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From On the Pinot Trail: Tasting at Bouchaine Vineyards

2013 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.50, 6,158 cases. Unreleased. Estate plus a handful of lots from Gee Vineyard and Mahoney Vineyards. 33% new oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Reticent aromas of darker fruits. Discreetly concentrated flavors of black cherry, boysenberry and pomegranate. Much better over time in the glass. Very young with slightly imposing tannins. Impressive mid palate attack and finish. A gorgeous wine with unlimited potential. Outstanding. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.55, 9,337 cases. Unreleased. 33% new oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy fruit aromas with toasty oak and a bit of reduction which blows off over time in the glass. Mid weight flavors of purple berries including boysenberry. Very young and sense that the fruit is trying to come out. Slightly savory, with a herbal note. The tannins are nicely balanced and there is some finishing power. A well-crafted wine that needs more time in bottle. Very good +. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bouchaine Carneros Estate Vineyard Pinot Meunier

13.5% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.59, 879 cases, $40. Released May 2014. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · An array of purple and black fruits are featured on the nose which holds up nicely over time in the glass. Moderately rich and smoothly textured on the palate, this fruity wine is embellished with vivid deep purple and black berry, and black plum fruits robed in modest tannins. The fruit holds on to the generous finish. Very good +. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bouchaine Estate Vineyard Mariafeld Carneros Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.63, 266 cases, $40. Released May 2014. Aged 11 months in 33% new French oak. · Pleasant aromas of dark red cherry and berry with a touch of spice and floral bouquet. Smooth on the palate with a somewhat shallow attack. Juicy with a core of dark red fruits backed by muscular tannins. Lacks a bit of charm. Good. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bouchaine Rockin’ H Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., ph 3.47, TA 0.58, 272 cases, $40. Released March 2014. 55% 777 and 45% 667. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak. · Darkest in color. The nose features dark fruits with a hint of oak and eucalyptus. Intense and full-bodied array of dark berries saturating the mid palate and persisting on the softly textured and generous finish. Should benefit from more time in bottle. Very good. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bouchaine Estate Vineyard Terraces Carneros Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 599 cases, $60. Released November 2014. Dijon clones 667 and 777. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak. · Shy aromas of black fruits and black tea leaves. Earthy with middleweight flavors of blueberry, pomegranate and blackberry. A distinct wine that builds in intensity over time in the glass. The finish is intense and long. Very good +. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bouchaine Gee Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.60, 272 cases, $60. Released September 2014. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak. · Savory aromas of dark cherries and berries. Smooth and polished on the palate with a discreetly concentrated array of dark red fruits. Nicely balanced and forward drinking, with some finishing intensity. Very good + WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.61, 3,655 cases. Unreleased. 33% new oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Very pretty nose featuring hi-tone cherry syrup and very modest oak input. Mid weight flavors of dark cherries and red currants with an earthy undertone. Nicely balanced tannins and a dry, charming finish. Very good. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.60, 9, 798 cases, $35. Current release. Small amount of Gee Vineyard fruit and Shop fruit from Walsh Vineyards Management. 33% new oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely nose of red cherry, teaberry, and savory oak. Plenty to like in this savory wine with compliments of black cherry, earth, mushroom and oak. Very good + WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.59, 11,902 cases. Aged in 33% new French, American and Hungarian oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with bright cherry, spice, black tea, savory and smoky oak. Full-flavored and well-structured with plenty of tasty black raspberry fruit. Finishes with remarkable intensity and appeal. Very good + to Outstanding. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.64, 8, 704 cases. Dijon, Pommard and Swan clones. Barrel aged in 33% new French, Hungarian and American oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, spice, conifer, mocha and smoky oak. Modest in weight but flavorful, with tastes of black cherry, blueberry, tar and tea. Still alive, fresh and fruity with some finishing interest. Very good. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted California Pinot Noir

