Notable Pinots

Listed here are all of the Pinots that The Prince feels deserve special mention.

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(92 wines)

2018 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

13.98% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.62,. 62.5% Garys’ Vineyard and 37.5% Rosella’s Vineyard. 77.9% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 37.5% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry and berry with exotic spices. A mid weight assortment of dark fruits saturate the mid palate and carry over through a generous finish. A tad more tannin than the 2017 bottling presumably due to the increased whole cluster but when tasted on the fifth day after opening, the tannins had modulated. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Clarice Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.05% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.64. 80.8% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 72.7% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The most appealing and seductive aromatic profile among the 2017 and 2018 wines. Whole cluster inspired aromas of dark cherry, burnt tobacco, pine sap and spice. Engaging core of mid weight plus dark red fruits framed by fine-grain tannins. This wine is bursting with fruit goodness, yet there is a compatible contribution of tannins to hold the wine in perfect balance. Absolutely glorious when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle 5 days later. The finish seems to stick like glue to the palate. Score: 97. Reviewed June 18, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Clarice Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.08% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.59. 76.2% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 72.7% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Deep, dark and mysterious aromas of black fruits with an earthy tone. A little more fruit concentration and structure than the Rosella’s and not as welcoming at this stage. Still, the flamboyant fruit has charm, the suede tannins add textural seduction and the finish goes on and on and on. Still stellar when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle 5 days after opening. Cellaring will be beneficial, but this will always be the baddest boy in the three wine lineup. Score: 95. Reviewed June 18, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Phelps Creek Cuvée Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Oregon Pinot Noir

Unreleased, unlabeled bottle. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherry and mushroomy earth. Light to mid-weight in sap and quite fruit forward, displaying flavors of purple grape, cherry and spice. Excellent harmony with notable elegance, and a substantial grip of black cherry fruit that persists on the lengthy finish. More desirable when sampled the following day from a previously opened bottle with more prancing fruit engaged with very fine-grain tannins and bashful oak. Score: 94. Reviewed May 25, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 RAEN Fort Ross Seaview Sea Field Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $80. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry, boysenberry, subtle oak and salt air draw you in. The mid weight core of black cherry and blackberry fruits are framed by moderate tannins the most of the three 2018 RAEN Pinots). There is a slight herbal tone. The dry finish is very long and dripping with fruit. The wine is most agreeable when tasted two days after opening indicating age ability. Score: 94. Reviewed June 14, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 RAEN Freestone Occidental Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., $90. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of underbrush, potpourri and floridity present initially with dark fruits chiming in over time in the glass, culminating in a glorious experience. Well-bred medium weight flavors of black cherry and blackberry are accented with a subtle dried herb note. A delightful wine with a rich middle palate, gracious harmony and a creamy mouthfeel. The finish is intensely fruity and remarkably long like a 3-hour movie you don’t want to end. Simply delicious and still engaging two days after opening. Score: 96. Reviewed June 14, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2018 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 210 cases, $80. Harvest Brix 23.8º. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The enticing nose is a wonderland of aromas including cherry, spice, forest floor, and pine needles. The dreamy texture makes an impression immediately. Very enjoyable upon opening in a light to mid-weight style featuring a core of well-spiced redder fruits. A stellar wine with engaging freshness and gossamer tannins, finishing unusually long. There is something about this wine that is hard to put into words but you know it is special. Perhaps it is the fact that it offers complexity rather than brute sap. Most certainly, it is the forty-year-old vines speaking. In any case, this beauty has the balance to age for many years and I am sure it will bring many oohs and aah down the line. Still magnificent when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed May 25, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Alma Fria Holtermann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 140 cases, $70. Clones 115, 777, “828,” and Pommard 5. 20% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The most alluring nose in the 2017 lineup, offering scents of blackberry syrup, leather and redwood, gathering ebullience over time in the glass. Somewhat rich in concentration in a nearly full-bodied style with a core of black cherry and cassis flavors underlain by notes of wild herbs, and framed by harmonious tannins and acidity. A wine of sophisticated composure with a fruit-laden finish that goes on and on. Still superb when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed March 22, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Benovia Bella Una Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2 % alc.. · Dark garnet color in the glass. This winemaker’s selection brings together all the best features of the vineyard designates. The concentration is more tempered and the wine is more sophisticated. Aromas of purple berry, warm baking spice and biscuit lead to a mid weight plus style wine offering a discreet arsenal of purple and black fruit flavors. Very suave and sleek, with impeccable harmony, a shadow of oak, and a very long finish replete with an abundance of boysenberry goodness. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Big Basin Vineyards Alfaro Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 155 cases, $60. Vines planted in sandy gravelly loam and 18 years of age. Clones 115, 667, 777. 100% whole cluster, native fermentation. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Full review on page 2 of this issue. · Score: 94-95. Reviewed February 17, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Big Table Farm Earth Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 104 cases, $105, $240 magnum. Released April 15, 2019. 4 barrels that are the best of the vintage. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lively and captivating aromas of black cherry, spice, fertile soil and pipe smoke. Delicious mid weight flavors of blueberry, black cherry, black raspberry, spice and burnt tobacco. Discretely concentrated with a noticeable mid palate impression and finish. Silky in texture, with felty, fine-grain tannins on the backend. Excellent balance and sure to go the distance. Spice up your life with this beauty. Score: 95. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.44% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.72. Screw cap. 85.7% Rosella’s Vineyard and 14.3% Garys’ Vineyard. 57% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 42.8% new. Combines the structure of Garys’ Vineyard with the fruit-forward character of Rosella’s Vineyard. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of cherry, blueberry, rose petal, mushroom and dusty oak. Suave in the mouth with good energy, offering mid weight flavors of black cherry and spice. The explosion of fruit raises the senses. Nicely composed with a memorable finish. Re-tasted 4 days after opening the bottle with similar results and the finish again making an impression. I agree with Adam on this wine in that it is not a lesser appellation wine but rather a different expression of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Clarice Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.72. Screw cap. 58% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 83.3% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass Deep aromas of red cherry and berry, cola, spice and sweet pipe smoke. A terrific wine with a plethora of dark red and blue fruits and a savory thread in a soft, sleek and satisfying package. The wine has impressive energy, merged tannins and a very lengthy finish. Wonderful now, but will age beautifully. Still grand when tasted 4 days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Clarice Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.69. Screw cap. 54% whole cluster fermented. Aged in French oak barrels, 66.6% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of dark cherry and spice box. A tad richer and more structured than the Rosella’s bottling. Exquisitely composed with a wide range of dark fruit flavors and a touch of spice. There is a good acidic vibe and the finish is amazingly long. When tasted from a previously opened bottle after 4 days, the wine was still superb but will be even more rewarding in a few years. Score: 96. Reviewed June 18, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Cristom Jessie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.54, 917 cases, $65. this vineyard is one of the steepest vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley. 51% whole clusters, native yeast fermentation, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 53% new. Fined with egg whites and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A beguiling nose of black cherry, black raspberry and baking spice aromas. The core of gently oak-embossed darker berry and stone fruits attracts notice on entry and finish. Trim and toned, with reserved tannins and a spectacular finish that lingers. I was still taken by this wine when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Cristom Louise Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 725 cases, $65. Unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Enthralling aromas of muddled cherry and sous bois. Very juicy, with vivid flavors of purple and black fruits and spice. Impeccable balance, with an energetic and extremely long finish. Choose any superlative you want. I fell hard for this one that was still enchanting when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Score: 96. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.56, 876 cases, $65. Clones 114, 115, 777, Pommard and Wädenswil. 48% whole clusters, native yeast fermentation, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 67% new. Fined with egg whites and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. This wine has more tannic “guts,” but also the most concentrated fruit. Lovely aromas of dark red cherry, spice, brioche and rose petal. Mid weight plus in style, featuring waves of dark red and purple fruits that saturate the palate. Bold, yet charming, with enough juicy acidity to balance the tannic backbone. I was more enamored with the wine when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Merci! Score: 97. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 384, cases, $65. Clones are Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 115 and 777. 51% whole clusters, native yeast fermentation, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 75% new. Fined with egg whites and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of black cherry, rose and leaf. The fruit trends more to the dark red spectrum in this middleweight wine. The ripe tannins are in gorgeous balance, and the lasting finish soars with exceptional cherry goodness. More expressive and more seductive when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Evening Land Seven Springs Estate Anden Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc.,1,800 bottles, $100 ($200 magnum). Last vintage from these old vines. Aged in 100% new Ermitage French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is rather exotic with scents of darker fruits and mysterious spices. Suave and gracious on the palate in a middleweight style with giving flavors of purple and black fruits framed by restrained tannins. The fruit core is complimented with flavors of earth, animale, and tobacco making this wine quite distinctive. Better when tasted several hours after opening. Needs a few years in the cellars to unfold. Score: 94. Reviewed October 26, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Evening Land Seven Springs Estate La Forêt Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc.,1,200 bottles, $(available only as part of the Reserve Allocation). Debut vintage. Sourced solely from the prized La Forêt (“the forest”)Vineyard at the summit of Seven Springs Vineyard. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A glorious combination of darker red berry fruits and earth tone in a mid weight styled wine. Luscious yet light on its feet with impeccable balance. A captivating, sexy wine that aims to please with its silky tannins and extremely long finish. Wow! Score: 95. Reviewed October 26, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Evesham Wood Sojeau Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 150 cases, $36. Released Autumn 2019. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 15% new.Formerly known as Sojourner Vineyard, this vineyard was first planted in 2007 at 583 feet elevation in volcanic soils. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Spellbinding aromas of red and black raspberry and exotic spices. A charge of delicious dark red cherry and raspberry fruit flavors that show exceptional purity. Mid weight plus in style, with felty tannins balancing the expressive fruit. Very giving, with an uncommonly generous finish. This wine stands out from the pack. Note: I have found Sojourner Vineyard designated Pinot Noir offered by a number of producers to be consistently outstanding so this is a vineyard to hang your hat on. Score: 94. Reviewed March 8, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Evesham Wood Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 74 cases, $36. 100+ acres managed by Dai Crisp. Pommard clone planted on its own roots in 1982. Primarily Jory soils. 800 feet elevation. Certified organic by Oregon Tilth in 2012. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, all neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas purple and black berries arrive slowly over time in the glass. Intensely fruity in a mid weight style with plenty of black cherry and blackberry fruit goodness. More rugged and closed initially in comparison to the other Evesham Wood 2017 Pinot Noirs, but when sampled several hours after opening, the wine had become more cohesive with a seductively satiny mouthfeel. The sturdy but not muscular tannic frame is typical of this vineyard. A very individualistic and distinctive wine of uncommon pedigree that reflects its old vine heritage. Score: 94. Reviewed March 8, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Evesham Wood Cuvée J Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 150 cases, $55. Released Autumn 2019. A 6-barrel selection displaying elegance along with concentration and power. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. The best Pinot Noir the winery has to offer. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. This wine reminds me of the Le Puits Sec bottling but ramped up a notch with more noticeable drive and purpose. The array of aromas include cherry compote, dried herbs, damp earth and a whiff of teasing oak. This charming wine delights with lavish flavors of black cherry, boysenberry, spice, dried herbs including sage and mushroom. This impeccably balanced wine has a silken texture and a hi-collared demeanor on the palate. The finish is flat-out extravagant. As good as the wine is now, it will definitely benefit from more time in bottle at which time it deserves to be the centerpiece of a celebration. Score: 94. Reviewed March 8, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $55. 100-acre vineyard nestled in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. A blend of many of the best blocks on this cool, foggy vineyard site including clones 667, 777, “828,” Pommard and a suitcase selection. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Terrific array of aromas including black cherry, blackberry, red rose petal, cardamom spice and a hint of vanilla. The impressive harmony strikes a chord with the first sip. Mid-weight plus flavors of dark cherry and raspberry that stand out for their freshness. A big mouthful of fruit let lithe on the palate with fine-grain tannins and amazing fruit intensity that lingers on the finish. Score: 94. Reviewed June 14, 2020 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 550 cases, $59. This vineyard is located 3.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean at 935 feet elevation. Farm management is by Ulises Valdez (RIP). Planted in 1998 to clone 114. Soils are Graywacke, sandstone. 100% whole cluster, native fermentation, fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged on the lees without racking for 11 months in 100% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of dark cherry, burnt tobacco, woodland spice and bark really draw you into the glass. Seamless in a mid weight style, with flavors of spiced dark red and purple fruits that dance on the palate. More demure in this vintage, with cohesive tannins and an awesome finish displaying echos of aromatic goodness. Superb in every way, and even a little more demonstrative when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Kutch Bohan Vineyard Graveyard Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 100 cases, $Not released. Sourced from a single block within the Bohan Vineyard. Soils here are the rockiest on the ranch and create a distinct wine. 100% whole cluster, native fermentation, aged 11 months without racking on the lees in 100% neutral French oak barrels. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of spiced cherry, turned earth and tobacco ash. Light to mid weight in an elegant style, featuring well spiced red fruits with the slightest confected tone. The rocky soil seems to give this wine a distinctive character that defies my best efforts at description. There are noticeable, healthy tannins that provide textural interest. But the most striking feature is the impossibly long finish that is described as “fantastic” in my notes. Considerably more enjoyable when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing demonstrative aromas of spiced cherry, potpourri and sweet pipe smoke. Score: 94. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 350 cases, $64. The coldest site in the Kutch vineyard lineup. Dijon “828,” 777 and 115 were planted in 2001 in marine quartz sandstone and Goldridge soil. Vineyard is located at 550 feet elevation, 8.4 miles from the Pacific Ocean on the second ridge inland. The berries are often the size of peas and yields are below 1 ton-per-acre. 100% whole cluster, native fermentation, fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged 17 months on the lees with out racking in 100% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The aromas of black cherry, blueberry, spice and sweet mulch really soar over time in the glass. This is the kind of perfume you could dab behind the ears for a pheromone effect. A wine of substance that engages and caresses the palate with flavors of black cherry, blueberry, savory herbs and tobacco. Modest, matching tannins and a really long and juicy finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was dreamy and the overall impression was harmony. I have been to the mountain top and it is good. Score: 97. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Loring Wine Company Rancho La Viña Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.68, 200 cases, $54, screw cap. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 15% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Seductive aromas of blueberry, blackberry and BBQ spice rub. Long in the mouth and finish with a perfectly ripened core of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit embellished with a dash of spice. Sleek in texture, refined in character, with a strikingly long finish. Score: 94. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Loring Wine Company Clos Pepe Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.59, 400 cases, $54, screw cap. Clones 115 and 777. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 15% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Uplifting aromas of black cherry and spice rub lead to a mid weight plus styled wine with a generous core of delicious black cherry and purple berry fruit. Supple tannins provide marvelous support and the energetic acidity adds vigor. A compelling wine with an extremely long finish. Score: 94. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Loring Wine Company Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.62, 200 cases, $54, screw cap. Clones 667 and Pisoni. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 15% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Grand aromas of purple grape, boysenberry and sandalwood. My first word after taking a sip was Wow! An ephemeral wine with flat-out delicious, well-spiced, dark red cherry fruit that really captures the palate with goodness. Wondrous harmony with endless aromatic pleasure on the finish. Praise the Lord! Gary Franscioni really knows how to raise wine grapes! Score: 95. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Morgan Double L Vineyard Clone RC Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.66, 100 cases, $65. Cuttings smuggled from a very famous vineyard in Burgundy were grafted to a small block at the top of the estate Double L Vineyard. Organic grapes were 100% destemmed. Native yeast induced whole berry fermentation in open top tanks. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Bright aromas of cherry, spice and sous-bois. Light to mid weight in concentration and elegant in style, with flavors of red cherry, raspberry and cranberry with an accent of spice and botanical goodness. A dreamy, feminine wine with terrific balance and oak management that aims to please out of the chute. Score: 94. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Morgan Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.66, 103 cases, $65. Clone 777. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of dark red cherry, purple berry, spice and peat. Delicious mid weight core of well-spiced black cherry and raspberry fruits with a compliment of toasty oak. Gracious and silky in texture, culminating in a lengthy, generous and lip-smacking finish. This is righteous juice that emotes. Score: 94. Reviewed April 16, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Morgan Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.69, 80 cases, $65. “Pisoni clone” planted in 1997. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in open-top tanks, and aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 57% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Hold on to your hats when you pop the cork on this one! Engaging aromas of dark red berry and cherry and spice. The dark red and purple berry fruits really grab your attention on entry, showing the extra class that is typical of this vineyard. Very seductive, with a silken mouthfeel, masterful oak management, and plenty of juicy vitality. The ridiculously long finish stands out among the 2017 Morgan Pinot Noirs sampled on this day. A joyous wine to drink the following day as well from a previously opened bottle. It is wines like this that made me fall in love with Pinot Noir in the first place. Score: 96. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Paul Lato “C’est la Vie” Drum Canyon Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $75. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy aromas initially of purple and black fruits. A real mouthful of black raspberry and blackberry fruits in a mid weight plus style. Very polished, with silken tannins, a suave mouthfeel and long, sappy finish. Considerably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the aromas and tastes of fruit and spice came alive. Score: 94. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Paul Lato “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $90. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry jam, mushroom and comfy oak. Very charming in a mid weight plus style, with waves of black cherry, pomegranate, botanical and spice flavors that trigger all the pleasure centers in the mind. Sleek, with integrated alcohol, adroit oak impression, and a long, purple berry-infused finish. Considerably more appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Pisoni always seems to be a step above. Score: 95. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Lucia Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 750 cases, $65. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of black cherry, spice and cinnamon toast. The core of chewy dark red and black cherry is delicious and really makes an impression off the bat. Bright acidity provides good energy, the tannins are mellow, the compliment of oak satisfies, and the finish is noticeably intense and lasting. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 725 cases, $90. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of dark raspberry, blackest cherry, rose petal and toast. Very charming array of dark red and black fruits with an inviting touch of spice. Firm but not foreboding tannins support the fruit load nicely, producing only a trace of astringency on the finish. Silken in texture and rather elegant in this vintage yet fat enough in the mouth to satisfy fruit hedonists. Some of the black cherry fragrance returns to haunt the long, long finish. Needs more time in the cellar to fully assimilate the tannins, find full fruit expression, and reach an orgasmic level. Score: 95. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Privé Vineyard Joie de Vivre Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 300 magnificently etched and signed bottles, $105. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The very deep cherry aroma is complimented by gracious oak. A step up in hedonism, offering a mid weight charge of darker cherry and purple berry fruits that saturate the palate. Plush and expansive in the mouth, yet still feminine in demeanor, with valued inherent structure. The texture is seductively smooth and the finish is ridiculously long. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, my notes say “Mind-boggling!” Score: 95. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 RAEN Royal St. George Cuvée Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $60. Named in honor of Dante and Carlo Mondavi’s grandfather. A selection of the finest barrels giving a window into the cool westerly hills of the true Sonoma Coast. Clones are Pommard, “828,” 667, Calera and rVR1. Goldridge soils. Whole cluster, native fermentation. Aged in neutral French oak barrels. Bottled without fining or filtration. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A whole cluster-driven nose featuring aromas of cherry, pine sap and burnt tobacco. Very sleek, seamless and sexy, with a mid weight core of black cherry fruit, accented with exotic spices. Good vibrancy and mellow tannins, finishing intense and long with a dark cherry aromatic theme. Score: 94. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 RAEN Home Field Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $80. The winery’s most westerly site, 4.8 acres located just under two miles from the Pacific Ocean. Whole cluster, native fermentation. Aged in neutral French oak barrels. Bottled without fining or filtration. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of cherry and dark red berries. Elegantly composed, with broad flavors of dark red and purple berries with just the right oak and spice seasoning. Honed tannins and defining acidity fuel the harmony. The finish is gracious and quenching. Score: 94. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 RAEN Bodega Vineyard Freestone Occidental Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., 200 cases, $90. This vineyard sits just 4 miles from the coast. Surrounded by redwoods, pines, wildflowers and coastal oaks. Whole cluster, native barrel fermentation. Aged in neutral French oak barrels. Bottled without fining or filtration. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of fresh cherry, bramble and rose petal. Long in the mouth with a bevy of black cherry, boysenberry, earth and botanical flavors. Impeccably balanced with a seductive finish that seems eternal. Score: 95. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 240 cases, $60. Some whole cluster inclusion. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Very engaging aromas of blackest cherry, cola and dark rose petal. A sleek array of dark red and black stone and berry fruits offer considerable pleasure and excellent energy. Mid weight in extraction, with tender tannins, a hint of nutty oak and a seductively silky mouthfeel. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the composure was exquisite and the finish gained even more length. Score: 94. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Rivers-Marie Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $60. Inaugural vintage from this vineyard. Calera selection. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Appealing aromas of black cherry, fertile soil and rose petal. Juicy and quenching, with a discretely concentrated core of black raspberry and pomegranate fruit. Suave in the mouth, with plenty of acidic verve, finishing long with intense dark raspberry fruit delight. Even more appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle sporting evocative fruit and a gorgeous, lively, and even more flamboyant finish. Score: 94. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 180 cases, $80. Moving into the 40th year of these vines. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Provocative aromas of purple grape, boysenberry and plum. Amazing fruit concentration in a full-bodied style offering an array of black fruit and intriguing spice flavors that fan out on the palate with vigor. Similar to a Pinot Noir grape reduction sauce, but infused with good natural acidity and not compotey. Great harmony with a balancing grip of tannin, and a very long and extremely intense finish. The wine gains respect when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An old vine treasure that has a special aura that defies proper description. Score: 96. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 ROAR Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.58, 756 cases, $62. Calera and Pisoni clones. Aged in French oak barrels, 68% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dirty cherry and complimentary toasty oak. The dark cherry fruit literally explodes on entry in the mouth, holding an expansive court through the mid palate and finishing long and gratifying. Impeccably crafted, with relaxed tannins, deft oak integration and a seamless demeanor. This is a very sensual wine from a special vineyard that delivers uncommon virility with charm. You will want some of this. Score: 95. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 ROAR Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.58, 365 cases, $75. Pisoni clone. Aged in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose reluctantly opens slowly over time to reveal deep aromas of dark fruits and sous bois. Exceptionally pure and intense black cherry fruit with appealing spice, iron and animale undertones. A harmonious edition, with suave tannins, ideal oak integration, and a finish filled with joyous appeal. A consummate connoisseur’s wine that will gain traction with more time in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Small Vines TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 295 cases. · Deep garnet color. Very aromatic with scents of black cherry and peppery spice that draw you into the glass. A charge of well-ripened dark red and purple fruits saturate the palate. Showing fruit adolescent exuberance, and the young tannins need more time to assimilate. There is more fruit extraction and more tannin in this wine but the balance is spot on. Excellent potential. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sojourn Riddle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.60, 400 cases, $59. Release fall 2019. A high-density planted vineyard in Goldridge soil that dates to 2008. Clones 115, “828,” Pommard and Mt. Eden (the “secret sauce” in this wine) fermented separately. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in August 2018. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of red cherry and berry, baking spices and a savory note. Darker fruited on the palate, with glamorous flavors of black cherry, blueberry, boysenberry and spice that attack the palate with intent. Vigorous, but not intrusive tannins provide textural interest. The long finish will make your heart throb. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more expressive on the nose and palate and continued to exhibit the best finish in the lineup of wines tasted. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Sojourn Ridgetop Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.57, 400 cases, $59. Release fall 2019. Vineyard is located in the remote coastal mountains near Annapolis at 1,100 feet elevation. Minuscule yields with concentrated flavors. Clones 115, 667 and 777 de-stemmed and fermented separately in 1- ton open-top fermenters using native yeast. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in August 2018. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is like great sex - hard to describe but a five-alarm sensation. Aromas of exotic spices, blue and black berries and lusty earth. Mid weight plus in style, with a silky fullness and richness that caresses the palate with blue and black berry flavors. Seamless, with a sleek, slightly tannic finish that urges another sip. An alien wine unlike any other in the lineup. Score: 95. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Ten Acre Jenkins Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 228 cases, $68. 7-10% whole cluster. · Shy aromas of smoky black cherry lead to a middleweight wine offering tasty flavors of blue and purple berries. Nicely composed, with chewy tannins and a big finish.When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had opened up and the suave, melt-in-the-mouth texture was appealing as was the sweet blackberry finish. Excellent balance. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Ten Acre Earl Stephens Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 200 cases, $65. This 10-acre vineyard is a warmer site located on a steep hill near Iron Horse Vineyards. Pommard, 115, 777 and 667 clones. 5-10% whole cluster. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry and berry, spice and friendly oak. Seductive flavors of black fruits in a mid weight plus style. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the oak overlay had receded, and the stellar black raspberry finish was exquisite. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Tessier Saveria Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 174 cases, $52. Clone 667, 777 and 115. Organically farmed vineyard. 28% whole cluster. Aged in French oak barrels, 28% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of pine, burnt tobacco, cardamon and cherry. Delicious core of bright dark cherry and raspberry fruit flavors infused with exotic spices, and graced with floral goodness and a hint of tobacco and earth. Seamless, with gracious tannins and generous finishing length. Impressive in every way. Score: 94. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Walter Scott Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $55. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of dark cherry, ripe strawberry, Prada leather coat and toasty oak. Engaging and giving with a mid weight plus core of dark red and purple fruits with an earthy undertone. Slightly gruff but not intrusive tannins, a sleek texture and a very intense and lingering finish The fruit flavor really brings the taste buds to attention. Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Walter Scott Sojourner Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $55. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The aromas really draw you into the glass with a perfume of rose petal, muddled cherry, pomegranate and spice. Highly pleasurable from start to finish, offering mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice. Impeccable balance, with a dry, black cherry infused, bombastic finish. Wow! Score: 95. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Walter Scott Sequitur Vineyard Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $ sold out. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Classic Pinot Noir aromatic profile of crushed cherry, rose petal, exotic spice and congenial oak. Delicious cherry core, even hypnotizing. No hard edges in this wine with balanced tannins, invigorating acidity and a captivating finish flush with cherry goodness. It is easy to find superlatives for this beauty. Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Riservata Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.61, RS 0.00 g/L, 300 cases, $50. Released November 1, 2018. 23% Pommard, 36% 777, 29% 114, and 12% Wädenswil. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, native inoculum, warm fermentation, native ML, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 49% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A step up in seduction, with hi-tone aromas of cherry and savory oak. Quite elegant but flavor packed, offering cherry and Marionberry fruit flavors with a gregarious spice compliment that wakes up every taste bud. Sleek and seamless, while underscored with an ever-so-subtle savory component. Very fine tannins coat the teeth with grace and the barrel treatment is dazzling. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the wine was just about perfect in every way. Dollar for dollar, the best Oregon Pinot Noir I have tasted from the stellar 2016 vintage. Score: 96. Reviewed April 16, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Justina Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.54, RS 0.00 g/L, 300 cases, $95, wax closure. Released November 1, 2018. 100% Dijon 777. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, native inoculum, warm fermentation, native ML, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 78% new. · This wine is completely different from the Riservata, yet admirable in its own way. Moderate garnet color in the glass. Reserved aromas of brooding black fruits. Nearly full bodied in a dense, black-fruited style with somewhat lower acidity and a seductive, velvety mouthfeel. Loads of fruit march with style and grace through the mid palate, culminating in an intense and riveting finish. There is plenty of new oak on this wine but one never thinks oak when drinking it because the fruit load ameliorates it. More enjoyable when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed April 16, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Anaba Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.64, 121 cases, $56. This hilltop vineyard located at 700 feet elevation was planted in 1998 by vintner Steve MacRostie and partners. Clones 115 and 777. Harvest Brix 23.7º 100% destemmed, aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Teasing aromas of darker cherry, graham and spice. On entry, the wine wows you with mid weight flavors of black cherry and spice. The sumptuous texture caresses and the finish leaves behind endless echoes of aromatic goodness. The balance is impeccable, the wine has style and grace, and the overall experience is seductive. Score: 94. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., $69. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherry, strawberry, rose petal and underbrush. The wine’s brightness and purity of red berry and red cherry fruit is very appealing. The fruit is beautifully supported by righteous tannins and crisp acidity, making for seamless drinking. A delightful grip of cherry on the finish reminds of the Dundee Hills origin of this exceptional wine. Even more enchanting when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed November 2, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Old Vines Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., $42. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Boastful aromas of red cherry, strawberry, underbrush, herbal oak and a hint of iron. Dark red fruited in a mid weight style with an underlying earthiness. The fruit is ideally ripened with a superb richness on the middle palate. What really stands out in this wine is the finish that is satiny smooth and uncommonly persistent. This special wine is more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age worthiness. Score: 94. Reviewed November 2, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Au Bon Climat Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $40. This bottling is part of the winery’s Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection. Much of the fruit that Au Bon Climat sources is fruit that has been planted “exclusively” for the winery. 50% Block 2 and 50% Block 11. Main clones are 667 and 115. 50% whole clusters. Aged 18 months in Francois Frères French oak barrels, 80% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of black cherry and tender oak. A very giving wine on the palate, with a gorgeous core of black cherry fruit in a mid weight style. Silky, with polished tannins, a slight savory, dried leaf character, and a seductive grip of cherry on the finish. An impeccably balanced wine that is drinking perfectly now. Score: 94. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Au Bon Climat Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. This bottling is part of the winery’s Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection. Extended cold soak, aged 20 months in Francois Frères French oak barrels. · Light garnet color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasant aromas of oak-kissed red cherry and berry. Admirable in every way, with impressive harmony and class. Red fruits enhanced with baking spices are featured in this middleweight styled wine that offers great elegance, hidden tannins, and a persistent finish. This is the best example from this vineyard that I have tasted in recent memory. Score: 94. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Benovia Martaella Estate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $60. 42 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay located in the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Combined volcanic and sedimentary soils (Huichica loam). 14 different clones planted. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose opens beautifully over time in the glass, revealing a perfume of black raspberry, blackberry, spice and wine cave. Attacking black cherry and black raspberry fruits with a spice accent in a mid weight style framed by a whisper of oak. A gentle, comforting wine that is creamy on the palate, with enjoyable length in the mouth and on the finish. The aromatics became really seductive when the wine was tasted a day later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Benovia Bella Una Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $80. A winemaker selection of barrels that are the best expression of the vintage. · Aromas of interest evolve over time including boysenberry, blackberry and sweet oak. Mid weight plus in style with a core of well-ripened purple and black berry fruits. Well-structured for aging with a remarkably long finish filled with boysenberry fruit. The wine is reclusive upon opening but surfaces over time in the glass and is much more expressive when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The potential is obvious, but this special wine needs coaxing through decanting, or preferably, a few years in the cellar. The most backward wine in the lineup. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $60. Sourced from the Zio Tony Ranch Vineyard that is located along the Laguna Ridge at the edge of the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA. The vineyard is farmed in conjunction with the Martinelli family. High density planting of 2,420 vines per acre, including clones 777 and “828.” The site was once an apple orchard so to pay homage to the history of the site the wine is named “La Pommeraie,” French for apple orchard. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is flat-out terrific when allowed time and sampled a day ofter bottle opening. The perfume of blackberry, cassis and spice will bring you to your knees. A very polished wine in a mid weight plus style featuring waves of purple berry, blackberry, and plum fruits, accompanied by the right touch of spice and vanilla. There is very good structure, but the tannins are like suede. The long, succulent finish will bring you to your knees if the nose hasn't already. Score: 94-95. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $75. Vineyard originally planted in 1970 to a massale selection, likely Martini 13 and Pommard. This vineyard outdates most other plantings in the Russian River Valley by 20+ years. Farmed organically, yields are typically just over 1 ton-per-acre. This bottling is the outlier in the lineup for it offers much less fruit sap, but still is captivating in its own way. Aromas of cherry and sandalwood lead to a mid weight core of black raspberry and black cherry fruits dusted with oak. Even a hint of root beer shows up. Modest tannins and juicy acidity, soft and caressing in the mouth. Less concentrated fruit here, but more nuance, interest and charm. · Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Benovia Tilton Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $60. A 12-acre vineyard three ridges inland from the Pacific Ocean. This cool site pushes the boundaries of cool-climate viticulture, with temperatures rarely reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Goldridge sandy loam soil. Dijon and heirloom clones. · Very dark garnet color in the glass. Searching for adequate descriptives, I think of this wine as freakish, profound and flat out ridiculous. I have rarely tasted such concentrated fruit in a Pinot Noir. The gorgeous nose sets the stage with seductive aromas of blackberry juice, blackest cherry and spice. On entry, there is a full charge of boysenberry and blackberry hedonistic fruit that is expansive in the mouth and seems to last an eternity on the finish. The wine is about as big fruited as Pinot gets, yet it retains all of Pinot’s charms. There is amazing phenolic ripeness here at a relatively low alcohol level. The mouthfeel is very soothing, oak is deftly managed, and there is gratuitous balance to boot. I consider this a glorious wine, not because of its prodigious fruit, but because it delivers the fruit in a very harmonious package. I rarely have tasted anything quite like it. Like all the wines tasted from 2016, it was as good or a little better when sampled the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 96-97. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Big Basin Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 414 cases, $55. Release November 2018. 