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PinotFile 12/19

From Winemaker Bill Brosseau Works Magic at Testarossa Winery

2019 Testarossa Cuvée Los Gatos Monterey Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.64, 2, 285 cases, $31, screw cap. Released May 2021. Cellared and bottled by Testarossa Winery, Los Gatos, CA. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Reserved aromas of cherry and oak spice. A straightforward easy drinking Pinot Noir very adaptable to food in a mid-weight style offering flavors of cherry and strawberry. Silky in texture, with minimal tannins and a modest finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.65, 2,544 cases, $53. Released May 2021. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 46% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of black cherry, vanilla cola and musk. Middleweight in concentration, with flavors of dark cherry, ripe strawberry and raspberry backed by gentle tannins. Easygoing with a modest but satisfying finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.66, 552 cases, $54. Released April 2021. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 43% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very alluring nose featuring scents of black cherry, black raspberry, baking spices and wine cave. Fresh and juicy with an arrow of acidity complimenting the mid-weight core of cherry, raspberry and exotic spice flavors. Easygoing tannins and quite lengthy on the finish. An impressive expression of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA . Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Cortada Alta Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.57, 175 cases, $74. Released February 2021. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 73% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry, tilled earth and roseate. Mid-weight plus in style, offering earth-kissed flavors of cherry and berry framed by some unresolved tannin. There is a slight guaiacol (smoke) undertone. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa La Rinconada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.21, TA 0.71, 575 cases, $74. Released May 2021. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 57% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of blackberry fruit, dark rose petal and wine cave. An exceptional wine with midweight flavors of black cherry and blueberry-pomegranate accented with welcome spice. Quite forward and giving with impressive purity of Pinot extract and gracious balance. There is a hint of earthiness that I find common in Pinot Noir from this vineyard. Even better when tasted several hours later and the following day from a previously opened bottle. The best La Rinconada Pinot Noir I have ever tasted. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.70, 474 cases, $74. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 57% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Reserved aroma of dusty cherry leads to a middleweight styled wine with dark cherry and boysenberry fruit flavors that stick to the palate. Elegant in manner with good harmony and noticeable persistence on the pleasing spiceendowed finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Rosemary’s Vineyard, Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.40. TA 0.66, 400cases, $74. Released May 2021. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 63% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Shy but pleasing aromas of black cherry, terra-cotta, underbrush and slight toasty oak. Extremely engaging on the palate with a flourish of sappy dark cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors. Clearly a special wine that is appealingly rich yet welcoming with complimentary tannins and a very long finish. This wine hits all the bass notes typical of the Wädenswil 2A clone. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.25, TA 0.68, 576 cases, $74. Released April 2021. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 54% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry and baking spice pick up intensity over time in the glass. A very comforting, velvety mouthfeel creates a favorable initial impression. Mid-weight flavors of cherry and raspberry are accompanied by a thread of citrus in the background. Aciddriven freshness and vibrancy add to the appeal. The finish is persistent and quenching. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.74, 192 cases, $74. Release June 2021. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 65% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. an immensely satisfying wine with aromas of cherry, rose petal, spice and clover. A delicious cherry core attacks and soaks the mid palate and lingers what seems like an eternity on the finish. The deep Bing cherry goodness is accented with flavors of strawberry, red raspberry and cardamom spice. Seamless in texture with impeccable harmony. Even more striking when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. The best Sierra Mar Pinot Noir among many that I have tasted through the years. Flat out great. Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testarossa Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.19, TA 0.75, 600 cases, $76. Release June 2021. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 57% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely composed perfume with scents of cherry, red grape, red rose petal and peppery herbs. Light to mid-weight in style with a glorious charge of vivid, spicy black cherry fruit. Amazingly long in the mouth and on the generous finish. Very polished with enviable harmony. At this stage, the palate far exceeds the nose in allure. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Testrossa Niclaire California Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.36, TA .67, 619 cases, $100. Released May 2021. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 62% new. This wine is named after Testarossa founders Rob and Diana’s children Nick and Claire. The beautiful appointed bottle represents the finest barrels in the cellar. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of dusty rose, Bing cherry, black raspberry coulis, vanilla and toasty oak. Long on the palate and finish, offering middleweight flavors of blueberry and blackberry. Very polished with modest tannins and a compliment of oak. This wine taps into all the pleasure centers now but is still somewhat gruff and closed. Better when sampled the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle showing more sweet Pinot fruit and an explosive, very long finish. This wine reminded me of the 2019 Rosemary’s Vineyard bottling. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Sojourn Cellars: Consistency is a Defining Feature

