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From Sips of Recently Tasted Oregon Wine

2014 Van Duzer Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

13.2% alc., pH 3.15, TA 0.76, 2,001 cases, $18. Early pick produced a crisp backbone, and later pick created aromatic complexity. Whole cluster pressed, fermentation driven by four different yeast strains. Very slow and cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks followed by aging on the lees. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of yellow peach, lemon and vanilla creme. Flat-out delicious on the palate with terrific balance, this wine offers flavors of lemon-lime, banana and peach, and a rich and juicy finish with uncommon length for this varietal. This is a wine you want on the dinner table. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

13.1% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.69, 1,960 cases, $18. Rigorous block selection using vines that were encouraged to produce a higher yield to retain acidity. Early pick of 115 and later pick of Wädenswil clone. After a short skin contact, the berries were gently pressed and inoculated with four different yeasts. Slow and cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks followed by aging on lees. · Gorgeous pinkish orange color in the glass. Highly aromatic, with inviting scents of strawberry, cherry and watermelon. Crisp and sleek on the palate, with vibrant flavors of strawberry and peach, and an energetic, dry finish. One of Oregon’s best rosés. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Underwood Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $10. Produced by Union Wine Co, in Newberg, Oregon. Also available in a 12 oz can. · Light cherry color in the glass. Aromas of red cherries and potpourri hold up nicely over time in the glass. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry, black raspberry and red licorice are framed by notes of oak and black tea, with the oak more prominent than I prefer. The tannins are mellow making the wine light on its feet. No need to contemplate this wine: just serve and chill out. A very good value. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 O.P.P. Other People’s Pinot Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.59, RS 0.63, $19.99. Released October 20, 2014. 7-day cold soak, additional 18 days of skin contact. Fermented in stainless steel and aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of cherry, raspberry and underbrush, with a touch of honeysuckle showing up over time. Red berry and cherry flavors are featured in a lighter weight wine with subtle notes of oak and dried herbs in the background. The fruit is wrapped in mellow tannins and spirited by tight acidity. A solid daily drinker. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Elouan Oregon Pinot Noir

$24.99. Released July 2014. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Vanillasoaked cherries lead the way in this mid weight wine which offers additional notes of strawberry and cola. Straightforward, with supple tannins, and some grip on the short finish. Ordinary. Score: 85. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 J. Wrigley Vineyards “MAC” Cuvée McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.57, $28. Clones 777, 667 and Pommard planted in both sedimentary and volcanic soil. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of fresh cherry tart and raspberry coulis. Good depth and length on the palate, featuring red cherry, blueberry and raspberry fruits. More elegant, with less tannin than the Proposal Block bottling, offering juicy acidity and good length on the finish. Ready to rock. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Stoller Family Estate Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

12.9%, 7,475 cases, $30, screwcap. A blend of 20 sections of the estate vineyard. Aged in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Darker red and purple fruits along with tastes of herbs and nutty oak are featured in this middleweight, approachable wine that is acid-driven. The modest tannins make for easy drinking, and the finish features tart black cherry and citrus-imbued cranberry fruit flavors. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

1,534 cases, $42. 3 new sites were added to the six sourced in previous vintages. Native yeast, whole cluster fermentation. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate light cherry red color in the glass. Very floral nose reminds me of Chanel #5 with added notes of cherry and Asian 5-spice. Light to mid weight flavors of strawberry, cherry and raspberry with a hint of smoky oak in the background. Elegant and charming, with supple fine-grain tannins and a pleasingly dry finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Chardonnay

476 cases, $45. Grapes sourced from Bieze, Durant, Wirtz and Yates Conwill vineyards. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light golden yellow and slightly hazy in the glass. Welcoming aromas of citrus oil, spice, and honeysuckle. Soft and smooth on the palate, with bright flavors of yellow peach, apple, lemon zest and spice. A somewhat demure style that is beautifully balanced, finishing with zippy lemony acidity. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 J. Wrigley Vineyards Proposal Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.57, $45. Clones 777, 115, “828,” and Pommard. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very floral on the nose with added scents of black cherry and underbrush. Inviting body and polish, with mid weight flavors of juicy cherries and raspberries, framed by dry, slightly grippy tannins typical of the appellation. Bright acidity, and a silken finish that really grabs your attention. This wine is very forward drinking and aims to please. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Big Table Farm Pelos-Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

