PinotFile: 12.33 December 4, 2022
- First Peek at Pinot Noirs from the 2020 and 2021 Vintages
- TESTAROSSA Winery
- Salty Goats Wine Company
- Three Sticks Wines
- Kutch Wines
- Modus Operandi Cellars
- Woodenhead Vintners
- Broadley Vineyards Celebrates 35 Vintages
- Bluebird Hill Cellars
- Wine Briefs
First Peek at Pinot Noirs from the 2020 and 2021 Vintages
Unusual weather conditions in Oregon over the Labor Day weekend in 2020 led to multiple wildfires that
caused smoke-filled air quality over the entire Northwest region. Some pockets in the Willamette Valley were
spared but in general, the threat and presence of smoke taint caused many wineries not to bottle the 2020
vintage of Pinot Noir.
The 2021 vintage was complicated by drought conditions (one of the driest growing seasons on record) and
below-average winter precipitation. In late June a heat dome developed over the Pacific Northwest but the
growth stage of vines at this time was such that there was no serious damage to the developing grapes. The
remainder of the 2021 growing season was warmer than average and ended up the second warmest on record.
Overall, vintners were pleased with the quality of the vintage that had decent but not particularly large yields.
The worst fire season on record in California in 2020 led to burned vineyards and smoke-tainted wines but
some regions of California wine country were unaffected. Yields were down about 14 percent overall due to low
rainfall and many wineries chose not to bottle 2020 Pinot Noir wines because of smoke taint. Those sites where
harvest was completed before the fires had a successful vintage.
The 2021 vintage was marked by a moderate and consistent growing season in California. The ongoing
drought presented challenges and led to reduced yields, but many winemakers reported outstanding quality
and superb concentration in the fruit.
This winery has more ultra-premium Pinot Noir vineyard sources than any other winery in California. Hand this
plethora of blue-ribbon grapes to a peerless winegrower and winemaker and the result is one of the Golden
State’s preeminent wineries.
Testarossa Winery was launched in 1993 in Los Gatos by Rob and Diana Jensen after careers in technology.
Winemaking has been led by Bill Brosseau since 2000. Bill works with over 20 vineyard partners in the Santa
Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, Sta. Rita Hills, Arroyo Grande Valley, Chalone, and Russian River Valley
A number of superb 2020 and 2021 vintage Testarossa Pinot Noir wines are reviewed here. To purchase, visit
the winery’s website at www.testarossa.com.
2020 Testarossa Cuvée Los Gatos Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.67, RS .07%, 2,932 cases, screw
cap, $32. Released May 2022. The entry level offering. Grapes are sourced from Monterey County AVA
sustainable vineyards. Aged 16 months in stainless steel and 11% new French oak barrels.
Light garnet color
in the glass., A fruity nose featuring aromas of red cherry, strawberry and complimentary oak. Light and gentle
in the mouth with a core of oak-kissed cherry fruit framed by gossamer tannins.Good freshness with a bright,
slightly tart cherry drop finish.
2020 Testarossa La Rinconada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., pH 3.27, TA 0.644, RS
07%, 380 cases, $74. Released May 2022. 23-year-old vines, Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing
(CCSW). 67% Pommard 4 clone, 33% Mount Eden clone. Grapes were 100% de-stemmed and fermented in
stainless steel. Aged 19 months in French oak barrels, 57% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass.
Very alluring perfume of warm cherry pie with spicy a la mode. The essence of red and dark red cherry and
raspberry is long in the mouth and infused with tasty spice. Refined in character with bright acidity, agreeable
tannins, and a compliment of oak. This wine is simply outstanding.
2020 Testarossa Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.592, RS .
03%, 432 cases, $74. Released August 2022. 35-year-old vines grown in a SIP Certified vineyard. Clones 2A,
667 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel. Aged 21 months in French oak barrels, 60%
Dark garnet color in the glass. A vigorous nose arrives over time in the glass revealing striking aromas of
blackberry, spice, and forest. A spirited wine with exuberant flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, blackberry,
black licorice and spice. Flat-out delicious with a measured use of oak, a well-proportioned tannic backbone,
snd a follow-through of uncommon tenaciousness.
2020 Testarossa Rosemary’s Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.533,
RS .06%, 384 cases, $74. Released June 2022. 100% 667 clone. 33-year-old vines in a SIP Certified vineyard.
Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 56% new. 100% clone 667.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Vivid
aromas of well-spiced cherry and easy oak. Well-crafted and charming in a mid-weight style, with a caressing
mouthfeel and generous flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, cocoa, and toasty oak. The tannins are refined
making for good approachability. Very slick mouthfeel. Not a blockbuster but a seductive wine. I rarely
encounter a 100% 667 clone wine that is this complete.
2020 Testarossa Niclaire California Pinot Noir
pH 3.40, TA 0.644, RS .08%, 615 cases, $100. Released June
2022. The winemaker’s choice of the best barrels in the cellar.
Sourced from multiple vineyards including Sanford & Benedict
(35%), La Rinconada (15%), Rincon (15%). Rosemary’s (8%),
Brousseau (4%), and new oak barrel. A sexy wine that is
Rancho La Vina (4%). 100% de-stemmed, fermented in
stainless steel. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 65%
Dark garnet color in the glass. Haunting aromas of black
cherry, raspberry, sous bois and new oak. Discreet intensity of
flavor in a mid-weight style, offering flavors of dark red cherry,
red raspberry, strawberry, and spice. Flawless, with a very sleek
mouthfeel and spot-on integration of tannins and acidity. Very
well-mannered now and easy to like, but has the balance to rest
in the cellar for even more enjoyment in years to come. This is
the winemaker’s best effort and it shows.
