie you don’t want to end. Admirable integration of oak which adds a touch of dark caramel and spice. The tannins are lacy and the acidity brings the fruit into focus. A complete wine. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Ana Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $48. This vineyard is located on a north-south ridge at 350 to 450 feet. Owned and farmed by Andy Humphrey, the vines are own rooted and date to 1976. Pommard and 777 clones. · Moderate light ruby red color in the glass. Cherries are the theme is this outstanding wine. Aromas of fresh pie cherry glaze and rose petals. The discreetly concentrated core of juicy cherries is accented with hints of exotic spices, clove and a kiss of oak. Soft and smooth in texture with gossamer tannins. Finishes with a flourish of cherries. Like cherry pie day at cooking school - cherries, baking spices and very interesting results. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Winderlea Legacy Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $75. This wine highlights the favorite characteristics of the estate vineyard. · Light reddish color in the glass. The nose offers a terrific blast of crushed cherry perfume with a hint of spice. Delicious essence of ripe, dark red cherries with a sidecar of raspberries and pomegranates. A citrus-laden underbelly brings the wine to life. Lacy tannins, well-integrated oak and an appealing elegance completes the picture. Like red lingerie, sure to attract attention. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Matello Durant Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, $42. Winemaker Marcus Goodfellow’s first vintage from a vineyard planted in 1974 to Pommard clone, and nonirrigated. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very light but charming array of red fruit flavors including cherries, strawberries and cranberries. Highly aromatic on approach, and comes at you like an arrow upon entry. Elegantly styled with well-matched tannin and acidity, offering interesting hints of anise and baking spice. Shows off the vintage beautifully. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Ranch Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $50. Exclusively from the estate vineyard planted to 20 acres of Pinot Noir just east of the town of Carlton. 100% de-stemmed, 3-4 day cold soak, 7-10 day extended maceration, aged 12-15 months in 33% new French oak and an additional 6 months in bottle before release. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Penetrating and uplifting nose offering aromas of Bing cherries and spice. Rich attack of delicious black cherry, plum and boysenberry fruits, impressing the mid palate and finishing long and generous. Seamless, soft and silky with well-mannered tannins. Highly enjoyable now but has the balance to evolve over many years. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate Vineyard Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.55, $96, screwcap. Aged in 15% new and 85% one-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This is an enthralling wine with lovely aromas of dark red and black berries and a hint of oak vanillin. The striking middleweight fruit enters with aplomb and fans out nicely on the mid palate, finishing with generosity. Very soft and polished, even velvety in the mouth. Commendable oak and tannin integration, and appealing earth and mineral imbued notes add to the pleasure. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Sea Smoke Southing Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.42% alc., pH 3.36, 0.7, $59 (Magnums $124). Released Octobers 2012. Exclusively Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard. Aged 16 months in 55% new French oak barrels. · Medium dark purple color in the glass. Well-endowed with seductive aromas of spice plum and dark red rose petals. Clearly a special wine that is very charming now. Discreetly concentrated flavors of plum, boysenberry and black cherry with a whisper of spice and vanilla, finishing with an intensely aromatic black cherry flourish. Beautifully composed with balanced tannins and welcoming acidity. A complete wine. Still impressive the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.65% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.69, $82. Released October 2012. Ten clones (113, 115, 459, 667, 777, 09, 16, Pommard 5, 2A, and Mt. Eden selection) exclusively from Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard. Aged 16 months in 65% new French oak barrels. · Dark purple color in the glass. Very muted nose, opening very grudgingly to reveal aromas of fresh dark berry preserves. Similar in flavor to the Southing but showing more intensity, featuring dark red and black berries and cherries with an echo of oak. Rather unexpressive now but the potential is obvious. Very polished with well-managed ripe tannins and bright acidity. Spectacular the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, displaying flamboyant aromas of spicy berries, a creamy texture and a long, powerful finish. Cellar this sumptuous wine for several years. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Paul Mathew TNT Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.81, TA 0.56, 188 cases, $45. Released November 1, 2012. This Green Valley vineyard was planted in 1999 and 2000 with clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 on Riparia Gloire rootstock in Goldridge soil. Aged 10 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of berry jam on toast. Mouth filling, hearty flavors of black cherries and black raspberries implode on the mid palate with aplomb, lingering with a cherry and sassafras driven finish that is memorable. My notes say, “This is really good.” Fine the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Paul Mathew Horseshoe Bend Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.59, 114 cases, $45. Released November 1, 2012. This vineyard was planted in 1996 in Goldridge soils. Dijon 113. Aged 10 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish color in the glass. The most aromatic wine in the lineup with high-spirited aromas of cherries, cranberries and rhubarb. Relatively light in weight but highly flavorful. Plenty of pinot singing in this wine with delicious spiced red plum, raspberry and cherry flavors. A bit unusual tasting in a good way. Well-rounded with supple tannins, a good cut of acidity, subtle oak in the background, and a finish that will not let go. Not as loaded as the TNT bottling, but equally satisfying. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Flowers Sea View Ridge Estate Vineyard Block 20 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $75. 1.55-acre block at 1700 feet elevation. Shallow volcanic clay loam over basalt, schist and shale soil. Clone 777. Yields 2.38 tons per acre. Aged 17 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Penetrating, enthralling aromas of perfectly ripe black cherries and black raspberries. Luscious flavors of black cherry cola, griottes kirsch, and dark berries, modest dry tannins, bright acidity and a velvety mouth feel. I like this for its balance, texture and fruit persistence on the finish. A regal wine. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Fogline Vineyards Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.65, 135 cases, $38. Vineyard is located in Middle Reach of Russian River Valley. Clones 115, 666, 777 and Pommard. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Smooth, spicy and sexy, with seductive aromas of dusty, dark cherries, graham and toast. A cherry bombast that is luscious yet refined and silky with complimentary hints of spice and cola. Nicely balanced with supple tannins and good staying power on the finish. The pedigree of this established vineyard shows through. A high-collared, impressive offering. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 580 cases, $55. Unfiltered. · Deep, dark purple color in the glass. Scent of dark berry preserves with a complimentary hint of smoky oak and vanillin. Delicious core of vibrant blackberry and black plum flavors with undertones of smoke, tar, vanilla, and earth. Full-bodied with masculine tannins, yet soft and quite approachable now. Offers grip, breed and length. A man’s Pinot that never disappoints and one of California’s most cherished iconic wines year in and year out. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $56. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Deep red cherry perfume with notes of spice and cola. A flat out beautiful wine that is a killer on the palate with generous flavors of cherries and dark berries accompanied by a haunting bit of earthiness and sauvage in the background. Soft in the mouth, moderately rich in body, offering impeccable balance. The best Pinot Noir I have tasted from Savoy Vineyard in the challenging 2010 vintage. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $56. · Dark ruby color in the glass. Stunning aromatics featuring bright aromas of black raspberries accented with vanilla, oak and spice. The palate is soft, plush and long featuring delicious black cherry, black raspberry, black tea and cardamom spice flavors, finishing with an appealing crispness. This is a saucy, spicy number that grabs on and brings you to attention. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An 2013 All-American for sure. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Littorai B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $70. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine has one of those noses that brings you to your knees. Profuse aromas of perfectly ripe cherries and berries with an exotic spice and floral accent. Delicious middleweight flavors of cherry pie glaze, dark red berry jam, cola, spice and complimentary oak, finishing with impressive power and persistence. A very polished wine with everything in balance. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Thieriot Vineyard Pinot Noir is what first hooked me on Littorai years ago, and I relish the addiction. It just doesn’t get any better than this (although The Haven Vineyard bottling is very close). Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Littorai The Haven Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $75. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. A WOW! nose with effusive aromas of plum coulis, black raspberry and spice. Mouth-filling and mouth-coating flavors of black cherries, plums black raspberries and spice. Can’t say enough good things about this wine: perfectly anointed tannic structure, very slinky texture, and a big, big finish. The sauciest of the 2010 Littorai wines tasted here with the most intense finish. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine will give the Thieriot a run for its money. The best Haven Vineyard Pinot Noir to date and the most approachable early on. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 McHenry Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 320 cases, $30. The McHenrys herald the 2010 vintage as “the best.” · Moderately light deep garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherries, strawberries, sawdust, cedary oak and a bit of Christmas cheer (spice). Delicious entry, mid palate and finish showing thick fruit flavors, yet delicate in structure and mouth feel. Dark red cherry, dark strawberry, and brown spice flavors are featured. Silky soft like the hair of an angel in the mouth with very impressive finishing presence. Highly unique and quite typical of this vineyard. A perfect marriage of power and finesse. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 WesMar Balleto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $40. Pommard clone. Ninth vintage from this vineyard. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of black cherry pie glaze, black raspberries, black currant jam, balsam and baking spices. Delicious core of black cherry and plum fruit flavors augmented by lavish, exotic spices that expands in the mouth to reach every nook and cranny. Very juicy and refreshing with a glorious citrus-cherry finish exhibiting considerable vigor. I seem to gravitate to this wine in every vintage (Pommard is my paramour). Simply sublime. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Williams Selyem Eastside Road Neighbors Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $52. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy nose initially, but opens nicely over time to reveal penetrating aromas of spiced plum, black cherry and white pepper. Tastes like the best plum sauce you ever had. Velvet-edged fruit with gentle tannins and a deep plum-infused finish that lasts more than 30 seconds. The whole package. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Williams Selyem Burt Williams’ Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $75. · Moderately light in color with a reddish tinge. Generous aromas of dark red fruits, bark and maple syrup. Light and elegant in style, but not wimpy in pleasure, infused with rocket-powered flavors of red cherries and berries, blueberries, and tantalizing baking spices. The fruit is invigorated by lively acidity, framed by fine-grain tannins and full of vibrancy on the refreshing finish. I can’t say enough good things about this gorgeous wine. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Bethel Heights Estate Flat Block Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.66, 167 cases, $58. The Flat Block is one of seven different sections of Pinot Noir planted over 37 acres in the estate vineyard. It was planted in 1979 on a flat table of the vineyard and is 100% own-rooted Pommard clone. The soil is gravelly and of a different mineral composition than the neighboring Southeast Block. This 3.3-acre block consistently has a distinctive character, usually offering the most refined and elegant Pinot Noir. Wines from Flat Block have been bottled separately since 1991. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This is one of those wines that makes you sit up and take notice. Marvelous aromas of black cherries, damp earth, and warm s’mores. Earthy, exotic, and erotic black cherry and black berry flavors with a compliment of spice. The fruit is robed in ripe, firm but polished tannins, invigorated with bright acidity, and blessed with a charge of black cherry flavor on the dancing finish. Seduction.com. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Bethel Heights Southeast Block Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.65, 135 cases, $50. From a 6-acre section of the estate vineyard planted in 1979 in deep red clay soil that is volcanic in origin. The vines are 100% own-rooted Pommard clone. 100% destemmed fruit. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Wines from Southeast Block have been bottled separately since 1991. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Scintillating aromas of dark cherries, raspberry jam and cardamom spice. Intensely flavorful, tasting of ripe black fruits including cassis, and brewed black Oolong tea. The fruit has remarkable staying power in the mouth and finishes with pleasing crispness and length. An immensely satisfying wine. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Raptor Ridge Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 175 cases, $38, screwcap. Release early 2013. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nose-filling aromas of spiced red stone fruits. Discreetly concentrated core of dark red and purple fruits including grapes, with a juicy finish that lasts and lasts. Satisfying fullness and roundness with a very appealing velvety mouth feel. Everything is in place with balanced dry tannins, zippy acidity and perfectly ripened fruit. This vineyard performed beautifully in this vintage. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars Redwoods Edge Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.67, 149 cases, $55. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Charming perfume of black cherries, blackberries and wooded forest, penetrating and possessing staying power over time in the glass. Bigger, riper, more structured, and more intense than the estate vineyard bottling yet still crisp and lively offering an enticing velvety texture and a monumental finish flush with fresh berry flavor that will not let go. Reviewed February 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., phj 3.60, TA 0.61, 150 cases, $55. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherry pie glaze, baking spice and sandalwood. This wine is all about spicy, red pie cherries. Supple tannins, bright acidity, and good length on the finish. A very pleasing red fruit festival that is the most feminine wine in the lineup and the epitome of pinotosity. Reviewed February 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.69, 158 cases, $55. Dijon clone 777. Average Brix at harvest 22.8º. 100% de-stemmed. Combination of wild and cultured yeast fermentation. MLF fermentation in barrel. Aged 10 months in 40% new and 60% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy nose initially, opening slowly to reveal aromas of red cherries, cranberries, dried rose petals and grassy oak. The cherry, red berry and red plum stuffing really explodes on the mid palate, finishing with great intensity and nervy acidity that makes the drinker want another sip. Very easy, seamless drinking. The wine gets better over time in the glass - always a good sign - and was even more aromatic and flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Not the power of the 2009 vintage, but a beautiful reflection of the cooler 2010 vintage. Gary Farrell is a winemaker you can bank on every vintage to make superb wines that are intensely flavorful, yet bright and crisp and very food friendly - just the way Pinot Noir is meant to be. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 DuMOL aidan Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 455 cases, $78. Released November 2012. Sourced from the 3-acre Wildrose Vineyard, 115 and 777. Yield 2.5 tons per acre from 11-yearold vines. Aged 14 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of darker cherries and berries with complimentary toasted oak and a floral note. On the palate this wine sings with juiciness and vibrancy, offering delicious blackberry, black cherry and spice flavors. A complete wine with balanced, supple tannins, a seductively soft mouth feel, and a lengthy finish that is bursting with fresh, vivid fruit. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 DuMOL finn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 371 cases, $84. Released November 2012. 58% DuMOL Estate and 42% Occidental Road vineyards, multi-clonal field blend. Yield 2.2 tons per acre from vines that are 6 to 16 years old. Aged 14 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The wine bursts from the glass with effusive aromas of fresh Bing cherries, Chambord liqueur, dried cranberry, spice and bay leaf. A delicious wine that brings all your senses to attention. Flavors of ripe strawberry, blackberry jam, and anise with an earthy, mineral-bound underbelly. Juicy, with lively acidity, perfectly integrated oak, and noticeable length on the finish. Very easy to cozy up to. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Shane The Charm Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 225 cases, $45, sold out. Vinified by Shane Finley, the winemaker at Lynmar and former assistant winemaker at Kosta Browne. The Shane wines are sold through a mailing list. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh Bing cherries with a touch of exotic spices. Moderately rich core of perfectly ripened black cherries with complimentary hints of cola, edible flower, earth and oak in the background. The very long and intensely fruity finish lasts at least 30 seconds. Very forward and charming as the name would imply. I really enjoyed drinking this marvelous example of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Donum Estate 10th Anniversary Black Label Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 100 cases, $120. A best barrel blend from Donum Ranch crus. Aged in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of fresh black cherries, strawberries, spice and complimentary oak vanillin. A little richer and more structured than the 2010 Estate Gold Label bottling. The wine offers layers of flavor including very ripe black cherry, black currant, dark chocolate, grilled meat, and tantalizing oak. Much better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing better integration of oak, aromas that jumped out of the glass, and a finish to die for. Exceptional. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Donum Estate Grown West Slope Carneros Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $90. Limited production in this vintage and available only to wine club members. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Vibrant aromas of black cherries, peppery spice, stem and flowered meadow. Delicious core of perfectly ripened black cherry and black raspberry fruit with an undertone of dark chocolate and anise. The fruit really sings, reaching a crescendo on the powerful finish. Tasted over two days from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine is clearly built to age and will benefit from cellaring to bring the oak and tannins into optimum balance. The jewel of the Donum Estate. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Soliste Forêt Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 149 cases, $85. Clone 23 (Mariafeld). Mariafeld clone came to the US from the government agriculture research station in Wädenswil, Switzerland in 1966. Infrequently bottled as a stand-alone clone. From Guidicci Vineyard in Occidental. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very clean, bright and fresh aromas of black cherries and potpourri. The wine delivers a delicious mouthful of dark berry and black cherry fruit, expanding on the palate with nuance and class, and finishes with a statement. A subtle cola and earthy accent add interest. Juicy, with soft tannins. When tasted a day after opening and re-corked the, wine was still pumping out Pinot goodness. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Pence Ranch Estate Uplands Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 295 cases, $40. From two producing East Blocks. Pommard and 115. 15% whole cluster. Aged 22 months in 1-year and older French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very giving nose offering aromas of red and black berries, exotic spices and a hint of peppery herbs. Very satisfying flavors of dark berries with hints of spice, vanilla and smoky oak. Nicely balanced and easy to cozy up to, leaving behind a pleasant impression. Still pumping out the aromas and flavors the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Plenty of Pinot singing here. Reviewed April 13, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Chasseur Sexton Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.57, 100 cases, $60. A collaboration between William Hunter and Jim Pratt from Cornerstone Vineyard on Sexton Road. Dijon clones 113, 114 and 115. Aged 10 months in 67% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The intoxicating nose really draws you into the glass with explosive aromas of Bing cherries and exotic spices. Delicious cherry essence with riffs of cola and spice. Ethereal, seamless and a wine that makes you sit up and take notice. Wow! The pick of the litter. Reviewed April 13, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Chasseur Umino Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., ph 3.66, TA 0.61, 266 cases, $60. A collaboration between William Hunter and Davic Umino of Umino Vineyard. Aged 10 months in 67% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. The scents of black cherries and dusty oak jump out of the glass. Very soft and smooth on the palate with a deep cherry flavor. A polished wine that is very Russian River Valley in character but with the typical lush fruit reigned in a bit for more charm. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still exceptional. Beautifully crafted and one special wine. Reviewed April 13, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Joseph Phelps Quarter Moon Vineyard Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.61, 1,130 cases, $75. 41-acre vineyard five miles from the Pacific coast at 500 feet elevation on a well-drained, steep hillside. Aged in 67% new and 33% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. An ooh la la nose developing slowly over time revealing itself seductively. Aromas of cherries, Asian 5-spice and hibiscus. Rich and luscious dark red fruits are complimented by Asian 5-spice, backed by fine-grain, velvety tannins, and elevated with good acidity. Unbelievably long, focused and electric grand cru finish. Like the Energizer bunny, it keeps going and going. Reviewed April 13, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Joseph Phelps Pastorale Vineyard Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.60, 550 cases, $75. This 34.5-acre vineyard surrounds the Freestone winery facility and is 8 miles from the Pacific coast. Aged in 70% new and 30% two and three-year- old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of dark cherries and blackberries with subtle spice and oak highlights. Impressive concentration without weight, offering earthbound flavors of dark red and black fruits including purple grapes with a hint of spice and tobacco-laced oak. Impeccable balance and a finish that hangs on tenaciously. The next day when sampled from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had blossomed further, becoming an “Oh my God” wine. Reviewed April 13, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Rivers-Marie Gioia Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 120 cases, $50. Aged in 80% new French oak barrels. Gioia is a 2-acre vineyard just west of Occidental on Joy Road, about a mile from Summa Vineyard as the crow flies. A mix of 115 and Pommard clones. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The most aromatic wine in the lineup, filling the glass with a perfume of fresh black cherries, raspberries, clove and other spices, and sandalwood. Discretely concentrated dark raspberry and cherry fruit flavors with a hint of brown spice and dark chocolate. The mid palate fruit is very exotic and striking in its vividness, persisting with uncommon clarity in a very juicy, splashy finish. Seamless, with modest tannins, and easy to dance with now. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Dunstan Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.80, 291 cases, $50. A blend of all five clones in the Ranch House Block. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasingly aromatic with scents of dark berries, toasty oak and mushrooms on the grill. Impressive mid palate attack of dark red and black berry fruit with a hint of brandy-soaked cherries. A little earthiness adds to the appeal. With a satisfying fullness on the palate, full ripeness, and a long finish, this wine aims to please. On top of that, it has a uniqueness that sets it apart. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Byron Monument Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.57, 225 cases, $60. A small lot wine that is part of the winery’s experimental approach to winemaking. From Sanford & Benedict selections. A barrel selection that represents the finest red wine made each year. Aged 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A bit exotic and highly alluring on the nose with aromas of black cherry pie glaze, blackberries and spice. Earth-kissed array of darker stone and berry fruits that gently saturate the palate, finishing with a remarkable kiss of spiced raspberries. Velvety smooth in the mouth with ripe, balanced tannins and judicious presence of oak. Not overwrought like so many reserve-type wines. A complete wine that gets better and better over time in the glass. “Monument” is an appropriate name for this exceptional offering. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Estate Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.61, 261 cases, $55. No block bottlings in 2010 so all the best fruit from the “B” and “M” block are included. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak and bottled unfiltered. · Moderate reddishpurple color in the glass. Great nose! Vibrant aromas of dark cherries, dark red berries and spice. Delicious core of black cherry, black currant, cola and anise flavors with an earthy and mineral-driven iron bent. Admirable balance and easy drinkability with considerable length on the fruit-packed finish. Impressive. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Windy Hills Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $N/A ( sold out).A hilltop vineyard in the skyline sub-region at 2,000 feet that is cool and rocky. Soils are fractured sandstone. A challenging site for ripeness. Yields less than 1 ton per acre. Last bottling from original plantings which are Martini and Bruce selections. New plantings have closer spacing with a different orientation to reduce exposure to the brutal winds. 100% whole cluster, ambient yeast fermentation, aged in once-used French oak barrels. No sulfur added after malolactic fermentation. 50 cases. · Aromas of fresh purple grapes, cherries, sandalwood, spice and petrichor. Vibrant on the palate with dark berry, spice and grape flavors, clothed in fine-grain tannins with well-integrated acidity. Built for the long haul. Exceptional. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Londer Vineyards Paraboll Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $24.99 (SR $54 but discounted at retail stores due to closing of winery - this price is at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa). A Reserve bottling sourced from Ferrington and Valley Foothill vineyards. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy aromatics revealing delicate scents of dark red cherries and berries. Beguiling core of perfectly ripe black cherry and black raspberry fruit with balanced tannins and tempered oak. Soft and smooth on the palate, finishing with grace and intensity. The powerful and lengthy finish is the most impressive feature of this wine. Still could use more time in bottle, or decant if you must drink now. A steal at this price. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Salamandre Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $32. · Moderately deep purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of dark berries, fresh picked plums and spice. The aromas are captivating. My notes say WOW on entry. Really delicious, moderately intense flavors of dark berries, black cherries and plum with a hint of spice. The fruit reaches every nook and cranny in the mouth, expanding to finish with unbelievable length and aromatic focus. A complete, harmonious wine of exceptional quality and sure to be one of my All Americans for 2013. (Not listed on website so call or email to order) Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Esterlina Cole Ranch Reserva Cole Ranch Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $N/A. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Fresh aromas of brown sugar dusted ripe strawberries and an array of other red fruits. Moderately light in concentration, but plenty of charm and elegance. Juicy, with supple tannins and a persistent, fruit-filled, electric finish. Cause for celebration. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Elk Cove Vineyards Mount Richmond Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $48. Vineyard was planted in 1996 with cuttings from Roosevelt Vineyard. Willakenzie soils. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Great nose! Lovely aromas of black cherry fill the glass like fresh cherries just off the tree. Aromas of spice and candied cinnamon apple add interest. A cherry bombast on the palate that is flat out delicious. A sensational wine that is moderately rich but strikingly flavorful and composed in a seamless fashion with modest fine-grain tannins and complimentary oak in the background. Plenty of Pinot singing in this great wine. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Hirsch Vineyards Reserve Estate Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 295 cases, $N/A. Release spring 2014. A selection of the best barrels from eleven of the oldest and finest vineyard blocks at Hirsch. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A great expression of Pinot Noir with marvelous aromas of black cherries, molasses, spice and oak. Mid weight flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and Dr. Pepper that are the most generous and concentrated of all the Hirsch wines in this vintage. Silky on entry, with striking Pinot sweetness on the mid palate, showing a firm, balanced tannic backbone, and finishing with a flourish of spicy black cherry fruit. Will benefit from more bottle age. A wine truly deserving of the reserve designation. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Coeur de Terre Renelle’s Block Estate Grown Reserve McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 59 cases $58. This 3-acre block was the original planting in the Estate Vineyard circa 1999. It is composed of 8 clones and referred to as the mother block since it supplied the cuttings for all other Pinot Noir vines in the Estate Vineyard. Willakenzie sedimentary soils.This wine is dedicated to Renelle Lynn Neal (Scott’s mother). · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Effusive aromas of black cherry tart, spice, crusty brioche, and ground savory. Rich and full-flavored, with a layered array of red and purple fruits complimented by a hint of cola and savory herbs. The mouth feel is velvety and the bright acidity brings vibrancy to the wine. The finish goes on and on. A very special wine that will please every Pinot connoisseur. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Coeur de Terre Sarah Jane’s Block Estate Grown Reserve McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $58. From the second block planted in the Estate Vineyard in 2001. 4 acres of 667, 777 and 115 planted in Willakenzie marine sedimentary soil. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Stunning and nearly overwhelming in aromatic intensity featuring a deep perfume of black cherries, blackberries and plum. Delicious core of ornate black stone fruits that make you sit back and take notice. A touch of smoky oak and dried herbs add interest. Impressive fullness and concentration on the palate without being jammy. Seamless with perfect integration of tannins and acidity. A poster child for Oregon Pinot Noir. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Hanzell Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.62, 1,287 cases, $95. Cold, wet weather in the spring. Rains through bloom caused shatter. Summer temperatures were mild with only a few days in mid-August hitting the century mark. The weeks before harvest were unusually mild. Harvest began on September 14, three weeks later than usual with the Hanzell and 777 clones. 5% whole cluster. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Initially shy, opening slowly even after decanting. Aromas and flavors of dark red cherries and raspberries with hints of spice and savory herbs arrive over time and reach a very flavorful level. Discreetly concentrated with bright acidity and sturdy tannins, finishing with plenty of oak-kissed fruit intensity. Spectacular the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. I would advise cellaring this wine for a few years to soften and integrate the tannins and allow the fruit to come to the forefront. This will be an exceptionally lovely wine over the long haul. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 DION Vineyard Limited Release Old Vines Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $35. Self-rooted, dry-farmed Pommard clone planted in 1976 in Laurelwood soil at 300 to 500 feet. Aged 13 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. This is one of those wines that you know is exceptional from the first sip. The beguiling aromas draw you in with notes of cherries, strawberries, nutmeg and other spices. Smooth, seamless, polished and flat out delicious, this wine sports middleweight flavors of perfectly ripened dark red cherries, raspberries, spice and dark chocolate. Supple tannins and a satisfying cut of acidity in the background. This wine is assertive without weight, showing restraint and modesty, yet delivering a load of pleasure. Quintessential Oregon Pinot Noir. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Hanzell Sessions Vineyard Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.59, 99 cases, $95. Harvest began September 14, a full three weeks later than usual. Coastal fog led to a leisure harvest and picking concluding four days later. 667, 777 and Swan clones planted on 3309 rootstock were chosen for the fruit qualities that distinguish the Sessions Vineyard. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 18 months in 75% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. High-spirited aromatics of black cherries, black raspberries, cedary oak and spice lead to a mouth coating palate featuring dense flavors of black cherry infused cola, dark plum and exotic spice. The fruit is perfectly ripe and flat-out delicious, making a statement on entry and an impression on the finish which is of uncommon length. The wine is structured but not hard and the acidity is beautifully integrated. A very special wine that stands out even at this young age. Even better on the nose and palate the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, indicating it will benefit from further cellaring. One of the best Pinots California has to offer in this vintage. Score: 96. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.72, 291 cases, $65. Released November 2012. This release is from select blocks of the 128-acre Rochioli Vineyard planted in 1974, 1995 and 2000. Some of the fruit is from cuttings taken from the original mother block planted in 1968. 100% destemmed. Aged 13 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aroma of fresh Bing cherry tart and sandalwood. A pretty wine characterized by balance and elegance. Relatively delicate cherry, raspberry and cola flavors with tame tannins, a texture like a velvet-lined glove, and bright acidity. Like fine lingerie, this wine seduces you with laciness and transparency. The winemaking is impeccable and allows the vintage and the vineyard terroir to show through. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Gary Farrell Ramal Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.66, 784 cases, $50. Released December 2012. Twelve different clones among 45 vineyard blocks. 100% de-stemmed, aged 8 months in 40% new French oak barrels. It is a tribute to the fastidious vineyard work and subsequent grape sorting (heat spikes scorched and sunburned many clusters) that this wine turned out so beautifully. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Enchanting nose offering dreamy aromas of fresh cherries, sandalwood and spice. Very soft and satiny in the mouth with a noble cherry core, offering an earthy underbelly so typical of Carneros. Impeccably balanced t n ‘a, while exhibiting oodles of charm, and finishing with a charge of citrus-laced cherries. Ramal-lama-ding-dong. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Dehlinger Altamont Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 570 cases, $60. Yields on the estate’s 16 acres were very low in 2010. A combination of 20-year-old and 30-year-old vines. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of fresh crushed Bing cherries and baking spices draw you into the glass. Remarkable fullness of sappy, black cherry flavor on the middle palate with hints of cola and spice, carrying over to a generous, fruit-filled finish. Despite its concentration and structural bones, the wine is light on its feet and a delight to drink. The velvety soft texture is of the type that drives Pinot lovers mad. Beautifully composed and seamless in every way. Score: 96. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Freeman Akiko’s Cuvée Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

325 cases. 23% O’Connor, 18% Campbell, 14% Connell, 14% Thorn Ridge, 9% Gunsalus, 9% Rayhill, 5% Sexton, 4% Bacigalupi, and 4% Harmony Lane. Aged 11 months in 27% new, 27% 1-year-old and 46% 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very lovely aromas of Bing cherry pie filling, baking spices, and a hint of oak. This exceptional wine has it all: a soft, silky texture, vivid cherry and raspberry fruit expression, very suave tannins, uplifting acidity, beautifully married oak, and overall, an appealing delicacy. A thing of beauty. Drink or hold long term. Score: 95. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Rippon Emma’s Block Lake Wanaka Central Otago Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $75. Imported by Station Imports, Colorado Springs, CO. Sourced from mature vines in a unique parcel within Rippon’s vineyard. The parcel is eastward facing on the lakefront with clay reefs running through schist gravels. The block is named after the great-great-great-grandmother of the current generation of the Mills family who own the winery. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Penetrating aromas of deep, dark cherries and black raspberries with hints of peat, loam and oak. Richly endowed core of earthy, dark berry fruits underlain with bright acid tension and a substantial tannic backbone, finishing with uncommon length. More savory and earthy than the Tinker’s Field bottling. Very juicy, with well-managed oak. Softer in the mouth with more appeal the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Decant if you must drink now, but more bottle aging is preferable. Score: 94. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Rippon Tinker’s Field Lake Wanaka Central Otago Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $90. Imported by Station Imports, Colorado Springs, CO. Sourced from mature vines in a unique parcel within Rippon located on a north facing slope of schist gravels. The oldest vines on the property, the block is named after Rippon’s founder, Rolfe Mills, who was known as “Tink” by his friends. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Very dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Slowly emerging aromas of warm dark berries with a loamy, briar and oak presence. Lovely, spicy, tenacious palate featuring an array of dark berries and stone fruits sporting an impressive depth and richness of flavor. Moderate, dry, ripe tannins provide structure for the long haul. Amazingly concentrated, peacock tail finish that sends you looking for superlatives. Decant or age several years in the cellar. Score: 96. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Flying Goat Cellars Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Goat Bubbles Blanc de Blanc