2013 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 4,757 cases, $40. Martini clone own rooted since 1972. Aged 9 months in French oak. · Dark violet color in the glass. The nose is infused with oak vanillin as is typical of Belle Glos wines. Added aromas of dark berries and purple rose elevate the nose. Big and bold, with plenty of sappy boysenberry and black raspberry fruit flavors, accented with espresso, spice and vanilla. Despite its heft, the wine is not ponderous, and the tannins are well matched. A very stylistic wine that might not appeal to the Pinot Noir purist, but well done in its style. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Press Cellars Helluva Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $40. New release. From a 5.5-acre vineyard managed by Sal Galvan who is also the winemaker along with proprietor Patrick Campbell. Inaugural Pinot Noir release from this winery. 100% destemmed. Aged 10 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, bacon fat and nutty oak. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, black raspberries, brown spice and a touch of smoke, anise-laced oak. Nicely balanced with modest tannin and acidity. The mid palate attack is robust and the finish is filled with darker fruit goodness. Better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with better oak integration and more soaring aromatics. A solid wine that will find appeal. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Garnet Vineyards Monterey County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $20, screwcap. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Smoky oak overrides the fruit in this light to mid weight wine featuring cherry and black raspberry flavors. Smooth, even slightly creamy, and easy to drink, but oak plays too big a role for me to thoroughly enjoy the wine. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bailiwick Borderline Marin County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 300 cases, $28. Sourced from Kendric and Chileno Valley vineyards. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Bright berry fruit aromas with hints of toast and herbs. Light to mid weight spice cherry and strawberry essence with a compliment of oak and a savory herb note in the background. Soft in the mouth, with supple tannins, a good cut of acidity, and very respectable finishing richness. An elegant, feminine wine that embraces the gentle side of Pinot Noir. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bailiwick Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 525 cases, $28. A blend of three vineyards along the cool Gravenstein Highway corridor. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of cherry and sous-bois are overwhelmed by oak-driven toast and coffee notes. The discreetly concentrated core of ripe cherries and raspberries is accented with a hint of red plum and spice. Less oak overlay is evident on the palate. The wine has balanced tannins and a finish that offers impressive fruit intensity. A comfortable, easy to drink wine. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Alma Fria Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 350 cases, $35. · Moderate reddish purple color in the galss. Nicely scented with hi-tone black cherries, black raspberries and a hint of oak. Strikingly silky on the palate with a luscious charge of black cherry, huckleberry and Marionberry flavors accented with spice and peppery herbs. Picks up intensity and interest over time in the glass, showing persistence on the berry-laden finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Stomping Girl Beresini Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $36. Vineyard planted by Steve Beresini in 1989 using cuttings from his friend Larry Hyde. Calera, Pommard and 777 clones. Aged in French oak barrels which are mostly neutral. Racked once, then bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Interesting aromas of black cherry, mulch, truffle and toasty oak lead to mid weight palate of earthy and spiced black cherry, tea berry and black raspberry fruit flavors. Plenty of sap and intensity to satisfy, yet welcoming and polished. The finish is impressively long and satisfying. This wine bears the signature of Carneros. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bailiwick Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 100 cases, $38. Sourced from the Sangiacomo Vineyard on Roberts Road at the base of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast. · Moderately light ruby color in the glass. Highly fragrant nose with aromas of cherry, spice, dark chocolate and toasty oak. Fresh and vivid cherry fruit on the attack, very expansive in the mouth, embellished with generous oak, finishing with persistent spice-dusted cherry goodness. A very appealing wine that is ready for enjoyment now. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 St. Rose Nunes Vineyard Ten Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.67, 98 cases, $38. Sampled from all ten blocks of the vineyard. 35% 115, 40% 777, 10% 667, 15% 114. Aged 12 months in 1 and 2-year-old Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of oak-infused cherry syrup, peppery spice and forest floor. Appealing mid weight core of spicy Bing cherry with an oak overlay and modest tannins. Some finishing power with a tart cherry theme. Tasted twice. Score: 87-88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Stomping Girl Lauterbach Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $38. This vineyard is owned by boutique grower and producer Stew Lauterbach, and is located just off River and Olivet Roads behind Martinelli Winery. Lee Martinelli, Jr., farms the vineyard. Pommard and Dijon clones. 3 to 5-day cold soak, 10-day fermentation, basket pressed with only finest press wine kept. Aged in French oak barrels which are mostly neutral. Racked once, then bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. This beauty smells like cherry pie class at cooking school with added scents of raspberry and dried herbs. The light to mid weight array of vibrant red fruits are embellished with a subtle savory herb flavor in the background. Crisp, with well integrated tannins and a juicy, cherry-infused finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 SENS3S Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.54, $40. Sourced from Hillcrest Estate and Tanuda vineyards. Barrel aged 11 months in 25% new French oak. · Noticeably better than when previously tasted in July 2014. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Attractive aromas of black cherry, rose petal, spice and mulch. Very tasty core of fresh black cherry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits with some length and intensity on the finish which sports a good cut of acidity. There is better integration of tannins and oak since last tasted. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 TR Elliott Queste Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 410 cases, $44. Released May 2014. 8 barrels of Hallberg Vineyard clone 115 and 9 barrels of O’Connell Vineyard Pommard clone. Goldridge sandy loam soils. 20% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation. Aged 11 months in 34% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Fresh aromas of strawberry, cherry, rose petal and spicy oak. Very nicely composed, with appealing flavors of Bing cherry syrup, cola and baking spices. A cherry-driven wine with balanced tannins and deft oak compliment. Highly enjoyable now, but has the balance for long term enjoyment. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Byron Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.53, 344 cases, $45. Sourced from a small block of old vines planted in 1974. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A nose of nuance with scents of red and black berries, baker’s spice, raw beef, and toasty oak. Full-bodied, oak-infused flavors of cherries and strawberries. This wine has a bold demeanor, but is not muscular. The tannins are well integrated and the wine is easy to like, although oak tends to play a prominent role in its demeanor. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 TR Elliott Burgonet Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 200 cases, $46. Released October 2014. 8 barrels of 2-acre O’Connell Vineyard. Goldridge sandy loam soils. 100% Pommard clone. 20% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 11 months in 20% new and 38% once-used French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enchanting nose with an array of scents including black cherry, black raspberry, sweet spice and potpourri. Well-endowed with flavorful and vivid fruits including dark red cherries, blueberries and pomegranate. The mid palate attack is attention grabbing and the finish is generous. This wine aims to please now, but will drink nicely for several years. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Broadley Vineyards Claudia’s Choice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 350 cases, $50. Named after Broadley’s cofounder Claudia Broadley. From a section of the vineyard that ripens later and sets smaller clusters. Pommard and Wädenswil clones. 40% whole cluster. Wild yeast fermentation. Aged 14-18 months in 40% new French oak barrels. The wine is meant to display a big, complex character. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of plum and boysenberry lead to a full-bodied explosion of luscious purple and black fruit flavors spiced with Coca-Cola, and backed by husky tannins. A prodigious wine with serious extract and finishing power. Similar the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with high extraction and healthy tannins. A distinctive style of wine that will benefit from some aging. Score: 88-89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Alma Fria Doña Margarita Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