2021 Testarossa Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.645, RS .04%, 3,700 cases,
$55. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 39% new.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely
perfumed with aromas of oak-kissed cherry, baking spices and rose petal. Straight-forward and easy drinking
with a core of wood-fired cherry and berry framed by soft, silky tannins and bright acidity. Oak plies the
background in a complimentary manner. The finish is short but accommodating.
2021 Testarossa Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., pH 3.19, TA 0.792, RS .05%, 288 cases, $57.
Release February 2023.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of dark cherry,
pomegranate, vanilla and a hint of toast. A flood of delicious dark stone and purple berry fruits greet the palate.
and really pops. The bright acidity reflects its SRH origins.The intense fruitiness carries through an impressive
finish. Oak plays a very subordinate role in this wine.
2021 Testarossa Rancho La Viña Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., pH 3.25, TA 0.787, RS .
07%), 192 cases, $76. 15-year-old vines. 100% clone 115. Grapes were 100% de-stemmed and fermented in
stainless steel. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 53% new.
Dark garnet color in the glass. Exuberant
aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, cola, and oak-driven spice and smoke. On the palate, the flavors echo
the aromas. This broad-shouldered wine acquires interest over time in the glass as it sheds some of its
sumptuous oak The finish is modestly long with a sweet and sour stamp.
2021 Testarossa Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.25, TA 0.792, RS
.05%, 528 cases, $76. Release August 2023.
Similar to the 2020 vintage of this wine but more backward and
needs some time in the cellar. Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of darkest cherry, spice box and barnyard
are appealing but slow to come to the fore. Mid-weight plus flavors of boysenberry, blackberry and
pomegranate have discreetly concentrated richness that carry over to a very long and sleek finish.
2021 Testarossa Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
240 cases, $76. Release February
2022. 25-year-old vines. 100% de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel. Aged 11 months in French oak
barrels, 50% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. The woodsy nose offers fruit aromas of blackberry and
blueberry. A mid-weight styled wine with a darker fruit profile than is usually present in Pinot Noir from Rosella’s
vineyard (typically red fruit predominates). There is a discrete richness of purple berry flavor backed by suede
tannins. The wine is quite tasty and although it lacks mid-palate generosity, the wine finishes on a high note
with good length.
2021 Testarossa Tondré Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., pH 3.18, TA 0.81, RS .
07, 504 cases, $76. Release December 2022. 12-year-old vines in a SIP Certified vineyard. Aged 11 months in
French oak barrels, 70% new.
Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, baking spice and toasty
oak lead to a mid-weight plus styled wine with a bounty of blueberry and blackberry fruit. A masculine wine,
with heavyweight fruit that coats the tongue. Succulent rather than complex and not for those seeking Pinot
Salty Goats Wine Company
“You can find us where the vines meet the ocean”
Two young winemakers, while making high-end Cabernet Sauvignon at two different iconic wineries in Napa for
seven harvests, dreamed of crafting Pinot Noir. Intrigued by coastal Pinot Noir, they discovered a vineyard in
the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA of the West Sonoma Coast.
The wines are the result of meticulous farming, partial whole cluster fermentation, and gentle extraction. A goal
is to create site-driven wines that are age-worthy.
The brand name, Salty Goats, comes from the word “Salty” reflecting the coastal influence on the vineyard
source and the wines and “Goats” which have a long history on the Sonoma Coast. The full story of the winery’s
namesake can be read on the website at www.saltygoatswine.com.
The wines reviewed here are sold exclusively through a mailing list.
2021 Salty Goats Coastline Project West Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 265 cases, $60. A blend of
a Fort Ross-Seaview vineyard and Annapolis vineyard. The Fort Ross-Seaview vineyard was planted in 2002
3.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1000 feet. Selections planted are Calera and Schoolhouse.
The Annapolis vineyard was planted in 2005 and sites at an elevation of 1,200-1,600 feet 5 miles inland from
the Pacific Ocean. Soil is Goldridge sandy loam. Clones are 115 and faux 828. Native yeast fermentation in
stainless steel, 14 days on the skins, 25% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 20% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of purple and black berry compost along with a crisp ocean
breeze perfume. Mid-weight plus in style, with discretely rich flavors of blueberry and boysenberry, and a
slightly confected raspberry note. Fresh, with balancing tannins, and a deft hint of oak, some savory
earthiness, and finishing with good fruit richness along with the slightest astringency.
2021 Salty Goats Fort Ross-Seaview West Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.3% alc., 150 cases, $75. The
Fort Ross-Seaview vineyard was planted in 2002 and organically farmed by Greg Adams and his team. The
site is located at 900 feet elevation and surrounded by a redwood forest protecting the vineyard from coastal
winds. Soil is hard sandstone and quartz. Selections are Calera and Schoolhouse. Native yeast fermentation in
stainless steel, 14 days on the skins and 35% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 25% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Reserved aromas of black raspberry, boysenberry, earthy flora, and
a hint of toasty oak. Similar to the Coastline Project but with more charm, a longer finish, and more appealing
acidity on the finish that gives the wine lift and energy. The wine is packed with spiced dark cherry and
raspberry flavors and there is an interesting saltiness. This wine is still very young and will need a few years in
the cellar to fully reach full acclaim.
Three Sticks Wines
This small winery produces exceptional wines from estate vineyards owned by Bill Price including Durell,
Gap’s Crown, Walala and William James. The winery’s hospitality home is the Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe
located in the town of Sonoma. The Adobe was originally built in 1842 by Salvador Vallejo and has been
restored as a Sonoma landmark.
Winemaker Ryan Prichard joined Three Sticks in 2015 alongside former Wiliams Selyem winemaker consultant
Bob Cabral. He crafts both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Three Sticks’ estate vineyard sites.
Most of the wines are sold through a mailing list at www.threestickswines.com.
