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2009 California Pinot Noir All-Americans



First Team



2007 Buena Vista Carneros Ramal Vineyard Estate Vineyard Series Dijon Clones Carneros Pinot Noir 1,120 cases, $42.
Charming nose featuring cherries and berries with hints of savory herbs, green garden and loamy earth. Delicious core of dark red fruits that are sparkling fresh. Velvety smooth in texture, with fine tannins, deft use of oak, and a remarkable persistence on the pleasing finish. A seamless wine of impeccable pedigree.

2007 Clos Pepe Vigneron’s Select Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 72 cases, $59.
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.

2007 Drew McDougall Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 225 cases, $50.
The enticing 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.

2007 Freestone Vineyards Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 60 cases, $100.
The nose is flat-out unbelievable showing crushed red cherries and berries with intoxicating exotic spices. Can you make a perfume out of this? Spicy and tenacious berry fruit core with ripe tannins and perfectly balanced acidity. Delicate, yet packed with charismatic fruit flavor. Ends in a lingering peacock finish that is orgasmic. One of the greatest California Pinot Noirs I have ever tasted.

2007 J Vineyards Barrel 16 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 300 cases, $70.
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 mouth feel is rich, sumptuous and velvety. About as perfect as it gets. Ridiculously good now but will only get better with cellaring.

2007 Littorai Summa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 121 cases, $80.
Demure but enticing aromas of cherries and raspberries with a hint of Asian spices and oak. Veers a little more toward the redder fruit spectrum than the previous three vintages. Full-on generous flavors of creamy cherry and raspberry fruit. The flavors march in waves across the palate leading to a finish that won’t quit. Absolutely gorgeous and pure, and not propelled by high alcohol. A little lighter in weight than the 2004 and 2005 vintages, yet equally, if not more satisfying with more finesse, yet possessing enough tannin to age. Close to a perfect California Pinot Noir.

2007 Littorai Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $65.
Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex aromatic profile of black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, and earth (what I call muddy boots). Very tasty essence of black cherries and blackberries that really grabs your attention. Refined and delicate with moderate fine-grain tannins, perfect balancing acidity, a silky texture, and pleasing aromatic persistence on the finish. Still marvelous and even better three days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A love letter to keep and treasure.

2007 Paul Lato “Suerte” Solomon Hills Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 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.

2006 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir $49.
Deep reddish-purple color and a deeply charmed wine. Taunting aroma of black raspberry jam. Delicious compote of brambly dark and blue berries that is mouth filling, yet majestically toned. There are other flavors that defied description. The tannins are mild, dry and fine-grained, there is a notable absence of oak, and the wine has impeccable balance. Drank beautifully the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle. This is a wine that stirs emotion.

2007 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 100 cases, $60.
The nose is similar to the regular Summa bottling, but with an added 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.

2007 WesMar Balletto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 255 cases, $40.
Copious black cherries and olallieberries are dominant on the enticing nose accented by a hint of oak, barnyard and Middle Eastern spice. Luscious and generous on the palate tasting of a perfectly ripe dark cherry. Gossamer tannins make for a silky mouth feel and easy drinkability. Finishes with an endless echo of scent and fruit. I could still taste this wine the next day. If I had to pick just one in the 2007 WesMar lineup, this would be my paramour.



Second Team



2007 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
444 cases, $55

2007 Black Kite River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 195 cases, $52

2007 C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard Block 15 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 198 cases, $55

2007 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 326 cases, $50

2007 Cima Collina Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 216 cases, $48

2007 Eric Kent Freestone Pinot Noir 148 cases, $48

2006 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 67 cases, $100

2007 Lane Tanner Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 447 cases, $36

2007 Olivet Lane Vineyard Estate Reserve Cuvée Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 168 cases, release 2010

