2007 Brosseau B Vineyard Chalone Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., $35.
A big fruity
nose sporting very ripe strawberries with hints of marzipan, raisins and maple
syrup. Ripe, roasted and dried deep red fruits wrapped in moderately firm
tannins and displaying a smooth and pleasing mouth feel. Decent.
2007 The Ojai Vineyard Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $37.40.
lovely dark garnet color in the glass. Very pleasing scents of spiced berries and cherries, with some brier
patch, herb garden and subtle oak char. A middle weight offering purple fruits with hints of loamy earth, savory
herbs and white pepper in the background. A bit linear but has plenty to recommend including a good spark of
acidity on the moderately persistent finish. If you haven’t tried Ojai Vineyard wines lately, you should. A few
years back, the Pinot Noirs were styled in a high alcohol, high extraction, Syrah-like fashion but winemaker
Adam Tolmach has scaled everything back emphasizing the nuances of Pinot Noir that come with restraint and
moderation. Very good.
2006 Hahn SLH Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $25. A mid-tier
release aged in 50% new French oak.
On the nose, the toasty oak dominates
the fruit and becomes even more oaky with time in the glass. On the palate, the
attack features oak-toned cherry and berry fruit of medium weight. The tar and
charcoal secondary flavors derived from oak detract from the pretty fruit core.
Not anything like I remember when tasted at the 2009 World of Pinot Noir. Decent (-).
2006 Pelerin Cuvee St. Vincent Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
alc., $36. Sourced from several top vineyards including Rosella’s, Paraiso,
Fairview Road Ranch, and Tondre Grapefield.
Moderately dark reddish-purple
robe. Fruity aromas backed by floral, wet oak and green notes. Oak-kissed dark
red fruits are tasty but lack conviction. Supple tannins, bright acidity and overall
a decent drink. Has a spark, but doesn’t reach excellence because of a
detracting green note most evident on the finish. Decent.
2004 Whitcraft Winery Aubaine Vineyard San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir
purple color in the glass. Bright roasted dark stone fruits with oak char in the background. Dense, bold and
muscular with a sweetness coming from the alcohol. Thick, grainy tannins with a chemical note appearing in
the aftertaste. Very little to recommend here. Unsatisfactory.
2004 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.7% alc., $65.
reddish-purple in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, dark berries and oak char.
Full-bodied compote of red and black fruits with very impressive purity and
harmony of fruit. The tannins have melded leading to a very smooth mouth feel,
and the persistent finish has a refreshing spark of grapefruit peel. A fruit magnet
that could last a few more years, but no reason to wait. Very typical of the Pisoni
estate bottling which always beautifully reflects its terroir. Very good.
2003 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., $65.
Deeply colored. Aromas of dark
berries, cigar box and anise veering to very ripe fruit scents. Generous core of ripe berry and plum fruit with a
slightly grilled and raisiny taste. Highly structured with integrated soft tannins and decent length on the finish.
A ripe, full-bodied wine with some appealing secondary characteristics. Liken this one to an aged Shaq at his
best. Very good (-).