2020 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.64, 490 cases,
$75. Released August 2022. Clones 115, 667, 943, and Swan and Calera selections. 10% whole cluster. Aged
15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Invigorating aromas of
dark pie cherries, garrigue, and complimentary oak. The palate echoes the nose with added flavors of black
grapes and brown spices. No rough edges with refreshing acidity leading to a satisfying finish that lingers
2020 Three Sticks William James Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.65,
424 cases, $75. Released August 2022. Clones Swan, Calera and 943. 20% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in
French oak barrels, 52% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Bright aromas of darker cherry, graham,
toast, and dried thyme. A well-spiced love letter with a long kiss of cherry on the mid-weight palate. Good
acidity, calm tannins, with a lengthy finish. Plenty of oak sheen in this wine will determine your pleasure
depending on your preferences.
2020 Three Sticks Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.66, 872
cases, $75. Rochioli and Swan selection, and 115, faux 828, 667 and 777 clones. 20% whole cluster. Aged 15
months in French oak barrels, 56% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of darker cherry and
berry and earthy flora arrive over time in the glass. The gorgeous core of deeply-flavored dark cherry and berry fruit
has a slightly confected tone. Richly fruited, reflecting the typical Gap’s sine quo non, yet with refined backing
tannins. Not as big as some vintages of Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir but a solid wine in its own right.
2020 Three Sticks Walala Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.66, 432 cases,
$75. Always a stunning wine from a vineyard perched high in the northwestern Sonoma Coast, six miles from
the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline. The most isolated of the Three Sticks Estate vineyards. Released August
2022. Clones 115 and 113. 20% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 52% new.
garnet color in the glass. The welcoming aromas of black cherry, cocoa and sous-bois lead to a mid-weight
melange of black cherry and boysenberry fruits that are flamboyant. A glamorous wine with inviting finesse and
cool-climate refinement. Better and better when sampled over the following two days from a previously opened
bottle. This special vineyard always delivers outstanding wines.
I have ridden along with Jamie Kutch on his road to success since his first vintage in 2005. More recently, I
have found his Pinot Noirs not only unique (he uses a high percentage of whole cluster) but exceptional in
quality across his entire range of offerings.
Kutch Pinot Noirs are all sourced from impeccable Sonoma Coast and Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards. Over
the past year, Jamie has worked to develop his first estate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast (read the whole
story at www.kutchwines.com in the winery's 2022 Spring Release Newsletter).
Jamie produced no wine from the challenging 2020 vintage. Smoke from North Coast wildfires led to the loss of
all grape sources except McDougall Vineyard which was picked early before plumes of smoke tainted the
The lineup of 2021 Kutch Pinot Noirs is reviewed here. Jamie told me, “All of our vineyards were harvested
with exceptional fruit quality. Small clusters and small berries led to an intensity that was framed with exceptionally
fresh and bright acidity. The wines are expected to age well.” I found the aromatics of each wine arresting. The
wines are definitely terroir-driven and not just about fruitiness. The whole cluster inclusion is complimentary
and not as prominent a feature compared to some past vintages that had 100% whole cluster fermentation. All
in all, this is a very impressive lineup and sensibly priced considering that qualitatively comparable Pinot Noirs are
currently often priced in the $85 to $100+ range.
Kutch wines are sold through a mailing list.
2021 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 625 cases, $42. Release January 10, 2023. Composed of
select barrels from each of Kutch’s vineyard sources. 50% whole cluster and indigenous yeast fermentation.
Aged in used French oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very
nice, fresh perfume of bright Bing cherry, floral goodness and earth. Mid-weight red and black cherry fruits are
supported by bright acidity, a tag of oak and mild tannins. Silky in the mouth and satisfying. This wine has many
of the same traits as the Kutch single vineyard wines in this vintage.
2021 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 550 cases, $69. Release January 10,
2023. Sandy loam marine soils (Goldridge). Vineyard planted in 1999. 50% whole cluster and indigenous
yeast fermentation. Aged in used French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in
the glass. Vibrant aromas of dark cherry and raspberry with a earthy tone and a hint of iodine. Sleek in the
mouth with mid-weight flavors of cherry, raspberry and a subtle herbal, woodsy tone. There is noticeably bright
acidity with a slinky texture and a decent but not exceptionally long finish.
2021 Kutch Bohan Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 175 cases, $54. Release January 10,
2023. This historic vineyard was planted in 1972 at 1,400 feet elevation 3.05 miles from the Pacific coastline.
Goldridge soils. 50% whole cluster and indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged in used French oak barrels and
bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, dark berries,
forest and rose petals. This wine has a unique forest theme underpinning the mid-weight blackberry and
pomegranate fruit flavors making it very interesting beyond simple fruitiness. A moderately firm tannic
backbone predicts age-ability.
2021 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 500 cases, $69. Release July 11,
2023. This vineyard is perched high above the fog line at 1010 feet and 3.5 miles from the Pacific coastline and
receives more warmth than any of the vineyards Kutch works with. 50% whole cluster and indigenous yeast
fermentation. Aged in used French oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark garnet color
in the glass. Soaring aromas of purple berry, dark rose petals, wood pile, and sous bois. Very charming at a
young age with middleweight flavors of purple and black berries and dark chocolate endowed with appealing
spice. Redeeming balance is evident but the wine’s nose is its most striking feature. The quenching, very long
finish leads to an urge for another sip. Pinot Noir from this vineyard is stellar year in and year out.
2021 Kutch Bohan Graveyard Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 100 cases, $54. Release July 11, 2023. A 1-
acre block of Bohan Vineyard marked by a tombstone dating to
1875. Located 1,500 feet elevation 3.05 miles inland from the
Pacific coastline. The vines are own-rooted, head-trained, and
raised without irrigation. The soil in this block is distinctly rocky
in a base of sandstone.100% de-stemmed and fermented with
indigenous yeast. Aged in used French oak barrels and bottled
unfined and unfiltered.
