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Even More Small Sips

2006 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Los Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 369 barrels, $30.50. · Closed up tighter than a drum. Pepper-dosed dark red fruits which are very restrained and mild grainy tannins that need to be shed. A wine of decent potential that is not showing its best at this young stage. Really peppery!

2006 Esterlina Estate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 611 cases, $45. · Noticeably confected cherry and cotton candy aromas with accents of roses and new-sawn oak. Delicious and caressing in the mouth, enveloping the tongue with rich spiced black cherry and black raspberry fruit. A little woodsy, shroom flavor adds interest. Beautifully balanced with silky tannins and a clean finish that lingers. Love to spend the evening with this one.

2006 A.P. Vin Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., $49. Proprietor and winemaker Andrew P. Vingiello crafts interesting wines from multiple vineyard sources within California. · Very fruity nose with alluring cherry and strawberry perfume accented by spice and oak. Discreetly concentrated super ripe fruit tending toward raisin. Healthy tannins and a clean herb-tinged finish.

2005 Castle Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $16. Castle has been farming vineyards in Los Carneros and the Sonoma Valley for more than twenty years. · The nose is of some interest showing off black cherries, baking spices, and fresh roses. Alcohol peaks out. Light in body and intensity with a soft mouth feel. Flavors of cherries, red licorice, and tobacco are decent. Not a bad drink for the money. My wife liked this a lot (she is partial to bright cherry flavors).

2005 Sarah’s Vineyard Estate Santa Clara Valley Pinot Noir

15.9% alc., 502 cases, $25. This is a historic property, founded in 1978 and planted to a variety of proprietary clones. · The grapes for this wine appear to have hung too long. An over ripe fruit character dominates the wine which displays burnt jam and raisin flavors. The nose offers the smell of ripe cherries, mushrooms, beets and a hint of alcohol. There is plenty of acid and a grapefruit flavor that mars an otherwise lingering finish.

2005 EQ Matetic Vineyards Chile Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $27. EQ stands for Equilibrio, Spanish for balance. Imported by F.P.D. Inc., Carson, California. · Dark crimson color. Scents of wild dark berries with less appealing lacquer, wet stone and stinky aromas. Plump and earthy blackberry and plum flavors tending toward prune. Richly textured with finely ground tannins and well appointed oak. For the curious.

2005 Tyler Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $47. · Confected cherry with toasty oak, sage and a hint of alcohol on the nose. Red cherry-driven with complimentary savory herbs and oak. Easy on the palate finishing dry and a little sharp.

2005 Tyler Dierberg Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $50. · The nose trumps the flavors here. Like an expensive perfume, the scents of black fruits, roses, and fresh green grass are alluring. A different story in the mouth where the black cherry fruit is tart and lean. A hefty acidic spine dominates throughout.

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