303 cases, $48. One acre each of Pommard and 777. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Upbeat aromas of black cherries, rose petal, spice, herbs and oak all interacting in harmony. Discreetly concentrated core of black cherry fruit complimented by smoky oak and an earthy presence. The tannins are well balanced and the juicy acidity adds tension. The wine finishes very suave with a cherry-fueled wave of goodness. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.55, 6,376 cases, $32. 91% Van Duzer Vineyards with small contributions from four other vineyards. Multiple clones including Pommard, 777, 2A, 115, “828,” 667, 113 and 114. Each block fermented separately. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very fragrant aromas of black cherry, cardamom spice, smoke and wet earth. Tasty, mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, plum, and Asian 5-spice with a hint of oak in the background. This wine delivers a generous amount of fruit flavor and has the structural bones to last several years. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evening Land Vineyards Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $40. Primarily from Eola Springs Vineyard and new plantings from Seven Springs Vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 5-day cold soak in open top oak and concrete fermenters. Aged in once-filled and neutral French oak barrels for 14 months. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Initial aromas of briar, wood shed and pine tar give way to more appealing scents of cherry and sandalwood over time in the glass. Mid weight plus sweet and sappy flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry carry over to a slightly astringent finish with some length. An oak thread (anise and cola) runs through the background. I liked this wine more over time in the glass. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evening Land Vineyards Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55. A representation of the entire vineyard including old vine, own-rooted Pommard clone. 100% de-stemmed, natural fermentation after a 4 to 5-day cold soak in open top oak and concrete fermenters. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is propelled by wood-charged purple fruits and a note of spice and pencil lead. Rich and sappy, with a full-bodied attack of ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruits framed by modest, sleek tannins. Oak plays a complimentary role in the background. Most impressive is the follow through on the generous finish. Seems to need for time to come together, like an awkward teenager with great potential reaching for adulthood. Score: 91-92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Van Duzer Dijon Blocks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.44, 195 cases, $55. 25% 777, 25% 115, 25% 113, 12.5% 114, and 12.5% 667. Each clone and block fermented separately. 7-10 days of extended maceration. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. A blend of the best of the Estate Dijon clone barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very primary nose upon opening, offering considerable more fruit-driven appeal the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Similarly, the wine is subdued on the palate, but the following day was much more interesting with plenty of sappy purple fruits and an earthy touch. Impressive harmony and finishing length. This wine needs more time in bottle to develop more personality and nuance. Score: 90-92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.52, 119 cases, $60. This vineyard is adjacent Seven Springs Vineyard at 600 feet elevation. Jory soils. 100% clone 777. 5 days of extended skin maceration. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 44% new. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Deep Bing cherry aroma with accents of sous-bois and floral bouquet. A very charming wine on the palate with vivid fruit flavors of black raspberry, cherry and plum with a compliment of spice, cola and nutty oak. The wine is very giving, with seamless tannins and a seductive texture that is like touching purple velvet. The entire experience is one of grace and polish. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Van Duzer Homestead Block Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.07% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.52, 142 cases, $60. Extended skin maceration of 8 days to enhance texture of the mid palate. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of black cherry, dried herbs, spice and balsam. The darker cherry and cranberry fruits wake up the palate on entry with impressive flavor intensity. A pleasing compliment of spice and oak add interest. Gracious harmony, with balanced tannins and a delicious cherry-driven finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Van Duzer Alchemy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1%, $65. The best blocks, lots and barrels blended like alchemy. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is like cherry pie day at baking school, with hi-tone aromas of black cherries, spice and vanilla. The cherry core is succulent on the palate and there is good structural bones, but the wine is soft and comforting and offers good tension. The balance is spot-on, and the wine finishes with an explosion of luscious black cherry fruit. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more flamboyant aromatic and fruit expression. This wine will quickly give you a Pinot high. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evening Land Vineyards Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