2019 Sojourn Wohler Vineyard Sonoma Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.55, 650 cases, $54. Release in August 2021. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dusty Bing cherry and baking spice. Black cherry cola flavor is the base for this energetic wine that aims to please. Very modest tannins and some finishing length. Like a white tee shirt, this wine is similarly adaptable to most situations. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Sojourn Riddle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.55, 400 cases, $59. Release in August 2021. Pommard and Mt. Eden clones form the base of this wine. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A little coaxing is necessary to release the aromas of cherry, blueberry and clay. A middleweight core of dark cherry and strawberry fruit flavors make an impression. There is a bit of savory spice and earthiness as well. Nicely balanced with a good beam of acidity, a long finish and only a hint of oak. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Sojourn Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.56, 700 cases, $59. Released spring 2021. Clones 115, Swan and Mt. Eden. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, purple grape, underbrush and oak spice.The succulent deep cherry core satisfies as does the soft mouthfeel. The cherry-themed finish has some length but there is a slight bit of alcoholic hotness that detracts. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0;.57, 850 cases, $69. Released spring 2021. Vineyard is situated at 800 feet elevation with volcanic soils. Winds from the Petaluma Gap are frequent as are foggy nights. Clones 115 (planted in 2005 and the foundation of the wine), faux 828 (planted in 2002) and 667 (planted in 2004).10% whole cluster ferment. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of blueberry-pomegranate, potpourri and mulch. Full-bodied with a bold charge of blue and black fruits. Sleek, with modest tannins and a decent finish. A big boy wine that shows balance at a high ABV. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Sojourn Reuling Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.58, 400 cases, $69. Release in August 2021. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with the scent of dark cherry and white pepper. A mid-weight wine offering vivid flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with a gentle compliment of oak spice. Somewhat reserved with felty tannins and a persistent finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle, the wine was still giving up its charms grudgingly but was pleasant. This wine needs more time in the cellar. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2019 Sojourn Ridgetop Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.56, 400 cases, $69. Tiny clusters and small berry sizes in this vintage led to greater concentration in the finished wine. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose opens over time in the glass to reveal aromas of black cherry and baking spices. Somewhat reserved but still engaging in a mid-weight style with flavors of purple and black berry complimented with toasty oak. Nicely composed with felty tannins and a satisfying purple-fruited finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Sojourn Wohler Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.70, TS 0.61, 650 cases, $54. Release fall 2020. The vineyard, located in Forestville, was replanted in 2006. Goldridge soil. Clones 667, faux 828, 115 and 2A were vinified separately. 100% de-stemmed, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Corked - boo-hoo. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Sojourn Riddle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.60, 400 cases, $59. Released fall 2020. Vines planted at high density in Goldridge soil. Clones 115, faux 828, Pommard and Mt. Eden clones. 100% de-stemmed, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Very shy aromas of earthy dark fruits and toasty oak. Full-bodied, fruit-driven style featuring flavors of black raspberry, blueberry and pomegranate nicely spiced. Velvety in texture and some length on the mid-palate and finish. Ripe, teeth-staining fruit is not usually my cup of tea but this wine does satisfy in its own sturdy way. There is a hint of alcoholic warmth on the finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Sojourn Ridgetop Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.56, 400 cases, $59. Release fall 2020. Vineyard is owned and managed by Thomas Rivers Brown and Fred Schrader. A remote location near Annapolis at 1,000 feet elevation. Goldridge soils with a collection of sandstone and remnants of an ancient seabed. Clones 115, 667 and 777 fermented separately and then blended. 100% de-stemmed, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose offers pleasing aromas of dark berries, cassis and tilled earth. The essence of purple and black berry fruits is vivid and framed by cardamom spice. Silky in texture with gracious tannins and impressive generosity on the finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Sojourn Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.59, 800 cases, $59. Released January 2020. Vineyard is located on Roberts Road at the base of Sonoma Mountain. Cool ocean breezes and Petaluma Gap fog allow for long hang time. Clones 115 (planted in 1998), 777 (planted in 1999), Swan and Mt. Eden. 100%-de-stemmed, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Really nice scent of purple grape and berry that is like the smell of opening a jar of Knott’s Berry Farm boysenberry jam. Mid-weight plus in style, with an array ofd purple berry fruits and added spice. Very fresh with minimal tannins and great harmony. The wine snakes across the palate with ease. The alcohol ids submerged but don’t drink at more than 70 degrees. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.59, 1,025 cases, $69. Released spring 2020. Vineyard has extremely rocky and divigorating soil. Clones 115, faux 828 and 667 fermented separately and then blended. 10% whole cluster ferment. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Reserved aromas of blue and black berries, grass and old wood. Midweight in style and creamy in texture, with an array of ripe dark fruits underlain with a smoky note. Disappointing for Gap’s Crown Vineyard bottling as a bit shallow on the mid palate and a very modest finish that displays some alcoholic warmth. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Sojourn Reuling Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.59, 425 cases, $69. Released fall 2020. Vineyard is perched on a small hillside at an elevation of 250 feet just off Highway 116 between Graton and Forestville. Goldridge soils. Clones are Calera and two suitcase selections from Vosne- Romanée. 100% de-stemmed. Three clones fermented separately and then blended prior to bottling. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of blackest cherry, brioche, baking spice and oak stave. An array of dark red fruit flavors are gathered in a mid-weight plus style showing good energy and gentle tannins. The wine enters with intent but loses focus on exit. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »


Robert Parker’s 100 point wine scoring system, which became popular in 1983 and adopted by the Wine Spectator in 1988, has been a homing beacon for consumers seeking to buy good wine. Currently, a majority of United States based wine critics and magazines use the 100 point scale.

The reality is that the 100 point scale is actually a 10 point scale. MORE»
A Note About Prices

Price shown in a tasting note is either the winery-direct price or the retail price paid by the Prince.