2007 Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 180 cases, $45

2007 Sinor-Lavalle Anniversary Cuvée Central Coast Pinot Noir 47 cases, $50



Honorable Mention




2007 A.P. Vin Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 375 cases, $40
2006 Ampelos Cellars Lambda Ampelos Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 1,059 cases, $35
2007 Anthill Farms Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley $42
2006 Athair Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 650 cases, $36
2006 Artesa Haire Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 110 cases, $80
2006 B Vineyards & Habitat Sera Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 144 cases, $65
2007 Belle Glos Taylor Lane Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $40
2007 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 352 cases, $55
2006 Brogan Cellars Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir $45
2007 Buena Vista Carneros Ramal Vineyard Estate Vineyard Series Swan Selection Carneros Pinot Noir 911 cases, $42
2007 C. Donatiello Hervey Vineyard Green Valley Pinot Noir 515 Magnums, $142
2006 Calera Reed Vineyard Mt. Harlen Pinot Noir 929 cases, $42
2006 Calera Ryan Vineyard Mt. Harlen Pinot Noir 2,155 cases, $40
2006 Calera Selleck Vineyard Mt. Harlen Pinot Noir 793 cases, $63
2006 Capiaux Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir $46
2007 Chasseur Freestone Station Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 375 cases, $60
2007 Chasseur Joyce Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 100 cases, $60
2007 Chasseur Holder Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 75 cases, $50
2007 Chronicle Wines Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 556 cases, $48. Release in early 2010
2007 Clos Pepe Estate Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 650 cases, $54
2007 Copain Hacienda Secoya Anderson Valley Pinot Noir $50
2007 Davis Family Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $40
2006 Dehlinger Goldridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 1,600 cases, $44
2007 De La Montanya Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 50 cases, $50.
2007 De Loach Maboroshi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 435 cases, $45
2006 Dierberg Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir $42
2007 Drew Monument Tree Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 200 cases, $42
2007 Drew Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir 200 cases, $42
2006 Donum Estate Carneros Pinot Noir 850 cases, $65
2007 DuMol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $65
2006 Dutton-Goldfield Devil’s Gulch Ranch Vineyard Marin County Pinot Noir $55
2007 Dutton Estate Dutton Ranch Karmen Isabella Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 625 cases, $37
2006 Elke Vineyards Donnelly Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 650 cases, $38
2006 EMTU Estate Wines Labyrinth Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 300 cases, $40
2007 En Route Les Pommiers Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 1,200 cases, $50
2006 Etude Carneros Pinot Noir $42
2006 Etude Temblor Carneros Pinot Noir 495 cases, $60
2006 Etude Deer Camp Carneros Pinot Noir 960 cases, $60
2006 Evening Land Vineyards The Occidental Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 120 cases, $150
2007 Expression 39 Anahala Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir $48
2006 Ferrari-Carano Sky High Ranch Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir $46
2007 Foursight Wines Charles Vineyard All-In Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 407 cases, $46
2006 Foxen Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 450 cases, $54
2008 george Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 315 cases, $50
2007 Grey Stack Cellars The Fisherman Connell Family Vineyard Bennet Valley Pinot Noir 50 cases, $35
2007 Harrington Brosseau Vineyard Chalone Pinot Noir 132 cases, $50
2006 Harrington Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir $40
2007 Heart O’ The Mountain Pommard Clone Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 25 cases, $48
2007 J Vineyards Nicole’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 1,300 cases, $65
2007 Kastania Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 336 cases, $45
2007 Keefer Ranch Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 243 cases, $42
2006 Kendric Vineyards Marin County Pinot Noir $33
2007 Landmark Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 500 cases, $65
2007 LIOCO Sonoma Carneros Pinot Noir 504 cases, $38
2006 Littorai Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 636 cases, $65
2006 Littorai Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 305 cases, $70
2007 Loma Prieta Winery Saveria Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir $50
2007 Loos Family Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 25 cases, $40
2007 Lost Canyon Widdoes Vineyard Pinot Noir <125 cases, $42
2006 Lucienne Vineyards Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 217 cases, $45
2006 Lynmar Hawk Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 486 cases, $70
2006 Lynmar Quail Hill Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 1,419 cases, $60
2006 MacMurray Winemakers Block Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 400 cases, $60
2007 Merryvale Stanly Ranch Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir $45
2006 Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 870 cases, $45
2007 Navarro Deep-End Blend Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 1,572 cases, $49
2007 Olivet Lane Vineyard Pellegrini Family Vineyards Russian River Valley 2,600 cases, $35
2007 Olson Ogden Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $42
2007 Pali Wines Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 110 cases, $50
2007 Pali Wines Thorn Ridge Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 180 cases, $60
2007 Papapietro Perry Elsbree Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 937 cases, $49
2007 Papapietro Perry Peters Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 963 cases, $49
2007 Papapietro Perry Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 715 cases, $45
2007 Paul Lato “Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 100 cases, $63
2007 Paul Lato “Sine Cera” Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 125 cases, $73
2006 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir $65
2007 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir $65
2006 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Family Estate Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir $85
2007 Red Car The Aphorist Bartolomei Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 300 cases, $54
2007 Road 31 Wine Co. Napa Valley Pinot Noir 800 cases, $39
2006 Rhys Vineyards Home Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir $59
2007 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 120 cases, $45
2007 Shandel’s Oppenlander Vineyard Comptche Mendocino County Pinot Noir 400 cases, $40
2006 Silver Mountain Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir $38
2007 SPELL Barton Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 45 cases, $47
2007 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $47
2006 Talisman Adastra Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir 321 cases, $50
2006 Talisman Thorn Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 503 cases, $50
2006 Talley Rosemary’s Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinor 556 cases, $70
2006 Tantara Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir $60
2007 Thomas Fogerty Winery & Vineyards Rapley Trail M Block Santa Cruz Mtns Pinot Noir 75 cases, $68
2007 Twomey Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $50
2007 Twomey Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir $45
2006 Valdez Family Winery Lancel Creek Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 250 cases, $65
2006 Valerie’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 132 cases, $40
2006 Vergari Van Der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir 135 cases, $45
2007 WesMar Oehlman Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 267 cases, $37
2007 WesMar Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 316 cases, $35
2006 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 345 cases, $60
2006 Woodenhead Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 358 cases, $60
2007 ZD Wines Norman de Leuze Founder’s Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 750 cases, $65
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