12.8% alc., 239 cases, pH 3.02, TA 0.82, $38. Released April 28, 2012. Chardonnay clone 15. Whole cluster pressed, cold fermentation, moved to neutral French oak barrels remaining on lees through summer with lees stirring every two weeks to encourage malolactic fermentation. In August, the wine was filtered and decanted into sparkling wine bottles, a tirage of sugar and yeast added and a crown cap applied. Secondary fermentation occurred in bottle. After 9 months of aging, the wine was riddled and then disgorged by hand, a small amount of dosage added, and the wine sealed with the Goat Bubbles signature was cap. · Very cool package and label. Pale golden yellow color with a good bead in the glass. Aromas of lemon and green apple with nutty and yeasty accents. A sublime mix of an array of flavors including lemon, lime, pineapple, vanilla, and almond with a leesey underpinning. Entirely satisfying, with bright, cleansing acidity directing a dry, lemony finish that urges you to take another sip. An extraordinary California sparkling wine at a ridiculously modest price considering the quality and work that goes into producing a wine of this pedigree. Score: 95. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Joseph Jewell Appian Way Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.70, 125 cases, $45. Clones 777, 667 and 115 in Goldridge soil. Harvest Brix 24.4º. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Fantastic aromatic presence with electric aromas of dark raspberries, Hoison sauce and exotic spices. The rich core of delicious dark red, spicy berry fruits is elevated by the citrus-driven acid spine. The tannins are well balanced and the finish is generous and focused. Hard to put this one down. Score: 94. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.59, 363 cases, $55. This vineyard was originally planted in 1982 and is one of the oldest vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, and home to some of the oldest vines on the Cristom estate. It is situated on a gently sloped east facing hillside between 480 and 615 feet above sea level. Named for owner Paul Gerrie’s mother, the first single vineyard estate Marjorie was released in 1994. The soil is primarily Jory in type. Phylloxera struck the vineyard in 2000, and beginning in 2007, replanting was initiated with Dijon clones 113, 115, 777, Pommard and Wädenswil grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstocks. The vineyard produces very small, concentrated clusters. Aged 17 months in 53% new Burgundian cooperage. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Bombastic and exotic aromas of red and black cherries, whole cluster spice and floral notes, smoky oak, incense and licorice. Delicious core of cherry fruits which are broad in the mouth and supported by integrated notes of spice, fennel, anise and mocha-laden oak. A special wine that is built for the long haul, with firm, fine-grain tannins, refreshing acidic verve and a lengthy finish of great energy. A whole cluster triumph that really impressed me. Score: 95. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Soliste Forêt Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 149 cases, $85. Clone 23 (Mariafeld) from Guidicci Vineyard near Occidental. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very clean, bright and fresh aromas of black cherries and potpourri. The wine delivers a delicious mouthful of dark berry and black cherry fruits, expanding on the palate with nuance and class, finishing with a statement. A subtle cola and earthy accent adds interest. Juicy, with soft tannins. When tasted a day after opening and re-corked, the wine was still pumping out Pinot goodness. Score: 95. Reviewed December 30, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $69. The vineyard is 11 acres situated at 1230 to 1400 feet elevation with a 20% to 40% slope. Soils are 20” to 24” topsoil over soft shale. Clones are Rhys selection and five heritage clones planted with 6’ x 4’ spacing. · Oh My God! Orgasmic nose offering aromas of dark stone and berry fruits with a hint of whole cluster floral notes including violets. The aromas last and last in the glass. Flat-out delicious on the palate with layered flavors of dark plum and blackberry fruits with plenty of spice. Perfectly balanced with a silky smooth texture and a finish of uncommon length and intensity spiked with juicy mineral-driven acidity. Impressive grace and refinement and very approachable now, but will improve over the next several years. An outrageously good wine that I could drink all night long. Still great two days later from a previously opened bottle. This one will bring you to your knees. Score: 98. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $99. The SwanTerrace is 1.5 acres of the Alpine Vineyard planted to a Swan field selection with 6’ x 4’ spacing. This block is situated at 1210 to 1300 feet elevation with a 20% slope. Soils are 12” to 15” top soil over soft shale. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. More brooding that the Alpine Vineyard bottling, but opens slowly in the glass, revealing its charms slowly. Aromas of earth-kissed blackberry and exotic spices. Hits the palate with a creamy, delicious presence, offering an array of purple and black fruits, hints of cola, spice and oak, and quenching acidity on the dramatic finish. With air, the wine becomes silkier and livelier. A little darker fruited and moodier than the Alpine Vineyard wine as well as a touch more rustic and bold. Beautifully balanced with restrained tannins. Even better two days later from a previously opened bottle. A winegasm. Score: 97. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Williams Selyem Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.64, $100. Barrel aged 11 months in 35% new, 35% 1-year-old, and 30% 2-year-old Francois Frères oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose draws you in with vibrant aromas of cherry pie glaze, cola, rose petal, spice and a hint of oak. The vivid, flamboyant dark cherry and black raspberry core is delicious. Noticeably seamless, with juicy acidity in this vintage, and modest, balanced tannins. The oak is flattering and the finish has striking length. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A sublime wine that will benefit from decanting if opened now. Drink or hold long term. Score: 94. Reviewed February 22, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Talisman Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 243 cases, $65. Released October 2013. A unique site with very cold night time temperatures and gravelly, well-drained soils. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of cherry, raspberry, blueberry and dark chocolate. Charming essence of sweet, dark red cherries and berries with a hint of lovable spice on the palate. Seamless with integrated tannins and a long, intensely fruited finish. This wine just speaks class. Everything you like in Pinot Noir from a very special vineyard. Score: 96. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Talisman Wildcat Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 242 cases, $44. Release April 2014. This vineyard has the highest elevation of any vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA. Red, pebbly clay loam soils born of decomposed volcanic basalt. The site is exposed to a cool air flow from San Pablo Bay. Clones are Dijon 115, 667, 777 and Swan. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is spectacularly endowed with aromas of boysenberry, wood spice and anise. Soft in the mouth with a plethora of purple and blue berry flavors underlain with an earthy riff. Very mild fine grain tannins, perfect integration of oak, and a satisfying, intensely flavored finish. An evocative wine. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Talisman Adastra Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 243 cases, $56. Release April 2014. An organically farmed and certified vineyard tended by Chris Thorpe and his son-in-law Edwin Richards. Clones are Wädenswil, Swan, 113 and Pommard. · The nose brings you to attention with deeply fragrant notes of Hoison sauce, black grapes, blackberries and cardamom spice. Very softly textured, perfectly composed with a judicious use of oak. Typical Los Carneros flavors of darker berries, black plum, mushroom and damp soil pervade. The sweet, perfectly ripened fruit attack makes an impression on the front of the palate, expands its reach across the mid palate like a silk sheet, and finishes with a flourish. A transcendent, “Oh My God” wine. Score: 95. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Anne Amie L’Iris Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.61, 230 cases, $60. Released May 2014. 74.2% Twelve Oaks Estate, 15.8% Rainbow Ridge and 10% Anne Amie Estate. Clones are Pommard 4, 667, 777, 114, 113, 115, and Wädenswil. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, free-run juice was racked into French oak barrels where the wine completed malolactic fermentation. Aged 18 months in 20.5% new, 35% 1-year, and 44.5% neutral French oak and 2-3 years in bottle. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Vibrant aromas of cherry, red berry, sandalwood and spice lead to an elegantly styled wine that charms you with flavors of red cherries and berries, blueberries, savory herbs, spice and a compliment of oak-driven notes. The tannins are evident but not intrusive and indicate age ability, and the finish is a veritable spice bomb. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was flat-out great. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Woodenhead Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.55, 296 cases, $60. 28-year-old vines (Pommard 5 and Romanee-Conti 37). Unfined and unfiltered. This wine really caught my attention at the Grand Tasting at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Definitely some pennyroyal on the nose with added scents of blackberries, tea, and spice. Very dark fruited, this wine is flush with black raspberry, black cherry and black tea notes that envelope the palate. The dreamy tannins offer a fine-grain texture and the oak hits all the right notes. This wine has the stuffing to age beautifully, but is very hard to resist now. A magnificent wine from one of Anderson Valley’s most esteemed vineyards. Score: 94. Reviewed July 28, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 190 cases, $48. Label sports picture of Haley the cow with first calf born at Big Table Farm spring 2010. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 777 clones. Fermented with natural yeast, some pigeage, and aged sur lie in French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep garnet hue in the glass. Boisterous and alluring aromas of dark, rich Pinot fruits that just won’t quit. Delicious attack of dark berry jam with ever changing additional layers of flavor that include anise, lavender and Asian spice. This is a wine of discovery, revealing more interest with each sip. The tannins are reigned in making for approachability now and the succulent fruit is hard to resist, but this wine will get better with cellaring. Fabulous goût de terroir. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.52, $24. Most fruit from a high-density planted estate vineyard in the Arroyo Seco appellation. Aged 7 months in 29% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of black cherries, plum sauce, blackberry jam, spice and prickly pear. Well-structured and composed array of earth-kissed purple and black fruits with fine-grain tannins and bright acidity. A hint of oak-derived anise and dark chocolate add interest. Reminds me of Santa Lucia Highlands fruit. Soft and smooth in the mouth making the wine very inviting. A crazy good wine at this price. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,280 cases, $38. To be released March 1, 2011. 100% estate fruit, clones 777, Pommard, 114, and 115. Aged 11 months in 31% new French oak barrels. · A nose to die for featuring bright aromas of black cherries, raspberries and Asian 5-spice. Delicious black cherry bombast with a hint of clove and earthiness. The hedonistic flavors are intense and persistent, and enrobed gently in fine-grain tannins. Plenty to like in this medium-framed wine that is très Russian River. This wine is a definite step up from the 2008 vintage bottling. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Siduri Keefer Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 247 cases, $48. · Subdued but alluring perfume of strawberries, red cherries, cream soda and dried rose petals. Delicious and vivid cherry and berry flavors with hints of baking spice and oak. A hi-collared wine with a lovely mouthfeel, comforting finesse, and a bright pop of cherry on the finish. This vineyard continues to impress. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Siduri Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 298 cases, $50. Siduri is entering the second decade of working with this vineyard. A combination of Pisoni selection on 5C rootstock (33% whole cluster, indigenous fermentation), and Pisoni selection on 3309 rootstock (15% whole cluster, inoculated with a Williams Selyem winery yeast isolate). · Enticing aromas of black cherries, deeply colored berries and cola. A lip smacker with oodles of fruit that saturates the palate and persists on the finish with a clinging vengeance. Soft and smoothly textured, this is a kick-ass Pinot that will bring you to your knees. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 george Vintage VII Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 208 cases, $700 a case. Farmed by the Martinelli family. · Effusive aromas of blackberries, plums, mocha and oak spice. Luscious and full-flavored, classy and polished, with a long, generous finish. Elegantly crafted exhibiting finesse over fruit heaviness, with charming flavors of dark stone fruits, ripe berries and plum reduction sauce accented by a hint of peppery spice and game. Each sip leaves you begging for more. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 george Vintage VII Martaella Vineyard and King Family Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 185 cases, $700 a case. Pommard clone. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color. Highly perfumed with an array of fresh berries, fresh and dried rose petals and spice. Flavors of wild berry soup that are crisp, juicy and viscous, coating every nook and cranny in the mouth. Supple tannins enrobe the vibrant fruit which unfurls in waves on the finish. A knockout. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 george Vintage VII Leras Family Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 185 cases, $700 a case. · Muted, but very pleasing scents of exotically spiced berries and black cherries. The flavor profile follows in step with a persistent, grippy finish that is memorable. Flat-out delicious with a fresh and lively texture on the palate. Grand Cru quality. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Et Fille Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 103 cases, $42. Pommard clone. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Demure, but pleasing perfume of red and black berries, with hints of smoky oak and tobacco. A young, but sophisticated wine, with a stunning array of black cherry, red currant, and red plum flavors robed in immature tannins. The pedigree of the fruit is obvious. Still showing some unintegrated oak. A powerhouse that is impenetrable and not ready for prime time. Like a new pair of Christian Louboutin shoes: able to attract plenty of attention. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Byron Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 1,028 cases, $34. From Santa Barbara’s first commercial vineyard, planted in 1964. Clones are 2A, Swan, 667, 828, 114, 115, 777. Small yields and tiny berries from a windy, arid site producing low-vigor. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Highly aromatic with scents of plum reduction sauce, dark roses, lavender and Santa Maria spice. The flavors of dark plums, purple grapes and dark berries are quite distinctive and zesty, with an impressive aromatic lift of black cherries on the finish. A little earthy, a little spicy, with well-proportioned fine-grain tannins and a pleasingly smooth mouth feel. Drank beautifully the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Immensely satisfying. (Note: the 2009 Byron Santa Maria Valley bottling at $25 is quite good as well and was reviewed previously) Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Couloir Monument Tree Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.71, TA .54, 143 cases, $38. 33% whole cluster. Dijon 777, 667 and 115. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · The aromas are striking showing off perfectly ripe black cherries, black raspberries and a hint of pine. Strikes a chord from entry to finish, with a vivid core of cherry and berry fruit that is just plain delicious. The moderate tannins are beautifully proportioned, the mouth feel is delicate and sensual, and the wine is impeccably balanced. This sexy, irresistible wine has the whole package. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Couloir Londer Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.75, 117 cases, $38. 33% whole cluster. · Deeply colored in the glass. Subdued, but pleasing aromas of fresh berries, spice, oak and grilled mushrooms. Noticeably intense and concentrated with a tasty array of red and black fruits underlain with an earthy, savory, sassafras tone. A bit closed, but grows on you over time in the glass. Well-proportioned, softly coating tannins. Very smooth on the palate, ending with an hi-tone mixed berry note. Balance is spot on. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.62, 1,782 cases, $50. Monument Tree (Navarro), Savoy (Philo), and Ferrington (Boonville) vineyards representing different climates. Aged 14 months in 40% French oak barrels. · The nose opens slowly to reveal pleasing aromas of berry tart, baking spice, and toasty oak. On entry, there is a blast of very appealing cherry and raspberry fruit which clings to the lengthy finish. Subtle notes of cinnamon spice, vanilla and oak add interest. Discreet intensity, delicious tasting and noticeably crisp with supple tannins. A beautiful wine. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Twomey Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.57, 1,100 cases, $50. Sourced from blocks 1, 7 and 9, all organically farmed. Aged 15 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Both fruity and savory scents highlighted by aromas of strawberries, raspberries, and fresh cut herbs, with accents of sandalwood and oak vanillin. Strikingly flavorful on the mid palate with generous amounts of layered red fruits flooding the mouth, yet light on its feet with an appealing elegance. Plenty of vim and vigor, smooth as silk, with a lively grip of acidity, and some impressive length on the pleasing finish that makes you want to take another sip. This wine is a love letter from heaven. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Black Kite Kite’s Rest Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.60, VA 0.59, 1,000 cases, $42. The Green family owns the 12-acre Kite’s Rest Vineyard in Anderson Valley’s Deep End, farmed under the direction of noted viticulturist, Paul Ardzrooni. The winemaker is veteran Jeff Gaffner. A blend of the 3 4-acre blocks in the vineyard. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very attractive scents of fresh cherries and red plums with more subtle accents of Spanish spices, dried rose petals and brewed coffee. A real lip-smacker with juicy spiced plum flavor and notes of tea leaves, clove and oak. The mid-palate is rich, round and mature with plenty of vim on the crisp, long finish. A very harmonious wine that will age beautifully and one to savor over a meal with good friends. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Auteur Manchester Ridge Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 182 cases, $50. Clones 115 and 777 co-fermented. Yield about 2 tons per acre. 20% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure, but seductive perfume of fresh black raspberries, black cherries, spice and vanilla wafers. Perfectly composed and seamless with delicious flavors of berries and bright cherries accented by notes of cola, baking spices and mocha, wrapped in silky tannins. Plenty of vim and vigor with impressive persistence on the long finish. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle predicting a long life ahead. I have had several stunning wines from this vineyard. One of my All-Americans for 2011. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Drew McDougall Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 183 cases, pH 3.65,TA 0.64, $47. Released March 2011. A 7-acre vineyard on a rocky outcropping at 935 feet elevation about 2.4 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the true Sonoma Coast. Fifth vintage from this site. Soil is sandy clay over bedrock. Clone 114. 30% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Deeply and intensely perfumed with scents of wild berries, spice and cedar closet. Luscious core of blackberry, boysenberry, and black cherry flavors wrapped in flamboyant tannins. Fruit is perfectly ripe and has an exotic, animale quality. Amazing persistence on the big finish. Great potential. Better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Red Car Heaven & Earth Bohemian Station Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.58, 340 cases, $65. Released April 2011. From the 4.5-acre La Boheme Vineyard located less than one mile from the town of Occidental. Planted in 2004 to Calera, Pommard and Dijon 828. A sheltered cool site. Native fermentation. Aged 15 months in 41% new French oak barrels. · Moderate purple color in the glass. Takes some coaxing to bring out aromas of black raspberries and forest floor. Flavors of earth-kissed black fruits build in intensity over time in the glass. The lightest in weight of the Red Car reserve Pinots, but the most charming fruit profile. A killer the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Still simple and relatively backward, so patience is advised. Open this beauty in three years and you will wish you had bought more of it. Wines like this fuel my passion for Pinot Noir. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release 100% Whole Cluster Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 173 cases, $55. 100% whole cluster protocol is unusual, even in Burgundy. Aged 21 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Remarkably effusive aromas of black cherries, vanilla, musk and spice. Delicious essence of fresh black cherry pie with subtle notes of baking spices, cola, and oak. Almost creamy, with moderate fine-grain tannins. Discreetly rich and fully ripe fruit with a striking note of cherry on the finish. The whole cluster fermentation confers a seductive mouth feel and a charming spice note. Very special. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Kutch Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 264 cases, $48. Clones 667, 777, 114 and Pommard. 100% destemmed, native fermentations, aged 18 months sur lie in 100% neutral French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued aromas of black fruits, forest floor, vanilla and graham. A silky body of earthy, spicy boysenberry and plum brings the mid palate to attention. Impressive persistence of fruit flavors on the generous finish. Beautifully balanced with lively acidity, ripe tannins and moderately rich fruit flavors acting in harmony. The pedigree of the fruit really comes through. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Will definitely benefit from a few years in the cellar, but can be approached now with decanting. A wine to contemplate. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 288 cases, $48. Clone 114 planted in 1998 at 935 feet elevation, two ridges in from the Pacific Ocean. Yield 1.8 tons per acre. 50% whole cluster, native fermentations, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose opens over time in the glass offering a lovely mix of scents of darker raspberries and cherries, spice, underbrush and even violets. A delicious and hearty mixed berry core is enhanced by notes of spice and cured meat. The fruit is largely buried by the imposing, ripe tannins but this should resolve with several years in the bottle. This wine has the most tannin in the Kutch lineup, but also possesses the most seductive fruit. The wine offers an unmistakable sense of terroir. Still fine, but closed, the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Don’t even think about drinking this connoisseur's wine for seven to ten years. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 The Eyrie Vineyards Estate “Original Vines” Reserve Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $60. Released April 2011. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromas of strawberries, raspberries and melon. Perfectly balanced with a charming array of Pinot fruits showing more restraint than the Estate bottling, but offering more long-term potential. The epitome of the Eyrie style with a sexy silkiness, elegance and a touch of terrior-driven dried herbs on the finish. Showing a little oak vanillin now due to its young age. The harmony and breeding predicts a long cellar life ahead. Reviewed June 10, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Black Kite “Stony Terrace Block” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.59, 230 cases, $52. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. The aromas really grab your attention and pick up interest in the glass over time revealing notes of black cherries, raspberry syrup, wood spice, and wooded forest. Tasty core of black cherries, blackberries, sassafras, and faint oak highlights. Soft and creamy on the palate with ripe black cherry flavor persisting forever on the noteworthy finish. A special wine, which despite its hefty alcohol, manages to stay in balance and offers immense pleasure. Should be a respectable short term age worthy candidate. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Brogan Cellars My Father’s Vineyard Shula’s Pond Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $70. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but pleasant aromas of black raspberry tart, dark chocolate and dark red rose petals. Delicious medium-weight flavors of cherry pie filling, cola and mocha. A stunning wine with polished tannins and plenty of pizzazz that tasted even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This vineyard is really coming in to its own. Margi’s favorite from My Father’s Vineyard to date and mine too. She expects this wine to age 10-12 years. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Carr Kessler-Haak Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5%, 172 cases, $50. This vineyard was planted in 2005 and has 26 acres of Pinot Noir. Yields were 1.5 tons per acre. Clones 114, 2A and Pommard. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels. · Demure aromas of black raspberries and dark strawberries with a kiss of spice, forest floor and oak. A symphony of delicious black raspberry, rhubarb and plum flavors that really attract your attention. Tannins are well-proportioned and the mouthfeel is all silk and satin. A tasty, seamless wine that really attracts your attention. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Copain “Les Voisons” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $40. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex aromatic profile featuring scents of dark red berries, black cherries, and warm chocolate croissant. The black raspberry and black cherry fruit has impressive vim and vigor, making a statement on the mid palate and sustaining through the remarkably long finish. An underpinning of dark chocolate and a hint of grapefruit add interest. Easy to be seduced by the perfectly ripe fruit and tender silkiness of this wine. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Gros Ventre Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 151 cases, $44. A combination of Pommard 5 (one-third) and 2A (two-thirds) clones from this steeply sloped vineyard overlooking the Anderson Valley. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Brooding black fruits with a hint of sweet oak on the nose which opens slowly in the glass. Delicious core of perfectly ripe and well-bred black and purple Pinot fruits. A little savory, spicy and earthy. Ideal weight, balance and flavor intensity with a generous finish marked by brisk acidity. A complete wine that shows breeding. Decant if you open a bottle now, but patience will bring further rewards. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Wren Hop Vineyards Siren’s Lure Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 212 cases, $54. · Moderate reddish-purple color and slight haze in the glass. Complex aromatic profile offering bright scents of dark red berries and cherries, dusty road, seasoned oak, spice and cut flowers. Moderately rich core of dark red cherries and raspberries with a hint of mocha, vanillin, spice and savory dried herbs. Interesting, layered and seamless. Holds up beautifully in the glass over an hour’s time. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very impressive debut. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Eric Kent Small Town Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.62, 288 cases, $45. From 65% Freestone Vineyard and 35% Roberts Road Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap. Label photograph from Rofe Horn. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy but very pleasant perfume of dark red berries, black cherries, Asian spice and cola, becoming more expressive in the glass over time. Vigorous with dark red fruit flavor, complimented by notes of sassafras and spice including clove. Possessing plenty of character with svelte tannins and welcoming acidity on the generous finish. Really spectacular two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Best Pinot ever from Eric Kent. Source: mailing list and retail. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Esterlina Cole Ranch Reserve Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., prerelease. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. The aromatic profile is similar to the 2008 vintage of this wine but more reserved. Aromas of spiced black cherries and blackberries. Lovely mid palate array of fruit including black cherries and black raspberries with hints of spice and vanilla. Silky and crisp with restrained tannins and a welcoming acid lift on the fruit-filled finish. I kept coming back to this wine. Still a youngster, but already spectacular. Source: website and wine club. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Waxwing Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 82 cases, $30. Released April 2011. A blend of two Sonoma Coast vineyards: Toboni and Flocchini. Clones are Pommard, 115 and Swan. Aged 14 months in once-used French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely composed array of aromas including black cherries, baking spices and sandalwood. Mouth watering cherry and raspberry fruits accented with the slightest oak spice and vanillin finishing bright and crisp with a mineral note. Elegant with silky fine-grain tannins. This is a very easy drinking, food-friendly wine that I could drink all night long. Best yet from owner and proprietor Scott Sisemore who is shifting his focus from Russian River Valley to Sonoma Coast fruit. Source: website. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Domaines Ott Côtes de Provence Chateau De Selle Rosé

13.5% alc., $21. Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines Oakland, CA. · Cool bottle shape. Very light orange color - more orange than California versions. Aromas of slate, cut flowers and almond paste. Restrained flavors of oranges, apricots, nutmeg, nuts and caramel. A very classy wine that shows less emphasis on fruit than California versions of Rosé. Very smooth and dry on the palate. I really liked this wine and saved it for later drinking. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District ASTRA Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., 98 cases, $35. Released May 1, 2011. Released February 24,, 2011. 60% clone 667 from higher elevation volcanic soils and 40% 115 from lower elevation sedimentary soils. 60% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation, aged in 23% new French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Very shy nose with demure aromas of red stone fruits and spice. A carnival of charming black cherry and black raspberry fruit floods the palate and brings it to attention. This is one of those wines that you taste and then just look at the glass, astonished that such flavor could originate from the liquid in the glass. Clean and polished with an ephemeral presence, ending with a generously fruity finish that leaves a touch of heat in its wake. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 575 cases, $72. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very interesting nose offering scents of fresh berries, underbrush, forest floor, spice, rose petal and brioche. Bright and charming with a tasty essence of Rainer cherry and dark red raspberry with a hint of exotic spice. Every sip reveals another nuance. Medium weighted with soft tannins and bright acidity. An elegant bent for Kanzler in this vintage that is stunning. Built for the long haul. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Kosta Browne Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 439 cases, $72. · Dark and dense reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved but pleasing aromas of black stone fruits with complimentary oak spice and anise. Rich, full, sweet and beautifully composed black plum and blackberry flavors that offer real density and a mouth coating finish of unbelievable persistence. Fruit-driven and primary now, but the gorgeous fruit is impossible to ignore. Similar to the Pisoni in flavor profile but more giving now. I have never tasted anything so sensual from this vineyard. Wowzaa! Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Kosta Browne 4-Barrel California Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 91 cases, $72. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Slow to emerge in the glass but the sophistication is evident. Aromas of berry jam on toast with a pleasing hint of spice and oak. Intense core of big cherries and ripe plums that coat every nook and cranny in the mouth. Polished and round with a soft finish that won’t let go. This wine is relatively closed now but the potential is obvious. Better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The lucky few who get this wine are in store for a treat. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 423 cases, $72. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing and long aromas of black cherries with hints of warm brioche. Delicious and lush on the palate with expressive flavors of big, ripe cherries and the freshest raspberries, growing more vivid in the mouth over time. Complimentary notes of baking spice add interest. Very polished in the mouth with peach-skin tannins and a texture that is soft as the hair on an angel. Pin point balance, regal presence, and just plain great. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Drew Fog-Eater Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 370 cases, $40. From two organically farmed sites: 60% Balo Vineyard and 40% Monument Tree Vineyard. Fog-Eater is a regional Boontling term used by the early settlers of the Anderson Valley. This pejorative term is used to describe a coastal dweller, someone living on the margin. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic with scents of dark stone fruits and berries with hints of spice and floral bouquet picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Medium weighted flavors of plum sauce and dark berry jam with a grip of Asian spice and shaved oak. Perfectly balanced supple tannins and juicy acidity. Ready to drink now and over the short term. I really enjoyed the freshness of this wine. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Arista “Longbow” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.75, TA .53, 493 cases, $48. Released spring 2011. Aged in 41% new, 18% 1-year-old and 41% 2-3-year-old French oak barrels. · Darkly colored. A thoroughly enjoyable wine that is distinct among the Arista lineup for its richness of fruit. Aromas of blackberries and cassis, brown spice, anise and old oak cask. Moderately dense and mouth coating flavors of black plums and blackberries with complimentary underpinnings of savory herbs and oak in the background. A fruit-centric wine that retains finesse and agility and is thoroughly enjoyable for its muscular style. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Arista Mononi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.72, TA .55, 310 cases, $60. Released summer 2011. Located at the intersection of Olivet Lane and River Road, this 10-year-old vineyard was planted to Dijon clones 113 and 115 which perform well at this very cool site. Aged in 38% new, 23% 1-year-old and 38% 2-3-yearold French oak barrels. · Lightly colored in the glass. I couldn’t quit smelling this wine with its gorgeous aromas of black cherry pie filling. Discreetly concentrated and cherry-driven with added flavor nuances of baking spices, savory herbs and oak. Velvety smooth and elegant with welcoming restraint. A complete wine that is beautifully crafted. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Arista Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.75, TA .59, 177 cases, $52. Released summer 2011. This vineyard was planted in 2003 and is owned and farmed by Steve Alden. Located at 2300 feet above the maritime fog line and about 6 miles inland. A narrow diurnal swing means the grapes never fully shut down. Yields are very small. Clones 667 and 777. Aged in 25% new, 25% 1-year-old and 50% 2-3-year-old French oak barrels. · This wine is a perfect example of why there is so much buzz about this relative new appellation for Pinot Noir. Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A plethora of dark red berry fruit dominates the nose with lesser contributions of baking spices and sandalwood. The judiciously intense blue and dark red fruit has a wild, exotic quality that sneaks up on you and demands your interest as nuances appear over time. It reminds of gazing afar at a beautiful woman in a classy dress. Once you get up close, you notice the beading, embroidery and touch of lace. A very distinctive hi-collared Pinot Noir. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Arista Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.56, TA .62, 213 cases, $56. Released summer 2011. Tucked away off of Highway 128 in Boonville, this 25-acre site is planted to multiple clones of Pinot Noir. Originally planted in the late 1960s, additional plantings occurred in 1998 and more recently. This wine is 100% Pommard clone. Aged in 44% new, 22% 1-year-old and 34% 2-3- year-old French oak barrels. · While the Perli Vineyard Pinot Noir seduces you, the Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir overwhelms you. Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely composed aromas of black raspberries and blackberries touched by oak and loam picking up interest over time in the glass. Endowed with rich tasting earthy black plum and blackberry fruit wrapped in supple tannins. The wine grabs hold of the mid palate, surrounds it and refuses to let go, before finally conceding to a Grand Cru ending that is like a three-hour movie you don't want to end. A beautiful representation of this distinguished vineyard. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 106 cases, $60. Aged in 80% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. An enticing and aromatically exotic nose featuring mixed berries and black cherries with a hint of toasty oak. Clearly the most intoxicating perfume in the lineup. Smooth and polished on the palate with ripe flavors of red plums and cranberries with an underpinning of savory herbs and oak. Similar to the Sonoma Coast bottling in its flavor profile, but with more body, flavor, mid-palate impression and nuance. A delicious wine that has the balance to age extremely well. There is really nothing else quite like a Pinot Noir from these old vines in the Summa Vineyard. Reviewed September 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Raye’s Hill Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.82, TA 0.56, 178 cases, $49. Clones 667 (33%) and Pommard (67%). Harvested at 27.5º Brix. Aged 11 months in 50% new and 50% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Aromatically shy initially, but opens nicely over time in the glass to offer scents of black cherry pie, red plums, sandalwood and underbrush. Very polished in the mouth with impressive mid-palate intensity of delicious black cherry, strawberry and raspberry spicy fruit wrapped in fine sweet tannins. A wine of impressive breeding and balance. This clonal mix always seems to delight me. Reviewed September 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Wightman House Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.94, TA0.55, 66 cases, $55. 100% Martini clone. Aged 11 months in 66% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. An enticing and thoroughly seductive wine that offers an hi-tone perfume of dark berry jam, spice, vanilla and the slightest oak. Discreetly concentrated, earth-kissed flavors of blackberry and plum sauce with a hint of tar and oak. The texture is dreamy soft. Finishes dry with impressive persistence. Very little Martini clone is planted in the Anderson Valley so this is a very distinctive wine representing an impressive expression of this clone that will hold the interest of any serious Pinot Noir connoisseur. Reviewed September 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.95% alc., pH 3.57, 352 cases, $55. 40% Dijon 115 and 667 for the first time. 50% River Block and 50% Flax Vineyard West Block clone. Perfect growing season with enough warm days to achieve optimum ripening. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple robe. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir with typical bright aromas of Bing cherries, red raspberries, dark red roses, and exotic spice. Delicious and polished on the palate with a generous endowment of cherries jubilee, ripe strawberry, raspberry and plum flavors wrapped in well-mannered tannins with a cherry cola and spice box finish that lingers, slipping off the back of the palate and leaving an overwhelming impression of luxury. Reviewed October 4, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Small Vines MK Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 150 cases, $65. 10.5 miles from the ocean, this temperate site was planted in 1999 and has been farmed organically since 2006 with added biodynamic practices since 2007. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Appealing aromas of dark berry jam, black plums and oak. Lovely flavors of dark red and black Pinot fruits, building in intensity with time in the glass, and finishing with impressive grand cru persistence of aromatic black cherries. Still young, but the pedigree of the fruit really stands out and it is hard to resist now. More intensely flavored and expressive the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Skewis Ridley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 125 cases, $42. 3 acres of clone 777 at a low elevation adjacent Boonville. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nose-filling aromas of cherries, strawberries, baking spices and sandalwood. Delicious essence of red cherry and red berry fruits, nicely spiced and framed by sturdy tannins. The purity of the fruit really catches your attention, grabs hold, and clings through the finish which seems to last an eternity. A restrained, elegant wine that is smooth and seductive in the mouth. A winegasm. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 DuMOL Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 3,900 cases, $64. Sourced from seven cool vineyards located on the western edge of the Russian River Valley. Clones are Old Beringer, Dijon 114, 115, 667, 777, Calera, Swan and Pommard. Vine age 5 to 24 years. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · This wine was a revelation. Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely, demure aromas of dark red cherries and berries and brioche. Sinfully delicious with intense, sweet flavors of black cherries, spice and Hoison sauce. Polished and classy, seductively silky on the palate, with suede tannins and perfect integration of oak, ending with a juicy finish that lures you back to the glass. Impeccable balance. I gave my wife a taste and she grinned from ear to ear. Everything you could ask for in a Russian River Valley appellation Pinot Noir and worth every penny. Look for this wine on my 2011 All- American list. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Bailiwick Silver Pines Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.63, 50 cases, $44. This vineyard is located at 900 feet elevation overlooking Bennett Valley on the northwestern flank of Sonoma Mountain. Clone 115 planted in 2000 by owners Norm and Carole Silverman. Loamy-clay soil is low in vigor, naturally limiting yields to about 2 tons per acre. Aged 17 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light in color. The nose is redolent of fresh berry jam, spice box and subtle oak that really draws your attention. Sinfully delicious flavors of fresh-picked dark red berries with a complimentary oak (vanilla, coffee) underpinning, leaving an impression on the vibrant and dry, berry-relish toned finish. A charming wine that combines power with finesse. My tasting notes say, “Wow,” and that clearly sums it up. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Castello di Amorosa King Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Nero