Dark garnet color in the glass. A
mysterious nose offering aromas of wine cave, animale, chalk,
and a dark berry medley. The richly appointed dark fruit core is
well-spiced and accented with a hint of herbs. Somewhat primal
and intriguing with a healthy tannic backbone and quenching
acidity on the finish. This wine totally captured my interest when
sampled the following day from a previously opened bottle.
2021 Kutch Mindego Ridge Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 500 cases, $69.
Release July 11, 2023. A high elevation (925 feet), 10-acre vineyard located 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean
owned and farmed by David and Stacy Gollnick. Vineyard planted in 2009. 50% whole cluster and indigenous
yeast fermentation. Aged in used French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark garnet
color in the glass. Plenty of aromatic goodness on the nose with scents of blueberry, dark cherry, cola, and
savory herbs. An explosion of dark stone and berry fruit greets the mid-palate, expanding and then saturating a
fortuitous finish featuring memorable, spicy fruit. This wine is clearly the best Pinot Noir I have had from this
vineyard. A treasure chest of Pinot goodness.
Modus Operandi Cellars
Jason Moore, owner and winemaker of Modus Wines, told me that when he moved to California from Dallas,
Texas hated Pinot and would not drink it if you paid him. As his palate has evolved, he has fallen head over
heels in love with Pinot and it's just about all he drinks now (welcome to the flock). Jason still loves his
Cabernets, Syrahs, and red blends, and also crafts Napa Cabernet. That may account in part for the choice to
harvest well-ripened fruit and produce the resulting bold style of the finished wines. The problem with high-alcohol Pinot Noir is that the wines lack that alluring and gorgeous Pinot perfume.
The wines are sold by allocation at www.moduswines.com.
2020 Modus Operandi Cellars Silver Eagle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.25% alc., 50 cases,
$85. Current release. This 30-acre vineyard is located north of Occidental in the Green Valley of Russian River
Valley AVA. Vosne-Romanée selection. Harvest Brix 25.5º. 100% de-stemmed and fermented in open-top
tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new.
Dark garnet color in the glass. Cooked fruit aromas of blueberry-pomegranate
accompanied by some oak vanillin and a slight note of volatile acidity. Full-bodied, with layers of dark purple
and black fruit flavors accented by an underlying earthy tone. Silky in the mouth with modest tannins. This wine is ripe fruit driven and
with little nuance.
2021 Modus Operandi Cellars Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., 100
cases, $75. Releasing January 2023. Vineyard has been planted and managed for the past 30 years by John
Bacigalupi and his family. Harvest Brix 25.0º. 50% clone 777 and 50% clone 667. 100% de-stemmed and
fermented in open-top tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass.
Muted aromas of blackberry jam, pine sap, herb garden and toasty oak. Full-bodied and richly endowed with
very ripe purple and black berry fruit flavors framed by silky tannins. Goes down easy, with well-hidden hefty alcohol,
and finishes with admirable length.
2021 Modus Operandi Cellars Gap’s Crown Vineyard Petaluma Gap/Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., 150
cases, $85. Releasing January 2023. 60% clone 777 and 40%
clone faux 828. Harvest Brix 25.7º. 100% de-stemmed and
fermented in open-top tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50%
Dark garnet color in the glass. Muted aromas of well-ripened
black cherry, dark rose petals, sous bois and dusty oak.
Mid-weight plus in style with a core of boysenberry and black
cherry fruit flavors that awaken the senses. The striking finish
offers both intensities of fruit flavor and length. The pedigree of
this vineyard shows through. The high alcohol peeks out as
the wine warms in the glass.
2021 Modus Operandi Cellars UV-Laguna Vineyard Russian River Valley/Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., 100 cases, $85. Releasing January 2023This vineyard was planted by Ulises Valdez Sr. in 2011.
The soil is a unique mix of sand and dense clay known as “Sebastopol Clay.” The Pinot Noir benefits from the
moisture trapped in the clay by allowing the grapes to achieve ripeness without excessive water stress during
the warm summer months. 50% clone 777 and 50% clone 667. Harvest Brix 26.7º. 100% de-stemmed and
fermented in open-top tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new.
Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of
black raspberry, dark rose petals and wood shop. A middleweight-crafted wine with a core of cherry cola and
baking spice flavors. There is a redder tone to the fruit than other wines in the 2021 lineup. The alcohol is well hidden
and the tannins are silky.
Woodenhead Vintners remains the last vestige of the original Williams Selyem Winery, WesMar, and Burt
Williams’ Morning Dew Ranch have ceased to make wine. The owner and winemaker of Woodenhead
Vintners, Nikolai Stez, worked 17 harvests at Williams Selyem as an assistant winemaker for Burt Williams.
With the sale of Williams Selyem Winery in 1997, Nikolai started his own Woodenhead label.
Nikolai continues the Williams Selyem tradition of sourcing grapes from only top-quality vineyards and his
vinification regimen duplicates that performed at Williams Selyem during the winery’s pre-sale glory years.
I have tasted along with Nikolai on a number of occasions and can highly recommend his Pinot Noir lineup. He is the
longtime principal vintner sourcing Pinot Noir from the renowned Ritchie Vineyard in the Russian River Valley.
The Woodenhead wines are sold through a mailing list and the website at www.woodenheadwine.com. An
inviting tasting room is located in a converted home at 5700 River Road in Santa Rosa (reservations are not
required but recommended). Older vintages are available for sale on the website, several of which I have
previously reviewed at www.princeofpinot.com/winery/428/.