14.0% alc., $70 (sold out). Sourced from old vine Dijon clone planted in 1995. Whole cluster pressed, indigenous fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new, and further aged in tank for another 5 months on lees. · Light golden straw color in the glass. Aromas of lemon, mango and nut oil leap from the glass. Refined and restrained flavors of citrus, Asian pear and caramel with a thirst-quenching finish. Very juicy and polished with subtle oak seasoning. I could drink this all night. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evening Land Vineyards Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $75 (sold out). An expression of both rocky and shallow soils, containing old Pommard vines that are farmed organically and biodynamically. 100% de-stemmed, natural fermentation after a 4 to 5-day cold soak in open top oak and concrete fermenters. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is dark fruited, with hints of oak-driven toast and vanilla. Stunning entry and finish with layers of well-spiced black cherry and blackberry fruits in a full-bodied style. The tannic backbone is well proportioned and the texture is one of refinement. Despite its richness, the wine has good vibrancy. A classy offering that makes a statement and should benefit from another year or two in bottle. Score: 93-94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evening Land Vineyards Seven Springs Vineyard Summum Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.1% alc., $90 (sold out). Only produced in vintages that bring out the best characteristics of the highest elevation of the vineyard. Sourced from old vine Dijon 76 clone planted in 1995 that sits slightly higher on the hill than the fruit for the La Source Chardonnay. Long, gentle pressing of whole clusters, spontaneous indigenous fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new with gentle lees stirring, and an additional aging in tank for another 5 months. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Inviting aromas of pear, citrus, melon, flinty reduction and a hint of oak. Slightly creamy on the palate, and very fruity and flirty, with flavors of lemon cake and white stone fruits with a touch of caramelized oak. Impeccable balance and a dry, lengthy finish that vanishes like fine Champagne. One of Oregon’s greatest Chardonnays. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Antica Terra Antikythera Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

516 cases, $100. Released March 1, 2015. · Amazing depth of color. Interesting aromatic drama, with scents of black cherry, blackberry, spice, Bailey’s Irish Creme, pine needle and a hint of oak. Full-bodied and rich, yet angelic in texture with velvety softness, offering delicious flavors of black raspberry, cassis, iron and spice. A whisper of oak chimes in. Well-ripened in this vintage and a noticeable departure from the previous two vintages with more fruit and more structure. A delightful wine that harkens back to the Sine Qua Non Pinot Noirs of the past, and can serve as a poster child for the voluptuous 2012 vintage in Oregon. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Seufert Winery Horseleap Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

245 cases, $30. Pommard and 777 clones planted in Willakenzie marine sedimentary soil. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Quite a bit of oak dominates the nose that features aromas of cherry and savory herbs. A pleasing wine on the palate with welcome fullness and roundness, offering a mid weight core of cherry goodness wrapped in modest tannins. Less oak is evident in the mouth, and the cherry-driven finish finishes with some length. The acidity is more harmonious in this wine. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Seufert Winery Vine Idyl Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

241 cases, $30. 100% Pommard clone from vines planted in volcanic Jory soil. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of black cherry and wilted rose with oak in the background. Mid weight core of black cherry and raspberry fruits framed by modest tannins and bracing acidity. Bright and vibrant, with a satisfying fruit load and a citrus-driven finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Seufert Winery Zenith Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 245 cases, $35. Pommard and 777 clones. Vineyard planted in 1999. Multiple soil types. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry, cranberry and dried herbs are replicated in the flavors of this lighter weight wine that is a bit tart and tannic. A little oak is trying to add interest, but the tannic sinew and sharp acidity overwhelm the delicate fruit. If I was drinking this wine, I would chill it or add ice to temper the tannins. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From LUTUM Wines: Exceptional (Young) Winemaking Talent at Work

2013 LUTUM Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.42% alc., 650 cases, $50. From blocks N and Q. Harvest Brix 23.6º. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 25% new. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. On the nose, dark cherries and spice mix with dried herbs and dried mushrooms. The entry is earthy, with fruit flavors of raspberry and black cherry, and a touch of spice. A charming wine with silky tannins and impeccable balance. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUTUM Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.82% alc., 150 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 23.9º. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Racked, lightly fined and put back into barrel and bottled unfiltered. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Complex nose offering scents of lemon bar, melon, apple, fig spread and a hint of oak. Very charming on the palate with flavors of lemon and yellow apple, and a slightly lush and creamy mouth feel. The wine’s bracing acidity offers a mouthwatering sensation. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUTUM Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.17% alc., 200 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 23.9º. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. The wine was racked, lightly fined and put back into barrel before being bottled unfiltered. · Light golden yellow hue in the glass. This is an exceptional wine that checks all the squares. Uplifting aromas of lemon cake, peach, sea breeze, and chalk dust lead to a flat-out delicious core of lemon, yellow grilled peach and yuzu zest. Impeccable balance with seamless integration of oak and a bright, juicy demeanor. The finish is remarkable for its length, expansive lemon flavor, and cleansing acidity. Goes down like mother’s milk. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUTUM La Rinconada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 225 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 24.6º. 100% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of fresh black cherry pie, spice and sweet oak. Gorgeous mid weight plus fruit core featuring lightly spiced black cherry and boysenberry with an earthy tone and a taste of iron. Substantial tannins are folded in with seamless awareness. Very classy juice that is infused with vibrancy, finishing with a juicy cut of acidity. The best wine I have had from this vineyard in recent memory. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUTUM Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.13% alc., 250 cases, $60. Harvest Brix 24.3º. 100% 667 clone. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is quite shy and primary initially with subtle aromas of cherry and raspberry. Over time in the glass, a pleasing deep cherry aromas emerges. Bright and juicy with flavors of earth-kissed red cherry and cranberry, offering good mid palate richness and a modest explosion of red fruits on the finish. The tannins are modest and oak plays a supportive role in the background. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUTUM Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 300 cases, $60. Harvest Brix 23.9º. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine is primarily driven by red fruits with aromas of crushed cherry and strawberry, and flavors of cherry, cranberry and raspberry. There is good vibrancy, balanced tannins and substantial finishing power. Nicely crafted with seamless balance. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Recent Sips of California Pinot Noir

