Unfortunately, the organizers fail to feature wines of the same vintage from each winery, making comparisons
and evaluations complicated.
2012 Angel Camp Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., 353 cases, $55.
Moderate reddish purple color in
the glass. Appealing aromas of black cherries, plum and dried herbs. Soft and smooth on the palate with a
plethora of dark stone fruits and berries with an earthy undertone. The tannins are integrated and the finish is
generous and pleasing.
2012 Baxter Langley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 125 cases, $48. Roederer clone 23
planted in 1982. Aged in 100% neutral French oak barrels.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Very
appealing on the nose with true aromas of exotic spice, raspberry and blueberry. Mid weight flavors of blue
and black fruits with a silky mouth feel. Still young and a little tight with tannin showing up on the finish. Still,
very pure and vibrant and a wine of great potential.
2011 Brutocao Slow Lope’n Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 1,100 cases, $24.
Pommard, Swan, 113, 115, 667 and 777. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Aged 18 months in 30% new French oak.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas and flavors of strawberry and cherry with hints
of spice, herbs and oak. The tannins are tight and the wine could use some time in the glass.
2012 Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $42. Several
Dijon clones, Pommard and Swan selection. Aged 10 months in 38% new French oak.
purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of black cherry, raspberry and underbrush. Much more expressive
on the palate with vivid black cherry and ripe strawberry flavors complimented by oak. The middleweight fruit
core is striking.
2011 Champ de Revés Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $40. Sourced from Boone Ridge Vineyard
above the town of Boonville planted in 2006. Clones 667, 777 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, aged 9 months in
29% new French oak barrels.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An array of aromas including
blackberries, blueberries, cut flowers and oak lead to medium to full bodied flavors of ripe purple and black
fruits with a tug of toasty oak in the background. The bright acidity lifts the moderately long finish.
2012 Drew Balo Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 142 cases, $45. Harvest Brix 23.4º.
50% Pommard, 35% 115, 15% 777. 20% whole cluster fermentation.
Moderately dark reddish purple color in
the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of spiced cherry, tea and leaf. Polished on the palate with juicy flavors
of red cherry and red berry with a hint of exotic spice. Well-structured with a noticeably generous finish that
leaves a lasting impression.
2011 Elke Donnelly Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 196 cases, $36. Release August 2014. 100% de-stemmed,
pressed with a basket press, aged 11 months in 35% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing scents of red cherry, raspberry and spice. Bright,
crisp and vivid red cherry and berry fruits with a deft touch of herbs and oak. Lighter in this vintage but very
elegant and charming.
2012 Expression Ordway Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.8% alc., 160 cases, $50. 100% destemmed,
1-week cold soak, short, hot fermentation. Slight extended maceration post fermentation.
Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Well-ripened cherry and berry aromas. Mid to full bodied
core of dark red and black stone fruits and berries with a touch of dark chocolate and cola. Plush and velvety
on the palate with refined tannins and a hint of alcohol on the finish.
2012 On Point Christina’s Cuvée Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 182 cases, $49.
Sourced from Donnelly Creek Vineyard. Pommard and Elliot clones. Aged 16 months in 25% new French oak.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherry elevate from the glass. Middleweight
core of cherry, spice and cola flavors backed by integrated tannins. The finish is very pleasing, lingering with a
kiss of cherry.
2012 Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 300 cases, $30.
Aged 8 months in French oak.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of darker
fruits. A forward-drinking wine with discreetly concentrated flavors of black cherry, black raspberry
and earthiness. Good lift and harmony with a juicy finish.
2010 Handley Cellars RSM Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 293 cases, $52. Harvest Brix
26.0º. From the 7-acre estate vineyard located 700 to 1,000 feet above the fog line. 3-day cold soak, aged 9
months in 33% new French oak.
Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of black cherry,
Hoison sauce, dark chocolate, and oak. Mid to full bodied flavors of black fruits, anise, spice and dark
chocolate with some oak sheen. Thoroughly satisfying with integrated tannins and a richly fruited finish.
2007 Harmonique Delicacé Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., 422
cases, $44. Primarily 2A clonefrom Ferrington Vineyard with some 777
clone from Klindt Vineyard and Pommard from Conzelman Vineyards.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Welcoming scents of cranberry,
strawberry, spice and herbs. Very elegant and light on the palate with a
flavorful core of cherry, rhubarb and pomegranate. This wine has aged
beautifully and its character definitely fits the name.