2016 Woodenhead Ritchie Vineyard “Cinder Cone” Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
$N/A. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A complex nose offers aromas
of black cherry, cocoa, Herbs de Provence, warn leather and toasty oak. On the palate, the wine is taking on an
aged, tertiary character. Cherry-driven, with notes of cola and smoke backed by bright acidity. The fruit intensity
is modest allowing both tannin and acidity to stick out a small amount.
2017 Woodenhead Ritchie Vineyard “Cinder Cone” Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
pH 3.42, TA 0.646, 116 cases, $70. Cinder Block contains both Martini 58 and Pommard 5 clones. There is a
total of 910 vines planted in 1972., making it one of the oldest plantings of Pinot Noir in the North Coast. The
unique soil consists of two feet of Goldridge loam on top of volcanic cinder cone material. Bottled unfined and
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherry, potpourri, red
licorice and a hint of oak. Mid-weight in style, with the striking essence of black cherry and black raspberry fruit
that saturates the mid-palate and carries through a remarkably lengthy finish. A thread of oak and earthiness
adds interest. Outstanding balance.
2017 Woodenhead Buena Terra Vineyard E Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.653, 154
cases, $70. Gold Medal at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair
and California State Fair in 2022. Vines planted in 1994.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in the
glass. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir nose
offering enticing aromas of Bing cherry, BBQ spice rub, cola,
and earthy flora. Bright black cherry, spice, cola, and matcha
tea flavors are shadowed with toasty oak. This beauty is
expansive through the mid-palate and finish and an inviting cut
of acidity brightens the finish.
2019 Woodenhead Ritchie Vineyard Martini Clone Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., pH 3.57,
TA 0.67, 158 cases, $56. The vines are 47 years old and Woodenhead has been purchasing Pinot Noir from
Kent Ritchie since 2010. There are several Pinot Noir blocks in the Ritchie Vineyard: the Cinder Cone is Martini
and Pommard clones, another bock is exclusively Swan clone and adjacent is a block solely planted to Martini
clone. Most recently, Nikolai has sourced the Martini clone block for its superiority. Often the grapes are
blended into the winery’s Russian River Valley bottling or the popular Wet Kiss Pinot Noir but in 2019 the
grapes were exceptional. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very engaging
aromas of purple and black berry fruits with a floral accent. Discretely rich in a mid-weight style, with earth-
kissed blackberry and black currant fruit flavors. The tannins are well-proportioned and there is admirable
length on the dry finish. This wine reflects the typical expression of the Martini clone.
2020 Woodenhead Starbridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.66, 161
cases, $66. Since 2010, Summa Vineyard, located on the extreme West Sonoma Coast, and a source for
Williams Selyem Pinot Noir in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was sold to Thomas Rivers Brown and the
grapes are used for Brown’s Rivers-Marie label. Scott and Joan Zeller, who own a property adjacent to the
original plantings at Summa Vineyard, planted the 2-acre Starbridge Vineyard in 2000 using vine grafts for the
original vines at adjacent Summa Vineyard. The clones are unknown and Zeller refers to them as the “Summa
clones.” In 2020, the Starbridge Vineyard grapes did not suffer smoke taint from the wildfires. Bottled unfined
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Reserved but appealing aromas of purple grape, incense,
forest path, and muddy earth. The dark red cherry fruit core is framed by savory notes of herbs and tobacco.
Silky in texture, with very gracious tannins, redeeming acidity, and a persistent finish.
Broadley Vineyards Celebrates 35 Vintages
The 2021 growing season was characterized by an unusually warm spring, the driest April on record, several
days of over 100ºF during the summer. Since the Broadley Estate Vineyard is dry-farmed, the vines struggled
somewhat. Clusters were small leading to small yields. The result was lush fruit, medium acid and medium to
The Pinot Noirs crafted by owner and winemaker Morgan Broadley have been consistently top-notch. I have
had the pleasure of reviewing multiple vintages since 2005. The three wines reviewed here are available on the
winery’s website at www.broadleyvineyards.com, with special reduced pricing during November.
2021 Broadley Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.3% alc., $23. Released July 2022. A blend of grapes from
the Broadley Estate Vineyard, and Malliris, Button Field, Sunny Mountain, and Walnut Ridge vineyards. Aged 9
months in neutral French oak barrels.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, raspberry,
rose petal and wood spice lead to a lighter-styled wine with flavors that echo the aromas. There is a slight
confected tone of red licorice. Silky in the mouth with refreshing acidity and just a hint of oak backing. A solid
daily drinker at the right price.
2021 Broadley Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., $29.75 (November only). Current release.
This wine is composed of a variety of blocks containing older and newer vines. 15% whole cluster
fermentation. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels,10% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The
earth-bound nose also offers scents of black cherry fruit and red rose petal. There is a plethora of luscious red
and black fruits framed by a herbal tone. There are some untamed tannins. The finish is noticeably longer than
the WV bottling.
2021 Broadley Marcile Lorraine Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., $46.75 (November only). Current release.
This wine is produced each year from the same distinctive
block of old vine Pinot Noir (Pommard and Dijon clones). 30%
whole cluster fermentation. Aged 11 months in French oak
barrels, 20% new.
Dark garnet color in the glass. This mid-weight
plus styled wine is clearly a step up in quality. Inviting
aromas of blackberry, baking spices, and dark red rose petals.
Impressive fullness and length on the mid-palate that features
black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors. The wine’s
balance is impeccable and the length of finish is impressive.
Bluebird Hill Cellars
Neil and Sue Shay moved to the Willamette Valley in 2010 and found a 6-acre homestead located in the
southwestern coastal foothills in Alpine, west of Monroe, Oregon (southern Willamette Valley). There was a 3-
acre Christmas tree farm on the property originally and it took the Shays three years to fully clear the land in
preparation for planting a vineyard. The site is ideal for winegrowing because its warm hilltop site enjoys gentle
summer breezes with southeastern and western-oriented slopes capturing the sun’s energy. 3 acres are under
vine including Dijon, Pommard and Wädenswil clones planted at high density.
