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Pinot Briefs —Newsletter 6.47

Bottle Shock, The Movie The Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 17 through January 27, 2008, in Park City, Utah, has chosen Bottle Shock to be shown in the American Spectrum category. The movie is based on the story of Chateau Montelena, the Napa winery that took top prize in the Judgment of Paris blind wine tasting competition in 1976. Owners Jim and Bo Barrett are featured in the film. The film was produced by Brenda and Mark Lhormer, residents of Sonoma and members of the Sonoma Valley Film Society. The original script by Ross Schwartz was rewritten and brought to the screen by the Hollywood directing and producing team of Randy Miller and Jodi Savin. Filming was at various locations in Sonoma which was made to look like Paris in the 1970s.

Parker vs Robinson On November 10, 2007, the Women in Wine symposium was held at Copia in the Napa Valley. According to the Napa Valley Register, keynote speaker Elizabeth Thach, Ph.D., said “We are the power base when it comes to wine purchasing.” She presented data showing that women buy 80% of the wine sold in the United States and women tend to have more discriminating palates than men. She also pointed out that women in general have more taste buds and that might explain why the two top wine critics in the world, Robert Parker, Jr., and Jancis Robinson, are often at odds with each other. I am not sure about the 80% figure, as I would say 75% of my subscribers are men and when I visit wine shops, at least 95% of the people in the store including employees and buyers are men. I can’t argue with the discriminating palate superiority, however.

Pali Releases 2006 vintage Pali wine Company’s lineup of vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs reads like a who’s-who of California’s and Oregon’s distinguished vineyards. Production varies from 149 to 679 cases and includes Fiddlestix Vineyard (Sta. Rita Hills), Turner Vineyard (Sta. Rita Hills), Momtazi Vineyard (Willamette Valley), Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard (Santa Barbara), Shea Vineyard (Willamette Valley), Inman Olivet Grange Vineyard (Russian River Valley), and Keefer Ranch Vineyard (Russian River Valley). The wines are priced at $48. The website is

California Pinot from Owen Roe David O’Reilly is the winemaker for Oregon’s Owen Roe Winery and one of the few native Irishmen making wine in the United States. There have been a number of California winemakers crafting wine from Oregon grapes (Fiddlehead, Siduri, Pali), but other than Patricia Green, David O’Reilly is the only Oregonian I know going the other way. His 2006 Owen Roe Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($42) is sourced from the Bien Nacido Vineyard. Available at

Argentine Pinot Noir Crafted by Italian Piero Incisa della Rocchetta is making artisan Pinot Noir in Argentina at his winery, Bodega Chacra, located in Argentina’s Patagonia region. The Pinot Noir vines in the Trienta y Dos vineyard were planted on their own rootstock in 1932 and had been largely neglected until he discovered them in 2002. The vines at Cincuentsa y Cinco a vineyard adjacent to Trienta y Dos, were planted in 1955. Farming here has been a challenge. Obtaining water and electricity has been difficult and in 2004, birds ate 90% of the crop (slingshots have proven to deter the birds since). The two 2006 releases are Bodega Chacra Pinot Noir Rio Negro Treinta y Dos ($120) and Bodega Chacra Pinot Noir Negro Cincuenta y Cinco ($100). 406 cases total produced. The wines are imported by the Kobrand Corporation.

Clos Pepe given Green Award Clos Pepe Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation won a 2007 Green Award for its sustainable winegrowing practices and was the sole recipient of this award among all Santa Barbara County wineries. Clos Pepe uses Babydoll Southdown sheep to control weeds, owls and raptors are employed to catch rodents, and no insecticides or herbicides are used.
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