2010 Husch Knoll Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 200 cases, $40. Original plantings that were the
first Pinot Noir vines in Anderson Valley dating to late 1960s. Harvest Brix 25.9º-26.4º. 15% whole cluster
fermentation. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A very
rustic and earthy wine with aromas of forest floor, mushroom, black cherry and a hint of oak. On the palate, the
moderately sappy black cherry fruit is embellished with noticeable oak, very dry tannins and juicy acidity.
There is a subtle sense of alcohol.
2012 Lichen Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., 164 cases, $65. From 7 acres of estate vines
planted in 2008 and farmed organically. Four clones (Martini, Wädenswil, Pommard and 667) on three
rootstocks. First substantial crop. Harvest Brix 22.4º-24.6º. 5 to 6-day cold soak, 2 to 3-day extended
maceration. Aged 17 months with batonage during the first 9 months.
Moderately light garnet color in the
glass. Demure aromas of red cherry, mocha and sandalwood lead to a very light and elegant, even dilute,
palate featuring cherry, raspberry and complimentary oak flavors. This wine has soft tannins and is rather
ephemeral, but lacks excitement.
NV Lichen Estate Solera Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.65% alc., 134 cases, $48. Harvest Brix
22.4º-24.6º. This wine features the “solera” approach common in Sherry to this multi-vintage blend.
Combination of first Estate harvest of two barrels in 2011, six barrels of 2012 Estate, and four barrels of 2013
Estate. 5 to 6-day cold soak, 2 to 5-day extended maceration, aged in French oak.
Light rhubarb color in the
glass. Scent of oak-kissed cherries and spice echoed on the palate. Light and delicate, but with good flavor
intensity, bright acidity, and a finish featuring plenty of cherry and spice goodness.
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.
2009 Nelson Hill Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 205 cases, $34. Harvest Brix 24.9º. Clones 777,
114, 115 from Deep End Vineyard in Philo. 3-day cold soak, aged 12 months in 50% new French oak. Unfined
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas and flavors of cherry and
pomegranate fruits are offset by an unpleasant vegetal woodiness. Fully mature, with soft tannins.
2011 Phillips Hill Two Terroirs C+R Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 125 cases, $36. 70% Cerise
Vineyard and 30% Ridley Vineyard fruit. Harvest Brix 22º-23º. Whole berry and whole cluster fermentation, 4
to 6-day cold soak, 16 days on skins, natural yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak.
Unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately light orange-red color in the glass. Light and elegant cherry aromas and
flavors with a lively cut of acidity and a heavy tug of oak and oak tannin.
2010 Philo Ridge Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., 250 cases, $36. Philo Ridge and
Ferrington vineyards. Clones 115, 777, 667, Pommard and Wädenswil. Harvest Brix 23.6º. 100% destemmed,
3-day cold soak, proprietary yeasts, basket bladder pressed, aged 25 months in 35% new French
oak and the remainder in neutral barrels. Aged in bottle 6 to 8 months. Unfined and unfiltered.
reddish purple color in the glass. Highly approachable, with aromas of forest floor, herbs and oak, and an array
of red fruits on the lean palate which is accented with spice and acid-driven minerality.
2010 Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., 300 cases, $40. Estate grown clones 667,
777, 115, Pommard and 114. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in a blend of new and used French oak
barrels. Light filtration.
Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, dried herbs and
oak. Mid to full bodied flavors of black cherry with an herbal thread in the background. The wine displays
nicely balanced tannins and acidity, with some finishing intensity and length.
2012 Waits-Mast Deer Meadows Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 97 cases, $55.
This vineyard is situated at 1,600 feet elevation above Boonville farmed by Rich Savoy. Harvest Brix
24º-25º. Clones 115, 777 and Calera. 100% de-stemmed, whole berry fermentation, native yeasts.
Aged 17 months in 25% new French oak.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Soaring scents of
black cherries, rose petals and spice. Delicious mid to full bodied flavors of dark cherries, dark
berries and plums with a riff of Asian 5-spice. The mouthfeel is velvety, the tannins are well
proportioned, the oak is beautifully integrated, and the finish has impressive depth and length.
2012 Witching Stick Dowser’s Cuvée Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 426 cases, $55. A blend of 4
vineyards and several clones from both Anderson Valley and Mendocino Ridge (Akin, Wiley, Cerise and Gianoli
vineyards). 77% of fruit from the cooler “deep end” of the valley. Aged 19 months in 27% new French oak.
Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Bright nose with hi-tone scents of dark cherry, dark raspberry,
cardamom spice, and oak vanillin. Plenty of ripe cherry and pomegranate fruits and a hint of citrus fill the
mouth with layers of pleasure. The wine is still young with some unintegrated tannins, but the potential is