Bluebird Hill Cellars Pinot Noir is handcrafted in small lots and represents very good value. Grapes are
harvested at modest Brix levels and the resulting wines are red and blue fruit driven with good acidity and a
compliment of oak in the background.
The current release of 2019 Pinot Noir wines is available for sale on the website at www.bluebirdcellars.wine.
2019 Bluebird Hill Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., pH 3.78, RS 0, 200 cases, $35. Harvest
Brix 22º. Clones 115 and Pommard (37.5%), 777 (20%), and 667 (5%). Aged in French oak barrels, 20% new.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose leads with appealing aromas of well-spiced cherry,
blueberry and leather. Light to mid-weight in style, driven by red cherry and red berry flavors with a shadow of
oak. An easy, forward drinking wine with a short finish.
2019 Bluebird Hill Cellars Mom’s Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.2% alc., pH 3.53, RS 0, 200
cases, $54. Harvest Brix 22.1º. 50% Pommard and 25% each 667 and 777. Aged in French oak barrels, 25%
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Oak-kissed cherry and blueberry aromas lead off. Cherry-driven in a
mid-weight style with a thread of oak. Forward-drinking, with modest tannins, and a decent finish. A satisfying
wine but not epic.
2019 Bluebird Hill Cellars South Block Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., pH 3.68, RS 0, 100 cases, $54.
Harvest Brix 22.0º. 50% 667, 25% each 115 and 777. Aged in
French oak barrels, 25% new.
Moderate garnet color in the
glass. Aromas of cherry, dried herbs and graham lead to a
middleweight-styled wine featuring red and blue berry fruit
flavors with a touch of spice. Very welcoming with a silky
mouthfeel and a noticeably long finish. The pick of the 2019
2019 Bluebird Hill Cellars Zenith Vineyard Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., pH 3.61, RS
0, 100 cases, $54. Harvest Brix 22.2º. 50% Pommard and 50% 777. Aged in French oak barrels, 20% new.
Light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry, woodpile, and oak spice. A delicate wine with a lighterweighted
gist of cherry fruit. Nicely balanced, with gentle tannins and a modest finish.
Russian River Valley Neighborhoods Study Conclusions Growers and wineries undertook
an experiment beginning in 2015 to prove that Pinot Noir grown in different sub-regions within the Russian
River Valley AVA presented itself differently. Called the Neighborhoods Initiative, it led to six specific
delineations within the Russian River Valley known simply as The Neighborhoods. Pinot Noirs from 18 wineries
from several vintages were analyzed to devise a series of characteristics for their wine that could be measured
in a laboratory. When the analysis was concluded in 2019, it was confirmed that each neighborhood offered a
fingerprint of its own. There were consistently specific sensory characteristics that derive from Pinot Noir
grapes grown in the neighborhoods. The neighborhoods:
Middle Reach One of the warmer neighborhoods. The heart of it is Westside Road, home to
Bacigalupi, Bucher, Rochioli, Allen Vineyard, Williams-Selyem, Arista, DuMOL’s Flax Estate,
Ramey’s Westside Farms, MacRostie, MacMurray Ranch and Gary Farrell. The wines are
typically defined by texture and length as well as ripeness, intensity and lush character. The
tannins can be structured yet supple.
Laguna Ridge This neighborhood lies south of the Middle Reach near Forestville. It is home to Merry
Edwards, Dehlinger, Lynmar and Joseph Swan. The Pinot Noirs are characterized by sensuous
and moderate acidity, with red and dark fruit flavors and a touch of baking spice, with ample
Santa Rosa Plain A large stretch of flatlands on the east side of the Laguna de Santa Rosa
encompassing Olivet Road. It includes a deep concentration of vineyards and wineries
including Benovia, Inman, Pellegrini and DeLoach.
Eastern Hills The northernmost neighborhood east of Windsor, a warmish area only minimally touched
by Russian River fog. The Pinot Noirs can be quite ripe and lush.
Green Valley The only neighborhood that is its own AVA, centered around the towns of Graton and
Occidental. Redwood and fir trees surround many of the vineyards. The Dutton family, Iron
Horse, Hartford Court, Marimar Estate and DuMOL have considerable plantings here. Because
of the cooling winds and moderate elevations, many of the Pinot Noirs have a crispy red fruit
character, more rhubarb and pomegranate than dark cherry, with beautiful aromatics and
Sebastopol Hills Predominantly west and southwest of Sebastopol, this neighborhood is about as
cool as it gets within the Russian River Valley. Vineyards include Balletto’s Burnside Road,
Sexton Hill and Cider Ridge, as well as Pratt Sexton Road. The cool climate provides crisp red
fruit characters with elements of dried herbs and black tea. Cold, windswept and unsheltered, it
has less risk of frost than other neighborhoods, providing plenty of hang time.
The Russian River Valley Winegrowers Neighborhoods map:
Wine Ratings Continue to be Controversial I read with interest a post in the Northwest Wine
Report - www.northwestwinereport.com - by Sean P. Sullivan (a former contributing editor to Wine Enthusiast
magazine) titled “Who cares about wine ratings?” Looking back to the origins of the PinotFile in the early
2000s, I resisted awarding scores to reviewed wines, preferring instead to give a concise and appropriate
description ending with words like “good,” “very good,” outstanding,” and “extraordinary.” Readers demanded
scores, so I relented and began using the 100-point scoring system in 2008. Sullivan points out, “You
are unlikely to find a critic who does not have at least some misgivings about rating wine.” You can include me
in those with misgivings. Sullivan also notes that wine rating is still more art than science. I find scoring entirely
subjective and vulnerable to many variables, particularly with Pinot Noir. That said, through the years I have
accumulated enough experience tasting thousands of domestic Pinot Noirs to consider my scores reliable at
least to those whose palates are aligned. Young consumers are not particularly interested in scores and they
may be the force that causes the extinction of wine scoring.
