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From Press Tasting of Current Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Releases

2015 Lazy Creek Vineyards Anderson Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.62, RS .025%, $22. Grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and cold soaked on skins for 6 hours before pressing. The press juice was sent to tank for fermentation, blended in January and bottled. · Moderate pink hue in the glass. Enticing aromas of blood orange, strawberry, apple and watermelon juice. A fuller-bodied style of rosé featuring flavors of yellow cherry, blood orange and watermelon with the slightest dried herb note. Slightly creamy in texture with good verve, and the slightest bit of alcoholic warmth on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $N/A. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is heavily infused with barrel notes of smoke and toasty brioche with subtle aromas of black cherry in the background. Better on the palate, with a mid weight core of black cherry, dark raspberry, spice and smoke flavors with welcome intensity through the mid palate and the slightly creamy finish that leaves a slight amount of alcoholic warmth behind. This wine has the most oak overlay of any wine in this tasting. Roederer Estate’s sparkling wines are at the pinnacle of California’s offerings, but the winery just doesn’t seem to have its heart in the production of this wine. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Donkey & Goat Helluva Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 185 cases, $34. Feral fermentation, aged in older French oak barrels. “Nothing but grapes and SO2.” Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of cherry, nori and stem lead to a wine that displays purpose and focus on the palate, featuring a core of cherry fruit back by noticeable but supportive oak. The flavor reminds of freshly picked grapes. The wine has a commendable acid spine and a noteworthy finish that refuses to relinquish its hold. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lichen Estate Moonglow Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 732 cases, $35. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine reminds me of cherry pie day at baking school with a hearty core of black cherry and baking spices that infuse the nose and palate. The silky tannins create a luxurious mouthfeel, and the balance is spot-on. Simply put, a beautifully composed wine with ornate fruit flavors. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Maryetta Wines Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.55, 48 cases, $38. Organically farmed vineyard. Pommard clones. Aged 12 months in once and twice used French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers scents of dark cherry, blueberry, underbrush, petrol and a slight note of prune. Modest in weight, with a flavorful core of black cherry fruit with noticeable oak input. Silky in texture, with soft, chalky tannins, and a juicy finish that lacks a little intensity. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $42. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is heavily oak infused with aromas of tobacco and toast and caramelized wood flavors on the palate. Mid weight plus styled, with a gorgeous core of black stone and berry fruits, this wine finds good mid palate saturation and follow through with an intensely fruited finish. I have tasted several vintages of Cakebread Cellars Pinot Noir and the heavy tug of oak is typical. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Nelson Hill Deep End Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 279 cases, $42. Clones 114, 115, 777 and Pommard. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose exhibits great cherry purity and persists over time in the glass. Flat-out delicious attack of black cherry fruit that envelopes the palate and persists through a grand finish. Sleek, refined and harmonious with modest, slightly burly and chalky tannins, and a deft compliment of oak. This wines seems mostly Pommard in character. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Balo Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 454 cases, $45. · Inviting aromas of purple berries, rose petal and a hint of oak barrel. Mid weight plus in style with a succulent array of cherry, black raspberry and spice fruit flavors that have a slight confected tone due to sweet oak. Very seductive with a bombastic fruit finish of extraordinary length that is off the charts. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Drew The Fog Eater Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $45. Fog-eater is a regional term used by the early settlers of Anderson Valley. This wine brings together several lots from Balo and Filigreen vineyards. Clones 777, 667, 115 and Pommard. 15% whole cluster. Feral fermentation. Aged in 16% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is alive with pungent herbs, subtle oak and faint cherry aromas. Light to mid weight flavors of dark red cherry, cranberry, savory herbs and pencil lead are robed in soft tannins and energetic acidity. Forward drinking, with a pleasing cut of citrus on the finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Couloir Monument Tree Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $48. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine really impresses with aromas of muddled black cherry and raspberry, along with spice and wooded forest infusions. The aromas achieve more penetration with time in the glass. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, blackberry and spice satisfy with added accents of dark caramel and char from oak. Intriguing and beautifully balanced, with a seductive velvety texture that makes you want to pour this syrupy Pinot on your waffle. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Drew Balo Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $48. Sourced from a 7-acre organically farmed vineyard located in Philo that was planted in 2001. Pommard, 115, 777 and Martini clones. Yields 1.9 tons per acre. 40% whole cluster fermentation. Feral fermentation. Aged in seasoned French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is slow to evolve without decanting, offering much more charm when sampled the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Both fruity and savory on the nose and palate, with gregarious fruit flavors of boysenberry, black cherry and plum framed by prominent but not aggressive tannins. The fruit is particularly notable for its purity and vibrancy both on the mid palate and finish. The oak treatment is obvious at this young age but was much less intrusive the following day upon re-tasting. I would suggest this wine, like many of Drew’s 2014 Pinot Noirs, needs more time in bottle for full enjoyment. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Ferrari-Carano Sky High Ranch Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 352 cases, $48. Grapes are grown high above the fog line at 1,600 feet elevation. 100% de-stemmed. Various proprietary yeast strains introduced to fermentation. Aged 10 months in a mix of 58% new and 42% older French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blueberry-pomegranate, sarsaparilla and sous-bois lead to a very sleek and suave offering featuring a plethora of blue and black fruits accented with oak seasoning. Impeccably balanced, with fine-grain tannins and a joyful finish filled with flavors of dark chocolate coated dark fruits. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lazy Creek Vineyards Middleridge Ranch Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.53, 418 cases, $48. 120-acre property planted to 22 acres of heritage selections and Dijon clones. 100% de-stemmed, various proprietary yeast fermentation, aged 10 months in 60% new and 40% older French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas build in the glass over time, offering pleasing dark Bing cherry and wooded path notes. The wine offers a palate of juicy dark red and purple berries enhanced with toasted oak veneer. Silky in the mouth, with modest tannins and a pleasant, modestly long finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Uplifting aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, cinnamon toast, peppercorn and herb field. A vibrant mid weight wine on the palate offering flavors of blueberry-pomegranate and spice with cozy oak folded in. Riveting acidity in the background and on the finish makes for delightful drinking. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Bink Wines Filligreen Farm Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 98 cases, $55. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Satisfying aromas of cherry, rose petal, baking spice, sandalwood and chalk lead to a mid weight styled wine strutting flavors of blueberry, black cherry, spice and subtle oak in an elegant style. Flavors veer to the riper said, but never find over ripeness. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Navarro Vineyards Deep End Blend Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,355 cases, $55. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Complex array of aromas greet the drinker including black cherry, exotic spices and oak barrel driven anise and char notes. A dark cherry bombast with accents of savory herbs and sweet oak, leading to a lip-smacking, black raspberry infused finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Fulcrum Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.,152 cases, $57. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine opens slowly in the glass to reveal aromas of cherry, spice and forest stream, and luscious flavors of dark red cherries and berries that are well-spiced. The cozy texture is mesmerizing much like a soft robe, the balance is spot on, and the finish is quite sleek. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Drew Estate Field Selections Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $60. Inaugural release from Drew’s estate site location 3.3 miles from the Pacific Ocean at 1,250 feet elevation. The site was carefully chosen after years of research. The soils are ideal ocean floor decomposed sandstone and shale, high in iron and quartzite with a perfect ration of sand, gravelly loam and clay. Marginal fertility combined with excellent water holding capacity but good drainage. Pommard, 943, 115, Swan, 667 and Mt. Eden clones. Yields 0.5 to 1 ton per acre. 20% whole cluster fermentation. Feral fermentation. Aged in 30% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. A highly savory wine offering aromas and flavors of cherry, strawberry, spice, pipe tobacco, and pungent herbs. Intense on the attack, with a cleansing, citrus-fueled finish. The tannins are a bit rugged and unrefined at this early stage and need time to mellow. The wine was much more endearing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle but remained a highly savorous offering. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Drew Morning Drew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 166 cases, $60. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Savory and fruit aromas mix amicably including black raspberry, black cherry, allspice, bark, underbrush and floral bouquet. Complex and interesting in a mid weight plus style featuring flavors of black raspberry, pomegranate, black cherry and subtle oak. A refined herbal note secondary to whole cluster plies the background. An intense attack leads to a lingering, sweet fruited finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was replete with rose petal and spice, and the flavors of dry cherry and sweet tobacco carried through a vibrant finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lazy Creek Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc, pH 3.83, TA 0.51, 422 cases, $60. Aged in 68% new and 32% older French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with hi-tone aromas of black cherry, black grape, anise and smoky spices. The tasty core of black cherry, black raspberry, blackberry, spice and smoky oak flavors arrive with purpose on the mid palate and persist through a fruit-laden finish. Some more bottle age will integrate the oak overlay further but the wine is very enjoyable now. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lazy Creek Vineyards “Five Barrel” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

