Other Notable Recently Tasted Pinot Noir
2017 Semper Ex Orbis Terrarum Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., $. Produced & bottled by Tuck
Beckstoffer Estate, St. Helena. Winemaker Napa winemaker legend Phillpe Melka.
Light garnet color in the
glass. Aromas of ripe berries, red rose petal and toasted oak. Crisp, bright and sleek, with a mid-weight core of
red cherry and strawberry cloaked in oak-driven flavors of toast and tobacco. There is plenty of Pinot character
but the oak flavor plays too great a role for me to fully enjoy the wine.
2017 Bee Hunter Mendocino County Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., $42. A blend from six vineyards in Mendocino
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Substantial aromas of black raspberry, spice and mocha. Very
polished with a gracious charge of purple and blackberry fruits framed with modest tannins and a compliment
of oak. Easy drinking with a modest finish. This is a very good daily drinker.
2019 Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Lot #23 Carneros Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $12.99. Bottled by Carneros
Cellars, Napa, CA.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lighter weighted, with aromas of cherry and
blueberry with a vegetal note and flavors of cherry, raspberry and a botanical note. Smooth on the palate, with
a woody them on he finish. The nose never reaches an appealing level.
The 2019 Bacigalupi Pinot Noirs reviewed here are pre-release (February 17, 2021 release) and SRP is not
known at time of review. Read more about these wines in the Bacigalupi spring newsletter where I wrote a
piece on clones. Bacigalupi Vineyards includes 125 planted acres across three ranches. Most of the fruit is sold
with about 10 percent from premium blocks held back to make wine under the Bacigalupi Vineyards label.
Ashley Herzberg has been the winemaker since 2011. Production is between 2,000 and 2,500 cases per year.
Visit www.bacigalupivineyards.com. Oh, by the way, the matriarch of the Bacigalupi family is Helen, age 94,
who drinks two glass of wine a day and eats pistachios with the shells on.
The four wines below offer the opportunity to sample a Pinot Noir with 100% 828, one with 100% Wente and
one with 100% Pommard. The Russian River Valley bottling is a blend of Wente and Pommard clones.
2019 Bacigalupi Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 315 cases, $. 59% Frost Ranch Wente Clone,
21% Goddard Ranch Wente Clone, 18% Frost Ranch Pommard Clone and 2% Goddard Ranch Pommard
clone.100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, native fermentation, aged sur lie with stirring for 11 months in
French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of
black cherry, pie spice and woodsmoke. A cohesive blend of dark cherry, black raspberry, cola and anise
flavors in a middleweight style with buried tannins and a compliment of oak in the background. Easily
approached now and refreshing by virtue of a juicy finish.
2019 Bacigalupi Bloom Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.69, 96 cases.
Wine club members only release. A former dairy farm purchased by the Bacigalupi family in 1973. 100% 5-
year-old faux 828 selection. Harvest Brix 24.8º. 100% de-stemmed, natural fermentation, aged sur lie with
stirring for 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.Unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in the
glass. Darker fruits are featured in this rich wine with aromas of blueberry, purple berry along with notes of
cardamom spice, white pepper and exotic floral blooms. Mid-weight plus in style, with a plump core of
boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors enhanced with tiled and gamy accents. A hint of raisin and Asian spice
add nuance. Welcome harmony with corralled tannins and integrated oak and a satisfying finish. Still excellent
when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle.
2019 Bacigalupi Goddard Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 140 cases. The original
home ranch purchased by Charles and Helen Bacigalupi in 1956. !00% Wente clone (Pommard). 100% destemmed,
native fermentation, aged sur lie with stirring for 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Unfined
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of cherry compote, exotic spice, white
pepper and woodsmoke. Mid-weight plush stylistically, with a redder fruit core of cherry and strawberry. The
fruit really pops on the palate and lingers through a pleasing finish. Remarkably suave in texture with admirable
2019 Bacigalupi Frost Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., 140 cases. A 60-acre parcel purchased by the
Bacigalupi family in 1993. 100% Pommard. 100% de-stemmed,
natural fermentation, aged sur lie with stirring for 11 months in
French oak barrels, 40% new. Unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Heady aromas of
dusty cherry, spice cake, sandalwood, burnt tobacco and 5-
spice. My notes say “Amazing nose.” The rapport of fruit, acid
and tannin is exceptionally noteworthy. Mid-weight flavors of
Bing cherry, mocha, cherry cola and 5-spice have an undertone
of barnyard, a fecal quality that appeals to many Pinot Noir
aficionados. Restrained tannins make it easy to cozy up to.
Memories will linger from the generous and persistent finish.
Pommard clone has a sensual connection to the pleasure
centers in my brain that light up when I drink a wine blessed with
this clone. As I have said before, and probably too often, Pommard is my paramour.
Marcus Goodfellow learned his winemaking while apprenticing at Evesham Wood and Westrey. He developed
an affinity for whole cluster fermentation that he credits to Steve Doerner of Cristom Vineyards. He launched
Matello Wines with friends in 2002. The Goodfellow Family Cellars label debuted in 2014 and the wines have
received glowing accolades in recent vintages. The wines are all produced from non-irrigated vineyards. I found
the wines to be acid-driven featuring less ripened fruit, and somewhat austere. Sold through a mailing list at
www.goodfellowfamilycelars.com with some retail distribution.
2018 Goodfellow Heritage No. 14 Lewman Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
alc., 55 cases, $sold out. A dry-farmed vineyard at 500 feet elevation on the westside of the Eola-Amity Hills
planted in 1993.
Light garnet color in the glass. Aromas arrive over time in the glass including red cherry, dried
orange peel, redwood bark and salumi. Light in weight, with a bright nucleus of red cherry, red raspberry and
strawberry fruit flavors. A gentle, pretty wine with salivating acidity, suave, immersed tannins, and a finish
awash in citrus and red cherry fruits.
2018 Goodfellow Heritage No. 11 Durant Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
55 cases, $70.
Light garnet color in the glass. Perfume of cherrywood, balsam, red rose petal and baking
spices. Mid-weight flavors of red raspberry and cherry with a note of spice. Silky in the mouth, vibrant,
noticeable tannins and a slightly astringent finish. Faint oak plies the background. When tasted the following
day from a previously opened bottle, the tannins still dominated the fruit. Needs to be cellared.