Increased Risk for All-Cause Dementia in Abstainers A recent paper in the journal Addiction
reported the relationship between alcohol use and dementia in adults aged more than 60 years after reviewing
data from 15 international studies. Some population-based studies in the medical literature have shown that
light-to-moderate alcohol use can reduce dementia risk as compared to those who have abstained from
alcohol. Still, other studies revealed no increased risk of dementia in abstainers. This recent study suggests that
abstaining from alcohol may increase the risk for all-cause dementia and that light-to-moderate alcohol
consumption is associated with a reduced risk of dementia among Europeans (but not Asians) compared to
occasional drinkers. The study did not look at the type of alcoholic drink in each cohort.
Binge Drinking Could Increase Risk of COVID-19 A studied published recently in Drug and Alcohol
Dependence looked at seven groups of women in their 20s and found that women were more likely to end up
with COVID-19 if they consumed four or more drinks of alcohol per sitting. One explanatory factor is not practicing
preventive behaviors such as social distancing when intoxicated.
Some Australians Welcome New Flat-Pack Wine Bottles Traditional wine bottles are
heavy, fragile and waste a lot of space. Flat wine bottles arrived in Australia in the summer of 2022 to provide a
solution. The bottles are made from 100% recycled PET plastic which is 83% lighter than traditional glass wine
bottles. The slim, flat profile allows twice as many bottles to fit into a standard case. There has been some
buzz since the release of these flat bottles but it is not clear that they are suitable for ultra-premium, cellar-worthy
wines. The bottles are most appropriate for early-drinking wines and are not meant for cellaring wine.
Smoke Taint and How to Manage It Tom Collins of the Washington State University’s Wine
Science Center has studied for years how smoke exposure affects grapes and reported his findings in the
journal Nature. Researchers at UC Davis and Oregon State University are also studying the smoke taint of wine
grapes. The class of compounds causing smokey aromas and flavors has been identified but the next
challenge is determining how to remove them from wine or finding things that can be done in the vineyard to
prevent smoke compounds from entering grapes. Stay tuned.
Alcohol Consumption and Weight Gain Current scientific research has consistently shown that
light-to-moderate alcohol consumption does not increase body weight and that increased body weight is only a result of excessive alcohol intake or binge drinking. A single-serving size of 6 ounces of wine has
111-275 calories depending on the type of wine and its ABV. A standard 12-ounce serving of beer has 150
calories as does a 12-ounce service of Coke. Many scientific studies show that liquid calories from alcohol are
metabolized differently and are not bioavailable. Drinkers process complex carbohydrates more efficiently and
store less fat. The takeaway message is that you can enjoy wine in moderation without worrying about gaining
weight as long as you maintain a proper diet and perform regular exercise.
Lynmar Estate Adds Hessel Station Vineyard to Portfolio of RRV Estates Located in
South Sebastopol in the coolest and most southern tip of the Russian River Valley, Hessel Station Vineyard joins Lynmar
Estate’s three other estate sites, which include Susanna’s Vineyard, Adam’s Vineyard in Forestville, and the
winery’s original Quail Hill Vineyard, located adjacent to Laguna de Santa Rosa in the heart of the Russian
River Valley. The four vineyards encompass 85 acres of vines. Lynmar purchased the Hessel Station site in
2018 which at the time it was but an unfarmed open field which had sat fallow for decades. The site is sustainably
farmed by a permanent vineyard team. For more information, visit www.lynmarestate.com.
Looking for an Unparalleled Value in Pinot Noir? The 2021 Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvée
Pinot Noir is crafted predominantly from Cristom’s estate single vineyards including Eileen, Jessie, Louise,
Marjorie, and Paul Gerrie, along with some fruit from partner vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills. After 30 years of
dedication to whole cluster fermentation and native yeast fermentations, the “Mt. Jeff” is the embodiment of
Cristom’s winemaking style and is the winery’s flagship Pinot Noir. This wine has 46% whole cluster
fermentation. Simply outstanding and an unparalleled value in Pinot Noir ($40), this wine sells out year
after year. I believe this is Cristom’s largest production wine so it is widely available. Check your wine retailer or
Nearly an Epiphany I have had the opportunity to drink Pinot Noir from every notable producer in
California and Oregon but once in a while, there is a Pinot Noir that comes along that is truly stunning. I retrieved a magnum of
2012 Evesham Wood Cuvée J Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir from my wine locker recently and brought it home. There
is no question in my mind that Pinot Noir tastes better from magnums particularly aged Pinot Noir. The Cuvée J
bottling is the winery’s top wine created for cellaring and sourced exclusively from organic grapes grown at the estate
Le Puits Sec Vineyard. I have reviewed examples of this wine since the 2006 vintage and have found this bottling always to
be my favorite in the impressive Evesham Wood lineup. When I reviewed the 2012 vintage of this wine in
December 2014 (13.0% alc., $42), I noted, “A classy wine with a good tannic backbone for aging and a lengthy
finish that soars with a purple berry scent. The wine has shoulders but is still refined.” I awarded it a score of
93. The magnum of this wine I recently drank over 3 days with my wife Patti was incredible. There were
masses of perfume and the perfect balance between dark berry fruit and spice. The finish went on and on and
on. I kept looking at my glass and shaking my head. The meretricious mistress had been tamed!!