15.2% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.56, 115 cases, $85. A blend of the five favorite barrels in the cellar from two blocks of the estate vineyard, clones 667 and Pommard. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. Racked only once before bottling. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark crimson color in the glass. Aromas of muddled black cherries and blueberries lead to a mid weight plus styled wine offering an intense and sappy attack of blueberrypomegranate fruit flavor backed by structured tannins. A hedonistic offering yet has seamless bearing on the palate except for the finish when some alcoholic warmth appears especially as the wine warms in the glass. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 La Rochelle Deer Meadows Vineyard Recherché Reserve Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 180 cases, $125 (Club member exclusive). Swan, Calera and Dijon 667 clones. Winemaker is veteran Tom Stutz. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Highly savory and pungent on the nose with cherry aromas in the background. The mid weight cherry flavor is underpinned with a vegetal character and framed by muscular tannins that stick out on the modest finish. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Brutocao Cellars Slow Lope’n Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.,1,875 cases, $24. Family owners have been farming in southern Mendocino County since 1943. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a pleasing blend of fruit black cherry and savory earthy flora and herb aromas. Beautifully composed with vivid flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice framed by chalky, fine grain tannins, and finishing with modest length. An engaging wine that also represents enviable value. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Elke Donnelly Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.,150 cases, $36. Five clones, unfined and unfiltered. Winemaker is Matt Evans. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry and pine needle in this forested tone wine. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry and cranberry with an underlying earthy, woody thread. Balanced and juicy, with a modest finish. More expressive and outgoing the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 2,347 cases, $38. A blend of several clones from several Anderson Valley vineyards. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 38% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very ripe fruited aromas of fig, raisin, blackberry jam and a hint of vanilla. Full-bodied and ultra ripe in character featuring an array of black fruits and a note of bacon infused dark chocolate. Very concentrated and sappy, but balanced with a soothing texture. A bit of astringency returns at the end of the finish. (I reviewed this wine previously May 2015 and was more praising, with a score of 91 then) Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Husch Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc.,130 cases, $38. Clones 115 and Wädenswil 2A. 30% whole cluster, Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. This wine has still not shed the significant new oak veneer. Aromas of black cherry and oak spice lead to a mid weight core of rustic and earthy black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors underlain with notes of pine, cedar and oak. A unique wine that will please lovers of feral and woodland character. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Pennyroyal Farm Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 678 cases, $39. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark berry preserves, garrique and earthy flora lead off. Full-bodied in style, with rich flavors of purple and black fruits with touches of anise, spice and herbs. The tannic backbone is well matched to the sappy fruit and there is a pleasing infusion of black raspberry jam on the finish. My only nit is that the wine lacks a bit of vibrancy. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Fathers and Daughters Ella’s Reserve Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 70 cases, $42. Clones are Pommard, “828,” and Wädenswil 2A. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. Winemaker is Phillip Baxter. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh red cherries and spice. The mid weight flavors of cherry and cranberry are slightly shallow upon opening but pleasing. The tame tannins and harmony make for easy drinking. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine exhibited more powerful fruit flavors persisting through a generous finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 The Withers Charles Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 300 cases, $44. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of cherry and cranberry are infused with oak that is more apparent over time in the glass. The mid weight plus charge of black cherry fruit is backed by chalky tannins and juicy acidity. Only a subtle bit of nutty oak is evident on the palate. The wine lingers at the finish with a fusion of citrus and boysenberry highlights. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Champ de Rêves Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 4,995 cases, $45. Clones 667, 777 and 115. Aged 9 months in 32% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of black cherry goodness with a hint of sweet oak. Darker fruited in a mid weight styled wine with flavors of purple berries, blueberries, pomegranate and oak spice with a hint of edible flower. Soft and seamless on the palate with integrated tannins and a subtle herbal oak thread in the background. 89. (This bottle is showing better than one reviewed in June 2016 that scored 87) Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Baxter Langley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 125 cases, $48. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. The perfume of crushed cherries and exotic spices is eager to please upon opening. Lighter in weight, featuring flavors of red cherry and spice framed by balanced tannins. Good grip and intensity on the long, sweet cherry driven finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Foursight Charles Vineyard “Clone 05” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.,125 cases, $49. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. An explosion of high brow cherry, dark red rose petal, root beer and toast leads off. Silky on the palate with a discreetly concentrated core of juicy cherry flavor with a hint of oak plying the background. The tannins are fine grain and the overall impression is one of sleekness and purity. The length of the finish puts this wine in an upper category. (Previously reviewed on another occasion with a score of 94) Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Roma’s Vineyard Ridge Top Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 115 cases, $49. Dry farmedvineyard at 1,850 feet overlooking Boonville. Goldridge loam soils. Pommard clone. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Nicely composed aromatic profile featuring cherry, cranberry, rose petal and wooded path. Light to mid weight in style, and powerfully flavored with a lovely blend of cherry and spice, this wine is elegantly fashioned, nicely balanced, clean and long in the mouth. This beauty sneaks up rather than overwhelms. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Witching Stick Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $49. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Haunting aromas of cherry, clove and rose petal lead to a core of cherry and pomegranate fruits. Soft, sleek and balanced on the palate with a bright acid backbone and integrated tannins, finishing lithe and persistent. Very seductive juice. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Expression Ordway Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 125 cases, $50. From a sustainably farmed vineyard located at the western end of the Anderson Valley. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, blueberry and pomegranate are bold in this mid weight plus styled wine full of seductive fruit and graced with a rapturous mouthfeel. Detracting from the experience is a heavy overlay of oak vanillin and a mild alcohol induced lip burn on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Greenwood Ridge Hundred Point Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc.,100 cases, $50, screwcap. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of cherry, fermenting grapes, hollow barrel and baking spice lead off. The mid weight charge of fresh cherry and black raspberry fruits grab hold and persist through a generous finish. The silky texture is noteworthy, and some cinnamon spice enhances the flavor experience. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 14,297 cases, $55. 95% estate fruit from four vineyards (5% from Elke Donnelly Creek Vineyard). Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. A perfume of black cherry, blueberry, pomegranate and blackberry fruits is replicated on the palate with added accents of spice and savory herbs. Soft in the mouth and easy to drink, with a deft touch of oak and modest tannins that allow for early drinking. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Waits-Mast Deer Meadows Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 120 cases, $58. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Leading off are aromas of briery berries, cherry, and seasoned oak. This wine is cherry driven in a sleek, mid weight style, with a prominent woody, earthy tone. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Donum Estate Grown Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 423 cases, $69. Sourced from Angel Camp Vineyard located in the deep end of the Anderson Valley. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A darkly fruited wine with deep aromas of blackberry and cassis with noticeable oak driven toast and vanilla. Bold and sappy due to an extended maceration, with a charge of succulent purple and blackberry fruits accented with a thread of oak. A fruit-forward, husky wine in the Donum style. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Brutocao Cellars Reservad’ Argento Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 350 cases, $N/A. A barrel selection offered in a reserve style. · Shy, brooding aromas of black fruits and dark chocolate. A bolder styled wine with plenty of black raspberry, blackberry and Hoison sauce flavors backed by wood spice and a tinge of blood orange. Nicely balanced, with fine grain tannins and impressive staying power on the sweet fruited finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roma’s Vineyard Ridge Top Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 125 cases, $49. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, baking spices, wilted rose and sandalwood. Lighter styled, with flavors of well-spiced dark cherry carrying through a juicy finish where aggressive tannins rise up to leave an astringent impression. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Toulouse Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 150 cases, $55. A DRC selection and Wädenswil clone blend. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A captivating wine from the get-go, with high flying scents of black cherry, spice and potpourri. Delicious middleweight flavors of black cherry, raspberry and dark chocolate. Impeccably balanced with gentle oak seasoning and a seductively silky mouthfeel. This special vineyard always seems to deliver. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Knez Estate Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 325 cases, $36. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of sous-bois, tinderbox and tobacco lead to a mid weighted wine featuring flavors of black cherry, smoky oak and tertiary savory characters that come with aging. The tannins have melded, and the finish still offers pleasing fruit and spice. Score: 89. 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.