14.3% alc., $59. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Slight reduction upon opening, revealing aromas of black cherries, charcoal and oak over time. Lovely black raspberry and black cherry fruit with an earthy, loamy underpinning. A medium-weighted, richly flavored wine with serious intentions that still has some grippy tannins and toasty oak on board. Spectacular the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A superb candidate for the cellar. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Coelho Winery Paciência Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.90, TA 0.51, 525 cases, $40. Clones are Pommard and Dijon 777. Native yeast, aged in 20% new French oak barrels sur lie for 10 months. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Bombastic aromas of black cherries, spice, seasoned oak, brier and rose petal. Stunning black cherry and black raspberry liquor-like flavor. Palate-staining, yet discreetly concentrated and light on its feet, finishing with large scale fruit flavors that last for a minute. Hints of allspice, oak and tar in the background. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An instant festive occasion. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 De Ponte Cellars Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 1,881 cases, $38. From the De Ponte estate vineyard. French oak aged for 12 months in 20% new and 80% 2 to 5 year-old barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Full-on perfume of fresh boysenberries, potpourri, incense, and Moroccan spices. Lip smacking black cherry and boysenberry essence with subtle oak, musk and spice undertones. Everything you want in a Pinot Noir: mouthwatering attack, bright acidity, ripe tannins, a lingering finish and impeccable balance. A stylish and sensual pleasure. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 The Eyrie Vineyards Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $35. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of fresh cherries, herbs and rose petals. Soft and delicate in the mouth with charming red cherry fruit flavor, finishing long and dry with a slight cut of citrus and a riff of herbs accenting the red fruits. A reserved and elegant offering in the classic Pinot Noir mold that is easy to embrace. Very pinotesque. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Briceland Vineyards Elk Prarie Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 125 cases, $27. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of black cherries, blueberries, sandalwood, forest floor and vanillin increasing in appeal over time in the glass. Complex and nuanced, with flavors of raspberries, ripe strawberries, cherries, baking spice, cinnamon, and sassafras. Strikes a chord on the mid palate, elegantly soft in texture, finishing with modest but pleasing intensity. There is plenty going on in this chameleon of a wine which changes constantly in the glass. Outstanding. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Brogan Cellars Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $65. Sourced from Burt Williams’ vineyard. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Fresh aromas of dark cherries and berries with hints of herbs and brioche. A full mouthful of Pinot Noir, featuring flavors of ollaliberry pie, blackberries and mocha. Very smooth and sexy with perfectly balanced t n ‘a. Delicious the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A wowzer. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Husch Nash Mill Vineyard Estate Bottled Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 18 cases, $40. This winery is celebrating 40 years. The vineyard from which the grapes are sourced is located at the cool northern end of the Anderson Valley. Planted in 2003, the vineyard consists of four acres of Pinot Noir and includes clones Pommard 5 and Dijon 667 and 777. Very low yields due to frost in this vintage. · Moderately light in color in the glass. Embracing aromas of black cherries, black raspberries and woodshed picking up intensity over time in the glass. An hi-collared wine with crisp and bright flavors of dark cherries, dark red berries, cola, baking spice and Hoison sauce, wrapped in ripe, grainy tannins, finishing with an amazing persistence rarely seen in California Pinot Noir. Beautiful interplay between fruit and tannin. Class in the glass that will thoroughly please Pinot connoisseurs. Only available at klwine.com. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Saracina Klindt Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $30. A boutique winery founded by John Fetzer and spouse Patty Rock in 2001. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy and demure aromas of black raspberry jam with an exotic tea note. A beautiful wine with plenty of earthy dark fruit presence in the mouth. Notes of spice, brewed tea, and plum sauce add interest. Crisp and clean with a minerality evident on the long aristocratic finish. Impeccably crafted to last in the cellar. Still fine the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 780 cases, $49. Grown and bottled at the estate 2,000 feet above the floor of the Santa Clara Valley. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Muted but attractive nose offering aromas of berry cobbler and pumpkin spice. Really wakes up the mouth with flavors of dark red raspberries and strawberries, black cherries and plum sauce with complimentary oak. Very classy juice with well-mannered tannins, and bright acidity on the remarkably long, mineral-driven finish. A clear statement of terroir. Very young, becoming more interesting and fruity over time in the glass, and simply great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Best to decant if you must drink now. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Davis Family Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 740 cases, $40. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh Bing cherries and a hint of oak spice. The nose really draws you in. Tasty core of darker cherries with nuances of savory herbs, Pepsi-Cola, pomegranate, baking spice and the finest dusting of oak. Moderately intensely flavored with soft, gossamer tannins. A beautiful, seamless wine that is irresistible. Very approachable now, but will age effortlessly. Much better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Davis Family Vineyards Horseshoe Bend Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 225 cases, $42. From a ridgetop vineyard close to the Pacific Ocean on the western flank of the Russian River Valley AVA. A cool site above the Russian River Valley fog line, creating long days of sunlight and a darker, masculine expression of Pinot Noir. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding nose initially, offering dark red berry, black stone fruit, and oak-driven roasted nut and vanillin aromas. Opens slowly over time in the glass becoming glorious with the oak notes moving to the background and fresh, ripe, and spicy dark fruits coming to the foreground. Medium-weighted flavors of plum reduction sauce, black currants, raw beef and a hint of tar and oak. This wine has a unique feral attitude and an unmistakable sense of terroir that grabs your interest. Polished and seamless with soft tannins, this wine will be even more expressive with more time in the bottle. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Davis Family Vineyards Starr Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc, 225 cases, $40. · Medium ruby color in the glass. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir sporting aromas and flavors of Bing cherries, baking spices and cola with a moderate dose of red raspberries and red currants. Still has firm tannins that will soften over time, but the wine is very enticing now. Finishes strong with impressive mouth coating intensity and a refreshing riff of acidity. A classy wine from a mature vineyard that is now coming in to its own. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Anthill Farms Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $44. This 20-year-old vineyard sits at 1,400 to 1,600 feet above Boonville and is farmed by Anthony Filiberti and the Knez family who own the property. Clones are Pommard and Wädenswil. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Deeply aromatic with scents of dark cherries, pipe smoke, spice and seasoned oak. Crisp and bright on the palate with vivid flavors of dark red cherries, raspberries and cranberries with subtle hints of spice and smoke. Pillowy tannins create a very smooth mouth feel. Terrific the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Anthill Farms Comptche Ridge Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $44. This 3-acre vineyard is situated north of Navarro above the town of Comptche and just inland from the northern Mendocino Coast. It is dry-farmed by the Weir family. Planted exclusively to Swan clone, yields are 1 ton per acre. · Medium dark purple-red color in the glass. This wine is very upfront after opening. Deep, dark and mysterious nose offering aromas of blackberries, black plums, underbrush and subtle oak. Impressive fruit intensity on the attack and on the finish which persists for what seems like a minute. Rugged and masculine in character with ripe, firm tannins yet possessed with a modicum of finesse. Displays an earth and mineral laden undertone that speaks to the terroir of this region. Spectacular the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Drew Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $40. Fifth vintage of this wine. This 15-acre vineyard is situated at the southeastern border of Anderson Valley amongst the redwoods. Planted by owner Bill Weir to a California heirloom clone purported to be from DRC, cuttings from Rochioli River Block, Pommard 4 and Wädenswil 2A. I have had some marvelous wines from this vineyard through the years and this vintage is no exception. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex nose that unfolds slowly revealing many nuances including aromas of dark berries and black plums, mushrooms, bramble, spice, and rose petal. Delicious core of fresh plum compote wrapped in firm, but well-honed tannins, attacking the mid palate with conviction, and persisting on the soft finish that shows a riff of citrus and a perfume of plum sauce. Deft balance between richness, acidity and tannin. It is wines like this that make Pinot my paramour. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Freestone Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 4,660 cases, $55. From Pastorale and Quarter Moon Vineyards. Aged 15 months in 55% new and 45% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued nose initially, picking up intensity over time in the glass offering a fresh blend of cherries and berries with a floral element in the background. Very impressive concentration, even sappy on the mid palate, with generous and expressive flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and Hoison sauce, lifted by hi-tone acidity, and caressed by gentle, ripe tannins. An impressive hedonistic style of wine with the right touch of acidity, a creamy mouth feel and admirable balance. Good approachability now but with excellent aging potential. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Freestone Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 390 cases, $75. Two special fermentations of 100% Calera selection fruit: one wine was whole cluster fermented in a small oak open-top tank and punched down by hand, while the other was whole berry fermented with 50% whole clusters added in a stainless steel tank without macerations for the first week, followed by one or two punchdowns per day until the desired texture was achieved. · Darkly colored in the glass. Enchanting aromas of black plums, dark berry jam, and Moroccan spice which come at you in waves over time in the glass. Full-bodied and shapely, with crisp fruit flavors of plum, black cherries and raspberries, framed by vibrant acidity, and wrapped in firm, ripe tannins. Softly textured and easy to like now, but not as expressive as it will be a few years down the line. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with softer tannins and more intense extract. This wine will get noticed. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.84, TA 0.587, 1,280 cases, $40. A blend from the three estate vineyards featuring clones 777, Pommard, 114 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, 16 day fermentation with daily punch downs, tanks drained and skins pressed via a basket press, aged on the lees for 11 months in 31% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Glorious aromas of Bing cherries, black raspberries, spice and complimentary toasty oak make you want to hug the glass. Medium weight flavors of black cherry and cola with a touch of clove offer plenty of intensity, yet the wine remains light on its feet. Nicely balanced with impressive length on the finish. The epitome of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.60, 186 cases, $60. From 8 acres of older block planted over 20 years ago. Four clones on three different exposure and soil sites. 100% de-stemmed, monthly batonage for first six months. Aged 11 months in 37% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued but pleasing aromas and flavors of dark red cherries and berries, nicely spiced and highlighted with subtle toasty oak. Not as extracted as the Russian River Valley blend, but more seductive with subtle layers of flavor slowly revealing themselves over time in the glass. Impressive finishing strength and length. Much better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and still great two days later. Decant if you pull the cork now. A feast. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Antica Terra Estate Grown Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $100, wax closure. Released November 2011. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. An engaging Pinot Noir with gorgeous perfume of wild berries, Christmas spices, mesquite, underbrush and coffee. The allure carries through on the palate with layers of flavorful dark berries, savory additions of leaf and spice, an exotic note of musk, and a complimentary underpinning of smoky oak. Impeccably balanced and very sensual in the mouth. A beautiful food wine. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. If this Pinot were a lover instead of a wine, it’s one that would make you abandon your family, leave your job, and forfeit your hard-won position in the community for just one more fling. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.78, 308 cases, $70. 60% whole cluster fermentation. Sourced from the four oldest blocks of the vineyard. Aged 15 months in 8% new Rousseau oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Glorious nose offering aromas of cherry pie just out of the oven, baking spice, and potpourri. The palate is long and elegant, featuring waves of dark cherries and magic spice with well-mannered dusty tannins and perfectly matched acidity. Spectacular the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A very classy wine that speaks of low yields and old vine fruit. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Whole Cluster Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.72, 124 cases, $90. White Rose Vineyard Block 1, 100% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in 100% neutral French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. This wine really grabs your attention with a festival of ripe and forward aromas and flavors including dark pie cherries and sexy spice. Upon entry, the wine jolts your taste buds to action, offering substantial pleasure while displaying a seductive charm that carries over to the long and silky, cherry-soaked finish. Still mildly reserved, this marvelous juice should improve effortlessly over the next three to five years, and drink well for another five to ten years beyond that. Pick any superlatives you wish: my choice is “libidinous.” Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laura Volkman Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 125 cases, $40. Pommard, 667 and 114 clones. Aged on the lees in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. I had to look up some superlatives for this one. The perfume reminds me of the first crop of fresh berries in the early summer covered in vanilla pastry creme. Silky and elegant on the palate with well-mannered fine grain tannins and intensely flavorful core of black cherries, raspberries, sandalwood, vanillin, herbs and spice brought into focus with a good cut of acidity. The most appropriate superlative I could find was “heavenly.” Reviewed November 30, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 125 cases, $50. Clones 777, 115 and 114. Aged on the lees in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately intense reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved, but seductive aromas of dark plum reduction sauce, blackberries, shaved oak and truffle. More intense than the Rachel Estate, with a plethora of darker fruit flavors including plum, blackberry and cassis that hang around on the palate and keep on giving on the long, long finish. An underlying earthy quality adds interest and supple tannins make for easy drinking. A hunk with charm. Reviewed November 30, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.67, $80. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Fresh and vibrant perfume of purple berry compote, plum reduction sauce and hibiscus tea, offering displaying more intensity over time in the glass. This wine offers flavors of blackberries, Hoison sauce in perfect balance with refined tannins and vital acidity. The purity of the fruit really grabs your attention as it unfolds in layers across the palate. The mouth feel is velvety, the oak is beautifully integrated, and there is very impressive length on the fruit-laden finish and a step up in pleasure from the Southing bottling. Honed to go the distance in the cellar. Reviewed November 30, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 J Vineyards Nicole’s Vineyard Estate Grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.54, 550 cases, $50. A 45.8-acre Estate vineyard located off Eastside Road just south of the winery. Clones include 2A and Dijon 113 and 115. Aged for 12 months in 40% new Burgundian oak barrels, with an additional three months in barrel for select barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of Bing cherries, baking spices and a hint of toasty oak. Very soft and creamy on the mid palate with gossamer tannins. The theme is cherries with an added cola accent. A feminine wine that is easy to cozy up to and deserving of the winery’s “flagship” designation. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 WesMar Balletto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 195 cases, $40. Pommard clone. Eighth vintage from this vineyard. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Beguiling aromas of spiced cherries and berries with an exotic floral and musk element. Veers to the darker fruit side and clearly the most intensely flavored wine in the lineup. Long in the mouth, endowed with plush black cherry and fresh plum flavors, and an underpinning of cola and spice. Very impressive persistence on the flamboyant peacock finish. Even better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and still better two days later. An All-American. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 WesMar Oehlman Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

195 cases, $37. Martini clone. 12 acres of Martini clone planted in 1989 and farmed by Karl and Elaine Oehlman. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh strawberries and cherries with hints of rose petals and oak vanillin. Medium-weighted bright flavors of spiced cherries and raspberries wrapped in supple tannins and focused by good acidity. Very soft in the mouth and seamless. Ready to drink now. A dead ringer for a Burt Williams crafted Russian River Valley Williams Selyem Pinot. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Joseph Jewell Elk Prarie Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.63, 100 cases, $39. The vineyard sits at 1,200 feet on Fruitland Ridge. Yields were 1.75 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10 months in 44% new Francois Frères and Rousseau French oak barrels. · Lightest in color of the 2009 Pinot Noirs. Beguiling aromas of cherry essence with hints of strawberry, rose petal and spice. Delicious core of medium-weighted black cherry and raspberry flavors impressing the mid palate and carrying over with emphasis on the lengthy finish. Mild dusty tannins and well-honed acidity create a beautifully balanced wine that really draws you back to the glass. A perfect marriage of pedigreed vineyard and impeccable winemaking. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 La Follette Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.59, 494 cases, $49.99. This vineyard is located at 2,000 foot elevation overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The vines are rooted in decomposed sandstone. The relatively cool summer allows the fruit a long hang time. Clones 777, 115 and 114. 45% whole cluster. Bottled unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Exotic perfume of purple rose petals, mushrooms, musk, frambiose and subtle oak. Hard to take your nose away from the glass. Delicious medium-weighted core of black raspberry and black cherry fruit clings to all reaches of the mouth, and persists with a vengeance on the aromatic finish. There are complimentary notes of cola and oak-driven mocha that add interest. Very satiny on the palate. I continue to be impressed by wines from this vineyard. Flat out beautiful. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Patz & Hall Chenowith Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 635 cases, $55. This 7-acre vineyard was planted by Charlie Chenoweth on a knoll above his family’s homestead in Green Valley on the site of a former apple orchard. The vineyard was planted exclusively for Patz & Hall to an assortment of Dijon clones. Sixth vintage as a vineyard-designate for Patz & Hall. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A beautifully composed wine with great character. Aromas of black cherries, herbs, spice, oak and jam on biscuit picking up intensity over time in the glass. Dense and earthy, deep and darkly fruited with accents of anise. The wine displays well-mannered tannins and a good spark of acidity on the very long finish. Continues to draw you in over time in the glass and is even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Peay Vineyards Ama Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 650 cases, $46. Inaugural vintage from a section of the Peay Vineyard planted to a suitcase clone and Dijon clone 828. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of black raspberries, black cherries and potpourri with a hint of oak cask. Very charming on the palate with dancing flavors of dark red and black berries and cherries with a complimentary hint of spice and cola. Maybe some pheromones are lurking as well. A bit daunting, brooding and linear now and sporting plenty of ripe tannins, but this wine has sensational upside potential. More expressive and interesting the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Anam Cara Cellars Estate Reserve Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 240 cases, $42. From special sections and rows of the vineyard with Reserve potential and a best barrel selection. Yields 1.5 tons per acre. Clones are Pommard, 114, 115 and 777. Aged in 24% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved but welcoming aromas of black cherries and darker red berries. Striking medium-bodied black cherry core which impresses the mid palate and lingers for half a minute on the finish. Smooth as a baby’s bottom with reserved tannins. Very classy and always the best wine in the Anam Cara stable. More reserved and elegant than the 2008 version of this wine, but more Pinot character. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Cornerstone Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 400 cases, $50. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherries and spice. Delicious medium weighted flavors of blueberries, black cherries and black raspberries with an emphasis on cherry. Riffs of cola and spice add interest. Juicy with restrained, dusty tannins, well-honed acidity and the slightest complimentary oak in the background. The flavors are ahead of the aromas at this stage. A beautiful wine that shows impeccable balance for the cellar but can be thoroughly enjoyed now. An All-American for 2012. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 J. Christopher Dundee Hills Cuvée Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 450 cases, $35. A barrel selection from several vineyards including Bella Vida, Baptista, Maresh, Charlie’s, Abbey Ridge and Le Pavillon. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy initially, but opens beautifully over time in the glass revealing aromas of dark red and purple fruits with wood spice and subtle oak vanillin. Earthy and charming, with a medium weight core of darker Bing cherry and raspberry flavors perfectly accented by oak notes of spice and anise, and displaying a fancy thrust of pure fruit on the finish. Light on its feet and very accommodating. A step up over the Willamette Valley bottling. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Bergström Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $46. · Moderately intense reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex perfume exhibiting scents of purple fruits, spice, cigar box and toast. A medium weighted, tasty wine that offers layers of flavors including fresh plums, blackberries and Hoison sauce. The wine flows smoothly over the palate and lingers on the finish for what seems like 60 seconds. Hearty tannins are now evident, but they are well balanced by the fruit and acidity. Shea Vineyard performed beautifully in this vintage and Bergström has spotlighted this iconic fruit source beautifully. This wine will have many fans. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Soter Mineral Springs Ranch Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $45. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. A chameleon in the glass, constantly changing. Various aromas are evident, including ripe plum, blackberry jam, spice, rose petals, and kid glove. Discreetly extracted flavors of black raspberries, black cherries and a hint of strawberries all wrapped in firm, ripe tannins. Silky with pleasing finesse, offering a big lip-smacking finish. Still great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 DuMOL Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 649 cases, $80. The estate vineyard is located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. Close planted Calera and Swan selections. Third vintage from this vineyard. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very aromatic initially, offering scents of ripe cherries, strawberries, rose petals, spice and the slightest oak. Richly flavored but possessing a charming, ephemeral quality. Tasty core of dark red berries, black cherries, baking spice and a hint of white chocolate robed in mild-mannered tannins. Cranberry and pomegranate show up on the finish that offers bright acidity. Still solid the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Will benefit from a few years in the cellar for full expression. Impressive. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 DuMOL ryan Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 776 cases, $80. Sourced from the Dutton-Widdoes and Abbott vineyards located on the western edge of the Russian River Valley. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very ripe fruit profile emerges over time in the glass featuring dark red berries and cherries along with a forest floor tone. A fat, silken, sweet core of vivid dark red fruit makes an impression on the mid palate and persists on the fresh, crisp finish that displays a cut of citrus. Beautifully balanced with soft, sleek tannins. The wine pushes the ripeness envelope but never crosses over. Fabulous the next day with remarkable intensity of flavor from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 DuMOL finn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 392 cases, $80. A multi-clonal blend from three vineyards at the western edge of the Russian River Valley. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Patience is required with this wine which slowly evolves in the glass over time, ultimately yielding frambiose aroma and flavor with discreet intensity, wrapped in a complimentary supporting tannic structure. The mouth feel is strikingly smooth and comforting and the overall impression is one of style and finesse. Decant if you pop a cork now. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Foursight Wines Charles Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.63, 405 cases, $46. Released fall 2011. Clones 777, 114, 115 and Pommard 5. 30% whole cluster. Wild fermentations. Aged in 15% new, 57% 2-year-old, 14% 3-year-old, and 14% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Intensely fruity on the nose featuring aromas of dark red berries and black cherries with the slightest spice, leather and oak. Picks up interest over time in the glass. Fills the mouth with broad flavors of red and black stone and berry fruits with complimentary oak-driven notes of toffee and cola in the background. Modest tannins with inviting crispness and a good cut of acidity on the finish. Flat-out great later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. I like this wine for its presence without pronounced weight. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Foursight Wines Charles Vineyard “Clone 05” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.61, 69 cases, $49. Released fall 2011. Aged in 50% new, 25% 2-year-old, and 25% neutral French oak barrels. 100% Pommard clone. 30% whole cluster, wild fermentations. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Earthy, savory, and succulent dark fruits on the nose and palate with a complimentary hint of spice, and a lingering subtle note of refreshing citrus on the very long finish. Quite distinct from the Charles Vineyard blend bottling in that it is richer, slightly denser, more assertive on the mid palate, and is structurally more firm, yet the tannins are perfectly proportioned. A beguiling expression of Pommard clone that really shines the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Navarro Méthode A L’Ancienne Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.67, 4,910 cases, $29. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure, but pleasing aromas of black raspberries and boysenberries with a hint of brier and oak. Fresh and uplifting on the palate with a darker berry and black cherry flavor profile. Medium-weighted with well-behaved tannins and bright acidity. Admirable balance predicts longevity. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Hirsch Vineyards “San Andreas Fault” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.63, $60. Hirsch Vineyards’ signature Pinot Noir representing the entirety of the vineyard. The fruit is sourced from 21 distinct farming blocks within Hirsch Vineyards. The 2009 vintage was remarkable for its coolness and evenness of weather throughout the growing season. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose evolves slowly in the glass, revealing enticing aromas of berry pie, spice and musk. Delicious essence of black plums and black raspberries with a wild, untamed quality. Relatively delicate on the palate, yet the fruit really pops and coats the mouth for at least a minute on the finish. Seamless, with undeniable charm. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Hirsch Vineyards “East Ridge” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.66, 160 cases, $85. A limited bottling from three of the oldest blocks on the East Ridge of the Hirsch Vineyard comprised of 18 acres and 16 farming blocks. Dominated by Pommard and Mt. Eden clones, this bottling is a selection of the very best barrels from these old blocks. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherries and spice. Impressive rush of earth bound black cherry and dark berry fruit on the mid palate, persisting on the long and expressive finish. The mild, sinewy tannins add support and well-honed acidity adds vibrancy. Plenty of character in this wine and in my opinion, the best expression of Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir among the wines tasted here. I had some wine left over after tasting the following day, my wife took the wine as a gift to her hairdresser who loves Pinot Noir, but mistakenly left it in the trunk where it stayed for three days. When I retrieved it, five days after opening, it was still fabulous! Built for the long haul and an exceptional Sonoma Coast treasure. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Maysara Estate Cuvée McMinnville Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 919 cases, $32, screw cap. Clones 113, 114, 667, 777 and Pommard. Aged 12 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very appealing aromas evolve with conviction on the nose which shows a perfume of dark red cherries and berries, dried herbs and complimentary oak. Mid weight flavors of perfectly ripe Bing cherries and raspberries wrapped in ripe fruit tannins with some persistence on the juicy finish. A refined and rounded wine that is very enjoyable. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.73, 2,231 cases, $40. Fruit from Rochioli (Pommard). Allen (777), Starr Ridge (115 and 777), Floodgate (Martini and Dijon clones), and Hallberg (Cruz clone and 828). 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in 40% new (Francois Frères and Rousseau) and 60% one and two year old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherries, cola and baking spice rise out of the glass, persisting over time. Moderately concentrated flavors of cherries wrapped in supple tannins and framed by bright acidity. Fat in the mouth with a richness only Russian River Valley Pinot Noir can deliver. I love this wine for its pure exuberance. Like cherry pie day at cooking school: cherries, baking spice and very interesting results. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.705, 159 cases, $55. Floodgate is located in the heart of the Middle Reach. Rock Hill (Block 16) was planted in 2000 on one of the rockiest knolls on the property resulting in low vigor). Dijon 777. 100% de-stemmed. Wild and cultured yeast fermentation following a 5-day cold soak. Aged 13 months in 45% new (Francois Frères and Rousseau) and 55% one and two year old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of underbrush, dark red cherries and berries and dark red rose petals. Think wild cherries sprinkled with herbs and flowers. Discreetly concentrated core of dark cherry and cranberry flavors strike an impression on the mid palate and linger with a pleasing citrus-flavored berry finish. Great cut and vibrancy. Not as luscious as the Russian River Selection, but more nuanced, offering a different experience with each sip. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Edgewater Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.71, 240 cases, $65. Only Williams Selyem and Alysian receive allocations from this vineyard. Clones 115, 777 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed. Wild and cultured fermentation lasting 11 days with manual punch downs daily. Aged 13 months in 45% new (Francois Frères and Rousseau) and 55% one and two year old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Riper, darker fruited aromatic profile consisting of a complex melange of deep red and purple stone fruits with a hint of potpourri. Mouth filling presence with well-proportioned tannins and acidity keep the wine in line. Reasonably assertive but light on its feet. Impressive persistence on the finish highlighted by citrus-flavored cranberries. Unlimited long-term potential. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Olson Ogden Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.57, 148 cases, $55. This vineyard is located in the Mendocino Ridge AVA 2000 feet above the Anderson Valley. Clones 114, 115 and 777. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of red cherries and berries with a hint of balsam and herb garden. Flavors of luscious pie cherries accented by notes of exotic tea, cola, cassis sandalwood and spice. Layers of interest with seductively soft tannins and incredible length on the exit. An interesting contrast to the Alder Springs bottling with this wine being less structured, but more fruity and flirty. Take your pick. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.63, 253 cases, $60. Released March 20, 2012. A selection from the finest blocks in the vineyard and the best barrels in the cellar. Clones 667, 115 and 777. 10% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Ripe dark berry and plum aromas explode from the glass accented by the slightest note of herbs and spice. An “Oh my God!” nose. Delicious essence of fresh black raspberries, black currants and dark plums, accented with Middle Eastern spices and cola. Amazing mid palate presence, soft tannins, and a finish that would make Hollywood proud. Crafted for early accessibility and not a long term ager. You will need a cold shower after drinking this one. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Toretti’s Family Vineyard Inocencio Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $44. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry compote, freshly macerated strawberries and sandalwood rise up from the glass. A strawberry and cherry wonderland on the palate with a sidecar of spice and malt. A little more body and structure than the Santa Maria Valley bottling, this wine is an immensely satisfying one that caresses the taste buds with generous flavor without being overstuffed. Dude, this wine is great. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Anne Amie Vineyards Prismé Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir Blanc

14.1% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.59, 404 cases, $45, screw cap. Released May 2012. Sourced from Anne Amie Estate and Rainbow Ridge vineyards. Pommard and Dijon 115 clones. Aged 18 months in 25% new, 25% 1- year-old, and 50% neutral French oak barrels. Free run juice with no skin contact, entirely barrel fermented, lees stirred, and aged on the lees in oak barrels for 18 months. · Pale yellow color in the glass. Very aromatic with vivid scents of crème brulée, golden apples, buttered brioche, honeysuckle and baked pear. Substantial and delicious with full-bodied flavors of pear, white peach, golden apple, citrus, nutmeg and brown butter persisting on the generous and lengthy finish. Reminds one of Chardonnay but different. Creamy mouth feel with good underlying acidity. A remarkable wine that confirms the saying that Pinot Noir is a white wine masquerading as a red wine. Very special and quite unique. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Carabella Estate Inchinnan Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