230 cases, $58. 10% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation. Aged in 25% new French oak. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of Damson plum, cherry and exotic spices which become more effusive over time. I have nothing but good things to say about this wine which features delicious dark red cherry, raspberry and plum falvors, soft tannins, lively acidity, good integration of oak, and impressive harmony. Exceptional length, cut and class. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Alma Fria Holtermann Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 185 cases, $58. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Attention-getting aromas of cherry, sous-bois, bramble and complimentary oak spice. Nicely crafted, with flavors of plum, cherry, raspberry and spice and supportive soft tannins. Welcoming elegance, with a gorgeous note of fresh raspberry juice on the long finish. Even better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch - Fox Den Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.60, 654 cases, $58. Vineyard is located at the far western edge of the Green Valley AVA. 8 acres planted in low vigor Goldridge sandy loam soils. Planted in 2002 to clones 667, 777 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, open top fermentation, punch downs. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, with notes of black cherry, black raspberry, sage and toffee. Middleweight flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and ripe strawberry are arrayed on a plush, comforting texture. Very juicy and thirst quenching with an uplifting finish. This wine sports the most oak overlay of the four wines reviewed here. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield McDougall Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.60, 390 cases, $58. The vineyard is on a south-facing ridge close to coast farmed by Mac, Barbara and Rich McDougall. 2 Dijon clones were planted on 9 acres in 1998 upon the urging of Warren Dutton. 1,100 feet elevation. Neighbors are Hirsch and Martinelli vineyards. Grapes are typically thick skinned with deep color and natural spice. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, open-top fermentation with punch downs. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of wild dark raspberries and blueberries, and brambly underbrush. The fruit really grabs your attention on the mid palate, filling every nook and cranny in the mouth, and holds on through an intensely fruity finish. There is plenty of blueberry and blackberry flavor accented with many nuances including cardamom spice, subtle oak, earthy flora, and ironbased minerality. A special wine of uncommon complexity that can go the distance. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Byron Monument Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.53, 412 cases, $60. Composed of the winemaker’s selection of the finest barrels of the best blocks at the Nielson Estate. Swan, 667 and Pommard clones. Aged 16 months in 70% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas are hitone right out of the opened bottle, featuring blackberry, black currant, and plenty of spicy, sweet oak. Full-bodied, with well-ripened flavors of blackberry, cassis and cola. The wine has heft but is tempered by a juicy brightness that appeals. Balance is spot on and there is noticeable length to the fruit-infused finish. The svelte tannins provide good support and promise of age ability. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60. Low yielding blocks in the estate vineyard. Martini 13 clone. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas and flavors of black cherry, spice, rose petal and toasty oak are satisfying, with good tension and length. The lovely cherry fruit is complimented by well-managed oak and bright acidity. A little lighter in weight, with slightly less ripened and redder fruit than the Les Galets, but still very charming. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Single Vineyard Les Galets Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $60. Low yielding blocks. Dijon 115 and Wädenswil 2A clones. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Deep aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, anise and vanilla. Full-bodied flavors of dark berries, plum reduction sauce, and Asian 5-spice. The flavor is amazing! The luscious fruit load is beautifully balanced by melded tannins and balanced acidity. Caressing and creamy in the mouth, with a hint of oak enlarging the envelope, the wine finishes replete with soaring fruit fragrances. I’m in love. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Devil’s Gulch Vineyard Marin County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.61, 431 cases, $68. A steep, terraced vineyard farmed by owner Mark Pasternak. Record crop, yields 1.5 tons per acre. Very tiny berries.100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak. Aged 17 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh Bing cherry and black raspberry with a dusting of cocoa and vanilla powder. My notes say, “WOW!” upon entry, with a deep, vibrant, well-spiced plum and black raspberry core that makes you sit up in your chair. The supportive tannins are very fine-grained, and their is enough oak undertow to add interest. The wine is impeccably balanced with a remarkably long finish that seems to last over a minute. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch-Freestone Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.61, 613 cases, $72. Vineyard is located above the town of Freestone on the far southwestern edge of the Russian River Valley only a few miles inland from Bodega Bay. This very cold site is suited to Dijon clones. Planted in 1996 and 1997to 115, 667, 114 and Wädenswil 2A. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of raspberry coulis, black cherry pie glaze, spice and toasty oak. Delicious on entry with expansive fullness and polish, offering intense flavors of darker berries and Asian spices. The tannic backbone insures age ability while the lengthy finish leaves a memorable impression. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Flowers Vineyard & Winery Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.91, TA 0.65. $85. Organic and biodynamically farmed vineyard at elevations of 1,150 to 1,400 feet with schist and shale soils. Swan, Pommard, 114, 115 and Wädenswil 2A. 20% whole cluster.. Yields 2.4 tons per acre. 20% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in 20% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Intriguing aromas of dark cherry sauce, sous-bois, and wood spice. Modest in weight with a core of spicy red fruits include red grape. Polished with fine grain tannins and a welcome accent of toasty oak. The finish impresses with persistent fruit fragrance and bright acidity. This wine seduces rather than attacks with power. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste L’Espérance Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 241 cases, $85. Monoclone - 115. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intense aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, loamy soil, baking spice and iron, building in expression with time in the glass. Silky soft and feminine in character, with layers of black cherry and black raspberry fruits touched by an array of savory herbs and a floral accent. The wine fills the mouth with pleasure that carries over to the long and expansive finish. The wine has a racy energy that primes the palate for more. Even better the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle with aromatics that leap from the glass. Score: 92-93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hartley Ostini Hitching Post Highliner Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $34. A highliner is the best fisher in the fleet. This wine honors the men of SE Alaska salmon fishery alongside whom Gray Hartley fished for 28 years. A barrel selection from two Santa Barbara vineyards. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of blackberry, black raspberry and spice fill the glass. Modestly weighted flavors of spicy black cherry and blackberry, with a hint of toast and anise in the background. The wine has soft, ripe tannins, good brightness, and commendable harmony. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Furthermore La Encantada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 85 cases, $40. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine speaks of Sta. Rita Hills with good dark fruit intensity and bright acidity. The aromas of blackberry, black currant and licorice are enticing, and mid weight flavors of blackberry, black plum, eucalyptus and spice satisfy. A bit of toast and mocha are in the background. The fruit has good verve, and the mouthfeel is velvety. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Furthermore Nevina’s Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 83 cases, $50. Furthermore’s first estate vineyard. Located in Occidental six miles from the coast planted in 2002 to clone 777 by Scott Zeller. The vineyard was formerly known as Willow Creek and was bottled as a vineyard designate by Rivers-Marie. · My first experience with this vineyard and WOW! Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of freshly picked and crushed wild berries, spice, and ocean breeze. A little bit untamed, rugged and spirited, with delicious flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, molasses and dark chocolate and a firm tannic spine. The fruit has character and speaks of the earth and a sense of place. The experience is like throwing down fresh, juice berries while sitting on a ridge top overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Sonoma Coast. This is one sexy wine that really stands out among the excellent Furthermore Pinot Noirs in 2011. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Furthermore Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 81 cases, $50. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, cherry and nutmeg draw you into the glass. Beautifully composed and harmonious with gentle tannins balancing the flavorful dark red cherry and berry fruits. There is a touch of dark chocolate, sarsaparilla, vanilla and char adding interest. The attack is expansive and the finish has impressive length. Rosella’s always is a more feminine wine than many from the Santa Lucia Highlands and that character is exemplified in this wine. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Furthermore Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 65 cases, $50. A blend of Wädenswil clone and a Romanee-Conti selection. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A heavy tug of oak dominates the nose which offers demure aromas of black cherry and dark berry jam. More interesting on the palate with less undertow of oak, offering flavors of boysenberry and purple grapes. Rather closed and reticent, and even a bit shallow, tasting primarily of unadorned grape juice. Worth revisiting in a year or so. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $N/A. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose features aromas of blackberry jam, black currant and black plum with a toasty, smoky oak overlay. Plenty of weight and sappy presence of purple and black berries on the palate backed by firm, dry tannins. An undertow of oak shows up on the finish that offers some intensity and length. More swagger than finesse. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted Oregon Pinot Noir