2014 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc

13.7% alc., $25, screwcap. Released April 25, 2015. 52% Napa County and 48% Sonoma County. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Highly aromatic with effusive aromas of peach, mango, lemon and a faint grassiness. Intensely flavored with layers of fruits including pineapple, passion fruit, white peach and apricot. Thoroughly satisfying with bright acidity and a razor-sharp, stone fruit-charged finish. An extraordinary wine. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Red Car Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $28. Backbone is from the biodynamically farmed Bybee Vineyard in Sebastopol Hills. Pinot Noir was harvested at 21º Brix, whole cluster pressed off skins immediately, and fermented with wild yeast in a mix of stainless steel and French oak. · Delicate orange color in the glass. An exceptional rosé with a fragrant perfume of strawberries and blood orange juice and flavors of Rainier cherry, strawberry, and yellow peach. Bright, crisp and bone dry, with a lip-smacking finish that begs another sip. Chill, serve, chill. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Bogle Vineyards California Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.53, $9.99. Released December 2014. Grapes were sourced from Russian River Valley, Monterey hills, and Clarksburg Delta. Aged 10 months in French and American oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, with scents of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, rose and vanilla persisting over time in the glass. Plenty of tasty dark berry and dark stone fruit accented with spice and vanilla from complimentary oak. The broad-shouldered tannins are well matched to the fruit load, making the wine easy to drink. This wine will stand up to substantial, hearty foods. It reminds me of the highly popular Meiomi California Pinot Noir in style and flavor. A crazy value. I challenge you to find a better California Pinot Noir at this price! Widely distributed. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rivers-Marie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $25. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing with scents of dark fruits, sous-bois and complimentary oak. Rich and sappy flavors of blackberry, cassis and pomegranate with a touch of spice. A generous, juicy wine without subtlety, but with suave tannins, easy approachability and a tenacious finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Straight Line Marin County Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 332 cases, $32. 40% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A simple but accommodating wine with aromas and flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, savory herbs and toasty oak. Modest in weight and attack with balanced tannins and a short finish. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Morgan Twelve Clones Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.59, 12,713 cases, $34. Primarily from the estate Double L Vineyard with the balance from some of the best neighboring Santa Lucia Highlands properties. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 44% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of earth-dusted black cherry and spice. Very soft in the mouth, with vivid flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, black tea, anise and spice. Nicely composed with suave tannins and some length and grip on the satisfying finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 E16 E16 Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.58, 546 cases, $38. Primarily a blend of two Russian River Valley vineyards (Trenton Road and Hawks Roost) with 13% from Anderson Valley, Bennett Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands. Barrels are chosen that impress in youth. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a fragrant mix of cherry, sous-bois mushroom and oak aromas. Quite savory and earthy on the palate, with flavors of black cherry, tea, and cola, and admirable length and intensity on the juicy, cherry-driven finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 E16 Upper Bench Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.58, 370 cases, $38. Sourced from Escolle Vineyard, Pommard clone. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. Unfiltered. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Lovely scent of mashed red cherries, strawberries and sandalwood. Light to mid weight flavors of strawberries, cherries and spice. Very elegant and refined, with fine-grain tannins tucked in and juicy acidity providing vibrancy. Not as brawny as many Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noirs, with more personality. This wine reminds me of wines from Rosella’s Vineyard. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sojourn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.60, 600 cases, $38. Release in spring 2015. A blend from several vineyards including Sangiacomo Vella and Green Acres ranches, Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard, Durell Vineyard, and Campbell Ranch Vineyard. Each component was fermented separately with native yeast in French oak barrels, 30% new and underwent 100% malolactic fermentation. Regular lees stirring was performed during the first three months of fermentation and aging. After 11 months, the components were blend to create a winemaker’s cuvée, and bottled unfined. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon cake, nutty spread and floral bouquet. Some richness of lemon, honey and caramel flavor with a noticeable oak overlay. Slightly creamy, finishing with a subtle saline note. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.56, 1,750 cases, $39. Release in spring 2015. A blend of eight lots from the Sojourn stall of vineyard sources with Gap’s Crown and Sangiacomo vineyards making up the majority of the blend. A mix of clones 115, “828,” 667, Pommard and 2A. 100% destemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very fragrant with vibrant aromas of black cherry, raspberry, cardamom spice and a hint of toast and smoke. Mid weight plus core of earth-kissed flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, cassis, black tea and dark chocolate brownie. Nicely balanced tannins, good vibrancy, and a lengthy finish boasting plenty of spiced plum flavor. A very good AVA wine. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Valerie’s Vineyard One Acre Carneros Pinot Noir