15.7% alc., 90 cases, $54. A select blend of 2 barrels of Wädenswil clone, 1 barrel of Dijon 115 clone and 1 barrel of Pommard clone. The name comes from the vineyard site, formerly part of the historic Inchinnan Farm, a hazelnut orchard still owned by the McDonald family. A select blend from the Carabella Estate Vineyard. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. More earthy and savory than the regular Estate bottling and more reticent to reveal its charms. The nose is well nuanced with aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, mushrooms, spice and graham. Dusty black cherry flavors are complimented by savory herbs. Well-proportioned tannins and acidity, and a touch more refined and sophisticated than the regular Estate bottling. Not at all ponderous. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $44. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Rich aromas of red berry jam and cherry leather which are long and persistent. Delicious array of perfectly ripe fruits including black cherries, black raspberries and plum with well-proportioned tannins. A touch of spice rounds out the appealing flavor profile. Darkest in color and the most endowed wine in this vintage lineup for Cristom, this is a beautifully composed and balanced wine. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $59. Planted on its own roots and the only vineyard resurrected rather than replanted when Gerrie obtained the property in 1992. 8-acres, 3 clones. Phylloxera has taken its toll so production is limited. 16th vintage. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is well-fruited, showing aromas of red cherries, strawberries and spice. An elegant, feminine wine that is flat-out delicious. Middleweight flavors of dark red cherries and red berries, accented by the slightest oak and spice, and robed in firm but silky tannins. Very soft like the hair of an angel. In short, a party of velvet-edged red fruits. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Gresser Vineyard Vineyard Select Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 246 cases, $24. UCD 29, Dijon 113 and 115 clones. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with the aroma of fresh dark red pie cherries. Delicious medium-weight dark red berry and black cherry flavors caressed by ripe tannins. Elegant with a very soft mouth feel and aromatic persistence on the long and flamboyant finish. An exceptional wine at this price point. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 125 cases, $50. Clones 777, 115 and 114. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Brightly perfumed with aromas of black cherries, strawberries, spice and herbs. Delicious core of perfectly ripe black cherries with a hint of spice, truffle and sandalwood in the background. A magical wine that is soft on the palate, exhibiting impeccable balance, and finishing with a cherry-driven flourish that is dry, persistent and extremely satisfying. Drinking perfectly now. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Penner-Ash Dussin Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $50. From a vineyard adjacent the winery in the Yamhill- Carlton District. Volcanic and sedimentary soils. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued, but pleasant aromas of dark red and black berries with complimentary notes of forest and timber. Mid weight flavors of black cherries supported by moderate fine-grain tannins and perfectly matched acidity. A highly enjoyable and sophisticated offering that is potentially better and more age worthy than the Willamette Valley bottling. Like all great wines, it takes on more interest and intensity with time in the glass. A seamless, serious wine of endless charm. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 ROCO Private Stash No. 7 Wits End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 250 cases, $70. · Medium reddishpurple color in the glass. Deeply aromatic, filling the glass with scents of deep black cherries, plum, raisin and cut flowers. Hits the mid palate running and keeps on going. Striking fruit intensity and purity, exhibiting flavors of black raspberries, black cherries and black currants that linger on the generous finish. The flavor profile veers to the ripe (dark) side, but never enters overripe territory. Still sporting substantial tannins and will benefit from a few years in the cellar. Always a distinguished wine and this vintage is no exception. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Scott Paul La Paulée Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $32, screw cap. Finest lots of the vintage from the winery’s blocks of Maresh Vineyard. Indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light deep red color in the glass. Lovely perfume of dark cherries, herbs and mocha java. Plenty of body and weight with multiple layers of fruit that really jump out. Rich flavors of fresh dark cherries, raspberry coulis, mocha and sandalwood with gossamer tannins, bright acidity and easy drinkability. Could use a little more time in the cellar to shed its oak sheen but very hard to resist now. Pick any superlative you want. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Tyee Wine Cellars Estate Barrel Select Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $34.99. · Moderately light reddishpurple robe. Reserved but enticing aromas of a bowl of crushed dark red cherries, plums and berries. A very polished wine with grace and elegance, yet offering a substantial rush of sinfully delicious and perfectly ripe dark red cherries and berries that persist on the crisp and juicy finish. Combines power with finesse. Youthful, and will benefit from more time in the cellar. Not the blockbuster that the 2008 vintage was, but very representative of the vintage. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Westrey Abbey Ridge Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 219 cases, $33. Aged in 22% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red and black berries with spice, floral and forest floor notes. Moderately intense mid palate presence showing power without weight with many subtle flavor nuances. Beautifully balanced with perfectly ripe and well-spiced berries returning to haunt the extraordinarily long finish. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Westrey Justice Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 321 cases, $26. From a vineyard adjacent Bethel Heights Vineyard. Dijon 667 and 777 clones. 27% whole cluster. Aged in about 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Enchanting perfume of fresh dark raspberry glaze with a lovely rose petal garnish. Vivid, discreetly concentrated core of an array of spicy berry fruits supported by ripe, well-integrated tannins, finishing with a long and graceful finish. More body and spice than Victoria’s Secret runway. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Evesham Wood Cuvée “J” Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $44. Made from organic grapes, Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth. Non-irrigated vineyards. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddishpurple color in the glass. Plenty of Pinot singing on the nose with vivid aromas of black cherries, raspberries and a hint of herbs and spring bouquet. A cherry bombast with the slightest hint of herbs and oak in the background that supports rather than detracts. Impressive mid palate intensity with well-balanced t n’ a. A classy wine that is seamless and seductive. Still fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Privé Vineyard le nord Yamhill County Estate Grown Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $55. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy upon opening, slowly revealing aromas of dark red stone fruits and berries with a hint of oak. Rich, sumptuous and polished on the mid palate, offering flavors of dark red fruits including Bing cherries and ripe raspberries. An underpinning of savory herbs and oak adds interest. Very soft tannins with a velvety mouth feel, ending with a powerfully aromatic finish that goes on and on. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Arista Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.3% alc, $52. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely arrayed aromas of black cherries, shaved oak and vanillin. Moderately intense and flavorful dark red and purple fruits supported by mild tannins, layered with spice and soil-driven notes, finishing with unbelievable length and intensity. A seamless wine in perfect balance that has eye-opening mid palate pop, extraordinary mouth coating staying power, and memorable finishing strength. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 B. Kosuge Wines Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino (Mendocino Ridge) Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 165 cases. $40. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of fresh berries sprinkled with herbs, spice and flowers. Delicious core of darker red cherries, berries and plums with an attractive savory, wildly exotic tone. Very soft in the mouth with firm, but complimentary tannins, and a long dry finish. This is a wine that aims to please. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Drew The Gatekeepers Blend Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.67, 450 cases, $28. Released February 2011. Sourced from Manchester Ridge and Perli vineyards. Clones 777, 667, 114 and 115.100% de-stemmed. Aged 11 months in 100% neutral French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A nose you could chew on, with luscious aromas of dark red cherries and berries and spice, underlain with a floral and sandalwood note. Equally satisfying in the mouth, with a flavorful array of perfectly ripe cherry and dark raspberry flavors complimented by the finest dusting of flowers and oak. Can’t say enough good things about this wellcrafted, seamless wine. I could easily drink it all night long. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Drew Perli Vineyard Murder Ridge Block Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.67, 99 cases, $40. Released November 2011. 50% 777 and 50% 667. Aged 11 months in 100% seasoned oak. 100% de-stemmed. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Beguiling aromas of cherries, raspberry coulis, and chocolate malt. Delicious core of moderately rich cherry, berry and plum flavors with a forest bent. I swear I can taste the nearby redwoods in this wine. Very smoothly textured like the most perfect thighs, with supple tannins and a gentle, sexy finish. A languorous and slinky wine that is a clear standout in this lineup of Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noirs. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Lattanzio Wines Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $35. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued aromas of pleasing dark cherries, dry leaf and oak. Creamy and fullflavored on the palate with a delicious core of perfectly ripened black cherries framed by the slightest hint of oak. Nicely balanced with lively acidity and ripe tannins, finishing with aromatic persistence. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Olson Ogden Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.57, 148 cases, $55. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of red cherries and berries with a touch of savory herbs. Full-flavored essence of fresh red cherries with notes of tea leaf, cola, sandalwood and spice. Very soft tannins and generous persistence of cherry fruit flavors on the long finish. Very fruity and flirty. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 365 cases, $110. A special bottling from 200 acres of estate vineyards which offer 49 combinations of clone and rootstock. The best 14 barrels in the cellar out of 1,500. Less than 1% of estate fruit makes it into this bottling. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued nose, opening slowly to reveal lovely aromas of fresh, ripe dark berries and oak. Very pretty fruit core, offering delicious layers of red and black berry fruit accented by complimentary oak. Smoothly textured with well-proportioned tannins and acidity and offering seemingly endless pleasure on the extraordinary finish. Still highly aromatic and flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age ability. A thoroughbred in the Goldeneye stable. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Knez Winery Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $36. Some whole cluster. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A stunning wine with enticing aromas of fresh cherry pie, nutmeg spice, herbs and petrichor. The juicy palate sings the same tune with interesting herbal, spice, mineral and earth nuances, persisting on the generous finish. Underlain with fine, fuzzy tannins and well-honed acidity. A complete wine. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Londer Vineyards Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $45. · Medium dark red color in the glass. Very vibrant nose, offering hi-tone aromas of earth-kissed, fresh dark red berries with hints of oak and spice. A stellar wine that satisfies with plentiful dark red cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors accented by savory herbs, and framed by firm, but well-proportioned tannins. Soft in the mouth with impressive length on the red-fruited finish. Everything comes together in this wine: pedigreed fruit, impeccable winemaking, and easy approachability. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 275 cases, $49. Clones 2A, 115 and 777. Aged 11 months sur lies in 40% new French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Oak-driven aromas initially give way over time in the glass to lovely, crushed black cherry fruit scent. Vibrant fruitiness, offering mouthwatering flavors of fresh black cherries and black raspberries lingering on a very long and generous finish. Balanced tannins, a bright cut of acidity, a soft mouth feel, and the slightest dusting of oak in the background. The pedigree of the fruit from this iconic vineyard shows through. Very enjoyable now but has the goods to age well into ten years. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Zina Hyde Cunningham Reserve Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 100 cases, $60. Aged in 75% new and 25% used French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved aromas of dark cherries and plums with a hint of spice. The ripeness of fruit is right on in this offering, revealing flavors of dark stone fruits and dark red berries, rhubarb, clove, cola, spice and graham. More bones than the regular bottling with considerably more length on the finish, and displaying a very inviting, soft, velvety mouth feel. Beautifully balanced. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 BIGVINE Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 2,300 cases, $14. 85% Arroyo Grande, 15% Sta. Rita Hills. Aged 12 months in 25% new French oak barrels with regular lees stirring. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The interesting and complex nose really draws you in. Aromas of strawberries, cherries, sandalwood, sawdust and Indian spice. Delicious middleweight core of fresh dark cherries and red raspberries, caressed by supple tannins, offering good acidity, and finishing with memorable aromatic persistence. A beautifully balanced wine that is very easy to cozy up to, and quite impressive for a first release. Unbelievable value. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 780 cases, $45. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very nice array of aromas including dark grapes, black cherries and cardamom spice. Absolutely delicious, mid weight flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a long, long, long finish. Wow! Beautifully balanced with fine-grain tannins, moderate extraction and bright, juicy acidity on the finish. This is a wine you can bank every vintage. Known to be very age worthy. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Donum Estate Grown West Slope Carneros Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.64, 250 cases, $85. From a west-sloping block in the 5.5-acre site at Donum Ranch. Roederer selection. A barrel selection from this single block as a stand-alone wine. 100% de-stemmed, 6-day cold soak, inoculated with RC212, four punch downs per day, extended maceration (total maceration time was three weeks. Aged 16 months in 70% new French oak barrels. Best barrels selected and blended in the summer of 2009. Aged in 70% new French oak (Francois Frerès, Billon and Ermitage). · Dark reddish-purple robe. Intriguing aromas of dark cherries and berries, compost, soil, hops and rose petals. Wow! Hits the mid palate with strikingly plush, spicy dark red and black fruits buffered with ideal oak integration and perfectly balanced tannins and acidity. Ridiculously long and memorable finish. Offers something different with each sip. Like Drew Barrymore - very successful at a young age (much more approachable than previous vintage). Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An amazing wine that is California Pinot at its best and flat out one of the finest Pinots (along with the Donum Thomas) I have reviewed so far this year. Wine Spectator trumpets “94,” I say, “98.” Did I say long finish? Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Donum Estate Grown Thomas Carneros Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.34, TA 0.75, 101 cases, $100. Named for Thomas Ferguson, the owner of Ferguson Block, a 1974 planting of Martini selection Pinot Noir. Honors Thomas Ferguson’s 100th birthday. Winegrower Anne Moller-Racke has worked with this vineyard for 28 years, and the Thomas block has always stood out. Every year in blind tastings, it is see as been the best from this vineyard, a true evidence of terroir. 100% de-stemmed, native primary fermentation. Aged 16 months in 1-year-old French Billon oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of black cherries ripe strawberries, berry reduction sauce and spice. Soft, plush and supple in the mouth, with flavors of perfectly ripe black raspberries, black cherries and black tea that really wake up the mouth. The wine offers pliant tannins and a good cut of acidity on a finish that is eyeopening. The silky texture is outrageous. More approachable than previous vintages. Impeccable balance. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Hard to choose between this wine and the West Slope. You will need a cold shower after drinking this one. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Stemmler Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.62, 784 cases, $42. A limited release from fruit grown on The Donum Estate. A blend of six blocks planted to predominantly heritage selections and comprises Dijon, Martini, Roederer, Calera, Hanzell and Swan. 100% destemmed, hot fermentations lasting 5 to 9 days for maximum extraction. Extended maceration for 2 to 6 days. Each block made and aged separately until the final blend is assembled in the spring and then returned to barrel for 10 months. The blend represents every part of The Donum Estate. Total aging 18 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Fragrant with purple stone fruits, black grapes, tea leaves, spice and vanilla. Silky and beautifully balanced, with appealing flavors of blackberries, Hoison, and black currants with oak, tea and mushroom notes in the background. Moderately rich and earthy with well-proportioned tannins. Quintessential Carneros. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Stemmler Ferguson Block Carneros Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.63, 67 cases, $44. To be released soon. Ferguson Block sits less than a mile east of The Donum Estate. It is the oldest vineyard in The Donum Estate, planted in 1974 with an old Martini selection of Pinot Noir on St. George rootstock in gravelly, loamy clay soils. Aged 18 months in once-used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Evocative nose offering savory and fruity aromas including black cherries, baking spice and herbs. Really wows in the mouth with flat-out delicious core of earthy black cherries accented with complimentary vanillin oak. Satiny in texture with a generous finish that makes you want to take another sip. Nothing like old vine sophistication. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Origins Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.73, 240 cases, $55. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Dreamy aromatics with intense and vivid aromas of fresh Bing cherries, raspberries, spice and vanilla. Flavorful, but juicy and easy to drink, offering tastes of red cherries, herbs, sandalwood and graham, picking up intensity over time in the glass. Very elegantly crafted with soft, dry tannins, lively acidity and generous length. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.40,TA 0.71, 159 cases, $55. From an estate property in a sub appellation of the Russian River Valley known as the Middle Reach. Rock Hill is a tiny block planted on one of the rockiest knolls on the property. Dijon clone 777. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is a fruit wonderland. Intense fragrance of spiced Bing cherries, raspberries and plums. Richly flavored but light on its feet, with alluring flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, herbs and spice. So good you want to bite into it. Refreshing acid spine, gossamer tannins and a memorable finish of uncommon length. Crazy good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.72, 196 cases, $55. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Inviting array of aromas including dark cherries, dark red berries, pepper and baking spice. Mid weight flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a citrus-imbued cherry finish of noticeable length. More body and structure than the Floodgate bottlings. Perfectly composed with well-proportioned tannins. Again, showing the elegance that is always evident in a Gary Farrell Pinot. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Edgewater Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.71, 240 cases, $65. Clones 115, 777 and Pommard. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of dark red pie berries and spice. Delicious Pinot extract, featuring perfectly ripe flavors of dark cherries, raspberries and strawberries accented with spice cake. Intense mid palate presence and amazing finishing length and intensity. Gorgeous without being overwrought. Perfect balance with supple tannins and juicy acidity. You want to chew on this one. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Allen-Rochioli Blocks Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.68, 122 cases, $65. · Brooding aromas of black cherries and black raspberries with a hint of spice. Intense mid palate attack of delicious black cherry and black plum fruit accented with cola and spice. The most linear and undeveloped of the 2009 Alysian wines, but clearly the one with the most long term potential for greatness. Develops more intensity and interest over time in the glass and was much better two days later from a previously opened and recorked bottle. A pretense to seduction. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Donum Estate Grown Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.46, TA0.67,80 cases, $85. An inaugural release from an 11-acre vineyard that was planned and planted by Anne Moeller-Racke in the mid 1990s. 100% Dijon clone 667. 100% de-stemmed, total maceration time 3 weeks. Aged 16 months in 67% new French oak barrels. Best barrels selected and blended in the summer of 2009. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. My God! An unbelievably spirited nose of vibrant black cherries. Moderately rich in weight but deeply packed with deep, dark cherry flavor. The fruit is perfectly ripe and accented with the Russian River trademarks of spice and cola. Seamless with tannins that match up to the opulent fruit. This wine has it all and the wine to show someone when searching for an example of a great Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 J Vineyards & Winery Barrel 16 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.59, 535 cases, $75. Released January 2012. A selection of 16 barrels from diverse Russian River Valley vineyards. 100% de-stemmed, open-top fermenters, aged 14 months in 35% new French oak barrels, blended, and returned to barrel for 3 months. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of Bing cherries, sandalwood and oak spice. An hi-collared wine with generous flavors of black cherries, dark red strawberries, cola, graham and clove spice. Aims to please with welcoming elegance, reserved tannins and an aromatic finish steeped in spiced cherry compote. J’s top Pinot delivers. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 La Rochelle Dutton Ranch Campbell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 142 cases, $48. Pommard clone. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of dark cherries, sage, spice and potpourri really draw you into the glass. Delicious (written twice in my notes) cherry bombast with subtle accents of edible roses, spice and mocha. Discreetly concentrated mouthful of Pinot with supple tannins and an incredible finish featuring extravagant ripe cherry fruit. In three words, flat out great. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Canihan Exuberance Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.70, 500 cases, $50. From a dry-farmed, organic. 3.75-acre estate vineyard bordering Los Carneros, planted to Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777 in 1998. Certified organic by CCOF. Yields are less than 2 tons per acre. Aged 22 months in 100% French oak barrels. Gold Medal San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Pinot Noir Shootout. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very spicy nose offering enticing aromas of black raspberries, strawberries, deep red rose petals and sweet pipe smoke. I can’t take my nose out of the glass. An aristocratic wine with mouthwatering flavors of dark berries, exotic spice, earthy notes of mushroom and flavor-enhancing savory herbs in the background. Soft in the mouth, with well proportioned ripe, firm tannins. Has a typical Carneros Pinot Noir personality. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Dunstan Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.63, 231 cases, $50. Second vintage from Ranch House Block at Durell Vineyard. A blend of 115, 667, 828 clones and Calera and Swan selections. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Placed second out of 460 Pinot Noirs tasted at the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit in 2012. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Evocative nose offering aromas of spiced black cherries, black cap raspberries, sassafras and oak, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Offers moderately dense and very ripe flavors of dark cherries and berries with notes of tea and vanilla. Soft in the mouth, almost creamy, with silky tannins and amazing length on the generous finish. Simply delicious. Top notch. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Wildcat Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 325 cases, $49. Clones are Pommard, 115, 667 and 777. Aged 11 months sur lies in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddishpurple color and slightly hazy in the glass. The nose offers plenty of interest, with deep aromas of wild blackberries, rose petals, mocha java and Asian 5-spice. Black cherry and dark berry core well robed in oak with an underpinning of earth, herbs and dark chocolate. Appealingly wild and feral with substantial length on the finish. Could use more time in bottle to fully integrate the oak, but damn good right now. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Waits-Mast Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 48 cases, $44. Released September 2011. A vineyard that consistently produces distinctive and stunning wines. Located just outside the town of Comptche, about 8.5 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard is owned by the Shandel family, 5th generation owners of the property. The site is very cool and harvest is typically later than in other regions. 100% whole berry, native yeast, aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of wooded forest, wild berries and fresh cherries. Delicious essence of red Pinot fruits with a savory, spicy, herbal edge. Amazing fruit intensity on a rather delicate frame. Very soft in the mouth. A lighter, redder interpretation of Pinot from this vineyard in this vintage. Hint: If you see “Oppenlander Vineyard” on a Pinot wine label, buy it. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 260 cases, $70. This 3-acre vineyard is located near Occidental on a south-facing slope a few miles inland from Coastlands Vineyard. Dijon clones 115 and 777 are planted in Goldridge sandy loam. At 800 feet, this site is influenced by the Pacific Ocean. More fog and shade than other vineyards Cobb works with giving at a particularly delicate expression of Pinot Noir. Yields are commonly less than 2 tons per acre. Aged 20 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherries, red berries and rose petals with a touch of spice and oak. Highly enjoyable flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a pleasing citrus riff on the cherry-driven, very long finish. Seductively elegant with supple tannins. True to the Cobb style with lighter color, lower alcohol, redder fruits and bright, focused acidity. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laetitia Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.62, 220 cases, $60. Released September 12, 2012. Sourced from original estate plantings. Only made in exceptional vintages. The name, La Colline, means “the hillside” in French. 4-day cold soak, whole berry fermented in small open top fermenters with the addition of RC212 yeast. Gently pressed after 6 days of fermentation and racked into 30% new French oak barrels for an aging period of 11 months. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very accessible aromas of baked plum, berry pie glaze, musk and oak. Delicious middleweight melange of blue and black fruits, most noticeably raspberries. Very polished and refined on the palate with impeccable balance (no oak or tannin in sight). A slight underlying minerality adds interest. Pleasing persistence and length. A very regal wine that is approachable now, but will benefit from further bottle age. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Neely Spring Ridge Vineyard Upper Picnic Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $38. · Moderately light reddish-purple robe. The nose knocked me out. Deeply perfumed with fresh Bing cherries and hints of mocha and baking spices, in particular cinnamon. I kept coming back to the glass, the nose became better and better, and was indefatigable. Richly flavored cherry core, similar to the “iced cherry” often noted in Green Valley Pinots. More fruit-driven than the other two Pinots in this vintage but not in a bad way: cherry, cherry and more cherry. Refined, almost delicate, juicy and seamless, with complimentary oak driven accents of caramel and cola in the background. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was offering a striking display of strawberry and cherry fruit in an elegant format. This is a wine that is chock full of Pinot character. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Pey-Marin “Trois-Filles” Marin County Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.65, 345 cases, $39. A loving tribute to the Peys who have three daughters (“trois-filles”). From three sites located less than 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Low yielding vines, trademark tiny clusters and berries and high natural acidity. Multiple Dijon clones and heritage selections. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentation initially with Burgundian yeast inoculation subsequently. Aged 14 months in 3-year air-dried French oak cooperage with extensive sur lie stirring. Unfined and unfiltered and aged in bottle for 10 months. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is dominated by aromas of dark red fruits with underlying notes of clay, oak and dark red rose petals. Well-endowed with middleweight flavors of pie filling fruits including raspberries and strawberries backed by mild, dry tannins and a refreshing cut of acidity. The wine is soft and smooth in texture, showing admirable integration of oak, and exhibiting impeccable balance. Picks up intensity and adds a peppery herb and spicy twist to the lengthy finish the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Would definitely benefit from decanting if you drink now. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Native9 Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $60. This 8-acre vineyard was hand planted by James Ontiveros and named after the generations that came before him. His plantings were done between 1997 and 2000 (variety of clones and rootstocks). James is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Miller family properties including Bien Nacido Vineyard. The winemaker is Paul Wilkins. I don’t know the proportion in this wine, but I know James uses a very high percentage of whole cluster. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red berries, spice, herbs and mocha jump out of the glass. Easy going and flat-out delicious, boasting a powerful core of deep red cherry and berry fruit sheathed in healthy, ripe tannins, but retaining admirable finesse. Remarkable staying power on the aromatic finish. This wine makes quite an impression. Approachable now, but should easily last another 7 to 10 years. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Siltstone Guadalupe Vineyard Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 230 cases, $30. Vineyard owners are Jim Stonebridge and Kathleen Boeve and the vineyard is managed by Joel Myers of Vinetenders whose family produces this wine. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Intense and very appealing aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, ollalieberries and dark chocolate. Soft, smooth and ambrosial, with middleweight flavors of well-ripened dark cherry and berry fruits with complimentary accents of Asian 5-spice, cinnamon and toasty oak. Balanced, ripe tannins and a powerful, lasting finish complete the picture. I have been very impressed by this wine over the past three vintages. It seems to fly under the radar, yet is deserving of a bigger audience. Remarkably, the winery is still offering the 2007 and 2008 vintages of this superb wine. If you want a wine that typifies the Dundee Hills, this would be an excellent choice. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Rippon Vineyard Emma’s Block Lake Wanaka Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.62, 107 cases, 14 cases imported, $80.25, Diam closure. From a vineyard parcel with an eastward facing aspect located on the lakefront with clay reefs running through schist gravels. Named after the great-great-great-grandmother of the current generation of the Mills family through which the name Rippon entered the family. Clones 5, 6, 13 and Linc. 22% whole cluster. 21 days skin contact. Aged 17 months in 25% new to 4-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light, slightly hazy, ruby red color in the glass. The nose is alive and expressive with scents of fully ripened dark red cherries and red berries. A charming wine that is light on its feet, with ambrosial red cherry flavor, supple tannins, and a good cut of acidity on the cherry-driven finish. This feminine wine shows deft balance between richness of flavor, acidity and tannin and is a pleasure to drink. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Rippon Vineyard Tinker’s Field Lake Wanaka Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.60, 105 cases, 14 cases imported, $99. From a unique parcel within Rippon Vineyard that contains the oldest vines on the property. Named after Rippon’s founder, Rolfe Mills, known as “Tink” to his friends. Clones 5, 6, 2/10, 10/5,13 and Linc. 35% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in 42% new to 4-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light, slightly hazy, ruby red color in the glass. A savory wine with aromas of dark red and blue fruits, exotic spices, earth, compost, and stem. A little more structured and intensely fruited than the Emma’s Block Pinot Noir, with layers of flavors including cherry, cranberry, blueberry, spice, sandalwood and the faintest oak. The acidity is crisp and well-integrated and the fine-grain tannins are ripe and sturdy. The finish is remarkable in length, like a 3-hour movie you don’t want to end. The most backward of the three 2009 Rippon Pinot Noirs, but still enough precocious tease to attract your attention. Reviewed November 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Maggy Hawk Afleet Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.52, 234 cases, $66. From 1.23-acre Block 4, Pommard clone. Aged 15 months in 32% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Haunting aromas of spiced black cherries and black raspberries creating an olfactory overload. Richly endowed, with flavors of very ripe dark cherries, berries, currants and sassafras enveloping the palate. An appealing wood spice and savory herbal note add interest. Well-managed tannins create a round, polished drinking experience. Very typical Pommard-based wine that is the richest in the lineup. Still opulent the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Maggy Hawk Unforgettable Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.51, 235 cases, $66. From 2.64-acre Block 5, clone 667. Aged 15 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Very interesting woodsy nose offering aromas of black cherries, spice and mushrooms on the grill. Delicious core of fresh black raspberry and blackberry fruit, nicely spiced. A veritable iron fist in a velvet glove wine with rich, strikingly intense flavor, countered with seductive elegance and silkiness. Flat-out great the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. The name of this wine really fits. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.61, 406 cases, $65. Released November 1, 2011. Sourced from blocks planted in 1974, 1995 and 2000. Some of the fruit came from cuttings taken from the original “mother” block planted in 1968. Pommard clone. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Needs some swirling in the glass to open up. Attractive perfume of well-ripened black cherries and baking spice. Middleweight flavors of cherry cola, spice and subtle oak caressed by gossamer tannins, finishing with uplifting acidity. Beautifully crafted. Not very expressive now, but one senses this could become extraordinary with several years in the cellar. Always the best Pinot Noir in the Gary Farrell stable. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 La Rochelle Donum Estate Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 115 cases, $75. Released October 1, 2012. Inaugural release from this vineyard. 100% Donum clone (a massal selection from cuttings brought to California by Roederer). Aged 19 months in 40% new and 60% second use French oak barrels. · Moderate reddishpurple color in the glass. A very exotic wine exhibiting aromas of wild berries and musk that really draws you into the glass. Delicious array of dark red and black berries with a touch of spice and an earthiness which adds to the appeal. Very supply fine-grain tannins, a silky texture and generous finishing power. Significantly better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Like actress Keira Knightley, perfumed and sensuous. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 La Rochelle Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 125 cases, $48. Released September 8, 2012. Originally planted to 6 acres of Pinot Noir in 1997. Today the vineyard contains 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 25 acres of Chardonnay, farmed by Joe Allarid. Clones 943 and Pommard are in this bottling. Inaugural release from this vineyard. Aged for 18 months in 20% new and 80% second use French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Smells like the freshest blackberry jam you have ever experienced. Delicious and entirely seductive, with a moderately intense core of blackberry, cassis, Hoison sauce and vanilla flavors. Smooth and satiny, with well-balanced tannins, well-integrated acidity in the background and the most outrageously long finish of all the wines in this La Rochelle lineup. I have had several great wines from this vineyard and this one continues the trend. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wood Tank Fermented Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55. Fermented up to 8 weeks in 1-ton, open fermentation French oak tanks. · Medium garnet color in the glass. This wine has the type of nose that drives pinotphiles crazy. Effusive aromas of dark red cherries and berries, dark red rose petals and spice. Moderately rich dark red cherry and raspberry fruits accented with caramelized oak and spice. The tannins are a little more aggressive in this wine but they are not obtrusive and will moderate with time. I like this charming wine for its additional complimentary oak contributions including the exotic spice that marries with Pinot fruit so well. Rare to find an oak tank fermented Pinot Noir in California since it is more challenging to successfully vinify. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Morning Dew Ranch Jan’s Cuvée Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $75. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherries, spice, white pepper and sweet pipe smoke. Waves and waves of savory fruit, offering tantalizing flavors of brandied black cherries, black raspberries, anise and tar. Very polished with balanced tannins and well-honed acidity. The unbelievably long finish lasts over a minute and I am not exaggerating. The more you taste, the more you like this special wine. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Williams Selyem Pinot Noir of the early 1990s De Ja Vu. Burt is a modest soul, but calls this, “A wine apart.” Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 HillCrest Vineyard Memorial Estate Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

(unlabeled, inquire about availability). From old, non-irrigated, lowyielding vines. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. A very distinctive wine with appealing aromas of black cherries, spice, sarsaparilla, chocolate mint, and smoke. Striking fruit core of ripe dark cherries, black raspberries, cherry cola, dark chocolate, spearmint, spice and sassafras with good tannin support and a generous fruit-filled finish. Definitely speaks of place and is nothing like any Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley or anywhere else in Oregon for that matter. Drink or hold. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Joseph Swan Vineyards Trenton Estate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 287 cases, $55. 40th anniversary of Joseph Swan Vineyards and the 30th anniversary of Rod Berglund’s first year of making wine. Aged in 66% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The most expressive nose in the lineup showing vibrant aromas of black cherries, dark plums, mushroom, cardamom spice and a hint of vanilla. Delicious earth-kissed core of dark cherries, raspberries and plums. Rich and full-bodied, with balanced tannins and acidity making the wine quite approachable now. Great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Could drink now because the tannins are not aggressive, but best to hold for at least another five years. Tasted a couple of months ago, but I held the review for this feature. A 2013 All-American for sure. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Jack Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 140 cases, $70 ($150 magnum). A 2-acre vineyard situated on a steep slope overlooking the Freestone Valley near Occidental. Dijon 115, 667 and 828 planted in Goldridge soils. Aged 20 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Darker red and black cherry and berry aromas are featured with hints of forest floor, spice, cigar box, and oak vanillin. Delicious mid weight flavors of cherries, plums and elderberries with an outrageously long and satisfying finish. Beautifully balanced tannins and acidity. Will make any dinner special. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 COBB Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 260 cases, $70 ($150 magnum). A 3-acre hillside vineyard near Occidental. Two Dijon clones planted in Goldridge sandy loam soil. Exposed to the most shade and fog of any of the vineyards Ross works with. Aged 20 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Hi-tone aromas of dark red cherries and berries permeate the air. Ambrosial flavors of dark red cherries, pomegranates, and spice. The most polished wine in the lineup with a silky smooth mouth feel. Finishes with a bold kiss of cherries and juicy acidity. One of the best one night stands you’ll ever have. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Londer Vineyards Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $45. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh dark berries and black grapes with spice in the background. The flavors echo the nose with added hints of cola, sassafras, oak and chalky earth. Very tasty with a graceful and polished demeanor, and impeccable balance. The very long finish is flush with fruit and citrus-driven acidity. A superb wine from a cherished vineyard. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Esterlina Esterlina Estate Vineyard Reserva Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $65. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Ripe fruit profile featuring blackberry and boysenberry aromas with a hint of oak. Opens beautifully over time in the glass, building gradually in intensity and interest. Flavors of dark red cherries and berries and plum with accents of black tea and cola. Despite its concentration of fruit, the wine retains a refreshing character and is light on its feet. Mild fine-grain tannins add to the appeal. Decant if you open now, but patience will be rewarded. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Z’IVO Whole Cluster Project Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 138 cases, $40. Clones are 115, Pommard, 114, 667 and 777. 100% whole cluster. Punch downs with bare feet twice a day for seven days. Wild yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months in 25% new, 35% once filled and the remainder neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. This is a wine that attracts your full attention the minute the cork is pulled and all that wonderful Pinot goodness jumps from the glass. I could not get enough of this nose redolent of black cherries, spice and rose petals. On the palate, there is a delicious essence of dark cherries with a spicy touch that really pops. Very silky and charming, with a healthy backbone of fine-grain tannins. A complete and harmonious wine. When whole cluster is right, it produces the most ethereal expression of Pinot Noir in the world. Should get even better with cellaring. Reviewed June 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Woodenhead Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 296 cases, $60. Primarily Pommard clone with a little Mt. Eden selection. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine is in a class by itself. The knockout nose is alive with flavors of fresh, perfectly ripe berries. Earthy and serious, with discreetly concentrated flavors of dark red and black berries that have a delicious sappiness that really sings. Beautifully balanced with well-honed tannins and a very long and generous finish. Many call this vineyard a California Grand Cru and that title is well earned. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Woodenhead Buena Tierra Original Planting Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