2012 Tyee Wine Cellars Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 400 cases, $28. Released September 2014. From grapes grown exclusively in the family vineyard adjacent the winery. A combination of all plantings in the Estate Vineyard from vines 12 to 38 years old. 99 points and #1 wine Portland Monthly Oregon’s 50 Best Wines 2014. Merrilee Buchanan Benson is the winemaker. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of sous-bois, cherry, cranberry, raisin and a hint of oak. Light to mid weight flavors of dark cherries and purple berries with a hint of teaberry and savory herbs in the background. Silky on the palate with plenty of firm, dry tannins which tend to dominate the fruit at present. Very Oregonian in style and character. Score: 88-89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $33. Made from organic grapes sustainably grown and non-irrigated. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of black cherry sauce, exotic spices, and Herbs de Provence. A captivating, very sexy nose. Soft and charming on the palate with a discretely concentrated core of spicecharged dark plum and black raspberry fruits. Beautifully balanced with enough tannic backbone to age, and a crazy long finish that really satisfies. This is a wine that stands out from the crowd. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Westrey Justice Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $33. Winemakers Amy Wesselman and David Autrey. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A little more oak than fruit on the nose now and a bit tight, offering aromas of black cherry, fennel, pine and smoky oak. A well-crafted, beautiful wine but the fruit flavors of dark cherry, blackberry and plum have not fully emerged. Well-structured and mid to full-bodied with a big fruit-driven finish. Soft and plush, but not overly fat on the palate. Give this wine at least another year in bottle for full enjoyment. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Matello Souris Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 275 cases, $42. · A tête de cuvée. Crafted from old, non-irrigated vines. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherry tart, sandalwood and underbrush. Bright and juicy with light to mid weight flavors of cherry, raspberry and cranberry. Delicate and elegant, yet highly flavorful. Firm tannins buttress the fruit and bright acidity adds tension. The wine finishes with a pleasing grip of cherry fruit. Still appealing the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle reflecting balance and predicting age ability. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 ROCO Wit’s End Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 250 cases, $42, screwcap. An estate vineyard planted to Dijon clones in sedimentary soil. Winemaker Rollin Soles. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Nicely perfumed with hi-tone scents of fresh cherries, sousbois, spice and dried rose petals. The core of bright cherry fruit is flavorful and vivid, and complimented by a deft touch of oak. The tannins are well integrated and the highly pleasurable finish is long and full of Pinot goodness. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 de Lancellotti Onelia Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $45. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of berries on the vine with a woodsy undertone. Delicious and super intense core of cherry and raspberry fruits, finishing with power and length. The fruit is complimented by a touch of oak vanillin. Slightly grippy tannins show up on the big finish. Plenty of Pinot singing in this wine. Needs bottle aging for the aromas to arrive. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 326 cases, $48. Last vintage from this vineyard which was sold to Burgundy producer Louis Jadot in 2013. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is stunning, with an array of nuanced scents including plum, blackberry, black raspberry, sous-bois, exotic spices and bark. Mid weight plus core of well-ripened purple and black fruits, nicely spiced with well-integrated oak. Very fruity, slightly sweet and juicy, with a firm tannic backbone. Bigger, riper and sappier in this vintage as one would expect from a site in a warmer vintage. Evolves beautifully over time in the glass and is much better later in the day, offering a remarkably long grand cru finish. A memorable swan song. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Table Farm Sunnyside Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 230 cases, $48. The owners of this vineyard have tended it for over 30 years. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Appealing initially, with bright aromas of berry jam, spice and subtle smoky oak, picking up appeal over time in the glass. A mid weight, glorious combination of plum and boysenberry fruits with a riff of smoke and anise. The fruit is ripe but not over ripe and definitely makes a statement. The texture is silky, the tannins are reserved, and the finish offers a good cut of citrus-driven acidity. This wine could use a little more time in bottle for the smoky oak to fully integrate. Score: 91-92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Table Farm Wirtz Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 232 cases, $48. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Highly aromatic, with bright scents of fresh raspberry coulis, cherry sauce, spice and a bit of smoky oak. A lovely wine with character, displaying a discreetly concentrated core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit. Definitely ripe but not over ripe, with a complimentary accent of oak-driven anise and black tea. The finish is persistent and highly pleasing, driven by tart cherry acidity. Tasted the 16 following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, more floral and spice accents appear, and the soft, fine tannins make for a dreamy mouthfeel. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Table Farm Cattrall Brothers Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 161 cases, $49. Tom and Bill Cattrall organically farm this vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills. Own-rooted Wädenswil vines. Fermented 50% whole cluster. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers aromas of black cherry, Marionberry, briar patch and tobacco oak. Modest in concentration but highly flavorful, with a good tannic backbone and acid spine. The middleweight flavors of plum reduction sauce and berry preserves are somewhat sappy and accented with a tug of oak. The lip smacking good finish is riff with bright acidity. Score: 89-90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Westrey Cuvée 20 Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $49. 20th vintage. Sourced from 35-year-old dry-farmed vines. 25% “Coury clone” Abbey Ridge Vineyard and 75% Pommard clone Oracle Estate Vineyard. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Somewhat reticent, offering demure aromas of dark red berries, cherries and sous-bois. Delicious flavors of dark red fruits with the slightest oak adding a welcome accent. Fresh and juicy with good tension, balanced tannins, an intense mid palate attack, and a generous finish displaying a good cut of acidity. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was more savory and slightly gamey with a remarkably long finish. This wine should age effortlessly. Score: 91-92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Broadley Vineyards Jessica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 250 cases, $50. Named after Jessica Broadley, Morgan Broadley’s spouse and partner in Broadley Vineyards. Clones 667 and 115. 80% whole cluster. Wild yeast fermentation. Aged 14-18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Plentiful fruit in this wine that offers scents of black cherry reduction sauce and blackberry jam, and intense, sappy flavors of purple and black fruits. There is a complimentary hint of spice and oak and a slight floral undertone from the whole cluster inclusion. The tannins are substantial but proportional to the fruit load creating balance. This wine is not for the timid, but it is nicely composed and will thoroughly satisfy those seeking out a full-throttle Pinot Noir with whole cluster embellishments. Score: 90-91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard Block 7 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $59. Wädenswil clone from the 5.2-acre non-irrigated Block 7, located on a steep, south-facing slope. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose picks up interest and intensity over time, offering aromas of black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal, mocha and sandalwood. An earthy undertone compliments the fat, plummy, black cherry and spice flavors which are accented with oak. Silky in texture, with firm tannins and juicy acidity. The wine is shy and lacks distinction at this stage. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, the fruit was more expressive. I would check back in another year. Score: 88-89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard West Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $59. Wädenswil, 777, 114 and Pommard clones. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, cherry leather and bramble lead to a middleweight, juicy wine featuring dark red and purple fruits. Fruity, with firm tannins and a noticeably silky mouth feel. Nicely balanced, but seems linear and very reserved. Re-tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was about the same. Score: 89-90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Durant Vineyards Olivia Grace Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.61, 165 cases, $60. This block was planted in 2006 to Pommard clone and is named after one of Paul Durant’s two daughters. The wine was vinified by winemaker Chad Stock of Minimus Wines. 100% Pommard clone. Harvest Brix 22.5º, yield 1.5 tons per acre. · Although also made from Pommard clone, this wine is distinctly different from Bishop. The nose is extravagantly scented with aromas of cherry, rose petal, and spice. The fruit load is luscious and intense, but the tannins are more reserved, and this wine displays plenty of vibrancy and up front enjoyment. Two days later, when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, this wine had taken on added interest with seductive aromas of cherries and spice and a delicious array of red fruit flavors that spoke Pinot in character. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Durant Vineyards Bishop Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.67, 204 cases, $65. Bishop is one of the original 1973 blocks planted to Pommard clone with some own-rooted vines. The wine is vinified by winemaker Isabelle Dutarte. Harvest Brix 24.2º. Yields 0.75 tons per acre. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of oak-dusted black fruits. Lovely purple stone and berry mid weight sappy fruits with a lush mid palate attack and a vivid and rich fruit-laden finish. A big wine for Oregon but the fruit is buffered by firm ripe tannins and is not daunting. Similar the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Give this wine some time for the aromas to arrive and the rich fruit to temper. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 ROCO Private Stash No. 10 Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 320 cases, $66, screwcap. · This wine is not as developed as the Wit’s End bottling but has more potential long term. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very pretty aromas of dark red cherry, raspberry and spice box. Soft, smooth and silky on the palate with delicious flavors of juicy black cherry and a hint of red licorice. Very seductive, with supple tannins, a welcome hint of oak, and a good spark of refreshing acidity on the lasting finish. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was holding its own, predicting its long term potential. Score: 92-93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard Homer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $79. A blend of the best barrels in the cellar. Dijon and Wädenswil clones. Aged in 68% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very shy and tight, opening slowly to reveal aromas of black cherry, blackberry and wooded forest. More body, more life and more finish in this wine. The array of dark stone and berry fruits sparkle, accented with interesting notes of spice and anise. A big, masculine wine with plenty of oak overlay and tannic vigor at this time. Slightly more charming the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Keep this one in the cellar for a couple of years. Score: 90-91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Le Cadeau Vineyard Merci Reserve Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 95 cases, $80. Release December 2014. The finest barrels from the vintage crafted in tiny quantity. Three heritage selections. Winemaker is Jim Sanders and growers and owners are Deb and Tom Mortimer. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Exotic aromas elevate the nose including black cherry, Asian 5-spice, incense and smoke. Full-bodied core of delicious spiced black cherry and blackberry flavors that are intense and persistent. There is plenty of smoky oak on board ala Henri Jayer. The mouthfeel is polished and the finish is a joyous celebration of fruit and lip smacking acidity. A very unique wine, but the oak plays too great a role for me personally. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Croft Vineyards Savoir-Vivre! Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $35. Made from organically grown grapes. Croft Vineyards has grown grapes organically for over 30 years. This wine is made from grapes from some of the oldest vines. Produced and bottled by 720 Wine Cellars in Philomath. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of raspberry, Damson plum, peppery spices, stem and oak. Light to mid weight flavors of red cherry, red raspberry and red plum with a savory herbal thread in the background. Soft on the palate with mild fine-grained tannins, and a slightly tart, cherry-driven finish. Pleasant but not exceptional. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Broadley Vineyards Claudia’s Choice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $50. Sourced from 7 acres of northeast-facing vines planted mid slope on the estate. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Fruity aromas of red cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Light in weight with juicy cherry flavor dominated by smoky, tobacco oak. The oak simply overwhelms the delicate red fruit core. There is also a green, vegetal thread in the background. Very mild tannins and easy drink ability. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Édition Limitée Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 245 cases, $85. Estate grown. Mostly from a single block planted in 1998, with a little of a neighboring block planted in 1999. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of oak-kissed black cherry, sandalwood and baking spice. Very tight and not particularly gregarious, with a medium bodied core of black cherry, cranberry and raspberry fruits buried in oak and brutish tannins. A little more fruit and spice peeks out and the tannins are slightly softer the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Three days later, the opened wine is beginning to shine. This wine is built for the long-haul, and will not appeal if drunk now unless vigorously decanted. Score: 90-91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Soter Mineral Springs Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 540 cases, $85. A selection created only in a given vintage when something unique begs the spotlight. This is the fourth bottling of Mineral Springs Pinot Noir and is sourced primarily from Heirloom clones. 30% whole cluster fermentation. 30 days extended maceration. Aged 12 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Racked once for assembly before bottling. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very pleasant nose with aromas of black raspberry and spice picking up intensity over time in the glass. Richly fruited with blackberry, plummy, and black currant flavors, with a touch of blueberry-pomegranate chiming in. Substantial, but not excessive tannins and a citrus-driven, bright finish. A high-collared wine of elegance and charm. Still highly aromatic and flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This beauty will easily age another ten years. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Heart & Hands Wine Company