93 cases, $40. Winemaker Jeff McBride (Benziger Family Winery). Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. A very savory wine with aromas of herbs, sous-bois and cigar box. Middleweight flavors of black cherry, blueberry and black raspberry with a riff of grilled mushroom and sweet oak in the background. Very earthy, with satiny tannins and some finishing length. I liked it more over time in the glass. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 E16 Bowland Ranch Bennett Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.58, 295 cases, $42. Sourced from 3 blocks of Pommard clone picked at different Brix and co-fermented. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers aromas of wooded forest and oak without any fruit even over a long time in the glass. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, black plum and spice with oak in the background. Pleasant but not exceptional with modest length and intensity on the finish. The mouth is soft and appealing. A fair amount of tannin and quite a bit of oak shows up on the finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard Marin County Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 194 cases, $44. 35%whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately deep red color in the glass. The nose really perks up the senses with flamboyant aromas of red cherry and boysenberry. Expansive and layered on the palate, with impressive attack and finish featuring flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice. Amazing fruit intensity for Marin County and spectacular phenolic ripeness at a relatively low ABV. A very pleasing wine with balanced tannins and acidity, a silky texture, and an intense finish featuring sweet black cherry and berry flavors with real length. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.62, 325 cases, $45. Release in spring 2015. A combination of Old Wente clone from Sangiacomo Vella Ranch (planted in 1997) and clone 95 from Roberts Road Vineyard (planted in 1998). Whole cluster pressed, 100% malolactic fermentation, aged in French oak barrels, 30% new and bottled unfined. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. A refined and classy wine with aromas of pear, melon and lychee. Crisp flavors of citrus, pear and nutty oak are complimentary. Very clean with good cut and a refreshing finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Couloir Monument Tree Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 166 cases, $48. 50% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderately light red color in the glass. Affable aromas of cherry, forest floor and spicy oak. Discreetly concentrated core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits offering very good entry richness leads to a persistent finish featuring plenty of sweet cherry goodness. The tannins are nicely tucked in creating an easy drinking experience. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 E16 Trenton 1880 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., TA 0.57, 372 cases, $48. Sourced from Relgnis Family Vineyard owned by Mary and Joseph Relgnis. An homage to the first grapevines planted in old town Trenton. Clone 667. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Highly inviting nose with aromas of cherry-soaked oak and violets. Very tasty black cherry core with accents of crystallized berry, cola and mocha, framed by modest tannins. Soft in the mouth with a good cut of acidity on the finish which packs a little heat. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sojourn Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.57, 700 cases, $48. Release in spring 2015. From a vineyard located in the Petaluma Gap. Pommard ( a portion of which is fermented whole cluster) and 777 clones. Native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry and raspberry are accented with notes of seasoned oak and stem. Light in weight but flavorful, with a vivid core of cherry fruit framed by an herbal tone. Well-balanced, with a refreshing and intensely flavored cherry-themed finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gary Farrell Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.72, 357 cases, $50. The historic block of head-trained and cordon-trained vines planted in 1967 is one of the main components of this wine. Released May 2015. Harvest Bris 22.0º-23.0º. Whole cluster pressed, chilled, settled, inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Aged sur lies 8 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. The scents of citrus oil, apple, blonde caramel, spice, toffee and smoky oak are intriguing. Slightly viscous on the palate, with bright flavors of lemon-lime, pineapple, apple and nutty oak. Easy to cozy up to with thirst-quenching acidity. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rivers-Marie Gioia Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, mulch and green garden. More appealing on the palate, with flavors of spicy black cherry, purple berries, plum, dark chocolate and oak with a savory herbal vein in the background. The wine offers a good attack and fruit tenacity in the mouth but lacks some length and intensity on the finish. More polish than the Sonoma Coast bottling and shows a deft touch of oak. Overall, the wine wants for inspiration. It was tasted a day and two days after opening and remained unchanged. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rivers-Marie Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $50. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. This is a striking wine that stands out in this vintage. The nose offers bright aromas of blackberry jam, potpourri, violets and smoky oak. Lovely fruit presence in a mid weight plus style that offers impressive harmony. The purple and black berry flavors are complimented by a hint of smoky oak and show expansive power in the mouth and on the finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $50. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The best nose in this 2013 lineup of Rivers-Marie Pinot Noirs, sporting effusive aromas of black cherry tart, spice and underbrush. Sweet, sappy flavors of boysenberry, blackberry and pomegranate explode on the palate in this bold and luscious wine. Despite its richness, the wine is slick and refined, with balanced tannins and a very long finish. An angelic fruit bomb. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rivers-Marie Silver Eagle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding nose that reluctantly gives up shy aromas of dark stone and berry fruits over time in the glass. Plenty of fruit load, but light on its feat, featuring purple and black fruits with a hint of dark chocolate and cola. Polished tannins and admirable oak integration, finishing with some generosity. When tasted a day later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the aromas were more uplifting and the wine was more open and expressive. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $50. Released April 25, 2015. Sourced from estate owned and sustainably farmed Monument Tree Vineyard and sustainably farmed Ferrington Vineyard. Aged 12 months sur lies in 100% French oak barrels, 32% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very fragrant initially with aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and smoky oak. Delicious core of strawberry raspberry and cherry fruits framed by mellow tannins. Good vibrancy and tension, with admirable finesse and balance, finishing long with a charge of cherry goodness. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Twomey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $50. Released April 25, 2015. Sourced from estate owned and sustainably farmed Last Stop Ranch, estate managed West Pin Vineyard and sustainably farmed Bailey Family Vineyard. Aged 12 months sur lies in 100% French oak barrels, 37% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine has a typical Russian River Valley profile with aromas and flavors of Bing cherries, cola, rhubarb and spice. It is a rather delicate wine that is very smoothly textured and elegant, but is a bit shallow in the mid palate and finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Twomey Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $50. Released April 25, 2015. Sourced from sustainably farmed Gap’s Crown Vineyard, sustainably farmed Bailey Family Vineyard, and estate owned and sustainably farmed Last Stop Ranch. Aged 13 months sur lies in 100% French oak barrels, 37% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of berry mash and sous-bois. Intense flavors of boysenberry and black raspberry on entry, expanding to fill the mouth with sweet, sappy fruit. Substantial ripe fruit tannins are supportive and the persistent finish is expansive and intensely fruity. The most penetrating fruit of the three 2013 appellation wines tasted here. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Couloir John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 193 cases, $52. 35% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Subdued, but pleasant aromas of crushed berries, pomegranate and a whisper of toasty oak. Intense, concentrated, yet vibrant, with flavors of sweet boysenberry, blueberry and pomegranate in a mid weight plus style. The oak is nicely integrated, the modest tannins are supportive, and the juicy finish is fueled by vibrant acidity typical of the Sta. Rita Hills. This vineyard impresses me of late in vineyard-designated wines made by several producers. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Dutton Estate Manzana Vineyard-Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.61, 133 cases, $54. This vineyard is located in the heart of Green Valley and was planted in Goldridge soil to “828” and 115 in 2001. 100% de-stemmed, cold soak, aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed, very ripe fruit liquor including aromas of black raspberries, black plum and cassis. A mix of dark red and black fruits are modestly concentrated but flavorful, and complimented by suave tannins. A finishing burst of fruit is the wine’s best attribute. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Dutton Estate Thomas Road Vineyard-Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.59, 124 cases, $54. Thomas Road Vineyard was planted to clone 115 in 1997 in rocky Sebastopol Goldridge-type soil. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, 36% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Hi-tone aromas of cherry pie glaze, red berry jam and spicy oak lead to a middleweight array of red fruit flavors enhanced by a hint of baking spices. The wine offers impressive harmony, supple tannins, and an enchanting finish replete with dried cranberry flavor. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.58, 1,250 cases, $54. Vineyard is located on Roberts Road at the base of Sonoma Mountain. Clone 115, 777, and small amounts of Swan selection. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The deep aroma of cherries is accented with scents of wooded forest, bark and potpourri. Redder fruits are featured in this middleweight wine which offers crisp, clean flavors, modest fine-grain tannins and a pleasing cherry-fueled finish kissed by oak. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 E16 The West End Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.57, 369 cases, $55. Sourced from a single vineyard at the extreme north end of the Anderson Valley. Clones 667 and Pommard 4. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose resonates with aromas of black cherry, darker berries, pine and pencil shavings. The mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry merge into a magical blend. A hint of spice and herbs add interest. The mouth feel is like touching purple velvet. Nicely composed with good balanced t n’ a and a fruity finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.65, 568 cases, $55. Released May 2015. The majority of the grapes come from River Block clone 5 planted in 1989 with the balance from the Mid-40s Block, a field selection planted in 1993, and Allen Block 1, clone 15, planted in 1995. The partnership between Gary Farrell Winery and Rochioli Vineyard began more than 30 years ago. Harvest Brix 22.0º-23.0º. Whole cluster pressed, chilled, settled, inoculated with Montrachet yeast and transferred to 100% French oak barrels, 35% new, where the wine was aged for 8 months. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromatically alive with scents of lemon, honey, and dried mango. Powerful fruit flavors of lemon curd, nectarine and apricot tempered by citrus-fueled acidity that brings the fruit alive. The wine picks up fruit intensity over time in the glass and really imposes its will, demanding respect. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gary Farrell Toboni Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.63, 694 cases, $55. Released May 2015. Toboni Oakwild Ranch is located in the Santa Rosa Plain. Planted in 2001 to 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. Partially de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, 10 to 15- days extended maceration post fermentation, aged 9 months sur lies in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. Racked off primary lees once just before bottling. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of dark red cherries and berries with many subtle nuances including spice, citrus zest, and wine cave. The nose becomes more generous over time in the glass and it is hard to take your nose away from the glass. The lively fruit flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate are very seductive. The tannins are silky and the remarkably intense and lip-smacking finish resonates for at least a minute. Wines from this vineyard can be meaty and gamey, but this version is more fruity and vibrant. I guarantee you will love this wine which is the best I have ever tasted from this vineyard. Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Couloir Campbell Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 240 cases, $58. 50% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose mixes aromas of fresh cherries with red currants and candied apple. On entry, the wine saturates the palate with flavorful cherry and berry fruits and persists with a vengeance through a glorious finish replete with highly aromatic fruit. Beautifully crafted, with balanced tannins and shear beauty of flavor. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Morgan Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.m pH 3.51, TA 0.59, 1,211 cases, $58. 100% from estate certified organic grapes. A selection of best barrels go into this limited release. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely scent of black cherry with a compliment of oak. Delicious mid weight core of dark red fruits framed by firm but balanced tannins. Very comforting, with a smooth, caressing mouthfeel, and a finish that is uncommonly long and intense and fueled by a refreshing cut of acidity. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Morgan Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.62, 118 cases, $58. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. A smaller release in this vintage as replanting of the vineyard is ongoing. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose draws you into the glass with the scent of a darker fruit basket. Soft and polished on the palate, with impressive length and intensity. Black cherry is the featured fruit with a slight note of spice, oak and citrus in the background. A noticeable acid underbelly provides vibrancy and lift to the intense finish. More acid-driven than usual for Garys’ Vineyard. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.60, 1,025 cases, $59. Release in spring 2015. Gap’s Crown is located on Roberts Road just above the Sangiacomo Vineyard. “828,” 115, and 667 clones. 10% whole cluster (the “828” was fermented with stems). Native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Subdued aromas of darker fruits, forest floor and spice. Welcome attack of luscious dark red and blue fruits including blueberry and pomegranate. Refined and silky in the mouth with eyeopening intensity and length on the big finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gary Farrell Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.65, 507 cases, $65. Released May 2015. Gary Farrell Winery has sourced fruit from this historic vineyard for more than 20 years and is one of the fortunate few to source some of the Pommard selection from the legendary Q Block, considered the most prestigious Pinot Noir block on this famous site. De-stemmed with a small percentage of whole clusters, 5 to 7-day cold soak, 10 to 15 days of extended maceration. Pressed gently off the skins and seeds, inoculated for malolactic fermentation, and racked into French oak barrels, 40% of which were new. Aged 14 months on primary lees, racked once just before bottling. · Light garnet color in the glass. The nose blossoms over time in the glass, offering aromas of cherry, strawberry, herbs, spice and sandalwood. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry and raspberry are accented with hints of oak vanillin. Soft and supple in the mouth with juicy acidity and modest fine-grain tannins. Very easy to like with a generous finish that lasts and lasts. This is a delicate wine that really delivers flavor and persistence. The finish seals the deal for me. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Paul Lato “Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $65. 30-year-old vines. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of strawberry preserves, cherries, and spice. Light to mid weight charming flavors of ripe strawberries with a compliment of oak. Elegant and silky on the palate, sporting suave tannins and a finishing burst of strawberry goodness. A seductive wine. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Paul Lato “Atticus” John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $70. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine stands out from the crowd. Enticing perfume of black raspberry jam, tobacco oak and nori. Effortless and harmonious, with racy flavors of black raspberry, boysenberry and plum attacking with intent and persisting through a finish that won’t quit. The oak is very complimentary, the tannins are balanced, and the acidity is spot on. Stay for the finish. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Reuling Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.49, 325 cases, $70. Whole cluster pressed to barrel, native yeast fermentations, barrel fermented. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Delicate aromas of lemon oil, nut oil, brioche, and petrichor. On the palate, the citrus, white peach and honey flavors are vivid, accented with a flattering note of toasty oak. A bright vein of acidity brings a refreshing bent to the overall experience. The wine leaves a lemon butter, saline-imbued finishing sensation that is mouthwatering, and calls for another sip. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Reuling Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.86, TA 0.50, 475 cases, $70. Harvest Brix 22.7º-23.0º. Reuling “L” clone 60% whole cluster, Calera clone 30% whole cluster, and Reuling “R” clone 30% whole cluster. No cold soak. The 3 clones were fermented in separate tanks. 100% native yeasts. Aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. A high-class wine that offers appealing aromas of cherries, dried rose petal and spice. Mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, spice and earth are very polished. The fruit fills the mouth with layers of goodness, and persists through a satisfying oak-kissed black cherry finish. Great harmony in this wine that has the structure and balance to age. Even better the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Paul Lato “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $75. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, strawberry, earth, mushroom and peat. Mid weight black cherry and blackberry flavors with a hint of spice, black tea, anise and oak. Elegant with supple tannins and good length on the finish. Shows the most oak overlay of any of the 2013 Pinot Noirs tasted. A solid, even exceptional wine, but not my favorite Solomon Hills bottling. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Paul Lato “The Contender” Drum Canyon Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $75. Inaugural vintage for this source. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of dark berries and pomegranate juice with a hint of rose petal and pork cracklings. Noticeably intense on the attack but polished on the palate offering mid weight flavors of cherry and raspberry with a hint of oak vanillin in the background. Impressive length and power on a glorious finish that urges another sip. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $75. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas and flavors of cherry, cranberry relish, dried herbs, sandalwood and pine sap are quite appealing. A charming wine that fills the mouth with fruit goodness, and recedes very smoothly on the finish which has good grip and length. Not a blockbuster, and not the best Summa Old Vines I have had, but a very suave wine that satisfies. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Paul Lato “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $85. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of cherry, cranberry, raspberry and sandalwood in an unusually elegant and refined style for Pisoni Vineyard. The nose is particularly stunning. Very classy, with suave tannins, impeccable harmony, and a finish to shout about. A very charming wine. Pisoni unplugged. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Paul Lato “Kokoro” Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $90. This wine was originally produced solely for the high-end Japanese market, but is now being offered to the mailing list as a sign of appreciation. The wine is sourced from a number of vineyards in the Paul Lato portfolio. “Kokoro” is a Japanese word that means “from the heart.” 70% new French oak. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of black cherry, ash, tobacco and vanilla. Modest in weight, but very flavorful, with tastes of black raspberry, black cherry and boysenberry accented with oak-driven spice and toast. Quite elegant with modest tannins, some finishing power and a touch of warmth at the silky end. Score: 90. 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.