173 cases, sold out (look for retail availability). · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Charming in every way with alluring aromas of cherries, fresh berry jam and rose petals. Boldly flavored with black cherries and a hint of spice with complimentary cedar-toned oak treatment. The intense mid palate attack and brilliant finish reflect a wine of pedigree. The impeccable balance indicates accomplished winemaking. There is nothing quite like this wine. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Lynmar Estate Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.. 14 clones. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very enticing aromas of spiced cherry, clove, plum and vanilla. Layers of flavor arrive on the palate with aplomb, including black cherry, black plum, fennel, cola and black tea. Perfectly ripe and juicy with modest tannins and impressive power on the finish. Crafted beautifully and notable for its seamless qualities. Still enchanting the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Williams Selyem Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $56. Aged 15 months in 65% new and 35% 1-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. So aromatic you want to bottle the nose. Scents of dark cherries, spice and loamy earth with a slight savory tone. Very concentrated and flavorful, featuring dark berries, black cherries, cola and spice. Intense, eyebrow-raising, long, long finish. Fabulous. Drink or hold. Score: 97. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Clos de la Tech Domaine Du Docteur Rodgers Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 89 cases, $102. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose blossoms over time in the glass to reveal bright aromas of black cherry, cassis and spice with complimentary notes of oakdriven vanillin and nuts. Very ingratiating. Delicious core of dark red cherries, strawberry, blackberry, vanillin, sassafras and earth. More charm at this early stage with notable but more modest tannins and slightly more acidity. Very juicy on the palate with a satisfying finish. Still great from a previously opened and re-corked bottle the following day with a vast compliment of aromas including black cherry, rose petal, marzipan and vanillin. Surely will benefit from further aging, but hard to resist now. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Clos de la Tech Domaine Valeta Sunny Slope Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 126 cases, $62. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass with the reddest hue in the lineup. Enticing aromas of dark cherries, baking spices, mushrooms and toasty oak. This wine is not as imposing as other wines in the lineup currently and exhibits impeccable balance. It is the most enjoyable wine now. Delicious mid weight flavors of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and mocha with moderate backing tannins and a wonderful peacock tail finish. The oak is nicely integrated and the mouth feel is very suave. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still seductive. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alana Estate Martinborough New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.76, 2,500 cases, $39.99, screw cap. Grapes were hand picked and 100% de-stemmed. Aged in French oak for 10 months and settled in stainless for an additional 5 months. Unfined and unfiltered. Bottled July 3, 2009. · A black cherry bombast in the nose and on the palate. A hint of cola and spice add interest with oak playing a subtle supporting role. The most striking feature of this wine is the velvety texture. Beautifully crafted and perfectly harmonious, this is a complete wine. One of the best Pinot Noirs I have ever sampled from New Zealand. Reviewed September 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Privé Vineyard le nord Yamhill County Estate Grown Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $49. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherries, black raspberries and a hint of exotic spices. Rich and forthcoming with a blackberry and black cherry core clothed in caressing tannins and possessing the right touch of balancing acidity. More lush and forward than the le sud bottling. A dreamy wine with a creamy texture that is approachable now but will benefit from more time in the cellar. If this wine was a lover instead of a wine, it is the one that would make you abandon your family, leave your job, and forfeit your hard-won position in the community for just one more fling. Reviewed November 29, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 george Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 315 cases, $50. Farmed by the Martinelli family. · The wine draw you with aromas of Bing cherry, strawberry, wooded forest, seasoned oak and spice. Delicious cherry essence that is rich, full and lip-smacking. Exotic Asian spices, nutmeg and white pepper add accents and the cherry-driven finish is a winegasm. Even better six hours after opening. This is the signature george Pinot that really wants all of your attention. Reviewed December 16, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Loring Wine Company Graham Family Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.2% alc., $40, screw cap. · Penetrating and haunting aromas of red plums, red berries, violets and graham cracker. Really impressive and tasty sweet red berry attack that progresses to a memorable finish. This hedonistic, Caliesque sucker hangs around for at least half a minute. The fruit is startling good and the very smooth mouth feel brings the hair on your neck to attention. The alcohol is well integrated and the wine was still delicious the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating the balance is spot on. This is a great sipping wine that aims to please. Reviewed February 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 94 cases, $45. This vineyard is farmed by Kevin and Carla Chambers and is certified Biodynamic®. · Rich, deep, brooding dark red fruits with a savory underpinning of chanterelle mushrooms, loamy earth and cardamon spice. This wine has impressive intensity on the mid palate, a pillowy texture, and a finish like a three hour movie you don’t want to end. Still a little closed, seemingly possessing more hidden charm waiting to get out. Cellar this wine for one to two years for ultimate gratification. Love the low alcohol. A very heavenly and sensual pleasure. Reviewed February 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Freeman Vineyard & Winery Akiko’s Cuvée Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 420 cases, $56. A barrel selection chosen by Akiko, Ken, and winemakers Ed Kurtzman and Eric Buffington. Each person’s top barrels are blended and tasted blind. Called Akiko’s Cuvée, because her blend nearly always wins this blind tasting. Keefer Ranch fruit makes up the largest portion. Aged 11 months in 38% new French oak. · Shy, teasing aromatics with scents of wild berries, oak toast and cut flowers. Rich and satisfying red and purple fruits on the palate with caressing tannins. Very smoothly textured and seamless. Tasted the next day and the day after from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine retained its appeal indicating age ability. A stunning wine that will easily go 15 years. My wife went gaga over this wine. Reviewed April 9, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Siduri Wines Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 611 cases, $30, screw cap. · Deeply colored. Alluring scents of raspberries and cherries with hints of spice and herbs. Very tasty, penetrating and attention-getting dark red fruit core set off by perfectly balanced acids and tannins. The restrained oak is a perfect compliment. Very juicy with a fruity persistence on the bright finish. There are not many appellation wines from the Sta. Rita Hills and this is the best I have ever tasted. The wine really shows off the bright acidity and well-proportioned tannic structure that are typical of the wines of this appellation. Tasted twice with the same results. A stunning appellation wine at a very attractive price. Reviewed April 9, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Siduri Wines Amber Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 147 cases, $45. · The nose on this wine is restrained and delicate at this stage showing aromas of black cherries and baked bread. Once you take a sip of this beauty, you are quickly seduced. Delicious flavor core of Bing cherries, pastry dough, cola and a touch of oak and an exotic spice note in the background. Great fruit intensity on the mid palate. The tannins are very supple making this very drinkable now. Silky, sensual and impeccably balanced, this wine sports the prettiest fruit in the lineup. Reviewed April 9, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Felton Road Calvert Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $58, screw cap. · Darker in color than the regular blended bottling. Subdued aromas of black cherries, plum sauce and woodshed. Delicious core of black cherries and dark berries front and center with complimentary savory herbs and spice. Well-structured with a balancing edge of acidity and moderate tannins. Velvety and very sensual in the mouth. Still very young and will need some cellaring to shed and integrate the tannins. Reviewed April 23, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.72, 550 cases, $39. A blend from several vineyards in the Sonoma Coast AVA including the Fedrick Vineyard, Windsor Oaks Vineyard and Sangiacomo Vineyard. All Dijon clones (115, 667, 777). · Very lovely scents of black raspberries, cassis and underbrush. A strikingly smooth and easy going wine featuring the redder spectrum of Pinot fruits including strawberries and raspberries with a hint of sassafras. The tannins are very supple and the whole package is perfectly harmonious. I could sip this one all night. The wine faded a bit the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle so drink this one up now. Reviewed April 23, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.66, 580 cases, $48. This vineyard is located at the western base of Sonoma Mountain. Clones 115 and 777 are from blocks that are more than ten years old. · Plenty of Pinot singing here beginning with enticing aromas of mixed berry jam and spice box including cardamon. Delicious rainbow of berry fruits discreetly concentrated and beautifully layered. Silky smooth in the mouth with remarkable persistence on the aromatic finish. The fruit is pulled into perfect alignment with fine acidity and tannin, and the oak adds just the right nuances. Heaven sent. Reviewed April 23, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 August Briggs Dijon Clones Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 805 cases, $40, release date is May 2010. Sourced from the certified organic Sinskey Vineyard (Napa Carneros) and Green island Vineyard (Napa Valley). Dijon clones. · A lovely medium-bodied wine offering charm from beginning to end. Enticing aromas of black cherries, cardamon spice and a hint of toasty oak. Juicy melange of vivid berries and cherries on the palate with a tasty savory note and supportive but not intrusive oak in the background. The silky tannins make for easy drinking. The wine picks up intensity in the glass which is always a sign of a well-crafted wine. Reviewed April 23, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Meiomi by Belle Glos Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $24. 65% Sonoma County, 20% Monterey County,15% Santa Barbara County. Pronounced “May-OH-mee,” which is “coast” in the language of California’s Wappo tribe. · Intensely fruity and penetrating nose with effusive scents of ripe dark berries accented with notes of sandalwood, oak and cigar box. A rich, but smooth and caressing wine in the mouth, with a multilayered core of berries and a complimentary underpinning of toasty oak. The soft tannins make for easy drinkability and this wine is far more approachable than any of the three vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from Belle Glos. This Pinot really shows off California coastal fruit, is one of the best values in California Pinot Noir on the market today, and is the best California appellation Pinot Noir bar none. Reviewed April 23, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $50. Aged in French oak for 9 months. · Deeply colored. Lovely perfume of red and black fruits with a touch of oak spice. Earthy, briny and meaty dark fruits complimented by oak and cloaked in supple tannins. Very smoothly textured making it easy to drink. A very distinctive wine that is reflective of the Martini selection and this terroir. I am usually not a big fan of Martini selection Pinot Noirs, but this wine really delivers the goods. Reviewed April 23, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. So your not on the coveted Rochioli mailing list and you want some Rochioli wine. Look no further. Terry Bering, the long time Cellar Master at Rochioli, crafts superb Pinot Noirs from Rochioli fruit that you can actually buy. I have raved about the last few vintages in past issues. This is a no-brainer my friend. · The nose entices with fresh aromas of cherries and berries with a hint of brier patch and baking spice. Moderate in weight, this wine flaunts a delicious core of redder fruits with underpinnings of bread crust and spice. Flawless and harmonious, this silky beauty really shows off its breeding. A sophisticated wine with a top hat personality Reviewed April 23, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 DuMOL aiden Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 377 cases, scheduled release in the fall 2010. 100% Wildrose Vineyard, Dijon clones 115 and 777. Yields of 2 tons per acre. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Strong argument for “Pinot of the Vintage” says Andy Smith. The 9-year-old vines are entering early maturity and their growth pattern requires little intervention. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A Lolita that is offering plenty of youthful charm. Toasty oak envelopes the cherry and red currant aromas and flavors. The prominent tannins are ripe and a healthy grip of acidity is offered on the refreshing finish. Beautifully crafted to offer a spectacular drinking experience a few years down the road. Reviewed May 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Olivia Brion Heron Lake Vineyard Wild Horse Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 680 cases, $37. John Neumeyer is the proprietor and D. Mahaffey is the winemaker. Wild Horse Valley is located in the mountains east of the town of Napa and is the coolest growing area in the Napa region. The vineyard was planted in 1980 and produced its first wine in 1985. Reserve wines are bottled under the Olivia Brion label beginning in 2003. Olivia Brion was a suffragette and descendent of a great French wine family. Her many paramours included Warren Harding, Paul Gauguin, and Charles Chaplin. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 14 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy initially, but opens with time in the glass. More savory than fruity, with aromas of ripe, darker berry fruit, violets and the slightest hint of mint. An interesting wine driven by exotic spices, dark berry fruit and cola. The wine really shines with time in the glass, bringing together healthy tannins, zingy acidity, uplifting minerality and hearty fruit into a very enjoyable drink. This is one of those little known and little touted labels that surprises with a very unique and lovable Pinot Noir. Reviewed June 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Red Car Heaven & Earth La Boheme Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $60. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but very enticing perfume of wild strawberries, black cherries and exotic woods. Delicious attack of full-bodied and ripe strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit glides to the finish. The most tannic of the Red Car wines in this vintage, but the tannins are slippery. Impressive juice that will benefit from another year or two in the cellar. Reviewed June 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Red Car Dreamland Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60. · Moderately deep color in the glass. Very shy initially, opening slowly to reveal lovely scents of plums, berries, sandalwood and spice. Very soft, even ephemeral, dark berry and plum fruit which lightly coats the mouth building to a generous and lengthy finish. This wine seduces you slowly, finishing you off with a big and memorable climax. Reviewed June 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kanzler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $48. Kanzler Vineyard is located in the coastal hills between Bodega Bay and Sebastopol and is farmed by Stephen and Linda Kanzler. The winemaker is Greg Stach. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Pommard and Dijon 115 and 667 clones. · Intense aromas of black raspberry coulees, cardamon and red roses. Delicious berry melange which is really a mouthful but there is an appealing roundness and litheness that tames the fruit. Light on its feet and velvety in the mouth, leaving a bit of warmth on the pleasing and persistent finish. Outstanding example of a hedonistic, lush style. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Block B Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., <50 cases, $68. First B Block since 2004. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. · Very expressive aromas of wild berries, violets, brioche, graham and a hint of smoky oak. A delicious panoply of fruit flavors that really stick to your mouth. Dark red berries and strawberries in abundance with undertones of savory herbs and forest floor. Everything is proportioned and singing in harmony. This wine’s character supersedes the delicious fruit. Brilliantly crafted and flatout great. The impeccable balance predicts a long life ahead. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard Block 22 “Last Hurrah” Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $55. This wine is the last from own rooted Pommard fruit. These vines were replanted after the 2008 harvest. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Demure but pleasing aromas of fresh red berries, graham and violets. Delicious core of red and blue berries and cherries. Beautifully composed, with vivid and well-focused flavors, fine ground gossamer tannins, a velvety texture, and an amazingly long and aromatic finish that is flat-out stunning. A wine to treasure that is the last of its kind from Shea Vineyard. Drink some history. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard Block 5 Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $55. 100% clone 777 fromthe East Hill portion of Shea Vineyard. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. You can really cozy up to this wine. Lovely perfume of blackberry jam, spice, mocha and that floral Sheaness. Like greased lightning on the palate with a delicious red and black berry core including alpine strawberries and red plums. Very harmonious with ripe, firm tannins and a generous, slightly warm finish that sails along. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. I am not usually a fan of single Dijon clone Pinot Noirs, but it definitely works here. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard “Homer” Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $80. Sourced from the 14 best barrels in the cellar and includes Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones. Aged in 93% new French oak barrels. · A shade darker than the other Pinot Noirs in 2008. Extremely reticent nose revealing some appealing oak-kissed dark fruit. Very well endowed with a lovely essence of purple fruits. Tight and monolithic now with a smokiness and cigar box note from the oak which needs time to integrate. Very smooth and sensual on the palate. I usually rate wines on their appeal at the time of tasting, but I need to make an exception here since I believe this will be a prodigious wine several years down the road based on other aged Homer bottlings I have had through the years. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Rachel Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $40. From the West Block of the estate vineyard including Pommard and Dijon clones 667 and 114. Aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very charming scents of plum sauce, mixed berry tart and spice box that led me to write, “You gotta be kidding me!” The attack of dark red cherries and berries is ripe, juicy and vivid augmented by flavors of cherry skins and savory herbs. Slightly more weight than the 2007 version of this wine but not weighty. Finely tuned tannins and impeccable balance. The cherry aromas linger on the finish for more than 30 seconds. This is the kind of Pinot Noir that drives normal people to do almost anything to get their hands on some. Very approachable now, but built to last another 7 to 10 years. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. From estate grown fruit in the East Block of the vineyard containing Dijon clones 777, 115 and 114. Barrel aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · An alluring nose of exotic scents including dark red raspberries, rose petals, Asian spices and seasoned oak. A challenge to describe adequately. Very tasty essence of fresh fruits including plums, berries and pomegranates veering more to the purple spectrum. Ridiculously silky and almost ephemeral, like swallowing flavored air. A wonderful wine with mature dry tannins perfectly balanced by the ripe fruit and lively acidity. Will provide several years of drinking enjoyment. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 185 cases, 120 magnums, $75. Released April 1, 2010. 50% Antica Terra, 38% Shea and 12% Cherry Grove vineyards. De-stemmed 89% without crushing. 11% whole cluster. Aged in 63% new and 37% seasoned French oak barrels. · The nose is reticent initially, becoming more charming with time in the glass showing a melange of berry fruits, Herbs de Provence and a hint of oak. Lovely depth and richness of flavor featuring the entire array of berries including boysenberry, blackberry and strawberry with an underpinning of savory herbs. A charming wine with supple tannins, bright acidity and fruit in perfect harmony. Needs plenty of foreplay (translate: decanting) to drink now. A magnificent effort that will reward long term cellaring. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.50, 225 cases, $45. · This one will make the hair on your neck stand erect. Lovely aromas of freshly picked red and black berries and cherries nicely spiced with hints of soak and sage. In the mouth I was at a loss for descriptors. My notes say, “Amazing fruit, want more, really attacks, great juice, class in the glass.” This wine has that California fruit viscosity that makes you proud to be an American, and an addictive and refreshing ending in which the fragrance returns to haunt the finish. It was scary that this wine was better later in the day from a bottle opened earlier in the morning. Imagine what this wine will be like in a couple of years! Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 200 cases, $45. · Enticing perfume of fresh red stone fruits and berries with exotic spices and baked apple. Delicious melange of dark red cherries and berries with nuances of dark chocolate, Moroccan spices, anise, smoke, and savory herbs. The fruit is robust, virile and mouth coating and persists through a generous finish. A whisper of tannin makes for approachability now. A top-shelf Pinot Noir that has the goods and balance to improve in the cellar over the next several years. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 175 cases, $60. · Intoxicating aromas of wild berries and black cherries and other pheromone scents that make you giddy. Structured and stuffed with an entirely seductive and ever-expanding arsenal of dark red cherries, berries and currants underlain with a subtle smokiness, haunting earthiness and a hint of mushrooms on the grill. Enough tannins for the long haul and balancing acidity to hold the fruit in check. The finish goes on and on, leading to a veritable winegasm. Still tightly wound but considerable upside potential long term. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Emma’s Block Mature Vine Lake Wanaka Central Otago Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.60, 12 cases USA allocation, $74, Diam. Clones 5, 6, 13 and Lincoln. 23% whole clusters. Aged 10 months in 22% new to 4-year-old French oak barrels, then racked an aged a second winter in neutral barrels (a total of 17 months in barrel). Unfined and unfiltered. · Shy but very pleasing scent of dark fruits, dried rose petals and leather gathering intensity with time in the glass. Delicious mouthful of dark red cherries and berries. Very crisp and juicy with fine proportioned tannins and a silky follow through. Tremendous up side potential here. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Rippon Tinker’s Field Mature Vine Lake Wanaka Central Otago Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.60, 12 cases USA allocation, $92, Diam. Clones 5, 6, 2/10, 10/5, 13 and Lincoln. 40% whole cluster. Aged 10 months in 35% new to 4-year-old French oak barrels. Racked after MLF and allowed a second winter in neutral barrels (a total of 17 months in barrel). Unfined and unfiltered. · This wine smells of the outdoors with scents of wooded forest, wet leaves, darkly colored berry jam and a hint of oak. Very tasty attack of dark cherry and berry fruit and cherry skins, all with a subtle earthiness. Moderately rich with fine-grain polished tannins, a welcoming tug of acidity, and impressive persistence on the bold finish. The wine glides across the palate with a dreamy silkiness. Hard to put this wine into words: suffice it to say you know it when you experience it. Great later in the day after opening. A New Zealand old vine Pinot Noir epiphany. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 De La Montanya Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 48 cases, Unreleased. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · This is a special wine which displays features of both the Tina’s and Christine’s bottlings. Both red and black fruits are evident with a perfect integration of oak. Delicately styled like the Tina’s, but showing more fruit and intensity and savory notes like Christine’s. The whole package is sensual and seductive. Reviewed June 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Foppiano Vineyards Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.77, 800 cases, $25. The grapes were de-stemmed and fermented in five ton open top fermentation tanks. Cold soak lasted 5 days. Aged 14 months in 30% new and 70% neutral French oak barrels. · Lovely scent of Bing cherries, strawberries, baking spices and sandalwood. On the palate, finesse is emphasized over fruit heaviness. Bright and tasty red cherry and ripe strawberry fruit flavors have a subtle confected tone with hints of red licorice and vanilla. The alcohol gives the wine a welcoming richness and is perfectly integrated. Gossamer tannins create an Elvis on velvet texture. Still drank fine the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle. An impressive example of a warmer weather Pinot that hits all the high notes at the right price. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This wine makes you sit up and take notice of the legendary pedigree. Lovely dark red fruits, cola and spice wrapped in ripe, firm tannins and set off beautifully by balancing acidity. Not to the level of the 2007 bottling at this stage, but clearly another glass of class. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard Dijon Clones Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

100% clone 777. · Enticing aromas of plums, black cherries and underbrush. Very tasty core of dark red fruits that are nicely spiced. Still a Lolita and will need time to integrate the oak and shed some tannins, but the potential here is clearly all upside. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Old Vines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 115 cases, about $55 when released in October 2010. Martini clone. Aged 10 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple robe in the glass. The nose really draws your attention with intensely perfumed dark stone fruits and dark chocolate. Impressively harmonious in the mouth with dynamic dark red and black fruits, kissed by toasty oak, and wrapped in fine-grain tannins. A wine to contemplate for its uniqueness and striking flavor that only old vines can offer. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Pali Wine Co. Momtazi Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 150 cases, $44, screw cap. Clones 113, 114, 115 from this biodynamically farmed 200-acre vineyard. Aged 16 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · This is a charming wine with pleasing aromas of dark stone fruits and raspberries with an undertone of sweet oak. Ornate and well-delineated flavors of juicy cherries and berries with a subtle loamy undertow that is typical of the McMinnville appellation. Very slick with a soft texture much like a baby’s bottom. Everything sings in harmony with perfectly balanced t n‘ a. Still drank beautifully the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age ability. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Carr Vineyards & Winery Kessler-Haak Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 98 cases, $50. Released in March 2010. The 29-acre Kessler-Haak Vineyard was established by Dan and Ellen Kessler in 2004 and cultivated by Ryan Carr. The 2008 harvest is the first from this site. Yields were a ridiculously low .19 tons per acre. Clones Pommard, 2A, 113 and 667. Aged 12 months in 15% new French oak barrels. · The intoxicating aromas really explode over time in the glass offering nuances of raspberries, black cherries, spice box and mocha java. Delicious essence of cherry-berry pie with hints of vanilla cream, anise and dark chocolate. Very soft, even sensual, in the mouth. This is a wine you can cozy up to like a warm blanket, embracing its comforting gratification. On my 2010 All-American watch list. Reviewed July 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lange Estate Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 295 cases, $60. Released May 1, 2010. Aged 12 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very complex aromatics that constantly change in the glass revealing a diverse perfume of dark fruits, baking spices, underbrush, toast and smoke. Charming dark red and black fruit profile with well integrated oak toast and spice. Impressive persistence on the aromatic finish that sails along. Big, yet more demure than the Freedom Hill bottling with more emphasis on redder fruits. Beautifully composed with welcoming harmony. Definitely needs more time but can be a dinner table centerpiece with decanting. It is wines like this that make Pinot my paramour. Reviewed August 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lange Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 250 cases, $60. Released May 1, 2010. Lange has been sourcing fruit from Freedom Hill Vineyard since 1990 and began making its namesake single-vineyard Pinot Noir in 1996. Typically, the wines from this vineyard have more structure and tannins, making it a very age worthy wine. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Restrained aromas of black cherries and blackberries on the nose with smoky oak taking charge. Big and juicy, thick and viscous, with serious fruit intensity. Dark fruits dominate the profile with an underlying earthiness. Mildly firm tannins reel in the massive fruit, and should soften with aging. This is a huge wine that will make many California Pinots seem wimpy by comparison. Needs time to shed its oak, integrate the tannins, and tame the explosion of fruit. An amazing gulp of old vines fruit. Ride this wine to heaven in a few years. Reviewed August 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Anne Amie Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., December 2010 release, screw cap. Composed of grapes from 11 vineyards. Clones Pommard 4, 114, 115, 667, 777, 828. Aged 10 mos in 26% new, 20% 1-year-old, and 54% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of crushed berries and dark red cherries with whiffs of Coca-Cola and rosehips. Flavors of black raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and cherry skins flood the mouth with pleasure, caressed by fine grain tannins and framed vividly by bright acidity. I couldn’t stop drinking this one. A terrific Willamette Valley blend that packs in plenty of pleasure. Kudos to winemaker Thomas Houseman who has brought Anne Amie into the upper echelon of Willamette Valley producers. A featured winery at the 2010 International Pinot Noir Celebration. Reviewed August 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Benton Lane Estate Grown First Class Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.75% alc., pH 3.77, 740 cases, $60. Classy label and screw cap. Only produced in special vintages. A selection of the best lots in the cellar aged 16 months in French oak barrels. The barrels were pre-blended to ensure consistency and then racked into barrels to complete the aging process. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Wonderful perfume of spiced dark cherry and berry fruits, anise, and red rose petals, picking up intensity over time. Delicious raspberry and cherry cola flavors cloaked in ripe, fine-grain tannins leading to a pleasingly aromatic and persistent finish. A sophisticated wine that is both sensual and beautifully crafted. This wine will find many fans. Reviewed August 9, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lenné Estate Karen’s Pommard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 49 cases, $55. · The nose really grabs your attention with aromas of pie cherries, wild berries, wooded forest, oak and cut flowers. Vivid black cherry fruit which is soft and luscious on the palate, persisting on the amazingly lengthy finish leaving a refreshing impression from lively acidity. Still has tannin to shed and the big gulp of fruit is reticent and linear at this stage, but this is a very polished wine that will be spectacular down the line. Reviewed August 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 496 cases, $45. The best barrels of clones 115 and Pommard. · A panoply of different red and black fruit aromas including cherries, strawberries, and red currants with an underpinning of smoky oak. Flat out delicious array of pristine fruit including black raspberries and cherries. Lovely accents of loamy earth and mocha. Highly persistent aromatic finish. A seamless wine that is pure class in the glass. Reviewed August 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 LIOCO Graham Family Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.2% alc., $40, screw cap. · Penetrating and haunting aromas of red plum, red berries, violets and graham. Lip smacking hedonistic core of sweet red berries that are nicely spiced. The attack is impressive and the fruit is startling good. This is a perfect sipping wine, the fruit hanging around on the finish for at least half a minute. Very Caliesque and atypical for the LIOCO style. The alcohol is well-integrated and the wine was still drinking well the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating spot on balance. Reviewed August 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Brogan Cellars Buena Tierra Vineyard Helio Doro Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $90. May be the last designated Helio Doro Block as Margi is using fruit from other parts of the Buena Tierra Vineyard and may be doing a vineyard blend in the future. · Bright aromas of Bing cherries, strawberries and baking spices. Strikingly intense and flavorful red cherry and berry fruits with hints of brown spices, cherry cola and Red Vines that linger on the pleasing finish for over 30 seconds. Soft in the mouth with impressive finesse and sensuality. This wine has the whole package and is deserving of the title, “Sex in the glass.” Buena Tierra is one of California’s greatest Pinot Noir vineyards, consistently offering a Grand Cru drinking experience. A certain All-American this year. Reviewed September 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 LaVelle Vineyards Matthew’s Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 430 cases, $35.99. The first Reserve Pinot Noir produced since 1998. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Somewhat brooding initially but opening nicely with coaxing to reveal an intense perfume of fresh darker berries and cherries with a subtle savory and floral note. More structured and intense than the regular Willamette Valley bottling, with tasty flavors of cassis, black cherry, and anise augmented by a note of loamy earth and oak in the background. The impressive depth of flavors really grabs your attention. Drinks easily now but will be better with another year or two of cellaring. A Pinot that deserves the Reserve designation. Reviewed September 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Willamette Valley Vineyards Fuller Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 25 cases. From the Tualatin Estate which was first planted by Bill Fuller in 1973. This wine is a tribute to him. Clones are 114, 115 and Wädenswil planted in Laurelwood soil. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but pleasing aromas of berry compote, currants, raisins and supporting oak. Impressive core of juicy darker berry fruits framed by bright acidity and wrapped in soft fruit tannins. Discreetly proportioned in body and weight with deft use of oak. Flat out terrific four days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A very special collectable wine that will reward the patient. Reviewed September 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.64, 1,700 cases, $40. Sourced from Lera’s Vineyard (33%), Dutton Vineyard (30%), Rochioli Vineyard (19%) and Simon Oliver Vineyard (18%). Clones are Pommard, 667 and 777. Cold soaked 4 to 5 days. Whole berry and whole cluster fermentation in 3 and 5 ton open-top fermenters with indigenous and Assmanshausen yeasts. Aged for 18 months in 64% new and 36%1-year-old Francois Frères, Louis Latour and Rousseau oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Terrific nose replete with slightly confected fresh Bring cherries and allspice. Delicious essence of ripe cherries and strawberries accented by flavors of cherry cola, spice cabinet, and Red Vines. Elegant and seamless with deft use of oak, a silky smooth texture, and a finish that sails along. Très Russian River. Reviewed September 22, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Dry River Martinborough New Zealand Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $95, long neck bottle. Imported RO Imports LLC, Napa, CA. · Moderately deep reddish-purple hue in the glass. Amazingly vivid array of dark fruit aromas including hi-tone raspberry with nuances of tea and dried rose petals. Delicious and well-mannered complex of cherry and berry flavors with a very subtle leafy note. Seamless and seductive with flavors that caress the mouth and fan out beautifully on the lush and generous finish. More elegant and approachable than some vintages of this wine. One of the world’s greatest Pinot Noirs and one of the most spellbinding Pinot Noirs I have sampled this year. Reviewed November 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Felton Road Cornish Point Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $50, screwcap. Imported by Wilson Daniels, St. Helena, CA. · Moderately dark ruby color in the glass. Haunting perfume of dark stone fruits with hints of oak, compost and pine. Mouth watering and juicy with bright flavors of earth-kissed black cherries, plum sauce, cola, and nutmeg. Well-proportioned tannins and acidity with pleasing persistence of the fruit flavors on the finish. Drinkable now, but can cellar with confidence as it will age effortlessly. The stuff that Pinot dreams are made of. Reviewed November 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Felton Road Block 5 Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $65, screw cap. This block is planted on loam, clay and gravel. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aggressive aromas of dark Bing cherries, forest floor, spice and pencil lead. Dense and unctuous black cherry core with citrus in the background. Fine-tuned tannins buffer the acidity beautifully. An exceptional wine that is really big and really good, but needs time for full expression. Tasted the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the fruit was more giving but cellaring is definitely indicated. For grown-ups only. Reviewed November 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Carabella Mistake Block Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 90 cases, $55. In 1998, while planting Dijon 113 vines, some vines were mislabeled resulting in 13 rows of Pommard clone which gave some of the best wine from the vineyard in 2008. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. All the Pinot fruits are represented in the nose with some added floral interest and spice. Very tasty melange of dark red berries, black cherries and plums with an earthy undertone. Constantly intriguing, revealing nuances with every sip. Pleasingly smooth in the mouth with firm but silky tannins. I just love the seamless texture of this wine. Reviewed November 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Carabella Inchinnan Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 150 cases, $54. 