2013 Heart & Hands Polarity Finger Lakes White Wine

13.9% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.57, 201 cases, $29. Pinot Noir grapes whole cluster pressed with minimal skin contact and fermented in French oak. Lees stirring every few days after fermentation is complete. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light pinkish orange color in the glass. Lovely aromas of blood orange, peach, tropical fruits and the slightest toasty oak. The flavors follow in step with the aromas adding a touch of apricot. Bright, crisp and refreshing, with a tangy orange zest finish. This wine is a welcome change of pace from the usual white varietal suspects. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heart & Hands Finger Lakes Pinot Noir

12.4% alc., 714 cases, $23. 46% Paul’s Legacy at Hobbit Hollow Farm, 29% Elaine’s Vineyard and 25% Patrician Verona Vineyard. 50% whole cluster. · Light burnished red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, cranberry, brioche and spice with some stem surfacing over time. Elegant in a light to mid weight style with flavors of cherry, raspberry and cinnamon spice accented with a touch of oak and underbrush. The acid spine is vibrant. This is the lightest of the wines in the 2012 lineup and shows the most oak overlay. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heart & Hands Elaine’s Vineyard Finger Lakes Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.64, 96 cases, $32. Vineyard is located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. Yield 3.4 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Aged in 24% new Francois Frères French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light burnished red color in the glass. Vibrant aromas of fresh cherries, cola and rose petal. Very tasty mid weight flavors of cherry reduction sauce and red berry jam with a complimentary hint of spice. The tannins are well proportioned and the finish is joyous. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still pumping out the lovely aromas and flavors indicating promising longevity. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heart & Hands Patrician Verona Vineyard Finger Lakes Pinot Noir

11.8% alc., 98 cases, pH 3.62, TA 0.66, $32. Vineyard is located on the western side of Cayuga Lake. Yield 3.8 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light burnished red color in the glass. The nose is very appealing with scents of darker cherries, sous-bois and raw beef. A step up in concentration with generous flavors of dark cherry, blueberry and Marionberry accented by brown spices. Elegant and soft in the mouth with polished tannins and complimentary oak. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still aromatically pleasing and showed a slight savory herb streak on the palate. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heart & Hands Estate Clone 667 Finger Lakes Pinot Noir

12.3% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.62, 23 cases, $44. Yield 1.77 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in twice-filled French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is both good and bad with fresh fruit aromas of black cherry and raspberry complimented by dark red rose petal and seasoned oak, but there is a whole cluster driven note of stem and green bean that detracts. The fruit is highly concentrated and supported by well proportioned tannins, and the mouthfeel is very polished. Should be interesting to see how this wine evolves. Score: 87-88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heart & Hands Estate Clone 777 Finger Lakes Pinot Noir

