2007 Westrey Oracle Vineyard Dundee Hills Salud Cuvee Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 4 cases, auction item, not for sale.
I love this nose!
Beautifully composed scents of fresh cherries, strawberries and Asian spice.
Tasty berry core highlighting cranberry with the slightest spice accent. Delicate
and bordering on dilute, but packing a wallop of flavor. Supple tannins, zippy
acidity, and perfectly adapted for the dinner table. Very good.
2007 Row Eleven Viñas 3 Three Vineyards California Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., $15.69.
A simple and
straightforward moderately light wine with aromas of black cherries and black raspberries, sugar cone and oak.
Nondescript in the mouth with simple cherry flavors. Soft tannins make for easy drinkability. Decent.
2007 Anaba J McK Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $28.
A new winery owned by John Sweazey located in the town of Sonoma.
From the sustainably farmed J McK Vineyard located in the heart of
Pleasing red cherry and berry scents with
underlying smoke and herbal oak. A medium-weighted wine replete
with red cherry, cranberry, red hard candy and brown spice flavors with
a bright riff of cherries haunting the lingering finish. The flavor profile reminds
me of a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Good.
2007 Anaba Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $28. Destemmed,
fermented in one-ton. Aged in French oak barrels for 17
Very attractive scent of wild berries, oak vanillin and rose
petals. Tasty mixed blue and black berry core accented by notes of
cola, smoothly textured with supple tannins, and offering a refreshingly
bright finish. Highly drinkable now and a charming wine with some
flair. Very good.
2007 Russian River Vineyards Mendocino County Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., $28. Small lot
fermented, aged 1 year in 30% new French oak barrels.
Complex aromatic profile featuring
black cherries, herbs, forest floor, oak and a little barnyard. Dark stone fruits are lavishly
oaked, the tannins are supple, and a firm grip of citrus-driven acidity brings up the finish.
Needs food. Decent.
2007 Capiaux Chimera Sonoma County Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., $30.
An offbeat nose displaying scents of
smoky oak, green brush, and exotic spices. More enjoyable in the mouth with a light core of darker cherry and
berry fruits accented by notes of cola, root beer, oak and string bean. Lacks flair and interest. Decent.
2007 Varner Spring Ridge Vineyard Hidden Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., $35. Eight-year-old vines.
is more savory than fruity while the wine is intensely fruity in the mouth.
Very tasty core of raspberry fruit with an underpinning of baking spices
and oak. Very satisfying and persistent on the palate offering a silky
smooth mouth feel and showing perfect integration of alcohol, acid and
tannin indicating age ability. Light on its feet and packed with flavor.
Even more impressive the next day from a previously opened and re-corked
2007 Russian River Vineyards Limited Left Edge Selection Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $60.Anthony Austin is the winemaker. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels.
Dark reddish-purple color in the glass.
A touch of reduction initially resolves with time in the
glass revealing smoky and woodsy dark cherry and berry fruits. The black raspberry and
black cherry fruit displays an impressive fullness and roundness in the mouth, but the wine
offers little nuance or flavor impact. The tannins are beautifully integrated and the
refreshing finish is bright with citrus peel acidity. A linear, fruit-driven wine that may offer
more interest given more time in the cellar. Good.
2007 Soliste Sonatera Vineyard T Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
alc., 323 cases, $68. A collaboration between long time friends Elisabeth and
Claude Koeberle and Beth and Donald Plumley. The name, Soliste, is derived
from the special barrel or soliste that Burgundian winemakers reserve for their
family and friends. Sonatera Vineyard is located on a ridge near the cooler part
of Sebastopol. Clones 115 and 777 planted in Goldridge sandy loam.
colored. The nose is dominated by savory spices including cardamon. The thick
plum and blackberry fruit is set off by notes of anise, vanillin and cream. Very
silky in the mouth with subtle fine tannins. Good.
2006 Charlie Clay Duelist Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.7% alc., pH
3.57, 47 cases, $65. A partnership between restaurateur Charlie Palmer and
winemaker Clay Mauritson of Mauritson Winery in Dry Creek Valley. 2006 was
the inaugural vintage of Charlie Clay wines with the Duelist being a reserve
bottling. 85% Dutton-Campbell Vineyard and 15% Bacigalupi Vineyard Wente
clone. Available on the wine list at Charlie Palmer’s restaurants.
A riper styled Pinot Noir
which approaches but never reaches overripeness. Aromas of macerated
strawberries, sandalwood and sweet oak. Juicy essence of berry compote
trending to the red and blue berry spectrum with substantial oak in the
background. A well-crafted wine that aims to please with vigorous fruit, soft
tannins, bright acidity and some persistence on the finish. Good.
2005 Whitcraft Winery Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
12.4% alc., $50. Unfined and
One look at the very dark reddish-purple color in the glass and you know what’s coming. Intense
and powerful aromas of blackberries, plums and cardamon spice. A muscular wine with a full on load of dense,
deep, thick and almost jammy well-spiced dark fruits. A quirky wine with a big booty that packs in plenty of
flavor without the heat. Over the top for me. Decent.
2004 Whitcraft Winery Aubaine Vineyard San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir
Bright dark roasted fruits with noticeable oak char on the nose. In the mouth the wine is packed with dense
dark stone fruits with some sweetness evident from the alcohol. Thick and chewy with bold tannins and a
grainy texture. An off-putting chemical note brings up the aftertaste. Unsatisfactory.