57% Wädenswil plus Dijon 115 and 114. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Picks up aromatic intensity in the glass over time offering a plethora of aromas of dark stone fruits, allspice, rose petals, and a hint of cut flowers. Delicious dark plum and blackberry fruit flavors with a bit of sauvage, with eye-opening mid palate intensity, yet still only hinting at its future potential. Very smoothly textured with amazing persistence on the prodigious finish. A benchmark Pinot Noir for Oregon in 2008 that will be nothing short of spectacular in five years. Reviewed November 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Davis Family Vineyards Soul Patch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $42 (but available for as little as $32 in retail marketplace). Proprietor and winemaker Guy Davis consistently crafts outstanding Pinot Noirs. · Captivating perfume of rich and deep ripe dark berries with a hint of dried rose hips and cut flowers. Mouth coating flavors of fresh picked black raspberries and blackberries that attack the mid palate with a vengeance and persist on the long and lush finish. Striking in its impeccable balance and sexy, silky texture. Class in the glass. Reviewed November 7, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard River Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.46, 233 cases, $65. Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 14 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · A bright and glorious perfume of Bing cherries, wild strawberries and sandalwood. Delicate and crisp flavors of raspberries, cranberries and cherry skins. Smooth and seamless with soft-hewn tannins and a bright kiss of acidity on the uplifting finish. Quintessential Middle Reach. Reviewed November 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.42, 233 cases, $55. Dijon clone 777. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 13 months in 45% new and 55% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of dark fruits and forest floor. Earthy and savory on the palate with shy but charming flavors of plums and boysenberries that sail smoothly and silky to the refreshing finish. Delicately styled but thoroughly satisfying. Not showing everything now. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle offering brighter fruit aromas and flavors. Plenty of pinotosity for the long haul. Reviewed November 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Williams Selyem Eastside Road Neighbors Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $49. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Wonderful aromatics flush with spicy cherries and strawberries. Delicious dark red fruits with nuances of Coca-Cola and spice, lingering on the finish. Very smooth and seductive in the mouth with enough tannic backbone to last. No oak crops up to spoil the party. Very close to the old Williams Selyem style and a wine that speaks Middle Reach loudly. Reviewed November 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $78. · Moderately light in reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy, but very bracing aromas of red cherry and berry fruits with a hint of cut flowers and wintergreen. Flat-out delicious core of strawberry and black cherry cola flavors. Very smooth and sexy with a proper acid backbone to pitch the fruit. A seductive wine now, but needs more time to fully mature. All you can ask for in a Middle Reach Pinot Noir. Reviewed November 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $60. · Moderate reddish-purple color. Shy but lovely perfume of fresh pie cherries with a sniff of smoky oak. An immensely satisfying wine offering delicious black cherry and berry flavors with a hint of citrus peel in the background. Amazing persistence of cherry essence on the finish. Silky in the mouth with balanced supple tannins. This wine really grabs your attention. You can drink it now but it will get even better over time. Reviewed November 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 985 cases, $46. Estate grown and bottled. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely composed aromatic profile of cherries, strawberries, savory herbs, and oak blossoming in the glass over time. A magnificent Burgundian styled wine with vivid, high-pitched red cherry, raspberry and cranberry flavors framed by lively acidity and fine grain tannins, and beautifully underlain with minerality. Has the balance to age for 20 years. After so many years at the helm, winemaker Jeffrey Patterson knows his vineyard and consistently offers Pinot Noirs styled with the type of charm and restraint that is often lacking in so many fruit driven California Pinot Noirs. A great food wine that should be cause for celebration. (See Bucket List at end of this issue). Reviewed November 24, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Arista La Cruz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.68, 258 cases, $56. Released fall 2010. From the southernmost end of the Sonoma Coast appellation. Plantings here were among the first in the Petaluma Valley dating to 1994. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Seductive aromas of fresh black cherries with hints of oak and spice box. A gorgeous wine in the mouth with bright flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with a complimentary underpinning of oak spice and toast. Perfect harmony creating a wine that urges you to take another sip. I would love some duck confit with this beauty. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Arista Mononi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.63, 224 cases, $56. Released fall 2010. From a 10-year-old vineyard planted to Dijon clones 113 and 115. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Stunning and nuanced aromatic profile featuring spiced berries, rose petals and violets picking up intensity with time in the glass. This wine has all the charm and delicacy one could asked for combined with a tasty and hearty core of cherry, strawberry and cola flavors, harmoniously supported by soft tannins and bright acidity. The whole package. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 de Coelo Terra Neuma Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $69. · Moderate reddish-purple in the glass. Exotic and complex nose offering scents of wild berries, truffle, wine cask and forest floor. Luscious core of dark berries that cling to the finish. Earth, mineral, oak and cola undertones add interest. The fruit is vivid, framed by soft tannins and complimented by crisp acidity. A seamless wine that picks up interest over several hours in the glass. A Pinot Noir unbridled by convention. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Gypsy Canyon Trois Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 75 cases, $95. Bottled in a newer more substantial glass than previous vintages. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Very lovely perfume of black cherries spiced with coriander, savory and sweet smoke. Superlatives don’t do this wine justice. Luscious melange of dark berries and plums with a subtle underpinning of oak and tobacco. A welcoming silky texture and a bombastic peacock finish adds to the pleasure. Quite different from previous Gypsy Canyon bottlings with more backbone and fruit intensity but still showing plenty of feminine charm. Great winemaking at work here. Man, what a wine. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Harrington Krause Vineyard San Francisco Bay Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.50, 175 cases, $35. This Krause Vineyard was planted in 1998 and covers 1.75 acres of Pinot Noir. The clones are Martini, Calera, Mt. Eden and Dijon 115. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. · Aromas of earth-kissed dark cherries and berries with hints of tea and seasoned oak. Intense and pleasing cornucopia of black cherries and ollaliberries lingering on the dry and fruit-filled and generous finish. Very smoothly textured and a delight to drink. Still great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kokomo Peters Vineyard Winemaker’s Reserve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 485 cases, $48. This wine is sourced from a block planted to Pommard clone. 25% whole cluster. Aged in 100% French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Toasty oak and spice-infused black cherry aromas really draw you in. A panoply of dark red Pinot fruits coat the mouth with subtle oak, spice and tar singing in the background. Without knowing this wine had whole cluster when I tasted, I picked up immediately on the spice and soft mouth feel that is characteristic of this mode of fermentation. For me, whole cluster, if done right, adds a whole other dimension to a wine. In addition, this wine has silky, soft tannins and complimentary acidity bringing you back for another sip. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Littorai Mays Canyon Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $65. · Moderately dark reddish-purple robe. Very expressive forward nose that is constantly changing in the glass offering scents of spiced Bing cherries, alpine strawberries, cola, mocha and toast. Crisp and delicious on the palate featuring darker red cherries and berries with just the right amount of oak and spice in the background. A cherry delight on the bright finish. A kick-ass Pinot that displays the typically luscious Russian River fruit beautifully. Can drink it now, but will further reward patience. Flat-out great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Littorai B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $70. · Moderately dark in color and in intensity. Very sexy perfume of rose petals and fresh Pinot fruit basket. Would love to bottle this aroma. I always find this wine seductive and this vintage is no exception. That is not to say that it is ready to drink, for it is still somewhat ponderous, the delicious core of purple berries and plums only teasingly apparent at present. Thick with fruit wrapped in velvety tannins, this beauty wows you now but will be more amazing in a few years. This wine is why Pinot is my paramour. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Littorai Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $60. · Very shy and demure perfume of raspberry tart, vanilla and baking spices elevating over time in the glass. A curvy, saucy wine that is somewhat forward offering a lovely array of black cherry and berry fruits with subtle spice and citrus in the background. Seamless, with a good core of ripe tannins and balancing acidity that give the wine a caressing sensation in the mouth. The best comes last, as the generous fruits cascade on the amazingly persistent finish. Pick any superlative you want. My choice would be “heavenly.” Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.61, 616 cases, $48. Pommard, Dijon 115 and 667. Aged 11 months in 28% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A savory wine with aromas of berry jam, deeply colored red roses, underbrush, herbs and toasty oak. Plenty of black raspberry and black cherry fruit is front and center with accents of oak and grilled meat. Supple in the mouth with fine grain tannins enrobing the hi-tone fruit that persists with a vengeance on the great finish. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with better integration of oak-derived flavors and aromas. This is a wine of character and interest that sings its own tune. Further cellaring should enhance its pleasure. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Valerie’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $40. Aged 18 months in new and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Ornate aromas and flavors of dark berries, Mu Shu plum sauce, cassis, tea, brown spice, and loamy earth. Very smoothly textured with finely ground tannins and amazing persistence of perfectly ripe fruit on the finish. The wine really grows on you over time. Will benefit from 1 to 2 more years in bottle. Year in and year out, one of the best Pinot Noirs to come out of Carneros. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.45, 176 cases, $75. The winery’s flagship wine. Fruit from blocks 2, 3 and 5 was 80% de-stemmed with 20% whole cluster, and fruit from block 1 was 100% whole cluster fermented. 20 to 26 days of skin contact, pressed off with a wooden basket press. Aged 14 months in 13% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep ruby color in the glass. Shy, but haunting aromas of black cherries, grilled meat and spice. A black tie, sophisticated wine that is still a bit stiff and formal and needs time to unwind. That said, it offers a perfect balance of perfecgtly ripe cherry and berry fruit, vital acidity and refined tannins. The silky mouth feel adds to the allure. The beauty of this wine grows on you over time in the glass and is spectacular the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very classy juice. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 White Rose Estate Whole Cluster White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.51, 98 cases, $75. 100% whole cluster fermentation. 15 day post-fermentation maceration yielding a total of 26 days of skin contact. Pressed off in a wooden basket press and barreled down in neutral French oak for 14 months. Racked once after MLF and again just before blending. · Gorgeous perfume of cherries flush with baking spices including cinnamon, with added notes of rose petals and sandalwood. Happy to just smell this wine. Stylish and expressive, the luscious fruit is alive with charm accented by exotic spices and edible flower with plenty of firm tannin to balance the fruit. Never fades in the glass, pumping out lively aromas and flavors until the glass is emptied. I am a sucker for whole cluster done right and this wine really delivers. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 120 cases, $120. For winemaker Theresa Heredia, this is one of the most naturally made wines she has produced. Picked at 23.5º brix with a minimal acid addition. The wine was 100% whole cluster fermented in an oak tank. 80% new oak. · A cornucopia of bright berry aromas is highlighted with scents of alluring exotic spice, sweet pipe tobacco and toasted oak. The purple fruit flavors are vivid and high-strung, fueled by vibrant acidity with toasted oak playing a background role. Noticeable tannins provide good structure, and the overall experience improves with time in the glass. Very impressive the next day from a previously opened bottle with more expressive fruit in the nose, and ramped-up fruit flavor. A special occasion wine. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 143 cases, $100. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Great nose indicating something serious is to follow. A chameleon of a wine that changes constantly in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, exotic spices including cardamom, red rose petals and the slightest sweet oak. You would need to empty your entire spice cabinet into a bin of grape juice to duplicate the complex nuances and mysteries in this wine. The core is a mix of berries and stone fruits with an edgy, sauvage character from the whole cluster. Brisk and bright, satiny in the mouth, this wine is flat-out great. Tasted over the next two days from an opened and re-corked bottle, the wine held forth its allure indicating a long life ahead. A connoisseur’s Pinot Noir. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.50, $78 Released fall 2010. From a vineyard planted in the early 1970s. Aged 18 months in 60% new and 40% 1-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy, but very bracing aromas of red cherry and berry fruits with a hint of cut flowers and wintergreen. Flat-out delicious core of strawberry and black cherry cola flavors that saturate the mid-palate. Very smooth and sexy with a proper acid backbone to pitch the fruit. A seductive wine now, but needs more time to fully mature. All you can ask for in a Middle Reach Pinot Noir. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Williams Selyem Eastside Road Neighbors Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.60, $49. Released fall 2010. Composed of fruit from vineyards located along Eastside Road including Calegari Vineyards, Black Rose Vineyard, Lone Oak Vineyard and Foss Vineyard. Aged 16 months in 65% new and 35% 1-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Wonderful aromatics flush with spicy cherries and strawberries. Delicious dark red fruits with nuances of Coca-Cola and spice, lingering on the finish. Very smooth and seductive in the mouth with enough tannic backbone to support longevity. No oak crops up to spoil the party. Very close to the old Williams Selyem style and a wine that speaks Middle Reach loudly. Reviewed December 14, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $34 (winery retail is $40). Natural yeast fermentation. Aged in 20% new French Oak barrels. 21st vintage. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Beautifully fruited perfume with accents of toasty oak and coffee. Delicious and suave, with vibrant flavors of cherry pie, red currant and strawberries that persist on the long and lush finish. The soft mouth feel is downright seductive. A stellar young wine that will last 15 years and should be part of any serious pinotphile’s cellar. There are few competitors in Oregon that produce such consistently excellent, elegant and age worthy wines vintage after vintage. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Beaux Frères The Beaux Frères Vineyard Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $80. Made from fruit grown on the original estate vineyard. Primarily Pommard and Wädenswil clones planted on their own roots between 1988 and 1995. The vines are not irrigated and farming is organic with some biodynamic practices. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light in color with a red tone. The aromatics are relatively closed, revealing little fruit but notable toasty oak. The wine offers more on the elegant palate, with moderately rich and pleasing flavors of strawberries, cherries and oak accents that linger on the juicy finish. Well-integrated acidity and tannins offer a harmony that predicts 10+ years of longevity. Stunning the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. There is nothing like older vine fruit. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Ponzi Vineyards Aurora Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.70, 50 cases, $100, etched bottle. Over 70 acres, first established in 1991. This bottling comes from a special section planted as own rooted Dijon clone 777 in 1995. 100% de-stemmed. 7-day post-fermentation maceration. Aged for 20 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered and aged 5 months in bottle before release. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Offering very little charm on the nose with demure scents of dark red fruits, polished woods and brioche. Intense and mouth coating flavors of dark red cherries and raspberries, with a citrus note in the background. The massive fruit is largely buried in substantial tannins and the wine is not offering the whole package at this time. Much better two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A little more showy and youthful than the companion Abetina Vineyard bottling. Cellar at least 3 to 5 years and then open the wine on a special occasion. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Bricelands Vineyards Phelps Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 50 cases, $27. Phelps Vineyard is located on Elk Ridge and is farmed by Pam and Todd Phelps. Aged 1 year in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Aromatically a bit shy initially, but builds in intensity over time in the glass becoming rather flamboyant and displaying scents of ripe, savory dark red fruits. Delicious, even striking, display of dark red stone fruits that fan out on the palate with subtle notes of Asian spice and plum sauce. Elegant and silky textured with remarkable persistence on the pleasing finish. A steamy seductress. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 ROCO Private Stash Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 150 cases, $75, screw cap. Sourced entirely from the Soles’ family Wit’s End Vineyard. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is closed for business initially, opening up over time in the glass to reveal hi-tone aromas of red Pinot fruits and spice. Pleasing, middle weight dark red cherry and berry flavors with a hint of candied spice and Red Vines. The taste profile is more typical of Pinot Noir from the Dundee Hills. A classy wine with admirable elegance that is very smooth in the mouth and literally grows on you over time. Definitely decant if you drink now. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Ranch Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $40. 30 acres of estate vineyard just east of town of Carlton. 4th vintage from this vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, 3-4 day cold soak, 7-10 day extended maceration, aged 12 to 15 months in 60% new and 40% neutral French oak barrels. Aged 6 months in bottle before release. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Terrific nose with bright aromas of ripe berries, forest floor and good barnyard. Remarkably flavored in the mouth with a depth and richness of cherry and berry flavor that defies description. Soft and elegant with well-proportioned tannin and acidity. One of the best 2008 Oregon Pinot Noirs I have tasted and a superb cellar candidate. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Paul Lato “Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 100 cases, $60. 14-year-old Martini clone vines. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Subdued aromas of cherries, red berries and balsam which build in intensity over time in the glass. A cherry bombast in the mouth that makes one pause and wonder how a liquid could deliver such luscious flavor. Elegant, soft in the mouth, with powdery fine grain tannins and an endless echo of scent and fruit on the dry finish. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Paul Lato “Sine Cera” Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 125 cases, $70. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Unfiltered. · Gorgeous aromas of black cherries and Grandma’s fresh berry preserves with a hint of spice box including cardamom. The showy dark berry and plum fruit really sings on the palate. A man’s Pinot with plenty of sinewy tannin framing the lush fruit, but not at all jammy. The finish has plenty of length. Softer and even more expressive the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. I have three words for this wine: delicious, seductive and beguiling. An All-American. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Paul Lato “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 100 cases, $75. Unfiltered. · Subdued aromas of black fruits, herbs and a trace of sweet oak. Earth-kissed red plum and boysenberry fruits with a slight candied cherry note and a subtle underpinning of herbs and oak. Velvety in the mouth with excellent length on the explosive finish. The wine grows on you over time in the glass, and shows beautifully the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Pisoni unplugged. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. Heritage and suitcase selections planted to 6’ x 4’ at 1230 feet on soils with top soil over soft shale. Yields 1.04 tons per acre. · Moderately intense reddish-purple color in the glass. Intense and intoxicating perfume of purple fruits, dried roses, and whole-cluster induced spiciness. A bit reticent, but offering a glimpse of intense plum and dark berry fruits that saturate the palate without being weighty, persisting on the intensely fruity finish that is highlighted by exotic spices and edible flowers. Nothing out of place. Much more open and giving two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Still a Lolita with huge potential. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 WesMar Balleto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $40. Pommard clone. Previously this wine carried a Sonoma Coast AVA designation but the boundaries have changed and this vineyard is now in the Russian Rive Valley. · Demure and delicate aromas of gently spiced black cherries. Discreetly concentrated black stone and berry fruits that are full of vim and vigor, wrapped in soft tannins and framed by bright acidity. This wine is offering the most upfront action now in the lineup. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 WesMar Salzgeber Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $40. · A chameleon of a wine, constantly changing in the glass over time revealing a panoply of aromas and flavors. The core of red and black cherries and berries make a delicious medley that hits a high note on the divine finish. There are some savory and herbal notes which in some vintages are overwhelming in this wine, but nicely integrated in this vintage. Beautifully balanced with a pleasing silkiness and supple tannins that make for easy drinking. A special date night Pinot. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Dehlinger Goldridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $45. Sourced from sections of the estate vineyard where the vines are planted on deeper soils causing the vines to be more vigorous. The resulting wines take on a red fruit character and an approachable structure. 100% de-stemmed, punched down by hand, aged in the winery’s underground cellar. · Alluring scent of Bing cherries and baking spices that holds up nicely over time in the glass. Discreetly concentrated array of delicious red cherries, strawberries and red currants on the palate, fanning out in waves to reach a pleasing finish that makes you want to take another sip. Beautifully composed and thoroughly harmonious, this crowd pleaser is highly approachable now but will perform well for ten years. This is a wine to buy by the case, but you must be on the mailing list. Eva Dehlinger, who has taken over the winemaking chores from Tom Dehlinger since 2007, is continuing the excellence of this cherished and iconic producer. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Derby Wine Estates Derbyshire Vineyard San Simeon San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.50, 246 cases, $36. The vineyard, planted in 1998, borders the Hearst Ranch and is located one mile inland from the Pacific Ocean. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Aged 20 months in 44% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Powerful and penetrating aromas of ripe, fresh black raspberries and black cherries. Delicious essence of sweet Pinot fruits with the slightest hint of pepper and citrus. Very silky and harmonious with bright acidity that will serve it well at the dinner table. Still singing beautifully the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Impressive effort from a unique coastal California site. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas George Estates Baker Ridge Vineyard Backbone Block Russian River Valley Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.58, 60 cases, $65. Baker Ridge is located up an adjacent hill from the winery, at an altitude of 280 feet. This wine is sourced from a Martini clone block planted in 1990 by Davis and Hampton Bynum. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. The wine offers a bright array of aromas with staying power in the glass including scents of berry jam, spice and subtle oak. Charming core of perfectly ripened cherry and berry fruits with a hint of brown spice set off by bright acidity and caressed by firm but abiding tannins. Impeccable balance for the long haul. Very classy juice. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.58, $72. All the fruit from the vineyard farmed by Dennis and Lynn Koplen goes to Kosta Browne. Dijon clone 667, 3.1 tons per acre. 18% whole cluster. · Always a wine of great interest that demands your full attention. Profusely perfumed with aromas of boysenberry jam and spice box. Full-blown hedonistic attack of dark berry and plum flavors that grab hold and persist throughout the flamboyant finish. Despite its big-boned character, the wine retains an appealing charm with a silky, almost ephemeral mouth feel. Quintessential KB. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kosta Browne Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.61, $72. Pisoni selection and 828 clone from a vineyard farmed by Gary Franscioni. 3.0 tons per acre. · Highly perfumed and nuanced nose featuring aromas of fresh red raspberries, cherry cobbler, baking spices and dark red rose petals. Delicious melange of dark red berries and cherries with hints of allspice and vanillin carrying through with impressive finishing intensity. Mild finegrain tannins and balanced acidity create a very charming wine that has a demure appeal. Hard to say no to. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Kosta Browne Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.50, $72. From the 45-acre Pisoni Vineyard perched at 1,300 feet above the Salinas Valley. Pisoni clone, 2.5 tons per acre. · Similar to the Garys’ bottling but more withdrawn, only offering a glimpse of its full potential. Enticing black cherry and mixed berry aromas and flavors with a subtle overlay of spice. Exquisite and pure with a downy mouth feel that will thrill any pinotphile. A more delicate interpretation of this vineyard that needs a few years in the cellar to reach its potential. This could turn out to be a winegasm. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Samsara Ampelos Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 123 cases, $42. From a biodynamically farmed site. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Beautifully nuanced aromas and flavors, strapping and hearty but more reserved than the other two 2008 Samsara bottlings. It offers black raspberries, creamy strawberries, cinnamon and ginger flavors with an earthy undertone, holding on tightly on the dramatic finish. Keeps getting better and better in the glass over time. A delicious, supple, tannin-filled wine with personality. I drank this with roast duck and it was a match to die for. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Et Fille Nicholas Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 172 cases, $34. From the well-known Nicholas Vineyard farmed by Nick and Sheila Nicholas. Pommard clone. Aged 10 months in 31% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Beefy, husky and dark-fruited on the nose. Thick, broad flavors of blueberries, black cherries, black raspberries and dark plums. Tremendous concentration and grip, but retains an attractive feminine tone. Perfectly balanced with a soft but ruffled texture in a worn leather jacket sort of way. Impressive finishing persistence. Even better two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, indicating this wine will be an ideal cellar candidate. Everything you want and some things you didn’t think to ask for in an Oregon Pinot at the right price. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Campesino Cellars Papi y Chula Vineyard Los Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 50 cases, $38. Aged 18 months in seasoned French oak barrels. · Moderate violet color in the glass. Highly perfumed with deep aromas of earth-kissed plums, black raspberries, underbrush, oak and cardamom spice. The dark berry and stone fruit flavors are perfectly ripe, delicious and persistent, with appealing accents of grilled mushrooms and faint oak. I thought I could taste the soil in this wine. Beautifully balanced with supple, well-tamed tannins. Hard to imagine how something so grand can come from something as simple as a grape. Quintessential Carneros. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Tantara Bien Nacido Vineyard Old Vine Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.50, 167 cases, $48. Own-rooted Pommard 4 clone planted in 1973 (G Block). Average yields 1.9 tons per acre. 80% de-stemmed. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak. · A spirited nose offers flamboyant aromas of black cherries and spice box including star anise. The wine pumps out the aromas consistently over time in the glass. Tasty core of plum, black cherry and dark berry flavors with an appealing spice and earthy undertone. This wine literally tastes like the earth in which it is grown. Veers slightly to the ripe side but does not cross the line. Moderately rich with a smooth mouth feel, supple tannins, and a clean finish. Bien Nacido Vineyard at its best. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Tantara Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.40, 387 cases, $48. From a 97-acre vineyard located 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean with a strong maritime influence. Clones are Dijon 777, 667, 115, 2A, and Pommard 5 planted in 1999. 80% destemmed with 20% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Opens slowly in the glass, seducing you gradually. Enticing aromas of dark cherries with a hint of dark chocolate and spice. Amazingly persistent on the palate and through the lengthy finish. The flavors of plum and black cherry are intense and vivid, yet the wine retains a charming, silky finesse. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Angelina Jolie in dark red velvet. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alexana Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $38. Six clonal selections from microblocks in the Revana Vineyard. Proprietor Dr. Madaiah Revara bottles several Pinot Noirs under the Alexana label, a tribute to his daughter, Alexandra. The winemaker is Lynn Penner-Ash. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nuanced perfume of strawberries, red cherries, spice, vanilla, biscuit and oak. Delicious array of red berry and red stone fruits with a pop of cherry on the finish. A seductive, silky wine that really shows off the red fruit character of the Dundee Hills. Has the balance to last in the cellar. Very good (+). Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Argyle Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 700 cases, $30, screw cap. The best vineyard blocks from Argyle-farmed properties. · Attractive aromas of black cherries, grilled mushrooms, and forest floor. Moderately intense core of dark red berries nicely framed by a hint of oak and a healthy tannin backbone. Closed upon opening, but gradually coming to life over time in the glass with more fruit intensity and spice coming to the forefront. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine should definitely be aged in the cellar and has the balance to succeed. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Argyle Nuthouse Reserve Series Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 3,200 cases, $42, screw cap. Named for the old hazelnut drying facility or nuthouse which is now the Argyle winery. Composed of carefully chosen vineyard blocks with pedigree. · The nose is reserved, offering delicate aromas of dark stone fruits and berries with complimentary oak. Vivid and intense red and black berry compote on the palate including a striking attack of black raspberry fruit on entry that lingers on the finish. Well-rounded, smoothly textured, with a lively acid underbelly. More approachable than the 2008 Argyle Reserve, but will also benefit from cellaring. Impressive! Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Jack Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 240 cases, $68. From a 2-acre hillside vineyard near Occidental a few miles from Coastlands and Emmaline Ann vineyards. Dijon clones 115, 667 and 828 planted in Goldridge sandy loam. Hand-tended by the couple living on the property. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak. · Demure aromas of cherry and berry fruits nicely spiced and accented by underbrush. Absolutely delicious melange of fresh cherries and berries with complimentary hints of spice, oak and minerality. Juicy, with impressive persistence on the finish. A lighter bodied wine with gossamer tannins that has a very appealing and seductive gentleness. An All-American. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 COBB Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 360 cases, $68. From 3-acre vineyard near Occidental planted to Dijon clones in Goldridge sandy loam. · Very enticing aromas of dusty dark red spiced Pinot fruits with faint notes of oak and cinnamon. Luscious and silky body of red plum and dark red berry fruits make an impression on the mid palate and linger with a vengeance on the generous finish. Beautifully balanced with racy acidity and supple tannins, this wine offers a little more richness than others in the lineup, but displays the finesse that Cobb wines are known for. A keeper. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Papapietro Perry Pommard Clones Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.66, 440 cases, $70. Sourced from Leras Family Vineyards and Peters Vineyard. Best three barrels from each source. Aged 11 months in 90% new and 10% 1-year old French oak. Third bottling of this clonal mixture. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Bold and fruity nose picking up intensity with time in the glass, showing accents of vanillin and oak. Luscious and vivid black cherry and black raspberry fruit that really makes an impression. The most intensely flavored wine in the lineup, but also nuanced with contributing flavors of cola, spice, confection and vanilla. A fantastic match with lamb. Clearly the star of this vintage. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Stemmler Ferguson Block Carneros Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.63, 159 cases, $44. Ferguson Block is less than a mile east of The Donum Estate. Planted in 1974 with a Martini selection on St. George rootstock in gravelly, loamy clay soils. Native fermentation, aged 16 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Subdued, but pleasing aromas of cherries, strawberries and raspberries. Delicious essence of cherries and raspberries that saturate the mid palate and carry over to a Wow! finish that will send cherry lovers into ecstasy. Harmonious with supple tannins and faint oak adding support. Generous and forthcoming, offering immense pleasure now, but will age beautifully. Ferguson Block fruit is crazy good! Lovable. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $60. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of dark plums, boysenberries, and sassafras with some nuanced floral and spice elements dancing in and out. Righteous juice that charms with its perfectly ripe, sappy dark fruit flavors and soft, silky mouth feel. Seamless with unbelievable persistence on the superbly intense finish. Descriptors cannot do this wine justice. One of the greatest California Pinot Noirs I have ever had the good fortune to drink. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 160 cases, pH 3.46, TA 0.67, $55. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Really impressive fruity nose offering vibrant aromas of ripe cherries and strawberries with hints of graham, BBQ and sandalwood. Mid-weight essence of fresh cherries and strawberries with a subtle nutty note in the background from oak. Dry, fine-grain tannins provide support for this pretty wine that exudes charm. Very Russian River Valley in character, a more restrained interpretation of this vineyard source, and a wine of exemplary pinotosity. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Starr Ridge Vineyard East Terrace Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 157 cases, pH 3.43, TA 0.69, $55. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Darkly fruited with aromas of graham and spice. Black cherry, black raspberry and strawberry flavors with the slightest hint of oak show up in a moderately rich format with restrained tannins, brisk acidity and a refreshing, slightly brambly finish. The silky soft composure is appealing. Much better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, when my wife and I finished the bottle over dinner. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Swan Terrace Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $69. 1.5 acres, 20% slope, planted to a Swan field blend in 6’x4’ spacing. 12”-18” topsoil over soft shale. Yields 1 ton per acre. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. With intense swirling, an appealing scent of mixed berry preserves, crushed black grapes, and a hint of floral perfume emerges. The wine offers well-endowed flavors of plum sauce and dark red raspberries, cola and grilled meat. Rather linear now with the fruit buried in flamboyant tannins. There is some earth and mineral infused quality to the fruit which is appealing and I sense that this wine will perform beautifully in another five years. The wine benefited from re-corking the bottle and sampling it the next day. A connoisseur’s wine with unlimited potential. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60. · Brooding but alluring perfume of black plums, blackberries and black currants. Moderate purple-red color in the glass. Middle weighted but full flavored fruit that really strikes a chord. Offering an array of red and black fruits with faint oak and dark chocolate accents, this sleek and silky wine has a memorable finish with lingering aromatic interest. Best ever Proprietor’s Reserve from Windy Oaks. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Sinor-LaVallee Anniversary Cuvée San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 49 cases, $50. This bottling celebrates Mike and Cheri’s marriage in Burgundy in 1996 and is 100% whole cluster. The wine combines Talley-Rincon and Aubaine fruit. Mike calls it his “wild child,” because it is made with indigenous yeast fermentation and natural MLF. Only produced in vintages that warrant it. · The lightest in color in the lineup, sporting a moderate ruby-red hue. Lovely aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries and exotic woods. More red-fruited and elegant than the vineyard designates, yet packed with flavorful delicately spiced red berry flavor. Seamless, with plenty of sparkle and spirit and a memorable finish with impressive length. Still very appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. About as perfect as it gets. Reviewed May 15, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Donum Estate Grown West Slope Carneros Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.69, 170 cases, $85. From a special 5.5- acre site at the Donum Ranch planted to the Roederer selection that as been the mainstay of the Donum Carneros Pinot Noir. In some vintages, it becomes more complex when blended with a small amount of old Martini selection but in 2007 and 2008 it is a stand-alone wine from the West Slope. 100% de-stemmed, 10% saignee immediately after crushing, 6-day cold soak, inoculated primary fermentation, three week extended maceration. Aged 16 months in 75% new French oak barrels including Francois Freres. · Moderate garnet in color in the glass. Lovely aromatic profile of fresh berry tart, wood spice, and redwood bark. Ambrosial flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a hint of sandalwood and Asian spice. Very classy, elegant juice, with amazing aromatic persistence on the lavish finish. Perfectly integrated tannins and bright acidity make for satisfying drinkability now. Still great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating this wine will age beautifully. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Donum Estate Estate Grown Thomas Carneros Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.34, TA 0.75, 101 cases, $100. This special release is named for Thomas Ferguson, the owner of Ferguson Block, a 1974 planting of Martini selection Pinot Noir. In 2008, Mr. Ferguson celebrated his 100th birthday. 100% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, native primary fermentation, 3 manipulations daily including punch downs and pump overs. A selection of best barrels. Aged 16 months in 100% 1-year-old Billon French oak barrels. · The lightest in color of the 2008 Donum wines reviewed here. This wine is currently rustic and rugged, but what potential. Aromas of black cherry, wood smoke, old leather and oak. Intense and mouth coating fruit that really grabs your attention upon entry. Dark berries and cherries are featured that are fresh, vivid, soil-infused, tarry and smoky. The bright acidity leads you to take another sip and the big finish has Grand Cru persistence. A unique expression of terroir and clonal selection that needs a few years to find its footing, but will last many years beyond this. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Bjørnstad Hellenthal Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 194 cases, $40. Released 11/10. · Moderate reddish-purple color with slight haze (unfiltered) in the glass. Earthy black stone fruit and berry aromas and flavors predominate with an exotic bent. Well-mannered sinewy tannins beautifully frame the fruit and the whole package is seamless. This wine has that rugged, musky, wild appeal common to true Sonoma Coast bottlings and is a joy to drink. Hellenthal Vineyard Pinot Noir typically takes a few years to reach its full expression and this wine should follow that theme although it is hard to resist now. Source: mailing list, website. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Inman Family OGV Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $56, screw cap. Release August 2011. First OGV with over 14% alc. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure, but attractive aromas of dark red berries and cherries with a hint of spice. Delicious medium-weight core of perfectly ripe dark red stone fruits with a subtle note of graham and rhubarb. A serious, hi-collared, and impeccably balanced wine with intense flavor, yet remaining crisp from bright acidity, and finishing with memorable aromatic persistence. Will continue to improve in the bottle for a few years as the tannins assume more polish and the oak settles in. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Emtu Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 144 cases, $40. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of deep, dark red cherries and berries with a complimentary hint of oak. More boldness and intensity than the 2007 vintage, offering a moderately rich mid palate panoply of fresh Bing cherry, raspberry, and red currant flavors with a hint of cola and anise. The ripe tannins add modest structure, the mouth feel is silky smooth and the wine’s bright acidity leads to a pleasingly crisp finish. This is a very sensual wine that can work beautifully on its own or compliment any feast. Reviewed July 23, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Anam Cara Cellars Estate Reserve Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 180 cases, $40. From selected rows in each block with yields of less than 1.5 tons per acre. Aged in 17% new, 52% 1-year-old and 31% 2-year-old French oak barrels. 114 (48%), 777 (35%) and Pommard (17%). · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very alluring aromas of dark plums, blackberries and black cherries with a complimentary hint of oak. Lovely core of earth-kissed and intensely flavored black cherry and black raspberry fruit. Ripe and sweet, round and polished. Silky smooth with perfect integration of oak and a glorious finish that lasts and lasts. Best Reserve ever from Anam Cara. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Anam Cara Cellars Heather’s Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 50 cases, $60. The most elegant wine in the lineup, using the lightest amount of oak. Sourced from a special ten rows cropped to 1.5 tons per acre. 114 (100%). The wine is named after the owners’ daughter. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Initially reserved, but pleasing scents of red cherries and raspberries emerge over time with air. A demure wine on the palate offering a silky array of red Pinot fruits and very supple tannins. Assumes more interest and intensity over time in the glass. A charming ingenue.You can drink it now for its upfront sexiness, but it will be even more striking with additional maturity. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Daedalus Cellars Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