Sta. Rita Hills Wine Alliance Saunters & Sips Sta. Rita Hills wineries show their current and
new release wines along with Spanish music and tasty snacks from Buena Onda at El Presidio de Santa
Barbara State Historic Park on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Participating wineries include Alma Rosa, Fiddlehead Cellars, Foxen Winery,
Kessler-Haak Vineyard & Winery, Longoria Wines, Ojai Vineyards, Pali Wine Company, Sanford Winery,
Seagrape Wine Co, and The Hilt. Purchase tickets now for Early Bird pricing (discount ends December 15,
2022). Tickets are $99 per person now and $129 after December 15. Purchase tickets at
Santa Cruz Mountains Event
The Aptos Wine Wander will be held Saturday, December 10 in Aptos Village. Taste local Santa Cruz Mountain
wineries while strolling through Aptos Village businesses. The advanced ticket price is $40. For more information
and tickets, visit www.winesofthesantacruzmountains.com.
IPNC Announces VIP Experience When you travel to IPNC with an entourage it is always a
challenge to sit together at the Grand Dinner and Salmon Bake. Now a VIP Experience is offered that allows
attendees to purchase 10 full weekend tickets as a bundle and receive a complimentary reserved 10-person
table at the Grand Dinner and Salmon Bake. This is the only way to reserve a private table. The 2023 Elevated
VIPNC Experience for 10 is $16,950.00 (a single registration for the Full Weekend package is $1,695.00). The
2023 IPNC, now in its 35th year, will be July 28-30 at Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon. For more
information, visit www.ipnc.org.
Insider Information on Trader Joe’s Pinot Noir Trader Joe’s is currently airing Podcast #57
“Trader Joe’s Wine Wonderings.” I found out after listening to this podcast that the Lot designation indicates
what winery produced that Lot# Pinot Noir. The word “Lot” is deceiving since it refers to the producing winery and
not the particular batch or lot of Pinot Noir. Lot #109 is a Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir and my scores have
been 2015 87, 2016 90 and 2019 89, so this lot is worth purchasing when it is available. Currently, Trader Joe’s
is offering a Lot #23 Grand Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir from Carneros Cellars in Napa (14.5% alc., $12.99). I
have reviewed Trader Joe’s Lot #23 Pinot Noir 4 times in the past and scored them low: 2013 86, 2015 86,
2016 87, and 2019 87. This would indicate that Lot #23 is probably not a good value and I did not buy this
current release to review.
Bacchus Landing Taste wines from eight boutique wineries at one location in the heart of Healdsburg.
The relatively new three-acre property offers five tasting rooms, wood-fired pizza at The Market, picnic tables,
lawn games and an event center. There is a wide range of grape varietals offered including Pinot Noir from
Convene by Dan Kosta, Dot Wine, Montagne-Russe, and Smith Story Wine Cellars. Check it out at 14210
Bacchus Landing Way.
Hanzell Vineyards Holiday Offerings 2020 The Hanzell Farm Pinot Noirs are two bottlings handled
identically right down to the harvest and bottling dates, with one fermented fully de-stemmed and one
fermented 100% whole cluster. This is a good chance to compare the two fermentations. You may want to also
consider Hanzell Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir which is an estate blend sourced from 12 acres of the
Ambassador’s 1953, de Brye and Sessions vineyard blocks with an average vine age of nearly 30 years.
Looking for a Limited Production “Cultish” Pinot Noir? This holiday season you may be
searching for a special California Pinot Noir that is only sold through allocation (ie expensive). Visit
www.goldengatecellars.com for the good stuff. Sure, you pay a little more than the winery release price, but
wines from Cattleya, Cirq and CHEV, Paul Lato, and Occidental to name a few make very impressive gifts.
For what it’s worth: Golden Gate Wine Cellars held a bland tasting recently with a lineup that included (vintages
not stated but I assume recent releases; scores are from the wine press) Kosta Browne Keefer Ranch (96),
Addax Silver Eagle (95), Brewer Clifton Hapgood (95), Dragonette Fiddlestix (95), Hyde de Villaine Ygnacia
(94), Rochioli Big Hill (97), Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace (97), Littorai Hirsch (96), and Ancien Jouissance
(94). The wines were tasted by a group of 12 people. The Ancien Pinot Noir received 6 first, 2 second and 2
third place votes ahead of Littorai’s 3 firsts, 4 seconds and 3 third place votes and Beaux Freres’ 2 first, 2
second and 3 third place votes. The Ancien Jouissance Vineyard Pinot Noir is from a 2-acre vineyard in the
Russian River Valley planted to Dijon 115 in Goldridge sandy loam soil and is offered at $59.99.
Lenné Vineyard Estate Sold Carl Giavante Consulting announced that the 15.5-acre Leneé Vineyard Estate, located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA of the Willamette Valley, has been acquired by Jared Etzel, the current winemaker of Domaine Roy and the son of founding winemaker Mike Etzel of Beaux Frerés. I have visited and tasted with Lenné Estate owner Steve Lutz on many occasions and always respected his 22+ years of know-how in crafting Pinot Noir. Steve will retain the Lenné brand for several years until the back catalog and the exceptional 2021 and 2022 vintage wines are sold. See the Lenné website for the full press release at www.leneestate.com/about.
Inflation and a Missed Windfall A 3-liter bottle of 1971 Romanée-Conti La TËche sold this month at
auction for $81,250. In the early 1990s, I bought a 6-liter bottle (methuselah) of 1983 La TËche at auction (back
when wine auctions were in their infancy) for $900. Unfortunately, the wine was drunk soon after at my wine
club’s Christmas dinner. 1983 wasn’t as good a vintage as 1971 but the name La TËche currently brings big
money at auction and that rare 6-liter bottle would certainly have brought me a significant profit. Bummer.