12.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.61, 23 cases, $44. Sustainably farmed estate vineyard planted in Onondaga limestone. Yield 1.4 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in twice-filled French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Light garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of red cherry, rose petal, spice and sous-bois. Delicious light to mid weight cherry core. Very charming and soft in the mouth, with balanced tannins and a generous, lengthy finish. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was a whole cluster celebration with uplifting aromas of spice, floral bouquet and tobacco leaf. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heart & Hands Estate Clone 828 Finger Lakes Pinot Noir

12.1% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.59, 23 cases, $44. Yield 2.39 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in twice-filled French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Light garnet color in the glass. The scents of dark cherry, raspberry, blueberry, purple rose petal, forest floor and oak are repeated on the palate with some added spice. The wine is a little rugged at this point with a tug of muscular tannins that showing up on the finish. The following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the aromatics were seductive with plenty of cherry and floral appeal, but the fruit was hidden by the overcoat of tannin. This wine should mellow with more time in bottle. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heart & Hands Mo Chuisle Finger Lakes Pinot Noir

12.6% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.62, 147 cases, $56. Inaugural vintage from the estate vineyard. Name is Gaelic for “My Pulse” or colloquially “My Darling.” Clones are 4 (39%), 90 (22%), 115 (16%), 97 (16%) and small amounts of 667, “828” and 777. Yield 1.61 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Aged in 17% new French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of cherry, sous-bois and raspberry. Delicious core of cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit flavors with an undertone of earthy flora. The tannins are well balanced and the wine is quite welcoming now. The fruit is intense and tenacious on attack and finishes with aplomb and length. Impressive debut wine. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sips of Recently Tasted California Chardonnays

2013 Meiomi California Chardonnay

13.8% alc., $19. 49% Santa Barbara County, 21% Monterey County, and 30% Sonoma County. · Pale golden yellow color in the glass. A solid offering with aromas and flavors of lemon, white peach, honey and nutty oak. Smooth on the palate, and easy to drink, with modest oak overlay, and a refreshing finish of juicy Granny Smith apples. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rombauer Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay

14.6% alc., $32. Released August 2014. From estate vineyards and select growers including the Sangiacomo family. Very large production. Harvest Brix 22.9-25.0º. Whole cluster pressed, cold-settled overnight, racked to barrel for primary and malolactic fermentation. The lees were stirred every two weeks. Aged 8 months in 33% new French and American oak barrels. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of lemon-lime, white nectarine, vanilla, spice and buttery brioche. Mildly creamy on the palate with a subtle buttery oak compliment, and good acidity. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Durant Vineyards Raven Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.67, 264 cases, $25. From vines planted in 1993 to clones 76 and 96. Crafted by Isabelle Dutarte of De Ponte Cellars. Harvest Brix 24.5º. Yield 2 tons per acre. · Very light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of apple, lemon, Asian pear, and nutty oak are offered in a bright, lighter-flavored style. Slightly soft on the palate with tight acidity and a walnut and lemon infused finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 TR Elliott Three Roses Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., 257 cases, $32. Released May 2014. Sourced from Herrick Vineyard. Winemaker is Theodore R. Elliott. Clone 809. Aged sur lee 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. The nose is multidimensional with aromas of lemon curd, buttery brioche, melon, and exotic floral display. Slightly creamy on the palate with flavorful notes of lemon, apple, pineapple and lemongrass. Crisp and juicy, with a deft touch of oak and appealing length on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Stomping Girl Hyde Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay

14.1% alc., $40. Wente and Robert Young clones. Gently whole pressed with free-run juice sent to French oak barrels (one new, the rest neutral) at a cool temperature. Aged sur lie with regular lees stirring. The wine clear naturally, without fining or filtration, and was bottled with a single racking before bottling. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. The aromas pull you into the glass, with bright notes of lemon curd, pear, toast and subtle vanilla. Delicious lemon, pear and apple flavors in a bright, crisp and clean style with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Amazing fruit goodness. Beautifully balanced with noticeable length on the finish. All you could ask for in a Chardonnay. Drink this one on a sunny day with your best friends. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Cuvée Limitée Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., 149 cases, $65. Exclusively estate vineyards. Produced from some of the oldest (over 20 Years) Dijon clones on the Estate. Hand-picked, hand-sorted and pressed whole cluster. Fermented in French oak barrels. After 11 months, the favorite barrels were selected. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromatically engaging with scents of lemon drop, dried mango, golden apple and marzipan. Light on its feet, crisp and very sleek, this wine is infused with citrus and apple goodness with very little intrusion of oak. Refreshing, with some length on the bright finish. Definitely French stylistically, with a purity of fruit that is striking. One of the best Oregon Chardonnays I have experienced in recent memory. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »


Robert Parker’s 100 point wine scoring system, which became popular in 1983 and adopted by the Wine Spectator in 1988, has been a homing beacon for consumers seeking to buy good wine. Currently, a majority of United States based wine critics and magazines use the 100 point scale.

The reality is that the 100 point scale is actually a 10 point scale. MORE»
A Note About Prices

Price shown in a tasting note is either the winery-direct price or the retail price paid by the Prince.