12.4% alc., 24 cases, $60. Released May 2011. From the oldest vineyard on Worden Hill Road in the Dundee Hills. 60% Wädenswil and 40% Pommard clones. Since 2007, the southern half of the vineyard has been farmed by Daedalus organically. Yields 1.0-1.6 tons per acre. 32-day cold soak. Native fermentation. Unfined and unfiltered. · Lighter redder-toned color in the glass. Intense aromas of dark red cherries and berries with oak in the background. Impressive mid palate flavors of dark red cherries, raspberries and cranberries with complimentary oak spice and toast. Seamless, sophisticated and classy with a capital C. Very light on its feet and elegant in structure. Will be better over time as the oak integrates but hard to resist now. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 496 cases, $45. A selection of the best barrels of 115 and Pommard from the estate vineyard. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Spectacular nose offering fully ripe aromas of dark red strawberries, raspberries and cherries with a hint of warm brioche and forest floor. Lavishly appointed with rich and intense flavors of berries, red plums, sassafras, and cassis. Ripely sweet and round with a striking persistence on the finish. Everything is in tune and structurally sound for aging. Hard to resist now, but give this wine another 5 years, and open it with a special companion. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Tyee Wine Cellars Estate Barrel Select Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, $35. Produced from own-rooted old vines ranging from 20 to 34 years old (oldest plantings in the estate vineyard). Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved but pleasing scent of fresh cherries and raspberries with a hint of spice and rose petal. Similar flavor profile to the Estate bottling but with more intensity, more persistence, and more sophistication. The perfectly ripened fruit has a dark red profile, the dry tannins and crisp acidity frame the fruit beautifully, and the silky finish makes an lasting impression. A perfect argument for the superiority of old vine Pinot Noir. The wine was still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, but I couldn’t report beyond this as I eagerly finished the bottle. An exceptional wine that is much more approachable than many reserve Pinot Noirs from Oregon's 2008 vintage. A vin de garde for Oregon in 2008. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 La Rochelle Sarmento Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

15.3% alc., 141 cases, $48. Release spring 2011. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is all oak initially, opening with air to reveal very appealing aromas of black cherries and vanilla spice. The wine possesses intense mid palate fruit of the highest pedigree yet is light on its feet (as in iron fist in a velvet glove). Delicious core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit with a touch of cola. A striking wine that is smoothly textured and finishes with an impressive peacock tail of fruit. Higher in alcohol, but not the least bit over ripe or jammy. Reviewed August 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.5% alc., pH 3.56, 354 cases, $50. 50% River Block and 50% Flax Vineyard. Warmer growing season. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Gorgeous nose of vivid black cherry and black raspberry perfume complimented by oak. Mature black cherry flavors flood the palate with interesting notes of cherry cola, oak spice, umami and red Jolly Rancher lingering on the amazing finish that seems to last an eternity. Definitely ripe flavored. Perfect oak integration and well matched tannins. Similar to the 2009 vintage. Irresistible. Reviewed October 4, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Amalie Robert Estate Selection Estate Bottled Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $50. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Subdued but pleasant aromas of mixed berries and black cherries with a violet note. Silky and earth-driven flavors of darker red berries and subtle baking spice, wrapped in supple tannins with oak playing a complimentary role in the background. A classy wine with very impressive persistence on the aromatic finish. The most cellaring potential of the 2008 Amalie Robert Pinot Noirs and the one with the most Pinot charm. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurène Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $65. A finest lots selection named after Véronique’s elder daughter and first produced in 1992. Available in magnum ($150) and Jeroboam ($325) formats. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The fruit aromas have not completely arrived in the wine, so the scent of dark red cherries and berries is overshadowed by oak. Bright and lively flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, cola, and sassafras led by oak undertones that are prominent at this immature stage. A serious, polished wine that is moderately intense and structured, yet displaying an admirable elegance, and finishing like a three hour movie you don’t want to end. You could drink a bottle now, but it would be a crime as the wine needs several years to emerge and shed its oak wrap. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Woodenhead Buena Tierra Original Planting Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 198 cases, $60. Last vintage for this vineyard designate as the vineyard is dying out due to phylloxera. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of cherries, spice, and oak vanillin. Delicious fruit bombast featuring perfectly ripe flavors of black cherries and black raspberries, with notes of sassafras, cola and exotic spices. Very broad in the mouth and distinctive, leaving a lovely cherry kiss on the lingering finish. Harmonious in every way. I guarantee you will love this wine. An All- American for sure. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Neely Upper Picnic Block Spring Ridge Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $37. The Spring Ridge Vineyard, located in Portola Valley, is owned and farmed by Varner and offers six blocks: Hidden, Home, Amphitheater, Bee, Upper Picnic and Picnic. Varner is known for Chardonnay but produces superb Pinot Noir under its own label and Pinot Noir under the Neely label. Dr. Kirk Neely owns the Spring Ridge Vineyard and the wines are crafted by Varner twins Jim and Bob Varner. · Moderately light purple color. Fresh and clean aromas of mixed berries, black cherries and spice box. Delicious on the attack with an emphasis on nicely spiced black cherries. Vibrant and refreshing with mild tannins and some persistence on the finish. The impeccable balance predicts age ability. Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Talisman Gunsalus Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.52, 296 cases, $40. Pamela and Glen Gunsalus farm their vineyard located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. Dijon 114, 115, 667 and 777. 25% whole clusters, native fermentation. Aged 20 months in 75% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh pie cherries, spice and herbs. Amazing depth of cherry and red raspberry flavor, accented with notes of sassafras and baking spices. Long and creamy on the palate, finishing with a burst of sweet cherry fruit flavor that sails along. The flavors trump the aromas now, but further bottle aging should remedy that. Flat out beautiful and a worthy followup to the spectacular 2007 bottling from this vineyard. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Wild Horse Cheval Sauvage Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.572, $60. A finest barrel selection. Small lot, whole berry fermentation in open-top fermentation bins with manual daily punch downs. Only the finest barrels are selected for this bottling. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with vivid aromas of black cherries, spice and Italian herbs picking up intensity over time in the glass. The medium weighted flavors of dark stone fruits and berries combined with savory herbs and the slightest oak are framed by svelte, satiny tannins and good acidity to produce a wine of considerable charm. I particularly enjoy this wine for its savory bent, elegance, balance, and unmistakable sense of Santa Maria Valley terroir. Definitely worth seeking out. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Mueller Eastside Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.60, 217 cases, $39. Dijon clones 667 and 115 and Wädenswil 2A. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved aromas of spiced dark red cherries and berries, woodshed and forest floor. Crisp and juicy, flush with red cherry flavor that is accented with notes of sandalwood and spice, offering bright acidity, fine-grain tannins and a seductive elegance. Easy to drink now and like Drew Barrymore - very successful at a young age. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Mueller August Recher Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.60, 223 cases, $39 (sold out; available as part of the “Pinot Quartet”). Dijon clones 667 and 777. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Amazingly fragrant with a perfume of cherry essence and complimentary oak spice. A delicious cherry bombast coats the tongue accompanied by accents of cola, Asian 5-spice and dark chocolate-covered cherries. The tannins are very supple and there is enough acidity to bring the fruit into focus and retain a refreshing tone. Amazingly persistent on the finish. In the words of sportscaster Keith Jackson...”Whoa, Nellie.” Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Calera de Villiers Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 1,460 cases, $35. Yield 2.06 tons per acre. Native fermentation, aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels, bottled unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Riper fruit profile on the nose offering scents of black currants, black cherries and Asian 5- spice. Moderately intense on the palate with flat out delicious flavors of black cherries and dark plums with an appealing minerality and earthiness underlain with a hint of citrus. Very smooth in the mouth with fine-grain tannins showing up on the richly endowed finish. Even more strikingly aromatic the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, tasting of darker Pinot fruits. An ideal pretense to seduction. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Calera Mills Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 510 cases, $45. Yield 0.47 tons per acre. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Plenty of interest in the nose with scents of dark red berries, sandalwood, seasoned oak, and pastry. Vibrant and amazingly intense on the mid palate attack with flavors of dark red berries and dark red cherries wrapped in gentle, fine-grain tannins. The fruit refuses to give up its presence on the spectacular peacock finish. A touch of heat shows up on the nose and finish, but this seems trivial considering the impressive palate presence of this wine. Outstanding the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Calera Jensen Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 829 cases, $70. Yield 0.86 tons per acre. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak and bottled unfiltered. · Moderately light in color with mainly reddish tones. Subdued but seductive aromas of dark red cherries and berries, charcoal and spice. Lighter in weight than the other Calera single-vineyard offerings in this vintage and unusually light for Jensen. Flavors of ripe strawberries, red cherries and red raspberries with an appealing spice box accent, enrobed in well-proportioned dusty tannins which peek out on the dry and persistently aromatic finish. Very creamy and soft in texture. Calera’s signature Pinot Noir, deserving of all the accolades one can muster for this vintage. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.82, TA 0.54, 659 cases, $50. Highest elevation and youngest of the estate Pinot Noir vineyards. Vines are planted at high density in primarily Jory soil. First of the estate vineyards to be farmed entirely by organic methods. 43% whole clusters. Native yeast exclusively. Aged 17 months in 59% new Burgundian oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued and mysterious perfume of black fruits, spice and stem. Fresh and juicy on the palate with very impressive extraction and a prodigious tannic backbone. The flavors of fresh blackberries, Hoison sauce and Asian 5-spice are reserved and take a back seat to the tannins. Still, there is amazing grand cru quality persistence on the huge finish. Tremendous potential here but will take years to fulfill. Reviewed November 30, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, pH 3.74. $40. A blend of Pommard, 667 and 114. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure but alluring perfume of perfectly ripe black cherries and black raspberries, cut flowers and a swirl of spice. The nose is flat-out great. Medium-weighted and lush mixed dark red berry fruit coats the palate, expands in the mouth and lingers on the long finish. The ripe tannins are noticeable, yet not imposing. More sap than the 2009 vintage, but less giving at this stage. This wine is very seductive now, but will ultimately be a bombshell. Reviewed November 30, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.69, 201 cases, $55. This vineyard is located in the Middle Reach and is one of Alysian’s estate properties. The West Block was planted in 1971 and is one of the oldest known plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. Yields are less than one ton per acre but Farrell insists that the vineyard be preserved. Martini clone. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Clean and pure aromas of fresh berry tart and plum sauce. Tasty core of black cherry and blackberry flavors with a hint of vanilla. Packed with flavor, yet crisp and light on its feet. Seamless, with a creamy mouth feel and spectacular persistence of perfectly ripe fruit on the refreshing finish. Still solid the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The whole package. Reviewed January 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 LaVelle Matthew’s Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 430 cases, $35.99. The first reserve from this winery since 1998. Very impressive when tasted in September 2010. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Slowly evolves in the glass eventually offering intense aromatic charm with scents of black raspberries and dark stone fruits. Moderately intense core of black cherry and black raspberry flavors with accents of tea, cola and anise. The fruit really sings a high note from the eye-popping entry to a finish that seems to last an eternity. The tannins have melded and the texture is all silk and satin. Divine. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Lange Estate Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 250 cases, $60. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of black plums, dark cherries, cassis, forest floor and damp earth. Soil-inflected core of intensely flavored black plum fruit that is beginning to shed its baby fat. Since last tasted in 2010, the tannins have become softer, the oak has faded into the background, and the wine is exhibiting an amazingly long finish with a pleasingly bright cut of acidity. The wine has the balance for long-term aging. Put on your big boy pants when you open this one. Reviewed January 12, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Youngberg Hill Vineyards Natasha McMinnville Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.60, 370 cases, $30. The Natasha’s Block sits on 6.6 acres facing southeast and receives the maximum amount of sunlight. 50% Wädenswil and 60% Pommard clones. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A deeply perfumed nose offering a thrust of dark berry aromas with hints of dried herbs, walnuts and cut flowers. Middleweight dark berry flavors with riffs of savory herbs and anise, making an impression on the mid palate and lingering with intensity on the long finish. Prominent tannins are well balanced by good acidity. Like so many Pinot Noirs from the superb 2008 vintage in Oregon, this wine needs several years in the cellar to allow full integration of tannins and complete flavor development. This was demonstrated when a previously opened and re-corked bottle was tasted two days later and showed luscious fruit flavors with softer tannins and a velvety mouth feel. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Talisman Adastra Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 266 cases, $50. This vineyard is organically farmed by Chris Thorpe and his son-in-law Edwin Richards. Clones are Wädenswil, Dijon 113 and Pommard. · Moderately dark in color. Appealing aromas of blackberries, boysenberries and exotic woods. Delicious core of black plum and blackberry fruit that cloaks the firm structure producing a sleek mouth feel and impressive finishing strength. A man’s wine that is yet condescending and soft on the palate. Still alluring the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. I wanted to hug this wine. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $65. The winery’s flagship wine sourced from estate vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills. First vintage was in 1990. A blend of 40% Pommard, 51% Dijon, and 9% Wädenswil clones sourced primarily from estate vineyards grown in the Dundee Hills (70%) and Eola Hills (30%). Aged 17 months in 72% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Upon opening, smoky oak and campfire aromas and flavors dominate the fruit. Tasted later in the day from an opened bottle, the wine had blossomed in an extraordinary fashion, with oak receding to the background as a pleasing mocha note, and luscious black cherry and black raspberry fruit marching to the forefront to saturate the mid palate with flavor. A satiny mouth feel leads to a generous, long, and dry finish. I suggest you decant this wine if opened now, or patiently cellar to allow the oak and tannins to further integrate. A great assembly of Pinot clones that will please any Pinot aficionado. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Siltstone Guadalupe Vineyard Oregon Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 380 cases, $28. Released May 2011. Viticulturist Joel Myers’ own label. His company, Vinetenders, manages Guadalupe Vineyard for owners Jim Stonebridge and Kathleen Boeve. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Evocative aromas of red berries and cherries on a bed of mesquite. Vibrant flavors of red raspberries and Bing cherries with a hint of caramel and spice that fan out nicely on the palate in an elegant presentation. Very forward for this vintage. Long, scented aftertaste. An exceptional wine of great pinotosity. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurène Drouhin Family Estate Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $65. · Medium garnet color in the glass. Powerfully aromatic with a perfume of fresh cherry tart and red berry mash, with hints of coffee and sandalwood. Delicious core of dark red fruits that are mouthfilling and rich supported by moderate refined tannins and oak-driven mocha java flavor. Endless echo of scent and fruit on the finish. Needs more time to fully integrate the oak. Relatively elegant for a 2008 vintage Oregon Pinot Noir and more approachable than many. A 2011 PinotFile All-American and deservedly so. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Privé Vineyard le nord Yamhill County Estate Grown Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc.. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very subdued nose, even with swirling. Middleweight oak-kissed plum and dark berry flavors with an appealing savoriness. Juicy and smoothly textured with mild tannins. Finishes with remarkable red berry aromatic intensity. Much more expressive and interesting the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Patience is required. Reviewed May 11, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Alfaro Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 105 cases, $48. Dijon clones. 20% whole cluster, indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged 14 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Effusive aromas of strawberries, raspberries, spice and cut flowers. Wellendowed with flavors of dark red Pinot fruits fanning out on the palate in waves, finishing with a raspberry kiss. Savory herb flavors add interest. All you could want in a Pinot with supple, dreamy tannins, bright acidity and purity of fruit. With added bottle age, this wine is showing more transparency than the 2009 vintage bottling. Big Basin Vineyards has emerged as one of the top Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir producers along with Windy Oaks, Mount Eden, Rhys Vineyards and Thomas Fogarty Winery. Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Scherrer Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 185 cases, $75. Released November 2011. Joan and Lew Platt planted this vineyard overlooking the town of Bodega. A very cool site that escaped the summer wildfire issues. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued aromas of dark red cherries with a hint of tea leaf and oak. The fruit really pops on the palate with vibrant exuberance. Flavors of black cherries, blueberries and black raspberries elevated by a lively cut of acidity. Moderately rich and beautifully balanced. Needs time to open in the glass. Built for the long haul (available in magnums which should easily last 15 years). Reviewed June 24, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Laetitia Brut Rosé Arroyo Grande Valley Sparkling Wine

12.5% alc., pH 3.08, TA 0.975, 802 cases, $28. Released September 12, 2012. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were fermented with Prise de Mousse traditional Champagne yeast and stored in stainless steel while the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. It was then racked and filtered and blended with only the brightest, least tannic, lowest alcohol lots of barrelaged still Pinot Noir. Bottled in the spring of 2009 and kept en tirage for 36 months. The still wine component is aged in mature French oak barrels. · Pretty rose-pink color in the glass. Great bead. Lovely aromas of red berries, rose petals and pastry cream. Delicious core of moderately rich tasting red strawberry, cranberry and red raspberry flavors with a hint of pink grapefruit. Dry and uplifting, finishing with some length and a lasting, slightly tart note of citrus-laden berries. I get excited for great Brute Rosé, and this wine is a sublime example. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas are clean and airy, smelling of a vast meadow of damp earth and brush, but also endowed with scents of ripe dark cherries and black raspberry syrup. I find this nose enchanting. On the palate, the wine offers a dark red fruit festival with a hint of baking spices showing more body, more finish and better integrated tannins than the 2007 vintage version. Very flavorful now but still young at heart. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Windy Oaks Estate Special Burgundy Clone Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $75. Very limited. From a special half-acre section of the vineyard that is carefully hand-tended exclusively by Jim Schultze. The clone is a rarely propagated French Pinot Noir clone not available in the United States. Aged 27 months in 100% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A very polished and sophisticated offering that reminds me of a Frédéric Mugnier wine from Chambolle-Musigny. Deep cherry and spice aromas and flavors that take on an extraordinary appeal over extended time, seemingly partnering with the glass. Comforting and silky with soft tannins and beautifully integrated oak. Very food friendly (try roast chicken). My wife was impressed and that is saying something. Still great the next day when we finished the bottle. Truly in a class by itself. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Freeman Akiko’s Cuvée Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

420 cases. 38% Keefer Ranch, 24% Rayhill, 24% Guidici, 9% Horse Ridge, and 5% Sexton. Aged 11 months in 38% new, 33% 1-year-old, and 29% 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine reflects more Green Valley influence from Keefer Ranch. The aromas jump out of the glass with swirling, offering enticing notes of fresh cherries and crushed wild raspberries with a touch of spice. Impressive mid palate presence of an array of dark red fruits that are vivid and juicy. Like chewing on iced cherries. The oak is beautifully integrated, the tannins are well-mannered, the acidity is bright, and the finish is delightful. A lip-smacker. Drink or hold long term. Score: 95. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Rapley Trail Estate “M” Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 75 cases, $68. The backbone of past Estate Reserve bottlings. Since 2002, two unique blocks of Rapley Trail Vineyard, B and M, although continuous, are distinct and bottled separately. · Gorgeous aromas of black raspberries, baking spice and violets. There is a plush core of berry fruit with a ridiculously long finish. Plenty of ripe, fine tannins create the framework for a long life ahead yet the whole package is approachable now. A stunning wine. Reviewed March 15, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Felton Road Central Otago Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $40, screw cap. · A beautifully composed wine with a delicious mix of dark berries, plums, earth, anise and oak fanning out vibrantly on the palate. Supple tannins softly surround the fruit, the style is graceful and refined, and the balance is perfect. This wine is more forthcoming than the 2006 vintage (which I tasted at the winery) which still needs to shed its tannins. Reviewed October 13, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 george Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 300 cases, $50. Formerly the Nuptial Vineyard, this vineyard is farmed by the Martinelli family. · Elegance personified with tasty red cherry, cola and spice flavors. Plenty of lively acidity on the finish pulls the drinker back to the glass. Reviewed November 2, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 george Leras Family Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 85 cases, $50. Primarily Dijon clones with some Pommard. George says Vegas loves this wine. · Intoxicating aromas of fresh cherry and raspberry fruit. I wanted to dive in. Medium-weighted, with juicy sweet fruit that is perfectly ripe. Clean and lively on the finish. This is one I could snuggle up to. Reviewed November 2, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Vineyards Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 50 cases, $90-$100 when released. Wood tank fermented, 67% whole clusters. Clones 777 and 828. · This is a striking Pinot that is at once both rich and silky, featuring earth-dusted red fruits, refined tannins, lively acidity and a fresh, clean mouth feel. The finish is outrageous, struting a peacock tail of flavor of uncommon intensity. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Reviewed November 2, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Zepaltas Suacci Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 145 cases, $49. Suacci owner John D. Suacci has enlisted the services of noted farmer Charlie Heintz to manage the vineyard and improve yields and balance in the grapes. Aged in 38% new French oak for 11 months. · Spirited aromas of black cherries, wild flowers, hay and oak that rocket out of the glass. Delicious and vibrant blackberry and ollalliberry fruit with some other intriguing flavors I can’t pinpoint. Beautifully herbed and spiced and perfectly balanced, this is a wine of great nuance that makes you sit up and take notice. I loved this wine! Reviewed November 17, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Bethel Heights Flat Block Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.2% alc.. The Flat Block is a 3.3 acre section of the estate vineyard planted in 1979 all to Pommard clone. The rocks underlying this block have a different mineral composition from those of the Southeast Block. As a result, this wine is the most refined and elegant of the Bethel Heights Pinot Noirs. · When I tasted this one I wrote, “Gorgeous” and underlined it. This is classic Pinot Noir with perky dark red Pinot fruits livened with herbs and spice and set off by brisk acidity and supple tannins. This could be the star of the vintage. Reviewed December 17, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lost Canyon Widdoes Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., <125 cases, $42. · A subdued but lovely nose featuring Bing cherry, red currant, raisin, Asian spice and gingerbread. Lip-smacking cherry and raspberry fruit, fully ripe, clean and juicy. Nicely composed with admirable acidity, and a persistent finish redolent of sweet oak. Reviewed January 1, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyard Home Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. 100% new oak. · Very complex and promiscuous scents of cherry syrup, raisin, brambly underbrush, warm croissant and even gingerbread. An appealing earthiness underlies the fruit which is rich and full on the palate and encased in gentle dry tannins. Reviewed February 25, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Family Farm Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $49. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Loamy bright berry fruit accented with spice and chocolate. Tasty core of dark raspberry and strawberry fruits combined with a silky texture and a refreshing tang on the finish. Beautifully composed and harmonious. Reviewed February 25, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 150 cases, $59. · This wine outshines the other two Rhys Alpine Road Vineyard Pinot Noirs which are very stellar in their own right. It just sucks the air out of you, leaving you speechless. I had very few notes written down on this one other than a star because all I could do was shake my head and smile. The demure dark stone and berry fruits laced with anise and musk grab you and draw you in. The wine is a revelation, exceeding the bounds of description. Reviewed February 25, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Hillside Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 100 cases, $49. · Very dark reddish-purple hue (the Dark Knight in the lineup). On the nose there are bright fresh berries and wet rocks. Generous amounts of ripe Pinot fruits, especially black raspberry, with a base of minerals and earth that fan out nicely on the palate. Still restrained and seductive, hiding behind a healthy structure of ripe, firm tannins. A distinctive wine of great charisma that needs some time to fully reveal itself. Reviewed February 25, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.3% alc., $49. · This wine smells remarkably of damp earth. In the mouth, there are saucy blueberry and cherry fruits surrounded by healthy tannins. The winemaker said he could taste shale in the wine, something I could not confirm because of my limited experience in shale tasting. Heck, I could dig (sic) it and I could tell it was a wine that was clean, pure and pristine with an appealing suave texture. Reviewed February 25, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Skyline Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $49. Yield 0.54 tons per acre. 50% new French oak barrels. · A very unique and challenging wine with exotically spiced black cherries and berries on the nose which carry over onto the palate with added brioche, grape and a hint of citrus. Prominent raspberry flavors explode and saturate the palate. An extremely intriguing spice box component is quite unique. A sensual and harmonious wine that still has some ripe tannins to shed. Reviewed February 25, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Loma Prieta Winery Saveria Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $50. · Moderately dark reddish-purple robe. The nose grows and grows in the glass exploding with fresh black cherry pie filling and new oak aromas. The bold fruit is secured by substantial tannins and adequate acidity creating admirable balance. The wine possesses a mouth coating fullness and a finish that would make Hollywood proud. This one deserves an Oscar. Reviewed March 15, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Lester Family Vineyard (Deer Park) Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Barrel sample. Clone 667. · Rich aromas of fresh berry jam and confected cherries draw you in. Delicious melange of red berries with a touch of citrus on the palate. Perfectly harmonious with no tannin to speak of and refreshing acidity to keep you reaching for another sip. A very seductive wine with tremendous upside potential. Reviewed March 15, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 St. Innocent Villages Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 2,043 cases, $25. A blend of grapes sourced from Vitae Springs, Freedom Hill, and Zenith vineyards cropped at 1.2 to 2.7 tons per acre. Young plantings are blended with a consistent Pinot Noir base wine from both old and new blocks of the Vitae Springs Vineyard. In Oregon and through the St, Innocent tasting room, this cuvée is entirely from Vitae Springs Vineyard but the cuvée sold in other United States markets contains 80% of Vitae Springs Vineyard with some Zenith Vineyard and Freedom Hill added in. Aged 13 months in 20% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. Winemaker Mark Vlossak is at the top of his game. · The wine’s aromatics build in the glass and really erupt over time, always a sign of a superior wine. The nose offers scents of fresh cherries and raspberries kissed by oak and spice. Cherry driven flavors with a floral and citric accent are offered in an elegant style that is light and harmonious. The winemaking pedigree shows through in this very good wine that will hold on and drink well for another 4 or 5 years. At $252 a case, this is a perfect choice for recession slumdogs. Reviewed March 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Et Fille Wines Kalita Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., 380 cases, $38. Vineyard is owned by Arthur and Sherry Kalita. Pommard and Wädenswil clones. Aged 9 months in 49% new French oak. · The most perfumed of the 2007 lineup showing scents of dark red cherries and red plums, red roses and a hint of oak. Delicious dark cherry bombast with accents of spice, brioche, pepper and toast. The tannins are gossamer and the cherry aromas linger endlessly on the teasing finish. This beauty has a gentle richness that is very sensual. Reviewed March 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $45. · Noticeably lighter in color than the 2006 version of this wine. A selection of the best barrels in the cellar. Lovely scents of cherries, spice, violets and spicy oak. Succulent dark stone fruits fan out nicely on the palate enhanced by notes of cola, Asian spice, savory herbs and forest floor. Silky textured and perfectly balanced. This wine shows more terroir than the LeNez bottling from the same vineyard. One of the best 2007 Pinot Noirs from Oregon I have tasted this year. Reviewed March 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 135 cases, $45. Sourced from fruit grown on the East Block of the estate vineyard. Clones are 114, 115 and 777. Barrel aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · Wonderful aromatics with considerable interest. Red stone fruits and red berries, cinnamon spice, a hint of oak and a touch floral with some fresh mountain air marked by cedar and pine. An aromatic wine on the palate with lingering flavors of red fruits, oak and edible flowers. Very clean and silky with polished tannins and a good grip on the finish. Perfectly harmonious and a real treat. Reviewed March 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 SPELL Barton Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 45 cases, $47. The Barton Vineyard is located just outside the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley on Vine Hill Road. Clones 115 and Pommard. 25% whole cluster fermentation, aged 20 months in 50% new French oak, unfined and unfiltered. · Enticing and penetrating aromas of strawberries, raspberries, cola, baking spices and sandalwood. Very “Russian Riveresque” and I loved it. Red fruit driven flavors which are leaner than the Weir bottling but enough richness to satisfy. Very smoothly textured and nicely balanced. Will get even better in another one to two years. Reviewed April 18, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Loos Family Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 300 btls, $40 (sold out). Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777 in equal amounts. Yields 2.5 tons per acre. Extended 9-day cold soak, gentle hand punch downs three times a day, 10 day fermentation with wild and proprietary yeast, aged 9+ months in 50% new and 50% neutral Francois Freres French oak with medium toast plus. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light garnet color. Complex aromatics showing black cherry, cinnamon apple, cola and a hint of oak. Lovely cherry fruit on an elegant platform with fine-grain tannins and a tangy finish displaying orange peel and a delicate floral bent that is very appealing. Very impressive effort for first time out. Reviewed April 18, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lenné Karen’s Pommard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 73 cases, $55. · The aromas recall an exotic perfume exhibiting wild dark red fruits and spring bouquet. The wine is powerfully flavored yet retains the delicacy and velvety texture that is so sensual in Pinot Noir. Multilayered flavors of red plums, ripe berries, currants, spice and a little earthiness. Perfect integration of t n‘ a. There is something magical about this vineyard. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Papapietro Perry Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 715 cases, $45. · Deeper colored than the Russian River Valley bottling. Aromas of slightly confected cherries and strawberries with hints of herbs, spice and mocha. Reasonably concentrated flavors of dark red cherries complimented by brown spice and a touch of earthiness. Nicely composed with minimal tannins making it thoroughly enjoyable now. Like Drew Barrymore, very successful at a young age. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Papapietro Perry Elsbree Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 937 cases, $49. This vineyard consists of a field blend of about 20 clones on multiple rootstocks. Farmed by Chuck Elsbree. · A very complex and alluring nose displaying red plum and red current fruit with a sniff of cactus flower, roasted nuts, herbs and oak vanillin. A demure wine that is packed with flavors of spiced stone fruits and berries. Youthful tannins are evident and there is good grip, even a slight tartness to the refreshing and lingering finish. Still not showing all of its charms. I really like this wine and salute its uniqueness. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Papapietro Perry Peters Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 963 cases, $49. The Peters Vineyard is owned and farmed by Tom Mukaida. He originally was an apple grower who switched to farming Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the 1980s. He sold his grapes to Gallo for several years. Composed of Pommard and Dijon 777 clones. · This wine is a real showoff. Very bright cherry fruit, even sensual, with a spicy touch of oak in the background. Plush and mouth filling attack of raspberry and cherry fruit with added flavors of savory herbs and baking spices. Perfectly harmonious with lithe tannins, this beautiful wine seduces with its smoothness and silkiness. You will need a cold shower after drinking this one. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Block 15 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 198 cases, $55. Clones 667 and 777 from the hillside block of this vineyard located in the northern Vine Hill area. · A marvelous nose composed of bright aromas of red cherries and berries, Provencal herbs, vitamins and a touch of oak. Plenty of body and weight with layered flavors of sweet dark cherries and raspberries exotically spiced and framed beautifully by supple tannins and restrained acidity. Built for the long haul with more body and spice than Tyra Banks on the Victoria Secret runway. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 C. Donatiello Hervey Vineyard Green Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 515 magnums, $142. Grapes from this vineyard were previously part of a blend for a large winery. This 9-10-acre vineyard in southwestern Sebastopol consists of 8-year-old vines planted to clones 115, 667 and 777 at a very cool site with plenty of fog. The result is an extra 3 to 4 weeks of hang time. Farmed by John Hervey, a Spanish teacher and dedicated winegrower. This wine comes from a block of 667 clone only. Aged 10 months in 100% 1-year-old French oak barrels. · This is one of those wines you keep coming back to. Bright and complex perfume of Bing cherries, fresh herbs, vanilla and soft oak. Stone fruit-driven rich middle palate that has plenty of structural power yet retains an appealing elegance. The finish is persistent like a dreamy three hour movie that never ends. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Clos Pepe Estate Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 650 cases, $54. · A marvelous drinking experience beginning with the clean and fruity nose hinting of spice and minerals followed by a delicious, sappy black raspberry and blackberry core that explodes in the mouth and saturates every taste bud. Ridiculous! Modest tannins, deft use of oak and perfectly harmonious. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Clos Pepe Estate “Vigneron’s Select” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 72 cases, $59. A blend of the favorite barrels in the cellar. · As good as the regular 2007 bottling is, this one raises the ante a notch. Really heady aromas of black cherries and raspberries with herbs adding interest in the background. Smooth and seamless pie-filling fruits on the palate, showing a perfect marriage of finesse and power. Plenty of fruit to thrill, beautifully framed by supple tannins and a lively vein of minerality and acidity, culminating in a long and scented finish. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Shandel’s Oppenlander Vineyard Comptche Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., >400 cases, $40, unreleased. · Moderately dark in color and darkly floral on the nose with full-bodied flavors of wild blackberries and raspberries, red plum and bittersweet chocolate. The taste is quite exotic and distinctive. The wine is nicely composed and charms with its satiny texture. The remarkably persistent finish leaves a hint of warmth in its wake. Still young and not as expressive as it will be, this one is a winner. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Kastania Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 336 cases, unreleased. Aged 11 months in 43% new French oak barrels. · This wine is a step up in intensity with deeper aromas of cherries, tea and oak toast and perfectly ripened fruit. Vigorous with flavor and character showing a rich core of spiced cherry fruit complimented by oak smoke. Saucy and fat, yet retaining an edge of finesse. A great mouthful of Pinot. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 J. Lynne Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 973 cases, $25. · Vivid perfume of cherries, strawberries and Asian spices. Refined and compelling flavors of fresh picked cherries, raspberries and strawberries with a hint of cola. Moderately light in weight with suave tannins, lively acidity and admirable elegance. A welcoming wine that is easy to drink and notable for its pinotosity. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Paul Lato Wines “Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.,100 cases, $63. · Really lovely nose touting Bing cherries, forest floor, sandalwood and baking spices. Delicious midweighted cherry fruit with oak playing a supportive role in the background. Silky, vibrant and perfectly harmonious. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Paul Lato Wines “Sine Cera” Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc.,125 cases, $73. · Deep, dark brooding nose showing aromas of black cherries, raspberries and white pepper. A distinctive wine with woodsy and earthy dark stone fruits that are both lush and mysterious. Deft touch of oak and admirable corralling of tannins. A hint of citrus shows up in the finish which is unbelievably persistent. This is a wine that comes at you, grabs hold and demands your attention. Screams for duck. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Paul Lato Wines “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 150 cases, $68. · Sensual perfume of fresh crushed raspberries and blackberries with the slightest hint of oak. Gorgeous fruit accented with musk and cola and framed harmoniously by soft tannins and a spark of acidity. Pinot my paramour. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 ZD Wines Norman de Leuze ZD Founder’s Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 750 cases, $65. Very cool label. The de Leuze family wanted to reproduce the original photograph from the book Napa-Behind the Bottle by author Bill Tucker. This special release honors Norman de Leuze's favorite varietal and also coincides with the winery's 40th anniversary. Sourced from an organically farmed Napa Carneros vineyard using deficit irrigation, crop thinning and hand canopy management. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels. · A vibrant and expressive nose brimming with aromas of black cherries, strawberries and raspberries in harmony with a subtle riff of herbs. Multifaceted flavors of cherries, raspberries, currants, sassafras, and game. Richer and darker than the regular bottling and packed with flavor, yet almost ephemeral in quality. The tannins are fine grained and the texture all silk and satin. Still drank beautifully the next day from a previously opened re-corked bottle. A very stylish wine displaying the hand of a talented winemaker. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 326 cases, $50. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Effusive aromas of cherries, berries, mocha and minerals jump out of the glass. Delicious black cherry fruit which grabs your attention and lingers like a romantic kiss. Richly fruited and highly nuanced with hints of earth, tea, herbs and oak. The perfect harmony of optimally ripe fruit, vital acidity and refined tannins. The wine was opened in the morning and was even better later in the day. A dreamy wine of great charm. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Keefer Ranch Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 243 cases, pH 3.45, $42. 9 day cold soak, 11 day fermentation, 20% whole cluster, aged 12 months in 25% new French oak. · A gently perfumed, ethereal style of Pinot Noir, very feminine in character, but not delicate in flavor. The nose is quite charming featuring crushed strawberries and raspberries, summer herbs and violets. Fresh and juicy raspberry juice in the mouth with some gregarious spice and marzipan. Soft and silky with powdery tannins and a refreshing edge on the finish. A perfectly composed wine with great purity of fruit. You will want to dance with this one. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Twomey Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. · Moderately light in color. Delicate aromas of Bing cherries, roses, freshsawn oak and baking spices. The cherry core is rich and flavorful enhanced with oak spice and buttressed with ample acidity. Raspberries linger on the long and dry finish. The velvety texture is heavenly. A seamless wine with that signature Pinot Noir ephemeral character. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $47. This vineyard is located on west-facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain, where the winds and cool fog from the Petaluma Gap are frequently evident. The vineyard is owned and farmed by Premier Pacific Vineyards. Multiple wineries source from this large vineyard of about 140 acres planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir clones are Swan, 114, 115, 667, 777 and 828 on four different rootstocks. · Really attractive nose composed of bright black cherries, red plums and a dusting of oak. Black cherry and black raspberry fruits cascade easily through the palate complimented by a vein of citric peel and vanillin. Moderately rich with good purity of flavor and a refined mouth feel. A good effort that is very well crafted. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Scott Paul Audrey Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $65, screw cap. A barrel of the finest, most elegant and silkiest wine of the vintage. Sourced from blocks of Maresh Vineyard in the Dundee Hills planted in 1970. The name of this wine comes from Audrey Hepburn and is crafted to reflect her stylish grace and elegance. Also available in magnums. · This is not a “reserve” wine that is pumped up with fruit and oak. Restrained but very alluring perfume of crushed red berries, Provencal herbs, Chinese five-spice and gentle oak. Light, feminine and very satiny, yet delivers plenty of vibrant fruit flavor. The tannins are gossamer and the pleasing finish hints of fresh herbs and oak. The pedigree of the vineyard shows through and this is the most sophisticated wine of the Scott Paul trio. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Anthill Farms Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $42. This vineyard sits at 1,500 feet on a ridge above Boonville. Originally planted by the Demuth family and now owned by the Knez family, the vineyard is 20 years old. Wädenswil and Pommard clones. · Yields were less than one ton per acre. Brooding and restrained aromas of dark fruits, toast and spice. Packed with sappy dark stone fruit with a faint vein of citrus in the background and sporting flamboyant tannins. Still closed and unyielding. A well-endowed wine with great cleavage that, given enough time, will be the best wine in the 2007 lineup. Match now with full-flavored food. Reviewed May 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 195 cases, $52. Released in May, 2009. · Very pretty black cherry robe. Exotically perfumed with wild berries, black cherries, herbs and grass. Perfect balance of ripe raspberry and blackberry fruit, vibrant acidity and refined tannins. The mouth feel is soft and gentle with an endless finish that holds on tight for what seems an eternity. Is there an app for this? Reviewed May 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Copain Hacienda Secoya Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. · Dark reddish-purple color. Alluring scents of dark red cherries, raspberries, watermelon and a hint of barnyard. Love this nose. Earthkissed berry fruit with a hint of oak smoke. Rich and deeply flavored with bright acidity, soft in the mouth and perfectly balanced. Reviewed May 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Foursight Charles Vineyard All-In Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 407 cases, $46. Released March 2009. Clones 114, 115, 777 and Pommard 5. 80% de-stemmed, 20% whole clusters, wild yeast primary and secondary fermentation. Aged in 20% new, 31.25% two-year-old and 43.75% neutral French oak barrels. No racking, unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color. Clean aromas of cherries, mocha and spice. Very friendly in the mouth with savory flavors of fresh berries including cranberries with a subtle note of oak and dark chocolate. Texturally smooth with well-concealed ripe tannins and a good grip on the lasting finish. Plenty of Pinot singing here. Reviewed May 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 875 cases, $30. Barrel for 8 months. Estate bottled. · Moderate color. Clean aromas of mineral-infused cherries and berries, with some wooded forest in the background. Demure ripe strawberry and cherry flavors with a hint of vinous spice rack, sandalwood and smoke. Light and silky in the mouth with a memorable persistent raspberry note on the finish. Plenty of Pinot bang for the buck. Reviewed May 26, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 La Crema Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 1,800 cases, $30. Released January 2009. Clones 115, 667, 777 and 23. Grapes are de-stemmed, cold soaked 4 days, aged 9 months in 48% new French oak (medium and medium plus toast levels). · Moderate garnet color. Lovely perfume of cherries and berries with sage. Powerfully flavored ripe berry fruit with a base of minerals and earth. Very friendly in the mouth with a creamy, sexy quality and plenty of vim on the tangy finish. A high-collared and impressive wine. Reviewed June 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Navarro Vineyards Deep End Blend Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 1,572 cases, $49. Release date March 2010. Harvest Brix 26.5º. Clones are 114, 115, 667, 777 and Pommard 4. · This is a precocious wine that is very approachable now. Charming perfume of a fresh cherry pie with a hint of oak spice. Plums and berries lead the balanced attack with a perfect tug of acidity. Smooth and refined with an appealing elegance. Pick any superlative you want. Could be the best Anderson Valley Pinot Noir I tasted at this year’s Festival. Reviewed June 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Corby Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 350 cases, $40. The Corby Vineyard was planted in 1995 along the east side of the Navarro River in the direct route of the fog channel from the Mendocino Coast. This is the first single vineyard-designate from this vineyard and may be the last as the property has been sold. 50% Pommard and 50% Dijon 115 clones. Yields were 2.5 tons per acre. Whole berry fermentation, 6 day cold soak, 16 days on the skins. Unfined and unfiltered. Aged 11 months in 40% new, 20% 1-year, and 40% seasoned French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color. The nose offers redder fruits, particularly Morello cherries, with a hint of flowers, grass and oak. Medium weighted cherries and strawberries on the palate with a touch of baking spices. Very sensual and satisfying mouth feel. Tasted twice with different impressions. At the Press tasting I was very impressed and rated the wine as excellent. Tasted at home I found it to be good but not exceptional. Pinot Noir is such a minx of a wine that declarations are always subject to the moment. Reviewed June 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Twomey Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $45. · Moderately light ruby color. Extroverted nose of blackberries, tobacco and violets. Very tasty core of lush black cherry and black berry fruits. The flavors attack in waves and hold on. Velvety smooth with soft tannins and balanced acidity. A seductive wine that perfectly fits the description of an iron fist in a velvet glove. Reviewed June 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Drew Monument Tree Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 200 cases, $42. This vineyard is located in the deep-end of the Anderson Valley in Philo. 15 acres planted to Dijon clones 114, 115 and 667 in 1999. Charles McBride is the owner. Yields were 2.4 tons per acre. Brix at harvest was 24.5º. 15% whole cluster fermentation, 30% stem inclusion, 7-day cold soak and 20 days on skins. Aged for 11 months in 30% new and 70% seasoned French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color. On the nose there are slightly confected red plums and berries, forest pine and cedar with a hint of camphor and spice, becoming more floral with time in the glass. Woodsy and earthy red berry fruit with a supporting dusting of oak. Beautifully composed with fine tannins, a spark of acidity and a soft and clean finish. Builds in momentum in the glass and keeps getting better and better. Like a well-perfumed and adorned debutante, this wine is a charmer. Tasted twice with consistent results. Reviewed June 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Drew Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 200 cases, $42. This vineyard sits in a cool pocket among the redwoods at the southeastern border of the Anderson Valley. Situated on a steep southeastern slope at 850 feet, the soils consist of shale and clay. The vineyard was planted in 1992-1998 and is about 15 acres in size and contains rare heritage clones of Pinot Noir. For this bottling, four clones were combined: 2A, Pommard 4, DRC selection and Rochioli Riverblock selection planted in 1992. The owner, Bill Weir, is a Burgundy fanatic and has strived to produce old world character in his north coast vineyard. I have had some stunning Pinot Noirs from this vineyard! Yields were 1.88 tons per acre. Average Brix at harvest 24.2º. 15% stem inclusion, 4-day cold soak, 15 days on skins. Aged 11 months in 30% new and 70% seasoned French oak barrels. · A complete wine of great interest beginning with scents of dark fruits, cedar and middle eastern spices. Dark plums and berries assault the palate with intensity. A big-boned bruiser but not jammy. Flamboyant tannins balanced nicely with tangy acidity. The black knight in the lineup that Jason has managed to corral. Needs short ribs. Drank perfectly fine the next day from a previously opened re-corked bottle indicating a long life ahead for this wine. Reviewed June 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Drew McDougall Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 225 cases, $50. From a small 7-acre vineyard planted to clone 114 in 1998 in a highly coveted area known as the “golden triangle.” It sits on a small bench 1,300 feet elevation about 2.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean on a steep south slope in the true Sonoma Coast. Brix at harvest 24.5º. Yields 2.1 tons per acre. 20% stem inclusion, 8-day cold soak, 18 days on skins, aged 11 months in 30% new and 70% seasoned French oak barrels. · The seductive nose sports bright fresh berries, cardamon spice, violets and Chanel #5. Sweet red fruits saturate the palate with a faint touch of oak. A comforting drink that is smooth and ethereal in the mouth with everything singing in harmony. Still great the next day. Full-on seduction. Reviewed June 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Mi Sueño Los Carneros Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $37. · The nose is very appealing and picks up intensity in the glass. Dark cherries, herbs and green garden are featured. Delicious and nuanced with flavors of cherries, berries, earth, cola and mocha coming and going. Soft and smooth with admirable persistence on the fruity finish. A classic and classy Pinot Noir. Reviewed June 16, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 LIOCO Sonoma Carneros Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 504 cases, $38. Harvest Brix 24.6º. 7-9-day cold soak, 16-day fermentation in open top tanks with wild yeast. Manual punch downs. Aged 12 months in neutral barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Sourced from an unnamed vineyard near the Napa/Sonoma County line. · Profusion of plums, currants, oak and spice on the nose. Very tasty dark fruits that show impressive purity. A perfectly balanced wine that captures the essence of the fruit with a finish that lingers for at least 20 seconds. Crafted by a sommelier, it is not surprising that this is a superb food wine. Very impressive and one of the best wines and most reasonably priced Pinot Noirs I have had from Carneros in recent memory. Reviewed June 16, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 De La Montanya Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 50 cases, $50. This wine received 3 more months of barrel age. Composed primarily of fruit from Tina’s Vineyard with some Ridgeway Vineyard added in. Only two barrels, 100% new French oak. · Masses of perfumed fruit on the nose with a sappy aromatic core that is plush but retains a pleasing elegance. Supple tannins, deft touch of oak and lively acidity. The berry fruit fragrance returns to haunt the memorable finish. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Black Ridge Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 198 cases, $39. · Very complex aromas of black cherries, kid glove, pine forest, green garden, grassland and oak char. Delicious and crunchy dark berry fruit set off by bright acidity. Deeply flavored but not weighty, with deft use of oak, and a finish that goes on and on. A Pinot lover’s cup of tea. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Cima Collina Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 216 cases, $48, released May 2009. Clones are a blend of onethird each Pommard, Dijon 115 and 667. Fermented in small, open-top bins that were punched down two to three times daily. Pressed off into oak barrels of which 40% were new and aged 11 months before bottling. · Very dark reddish-purple color. The nose is penetrating and intoxicating. Haunting scents of ripe black raspberries and blackberries, exotic woods and musk. Luscious dark fruits are plush and deeply flavored with a floral undertone that I find very appealing. Harmonious in every way with bright acidity, ripe, soft tannins and a vibrant and refreshing finish. A memorable wine that gets its hooks into you and won’t let go. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 DuMOL Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $65. · Slightly muted aromas of cherries, grapes and a hint of smoke. Luscious cherry berry compote displaying an appealing crispness and a flourish of baking spices and cola in the background. Discreetly rich with a smooth texture and a dry finish. An immensely satisfying wine that is tre Russian River. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Expression 39 Anahala Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $48. · This is a delightful Pinot Noir. Scents of well-spiced cherries and berries are echoed in the fruit flavors which are delicately kissed by oak. The fruit is full of vim and vigor and well-framed by substantial ripe tannins. Still young and somewhat undeveloped, this beauty will benefit from another 6 to 12 months in the cellar. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Merryvale Stanly Ranch Estate Carneros Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $45. Sourced from favorite blocks of the sustainably-farmed estate vineyard on the historic Stanly Ranch. · Fresh and vibrant aromas of summer cherries and berries with complimentary oak spice. Mediumweighted flavors of earth and mineral-dusted black cherries with an echo of oak char in the background. Very smoothly textured with dry, ripe tannins. This wine speaks of the soil and is the best wine I have had from this vineyard in recent memory. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 DeLoach Vineyards Maboroshi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., pH 3.53, 435 cases, $45. The vineyard name means “whimsical dream” in Japanese. Farmed by the Kisaichi family and located southwest of Sebastopol. Soils are Goldridge loam. Aged 12 months in 33% new French oak. · Intense aromas of black cherries, raspberries, herbal oak and cardamon spice. Beautifully composed and gentle in the mouth with tasty red raspberries and currants, a compelling earthiness, and a tasty riff of oak. Harmonious with impressive glass-filling presence. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 J Vineyards Barrel 16 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 300 cases, $70. This wine is composed of the 16 best barrels in the cellar sourced from J’s estate vineyards. Aged in 30% new French oak. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color. Shy but appealing scents of deep, dark fruit, herb garden and brioche. Luscious black cherry and black raspberry flavors are discreetly concentrated and have a remarkable persistence on the pleasing finish which displays an added echo of dark chocolate, savory herbs and toast. The tannins are very supple, and the mouthfeel is rich, sumptuous and velvety. About as perfect as it gets. Ridiculous now but will only get better with cellaring. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 J Vineyards Nicole’s Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,300 cases, $65. The fruit for this wine was harvested from J’s crown jewel hillside 42-acre vineyard planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier overlooking the Russian River Valley. The soil is Arbuckle series and uplifted river material. Clones include 2A, Dijon 113, 115. Aged in 40% new French oak. · Richly scented with black cherries and ripe berries. The rich and mouth filling melange of berry fruit is supported by a tannic edge that suggests age ability. The finish goes on and on. My notes say, wow! Enough said. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lane Tanner Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 447 cases, $36. Sourced from block B4 (Martin Ray selection) of Julia’s Vineyard which is located about 3 miles east of Bien Nacido Vineyard. The crop was low so it ripened earlier and harvest occurred about a month earlier than in 2006. Lane was the first to pick at this vineyard. Aged 11 months in 33% new French oak and 44% one-year-old barrels. The wine was not finned and was gently filtrated. · Watch out for this spiced-up mother as it will seduce you. On the extroverted nose there are lovely scents of framboises des boise and cassis liquors which draw you into the glass. The lush berry fruit is rich and opulent with well-integrated tannins and a whisper of oak. Balance is spot on. The mouth feel is satiny and the long, powerful finish is seductively perfumed. This is a wine with considerable cleavage that is hard to say no to. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Freestone Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 148 cases, $48 (Club Pre Release $39), sold out. The label says, “Freestone,” marking the western Russian River location of the two vineyards that provided the grapes. After the label was printed, Kent found out “Freestone” is trademarked and had to change the name to “Small Town” which is the name of the wine on the website. This cool area is most akin to the true Sonoma Coast, with harvest coming three to five weeks later than Kent’s other fruit sources and arriving in the winery at a lower brix with more natural acidity. Clones are Dijon 115, 777 with 7% Swan clone from Stiling Vineyard. Aged in 45% new French oak barrels. Label artist is Meghan Adler. Unfiltered. · This is a spectacular Pinot Noir that is packed with nuanced and layered aromas and flavors. Berry compote, black cherry cobbler, anise, herbs, forest floor all show up in a smoothly textured, beautifully balanced, full-bodied and opulent package that has a very powerful charisma. Understandably sold out. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Landmark Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 500 cases, $65. Kanzler Vineyard is situated just west of the town of Sebastopol on a 16-acre site. The clonal mix for this wine is 54% 115, 44% 667, 3% Pommard. Each block was harvested separately and fermented individually. Only the best barrels of free-run juice were chosen for this blend. · Similar to the Grand Detour in style and flavor but with the fruit intensity ramped up significantly. Complex aromatic profile of black cherries and blackberries, black grapes, pepper and oak. A plush and creamy palate of dark fruits, dark chocolate and slight toasty oak char all wrapped in a complimentary robe of moderately firm tannins. A tenacious wine that grabs hold and persists through a long and chewy finish. If you are feeling hedonistic now, decant and serve with hardy foods. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Charles Vineyard All-In Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 407 cases, $46. Wild yeast fermentation, unfined and unfiltered. Includes all the clones in the estate Charles Vineyard: Dijon 114, 115, 777 and Pommard 5. 20% whole cluster. Aged in 20% new, 31% twoyear- old and 44% neutral French oak barrels. · Massively perfumed with exotic dark berries, dark mocha and spice. Discreetly concentrated and tasty dark fruit with hints of sassafras and oak. The berry fragrances and a citrus lift haunt the lengthy finish. A racy wine that is quite enjoyable now for its silky texture and impeccable balance. This one is kissed by an angel. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Red Car The Aphorist Bartolomei Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 300 cases, $54. The 7-acre Bartolomei Vineyard is planted to 3 clones including Jackson 16, 113 and 777. It is a Red Car monopole farmed with Ulises Valdez. · Lovely demure nose composed of berries and cherries with pleasing hints of hay, chalk, mocha and spice. Packed with earth-kissed dark red raspberry cola with a floral underpinning. Flat-out delicious. The tannins are well-managed, and there is a good grip on the lively and persistent finish which leaves a hint of alcohol behind. Very smoothly textured and a wine that demands contemplation. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 180 cases, $45. Clones 115 and 777. Aged in 40% new French oak. · Complex aromatic profile of dark stone fruits, crushed berries, sage, green garden and smoke. Rich and perfectly ripe black raspberry fruit with an underpinning of earth, oak and orange peel. Thick and robust, yet perfectly balanced with complimentary tannins and acidity. The aromatic and fruity finish is haunting. A thoroughbred that challenges the Summa Old Vines for superiority. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 120 cases, $45. Aged in 60% new French oak. · A wowzer nose featuring flamboyant aromas of cherries and berries enhanced with subtle smoky oak. Beautiful core of cherry and berry fruits with hints of pine tar, earth and cola. Packed with flavor yet nimble and harmonious. Smooth in texture with a hint of citric peel on the pleasing finish. Accessible now but will reward patience. A sixty-minute wine: rock ‘em, roll ‘em, all night long. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 100 cases, $60. Aged in 100% new French oak. · The nose is similar to the regular Summa bottling but with a magical and penetrating Asian spice scent that smells like the most erotic pheromone in the world. Unbelievably delicious sappy cherry and berry fruit with wisps of sassafras, cola, and exotic spices. The velvety texture is enough to bring you to your knees. An incredible wine that defies adequate description. Suffice it to say that this is a winegasm - one of those Pinot Noirs with such a powerful charisma, that it drives men to do practically anything to get another bottle. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Pali Wine Co. Thorn Ridge Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 180 cases, $60, released November 2008. This 27-acre vineyard is farmed by Ted and Kathy Klopp and is located in the hills southwest of Sebastopol. The Goldridge soil has greater clay content than is typical leading to better water retention and allowing minimal or no irrigation of parts of the vineyard. The vineyard clones are 115, 667, 777, Pommard and Swan. · This wine contains clones 115 and 777. Terrific nose displaying bright aromas of dark cherries and berries, cola and a hint of summer herbs. Tasty mouthful of dark cherries, black raspberries, sassafras, and a hint of earthiness, oak and white pepper. Supple in the mouth with cleansing acidity on the persistent finish and impeccable balance. A gregarious Pinot that really delivers the goods. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Pali Wine Co. Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 110 cases, $50, released November 2008. Clones 667 and Pommard 4. · Alive with scents of mushu plum sauce, blueberries, cherries and olives. Multi faceted fruits have a rich, glass-filling presence. A hint of coffee and pepper adds interest. As is typical for this vineyard, plenty of tannin is noted, but the tannin is refined and velvety creating a sensual mouthfeel. The wine was even better the next day when re-tasted from a previously open and re-corked bottle. This Pinot is a real turn-on and one to spend the night with. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 1,270 cases, $46. Released April 1 2009.Packaged in a distinctive tall-necked bottle. 53% Antica Terra Vineyard, 28% Shea Vineyard, 9% Cherry Grove Vineyard, 9% Croft Vineyard. 91% de-stemmed without crushing. Fermented in small, open-top fermenters with manual punch downs. Into barrel using gravity flow with 27% press. Aged in 53% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Teasing aromas of berry tart and spiced raspberries with a hint of pine tree. Tasty dark berry, black cherry and plum with nuances of minerality, earthiness, seasoned oak, spice and musk, which come and go in the glass. There might be some pheromones in there as well as I could not turn away from the glass. This wine has plenty of richness to satisfy, but not in the über-rich mold of SQN. It is very clean and silky with imperceptible tannins and impeccable balance. This beauty will hold your interest and is a truly unique artisan Pinot Noir. Reviewed August 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 725 cases, $47. From the noted Shea Vineyard planted on Willakenzie soils in the Yamhill-Carlton District. Sourced from three small blocks, Pommard, 114 and 777 clones, planted in 1989. · Deep aromas of black fruits, forest floor and loam draw you in. Earthy dark fruits flood the mouth and fill every nook and cranny. Noticeable oak and tar with a hint of citrus peel on the finish. Big boned and brooding. Picks up expression with time in the glass. This is a wine of obvious pedigree that has the potential to sparkle over the long term. Drank well the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Cresta Ridge Vineyard Taurin Block Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.3% alc., 469 cases, $38. Heavy bottle. · Heavenly scented with honey and biscuits. A classy wine with vivid flavors of lemon curd, pear, banana and smoky oak with a slightly creamy texture. Perfect fruit and acid balance. I have been tasting over 50 premium California Chardonnays for an upcoming feature and this wine was one of the top three I tasted. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 444 cases, $55. The packaging makes a statement with a very heavy bottle incorporating a large punt and sporting a classy label. · Perfumed with violets, Bing cherries and sandalwood. Opulent and layered, ephemeral yet gutsy. Cherries jubilee with touches of raspberries, vanilla and citrus. Impeccably balanced t n’ a for age ability. An endless echo of scent and fruit on the finish. This is a heart throb and a 2009 All-American for me. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 120 cases, $45. Clones 114, 115 and 777. Barrel aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple in color. More intensity and richness with more tannins than the Rachel Estate. Not as plush or big-boned as the 2006 vintage but plenty to like. Flamboyant scents of black cherries and black raspberries with hints of oak and cigar box. Packed with dark berry and stone fruit flavors augmented nicely with toasty oak. Hints of citrus peel, cola, root beer and spice add interest. Like all of Laura Volkman wines, the finish has remarkable persistence. A more masculine interpretation of the vineyard that is singing nicely now. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Anne Amie Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 150 cases, $50, November 2009 release. A 9-vineyard blend of clones Pommard 4, Wädenswil, 115 and 667. Grapes are de-stemmed into 2-ton open-top stainless steel fermenters, followed by a 5-day cold soak, inoculated with yeast, racked into 27% new French oak barrels and aged for 11 months. Blended and bottled unfiltered and unfined and bottle aged for 18 months before release. · Admirable that the producers chose to release this wine only after adequate integration of its components. A huge nose of summer stone fruits that really grabs your attention. Luscious cherry and berry core with a compliment of earth and briar flavors. Deft use of oak and supple tannins that caress the fruit nicely. A wine of glass-filling presence. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Shea Wine Cellars East Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 325 cases, $55. Wädenswil, Dijon 115, 777, 828. 11% whole cluster. Aged in 43% new French oak barrels. Blocks 5, Oak, 7, 9, 19. One of the 2009 IPNC featured wines. · Deeper, darker and richer than the Estate bottling. Sumptuous mid-palate featuring dark fruits especially plums and black currants. The tannins are barely perceptible and the long, chewy finish has a pleasing grip of acidity. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Shea Wine Cellars Homer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 325 cases, $82. Wädenswil, Pommard, Dijon 777, 115. 9% whole cluster. 36% wood tank fermented. Aged in 71% new French oak barrels. Blocks 7, 32, 5, Oak. The best barrels in the cellar. · Penetrating and uplifting aromas of dark stone fruits. A great expression of Pinot Noir with layers of powerful flavors including mushu plum sauce, black raspberry, gregarious baking spice and exotic tea. A tannic edge suggests age ability. A memorable wine that deserves to be opened for a special occasion. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $45. · Nicely scented nose featuring well-spiced cherries and violets. Mid-palate fruit intensity and tenacious persistence on the finish stand out in this lovely wine. Outstanding. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lenné Karen’s Pommard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 73 cases, $55. · Darkly colored and flavored, sporting red plums, black cherries and an appealing earthiness. Ripe tannins indicate age ability. A dancing Pinot with a creamy, sexy quality. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lenné Estate Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 49 cases, $68. The two best barrels in the cellar of 115 clone. · Dreamy aromatics that keep on coming over time in the glass. Berry, cherry, and currant scents echoed on the palate with added hints of cola, mocha and brown spice. The tannins are supple, the texture is silky and everything is working in harmony. Potent for a 2007 Oregon Pinot Noir. I am not usually a fan of single clone Pinot Noirs but this one is a complete wine. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Adelsheim Vineyard Boulder Bluff Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 240 cases, $58. From a 10-acre Chehalem Mountains vineyard bought by co-owners Lynn and Jack Loacker in 2000. The vineyard is planted to a Burgundy clone called AS2 and another of unclear origin also planted at Adelsheim’s original Quarter Mile Lane Vineyard in 1974. Soils are basaltic in origin. The grapes were de-stemmed into open-top fermenters followed by a 4 to 6-day cold soak. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels for 10 months. · I liked this wine for its rich pure black cherry and black raspberry fruit, its undertones of spice and roasted hazelnuts, its smooth mouth feel, and its clean and zippy finish. Very impressive classy juice. Reviewed August 17, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Heart & Hands Finger Lakes Barrel Reserve Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.63, 146 cases, $40, both cork and Vino-Seal closures. Unusually warm and dry growing season causing more of a West Coast influence on the wine. Twenty-three 90+ degree days which thickened skins for more color and flavor extraction. 75% clone 115 and 25% clone 777 cropped at 1.7 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. 11-day fermentation, basket pressed, and aged for 18 months in 66% new and 33% once-used Francois Freres French oak barrels. · Brooding nose initially that opened with swirling to reveal dark fruits, especially black raspberry, a hint of spice, smoke and incense. Held up beautifully in the glass over time. On the attack, the wine was full-bodied with a substantial tannic backbone. Plentiful dark fruits were complimented by an earthy underpinning and a faint note of grapefruit peel on the finish. Silky and beautifully composed, but still needing time for the tannins to soften and integrate. Amazing fruit intensity but not jammy, with the acidity holding forth to reign in the hedonistic fruit and tannins. Would recommend decanting now or cellaring for a couple of years. A very, very impressive wine like nothing I had ever previously tasted from the Finger Lakes region. Given the proper weather, viticulture management, and in the hands of a talented winemaker, the potential for premium Finger Lakes Pinot Noir is exemplified here. Reviewed September 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Grey Stack Cellars The Fisherman Connell Family Vineyard Bennett Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.85, 50 cases, $35, to be released soon. This wine is named for Peter Young’s father who is an avid fly fisher and Pinot Noir lover. Clones are 115 and Pommard. 5- day cold soak, aged 12 months in French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color. Attractive aromas of dark fruits, Provencal herbs and seasoned oak that pick up intensity with time in the glass. Very tasty fullbodied flavors of plums and black raspberries with a subtle underpinning of oak. Mouth coating fruit with a smooth, creamy texture that speaks of pinotosity, and noteworthy persistence on the pleasing finish. Everything is working in harmony. This is a wine that is definitely worth seeking out, especially given the sensible price. Reviewed September 5, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Road 31 Wine Co. Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, 800 cases, $39, released Jun