2018 Adelaida HMR Estate Vineyard Paso Robles Chardonnay
13.7 alc., 408 cases, $40. Aged 9 months
in 30% new French oak barrels.
Light golden yellow in color, leading off with pleasing aromas of lemon and
flint. Creamy in the mouth and citrus-driven, with accents of white peach, roasted nuts and ocean salt spray.
Highly enjoyable with invigorating acidity and some finishing length.
2017 Cobden Wini Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., 125 cases, $50. Released 6/15/20. A blend
of fruit from Hogan’s run and Moore Family vineyards, clones 667, 777 and Pommard. Aged 11 months in 40%
new French oak barrels.
This is a very solid wine featuring blackest cherry and black raspberry fruits that are
married perfectly with the tannins and acidity. Peaking over time in the glass, this lovely wine has a lavish finish
replete with fresh dark fruits that hang on.
2018 Dutton Estate Winery Karmen Isabella, Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
942 cases, $46. Released September 2020.A blend of fruit from Green Valley Road Vineyard, Thomas Road
Vineyard and Manzana Vineyard. Dijon 115 and faux 828 clones. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in 45%
new French oak barrels.
Engaging aromas of black cherry and oak spice. Very flavorful mid-weight core of
black cherry and black raspberry fruits with a touch of spice and thistle. Excellent upon opening with a smooth
mouthfeel and admirable balance.
2018 Dutton Estate Winery Warren’s Collection Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Chardonnay
alc, 109 cases, $55. Released October 2019. Fruit from Dutton’s Ranch original Chardonnay vineyard, The
Shop Block, planted in 1967 to Wente clone, is located in the Green Valley region of the Russian River Valley.
50% MLF (in barrel only). 50% aged in concrete egg and 50% aged in 50% new and 50% neutral French oak
bright aromas of lemon peel, pineapple and pear. Full-flavored in a citrus-imbued style that is
seductively creamy on the palate. This wine walks the line between fruit-driven and acid-driven. Oak plays a
very subtle role.
2009 Gypsy Canyon Trois Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
A harmonious wine holding its own after 11
years, featuring a rich core of dark berry fruits with a hint of friendly oak in the background. Similar in style to
Paul Lato Pinot Noirs who consulted on this beauty. Unfortunately, Gypsy Canyon is no longer in business.
2012 La Rue Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
12.4% alc. The whole cluster-inspired
nose offers aromas of cherry, burnt tobacco and spicer.
Moderately light in color and feminine in style but packs
a flavor punch. A deep core of cherry, blueberry and raspberry fruit flavors is elevated by a burst of acidity.
Silken in texture with gossamer tannins and a generously fruity finish. Drinking at its peak now.
2009 Littorai One Acre Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
I have been dipping into my library of older
vintages of Littorai Pinot Noir with considerable glee. This gorgeous wine is velvety in the mouth with layers of
black cherry and black berry fruit flavors and a compliment of engaging spice. This wine is not all about fruit as
there are aromas and flavors of underbrush and earthy flora.
2017 LOLA California Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., $17.98, screw cap.
Aromas of strawberry, red cherry, charcoal
and petrol. Light to mid-weight flavors replicate the nose. Silky in the mouth with balanced tannins, but the wine
displays too much barrel adjunct.
2003 McHenry McHenry Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 172 cases, Double
Magnum. Harvest Brix 25.0º, aged 1 year in French oak barrels.
Captivating aromas of cherry, cola and baking
spices. Elegant and silky in the mouth, with light to mid-weight flavors of red cherry and red berry. Harmonious
and singing all high notes at 17 years of age. Amazing freshness and finesse. Nothing beats large formats.
2018 Morgan Boekenoogen Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 114 cases, $65.
Pommard 4 and Dijon 113. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast, aged 11 months in 40% new French oak barrels.
Pleasant but not exceptional aromas of earthy flora, dark rose petal and black cherry. Juicy and silky in the
mouth, with mid-weight, earth-toned flavors of black cherry and purple berry. The tannins are well integrated
and there is a vein of good acidity highlighted by the cut on the finish.
2018 Morgan Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 126 cases, $65. Clones 777
and 115.100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in 40% new French oak barrels.
Enthralling nose with vibrant
aromas of cherry, baking spices and sandalwood. Lighter weighted in this vintage, with a core of red cherry and
red berry fruits framed by caramel oak. Very charming in style with soft tannins and good length on the finish.
The light fruit is somewhat superseded by oak.
2018 Morgan Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 114 cases, $65. Pisoni
selection. 100% de-stemmed native yeast, aged 10 months in 37% new French oak barrels.
A bit unusual for
Rosella’s in that the fruit spectrum veers to dark red cherry and beer on the delicate nose and the lightweighted
palate. Aromas of dusty earth and rose add appeal and the fetching harmony makes for easy
drinking. The cherry-driven finish has a ghost of oak.
2018 Morgan Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 98 cases, $65. Pisoni
selection. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast, aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels.
penetrating aromas of dark cherry, pomegranate, sandalwood and savory spices. Mid weight plus in heft, with
highly flavorful black cherry, black raspberry and molasses flavors. Nicely balanced with integrated tannins and
an extended finish. The most powerfully flavored of the 2018 Morgan Pinot Noirs tasted.
2018 Morgan Highland Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
13.8% alc., $28. Dijon 95, 96 and 76 and
clones 4, 15 and 17 from Double L, Tondre Grapefield, Leavens and McIntyre vineyards. Barrel fermented in
33% new French oak barrels, partial MLF, aged 8 months.
Shy aromas of lemon, pineapple and seasoned oak.
Delicately-oaken citrus fruits and pear flavors. Refreshing and simple.
2018 Morgan Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
13.6% alc., 779 cases, $44. Clones
76, 95, 17, 4 and 15. Barrel fermented and aged 10 months in 30% new French oak barrels. 100% MLF.
aromas arriver over time in the glass revealing lemon balm, white peach and petrichor. Soft and elegant on the
palate, with delicate but satisfying flavors of lemon and pineapple with a nutty oak background. Crisp, with a
bright citrus-infused finish.
2017 The Winery SF North Coast Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $30.
ak-spiced aromas of black cherry and ripe
strawberry lead to an elegantly composed mid-weight, black cherry-driven wine. Instantly gratifying with hidden
tannins and a compliment of oak in the background. Best vintage to date from this producer.