18-year-old vines. Clones include Mt Eden (50%), 667 and a Swan selection. Harvest Brix 22.7º-23.0º and one lot 24.5º. Fermented 100% whole cluster, native yeast, and aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is replete with whole cluster goodness including aromas of dark cherry, exotic spices, burnt pipe tobacco and compost. Heady fruits including black cherry, boysenberry and blackberry are accented with redeeming notes of spice and tobacco, and framed by silky and supple tannins. The mouthfeel is comforting, oak is judiciously integrated, and the juicy, long finish leaves quite a gratifying impression. Even more striking when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has personality. Score: 94. Reviewed October 12, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Monterey County Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 335 cases, $55. Release January 2019. Vineyard located between the Chalone AVA and the Mt. Harlan AVA in the Gabilan Mountains. Dijon clones 667, 777, 114 and 115, and Swan and Pisoni selections. One lot fermented 60% whole cluster and the rest 100% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 42% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of black cherry, purple grape, spice cabinet and mulch soar in this gifted wine. Black cherry and boysenberry fruit flavors flood the mouth with goodness. There is plenty of spice and smart oak to enhance the pleasure. The balance is spot-on with exquisitely integrated tannins, acidity and oak, the mouthfeel is sleek and polished, and the finish is uplifting and juicy. Flat-out amazing when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle the following day. Both swagger and finesse in one package. Score: 96. Reviewed October 12, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Big Table Farm Earth Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 105 cases, $105. Released April 17, 2018. 100% whole cluster fermentation. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The name of this wine is appropriate because their is an appealing earthiness that pervades the experience. A bit of whole cluster goodness shows up on the nose that offers aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, exotic spices, rose petal and burnt tobacco. The mid weight core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit provides plenty of vim and vigor. There is a seamless quality to the wine with perfectly integrated oak and t n’a. A subtle smokiness belies some fruit from Pelos-Sandberg Vineyard in this wine. More ostentatious when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Big Table Farm Sunnyside Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

326 cases, $62. Release August 2018. Old Wädenswil vines. Owners have farmed this vineyard for over 30 years. Hen and chick at Big Table Farm on the label. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. This is a striking wine of uncommon excellence from the get-go. Perfumed with scents of black cherry, plump purple grape, fertile earth and spice. Glamorous and sexy in a light to mid weight style offering flavors of cherry and raspberry that make love to the palate. Sleek and lacy, with suave tannins, a deft touch of oak and a finish with both good tension and length. Still superb when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. The pick of the litter. Score: 95. Reviewed October 12, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Black Kite Stony Terrace Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.64, 132 cases, $60. Pommard clone. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose features ripe, black fruits along with noticeable gravelly “minerality.” Prodigious purple and black fruits flood the mouth with goodness, backed by bold tannins in a mid weight plus style. The wine builds in appeal over time in the glass and when tasted the following day. The seamless finish is gloriously long. Score: 94. Reviewed November 2, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Black Kite Redwood’s Edge Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.64, 132 cases, $60. Dijon 114 and 115 clones. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Deep aromas of dark cherry and blueberry-pomegranate. The mid weight plus palate of long and powerful black fruits are framed by integrated bold tannins. There is a nice complement of grilling spice flavor with a deft kiss of oak. The finish is blissful and lengthy and the balance is flat-out impeccable. Extremely seductive when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, again showing off gracious harmony. Score: 95. Reviewed November 2, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Broadley Vineyards Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 300 cases, $55. Clones 777 and Wädenswil. Wild yeast fermentation in open-top French oak wood fermenters. 100% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of red cherry, red berry, spice and burnt tobacco. Remarkably delightful even at this early stage, offering a layered mid weight core of darker cherry and berry fruits that are tenacious through the mid palate and the long, chewy aftertaste. The oak treatment is deftly integrated, but some more time will be needed to ameliorate the fruit tannins. Still, this is a stellar wine of uncommon breeding and class from a vineyard that shone bright in this vintage. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Broadley Vineyards Jessica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $50. Named for Morgan Broadley’s wife and partner in Broadley Vineyards. Produced from Dijon 667 and 115 clones on the estate vineyard surrounding the Broadley’s home. Wild yeast fermentation, significant percentage of whole cluster. Fermented in 5-ton French oak open-top wooden fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged n14-18 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas blossom beautifully over time in the glass, offering notes of darker cherry, boysenberry, violets and a hint of beneficial nutty and vanillin oak. Very suave in the mouth with gracious, silken tannins, becoming more engaging with time. Middleweight in concentration, with well-bred, saucy flavors of black cherry and black raspberry. Enviable balance, with lasting flavors on the finish. Irresistible when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed November 2, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Brooks Note Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.65, 250 cases, $44. Rochioli selection and Wädenswil 2A clone from the lower, eastern block planted in 1992 and a Romaneé-Conti selection from the higher, western block. 10% whole cluster. 3-day cold soak, native yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 33% new, 66% neutral. Bottled in March 2017. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Seductive aromas of black cherry, raspberry, spice cabinet and a hint of toasty oak. Fresh and invigorating in the mouth, with a charge of ripe cherry and raspberry fruit with a hint of cola. The tannic backbone is finely tuned and the finish hangs on for what seems like at least 30 seconds. A real charmer. You should stock up on this one at this price. Score: 95. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Calera Reed Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.63, 375 cases, $75. 5.94 acres planted at 2,200 feet in limestone soils in 1975. 726 vines per acre, yield 1.0 tons per acre. Calera selection. Harvest Brix 25.4º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 20% second vintage and 50% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing, with scents of fresh, dark cherry and boysenberry, spice and modest toasty oak. Dark red cherry and purple berry fruits are featured in this mid weight styled wine that is sleek in the mouth and finishes long with waves of sweet strawberry and boysenberry fruit. The wine is exquisitely balanced with tannins that are more reserved than the de Villiers bottling. Much more engaging when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A superb wine. Score: 94. Reviewed June 19, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Calera Jensen Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.63, 1,000 cases, $95. 13.6 acres planted in limestone soils in 1975 at 2,200 feet elevation. 726 vines per acre yield 0.9 tons per acre. Calera selection. Harvest Brix 24.5º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 20% second vintage and 50% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of plum, blackest cherry, and sous bois. Gracious in the mouth, with a mid weight core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits with deft oak dressing. Firm, but not intrusive tannins and noticeable cut on the the finish that goes on and on. There are several features of this wine that make it special including the seductive texture, the energy imparted by good natural acidity, the purity of fruit flavor, the subtle savory thread, and the extremely long, grand cru finish. Much more appealing when sampled the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An exceptional wine. Score: 95. Reviewed June 19, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Cattleya Wines Donum Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 65 cases, $70. Sourced from the West Slope block containing the vineyard’s oldest vines. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black raspberry, dried dark rose petal and spice are enticing. Deep, dark and mysterious, with a generous amount of sappy black fruits touched by oak and supported by sleek tannins. Very polished, with a sexy, plush texture, and finishing long and dry. A bit reserved upon opening, showing off more when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Coehlo Coehlo Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.58, RS 0.3 g/L, 94 cases, $45. 50% 777 and 50% Pommard clones. Harvest Brix 22.5º. 100% de-stemmed, 3 to 5-day cold soak, 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 25% new for 14 months and in stainless steel for 2 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of black cherry infused with gentle oak-driven notes of spice and vanilla. The luscious fruit veers to the ripe side, but the flavors of black cherry, pomegranate and blackberry are captivating. Silky in the mouth, with impressive intensity and length and a giving finish. This wine was considerably more harmonious when tasted from an opened bottle later in the day. The richest of the three 2016 Pinot Noirs. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Coehlo Zeitoun Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, RS 0.4 g/L, 95 cases, $45. Unknown clones. Harvest Brix 23.0º. 100% de-stemmed, 3 to 5-day cold soak, full malolactic fermentation. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% neutral. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of a range of dark fruits and a hint of vanilla. Clean, polished and impeccably balanced in a mid weight style featuring an array of perfectly ripened purple and black fruits blessed with adroit oak input. A flat-out gorgeous wine that slides through the mid palate and finish likes its lubricated. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Coeur de Terre Renelle’s Block Reserve McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 69 cases, $65. Willakenzie sedimentary soils. The oldest block on Coeur de Terre Vineyard planted in the spring of 1999. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Expressive aromas of blackberry, cassis, and vanilla. Notably graceful and polished with a discretely concentrated core of blackberry and pomegranate fruit flavors. The exquisite balance and extremely long finish make this wine stand out among all the 2016 Block offerings. Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 300 cases, $69. This is the only vineyard that was kept intact when the property was bought in 1992 and has old time wide row spacing. That said, this is always my favorite vineyarddesignate from Cristom. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Deep aromas of black cherry, spice and burnt tobacco. Decisive attack of black cherry fruit in a mid weight style with just the right accent of oak spice. Reserved, fine-grain tannins add support and lend a hand to the suave texture. Still a bit reserved but can be enjoyed now and the balance predicts at least ten years of pleasure down the road. There are only three things in life that are certain: death, taxes and the excellence of Cristom Pinot Noir. Score: 96. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 DION Old Vines Special Release Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 99 cases, $60. Release April 2019. 100% self-rooted, nonirrigated Pommard clone from a 10-acre block planted in 1976. Harvest Brix 25.1º. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. · This is one of those wines that elicits emotion from the first sip. Gorgeous perfume of spiced cherries and blueberry-pomegranate fruits. Vigorous with black cherry flavor that is long and expansive in the mouth accompanied by impeccable harmony. Flavor packed, yet elegant, with supportive fine-grain tannins, integrated oak, juicy acidity and a ridiculously long finish. It is wines like this that have me proclaiming that Pommard is my paramour. A flat-out beautiful wine! Score: 96. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Nicolas-Jay Bishop Creek Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.60, 150 cases, $100. Release spring 2019. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% neutral. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Slightly shy aromas of dark berries, spice, potpourri and underbrush. Broad and sappy flavors of dark berries and pomegranate in a mid weight plus style, backed by discreetly vigorous tannins and a complimentary barrel presence. The very long, fruit-laden finish is aristocratic. Built for the cellar, this wine is a bit impenetrable now, but the charming mouthful of fruit, the bold structure and the excellent balance predicts a promising future. It should be more amendable by the time it is released next spring. Stash this wine in your cellar and drink the Willamette Valley bottling now. Score: 94. Reviewed August 24, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Azaya Ranch Vineyard Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.58, 246 cases, $62. This Marin County vineyard was planted by Mark Pasternak for the McEvoy family. Clones 667, “828,” and 115. Great natural acidity is a hallmark of this site. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Easy to find superlatives for this beauty that offers enticing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, pomegranate, spice and rose petal aromas. Plush and engaging on the palate in a mid weight plus style feature a gorgeous array of fruits including blueberry, blackberry and raspberry. This wine has impressive harmony, freshness and vibrancy that draw the drinker back to the glass. Simply sublime. Score: 95. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch - Emerald Ridge Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.58, 798 cases, $62. Vineyard planted by Steve Dutton in 2001. Clones “828,” Pommard, 2A, and 667. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, opentop fermentation of clonal blocks separately. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry preserves and forest floor lead to vigorous mid weight flavors of earth-kissed purple and black berry fruits. The supportive oak chimes in with a hint of toast, spice and savory tobacco. The wine offers a glossy mouthfeel with integrated tannins and a perfumed, cherry-fueled finish. Wines like this are a blessing. Score: 94. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield McDougall Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.55, 392 cases, $62. The vineyard sits on a ridge at 1,100 feet neighboring Hirsch and Martinelli vineyards. 9-acres planted to two Dijon clones. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh black raspberry, black cherry, vanilla and fertile earth. The black cherry and boysenberry fruits show impressive phenolic ripeness in this mid weight plus styled wine. The fruit seems to grab hold of the palate on attack and refuse to let go on the finish. The balance is impeccable with envious integration of oak, and the overall impression is delight. Score: 94. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Redwood Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.60, 502 cases, $62. The 32-acre Putnam Vineyard is located in the Annapolis area of the far Sonoma Coast six miles from the Pacific Ocean. The site is above the fog line and surrounded by giant redwoods native to the area. The combination of gravelly soil and deficit irrigation leads to low yielding vines producing thick-skinned, small berries and concentrated flavors. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. I loved the intriguing nose of Bing cherry, exotic spice, clove, and woodsy perfume. This delicious beauty makes you sit up in your chair. Luscious mid weight flavors of boysenberry, black cherry and briar are complimented by gracious tannins and invigorating acidity. The oak is deftly positioned, the elegant composure is alluring, and the finish is like a Hollywood movie you never want to end. The epitome of Pinot Noir. Score: 95. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Deviate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.59, 499 cases, $72. A blend of grapes from Jentoft Vineyard in Green Valley planted to the Calera clone by Steve Dutton in 2003, and Putnam Vineyard near Annapolis on the far Sonoma Coast. 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, open-top fermentation. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. A message of quality is clear in this wine that leads off with aromas of black cherry, wine cave and nutty oak. Expansive, mouth filling purple and black berry fruits engage the mid palate with purpose and persist through a very long finish. There is just a kiss of oak, a touch of spice, and a subtle smoky thread. The tannins are invisible and the overall impression is one of harmony. Even better when tasted two days after opening. Score: 94. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 En Garde Starkey Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.,138 cases, $60. 30+ year-old vines including clones 23, Pommard and “828.” Harvest Brix 24.8º-25.6º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with upbeat aromas of black cherry, baking spices and nutty oak. A deeply flavored black cherry core brings the taste buds to attention in this middleweight styled wine. A real cherry delight with impeccable oak integration, silky tannins and a wondrous finish. This wine took two days after opening to really reach its peak, when my notes say “great!” Score: 94. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 En Garde Pleasant Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 98 cases, $60. Vineyard is located in Sebastopol near Starkey’s Hill. 25+ year-old vines including clones 115, 667, and Pommard. 100% clone 115 in this wine. Harvest Brix 24.5º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is spectacular, offering hi-tone aromas of dark cherry, dark red berry, spice and rose petal. Delicious black raspberry, black cherry, spice and cola flavors in a mid weight plus style. Impressive energy and juiciness with a light dash of oak and a profound finish. This ephemeral wine is more giving upon opening than the Starkey’s Hill. Score: 94. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Etude North Canyon Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.56, $55. The vineyard sits along the Santa Maria river bench in a secluded canyon that protects it against the renowned maritime influences. A variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in calcareous clay sandstone which differs from the valley’s defining marine mixture of ancient sea bed, clay loam and sand. Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certified. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. There is both weight and weightlessness in this magnificently balanced wine. Aromas of boysenberry, spice and mushroom draw you into the glass. A delicious array of purple and black berry fruits are accented by a hint of oak and an appealing earthiness. The righteous, melt-in-your-mouth texture is seductive. A wine of immense charm that finishes on point. Score: 96. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Evesham Wood Cuvée J Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $50. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is oak-laden upon opening, but more fruity and enticing when the wine was tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. Waves of black raspberry and Marionberry fruit flavors greet the mid palate. A healthy tannic backbone balances the fruit load. The wine has the longest finish by far of any of the 2016 Evesham Pinot Noir wines.Considerably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle when the tannins and oak treatment had mellowed and the wine’s awkwardness had resolved. Be patient and you will be rewarded! Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Failla Bjornson Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.62, 144 cases, $48. Vineyard planted in 2006 in a mix of Nekia and Jory soils. Clones are Pommard, 777 and Wädenswil. Native fermentations, 30% whole cluster, aged 11 months on lees in French oak barrels, 15% new. bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Beguiling scents of black cherry and turned earth. A bold charge of delicious black fruits fills the mouth with goodness, maintaining exuberance through a persistent and generous finish. The wellbehaved tannins make for harmonious drinking. This wine displays all the charm of Oregon Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed February 2, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Flâneur Bon Vivant Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.55, 122 cases, $50. Release summer 2018. Wax closure. 75% Belle Promenade and 25% Flânerie vineyards. Native yeast fermentation, 100% whole cluster inclusion. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The seductive nose offers penetrating aromas of muddled cherry, dried rose petal and exotic spice (a nose you could drink). A complex and layered wine with mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, tobacco and edible flower. The whole cluster driven tannic backbone is supportive yet rather imperceptible creating a caressing mouth feel. More sumptuous when tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A regal wine in which the whole cluster inclusion fits perfectly. Score: 95. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Foursight Paraboll Charles Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.59, 200 cases, $60. Released July 2018. The name of this wine is derived from the Boontling language unique to Anderson Valley: “Para” is a term for a deep, cherry red color and “Ball” or “Bahl” means “of excellent quality.” Put together, Paraboll means “a great red.” The wine is a homage to the Londer family where the name originated and to a heritage language of Anderson Valley. This wine is produced with a different ripening schedule and barrel regimen. The grapes were given additional hang time before harvest for a darker fruit profile and then aged in 50% new French oak barrels for 11 month with heavy and medium-plus toast barrels. It is a homage to the Londer family where the name originated and to a heritage language of Anderson Valley. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Vivid aromas of cherry, dark chocolate and cigar box. Virile, well-ripened black raspberry, black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors fill the mouth with pleasure. The weighty sap is buttressed by gutsy tannins that compliment rather than intrude. The comfortable texture provides appeal. A little rustic and earthy in a good way creating an individuality distinct from the other expressions of the Charles Vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed January 17, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 224 cases, $68. Clones “828,” and 667. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of dark fruits, spice, violets, char and vanilla. A full-on charge of purple and black fruits attack with a vengeance, envelope the palate, and hang on through an intense, sappy and lengthy finish. About as big as Pinot Noir can be without being jammy. Silken in texture with tame tannins. An ultimate expression of Pinot’s exuberance, encouraging contemplation and gloating. Any Miracle Gro in this vineyard? Still extraordinary when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Year in and year out, this is Fulcrum’s best wine. Score: 97. Reviewed April 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Fulcrum Brosseau Vineyard Chalone Pinot Noir

129 Cases, $62. Clones 113, 114, 115 and Mt Eden. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The rustic aromas of peat and timber combine with demure aromas of black fruits. Mid weight plus blackberry and cassis flavors have a noticeable earthy clay pitch. Velvety in the mouth with toned tannins typical of this vineyard that are supportive rather than foreboding. There is a nimble touch of oak and enough acidity to bless the sappy fruit with juiciness and vibrancy. The finish is very long and succulent. This is a terroir-driven wine that is quite recognizable to me after tasting multiple vintages. Even better when tasted the following day exhibiting more mellow tannins. Decant or hold for a year or two in bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed April 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard-Dijon Clones Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.67, 937 cases, $60. Released September 18, 2018. Clones 667 and 777. A small percentage of whole cluster. 4 to 7-day cold soak, 7-10 days post fermentation extended maceration, and aging for 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy aromas of grilled dark fruits, sweet pipe smoke and wet earth. A full-bodied, big gulp of purple and black fruits, yet the wine is in balance without heaviness or flabbiness. the appealing texture is satiny and the intense boysenberry-themed finish really satisfies. I find that the dark color and rich fruit is typical for this vineyard. Theresa has been able to tame the fruit explosion as well as conceal the oak in the background. This is a terroir-driven wine that gives n exact expression of site. Score: 94. Reviewed September 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Gary Farrell Fort Ross Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.72, 565 cases, $75. Release October 2018. Vineyard is located on a cool coastal ridge at 1200-1700 feet elevation and is one of the closest vineyards to the California coastline. Dijon clone 777 and Calera selection. 777 grapes de-stemmed, while the Calera grapes were delivered to tank with 50% whole cluster. 5-day cold soak, 13-day post fermentation extended maceration, and aging for 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Reaching aromas of dark red · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Reaching aromas of dark red cherry and berry, forest floor and tobacco. Strikingly flavorful on entry, featuring middleweight black cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors with a subtle savory earthy note. This wine flows across the palate like greased lightning, ending on a long cherry high note. Spirited, but ingratiating acidity adds freshness and vitality. Ready for prime time now. Score: 95. Reviewed September 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Gary Farrell Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.67, 513 cases, $65. Released May 2019.Sourced from the Frost Ranch. Wente selection. 15% added whole clusters. 6-day cold soak, 10-15 days post fermentation extended maceration. Aged on the primary lees for 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The aromas of purple grape, boysenberry, cardamom spice and burnt tobacco are intoxicating. The discretely concentrated flavors of black cherry and boysenberry are accompanied by the slightest herbaceous note and citric energy. A spirited wine with impressive juiciness, admirable balance and an acid-driven, uplifting finish. A delightful wine with beautifully-ripened fruit and easy accessibility. Score: 94. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Gracianna Mercedes Riverblock Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 232 cases, $54. Release TBD. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Perfumed with aromas of black cherry, cola, pomegranate, toast and a subtle peppery note. Welcome juiciness and silky in texture, with buried tannins, offering lavish black cherry fruit flavor and an accent of baking spice and the slightest toasty oak. The wine gathered interest and expression when tasted several hours after opening and the following day from an open and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed December 11, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 HIBOU Riddle Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 100 cases, $60. Clones 115 and Pommard. 45% whole cluster (the 115 block was harvested at about 24 Brix and de-stemmed entirely; the Pommard block was harvested at about 25 Brix and fermented using 100% whole cluster). Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 25% new (clone 115 aged in two neutral barrels, Pommard aged in one new and one neutral barrel). Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Alluring aromas of exotic spices, red and purple berries, forest and floral bouquet. Quite long and fulfilling in the mouth with a delicious mid weight core of boysenberry and black raspberry fruits touched by spice. Seductive in mouth feel with silky tannins and an extended finish. Considerably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the nose sent me reeling. Score: 94. Reviewed April 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Knudsen Vineyards Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.54, 500 cases, $55, screw cap. Fruit was sourced from three vineyard blocks featuring clones 777, 667 and Pommard. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Quintessential Dundee Hills Pinot Noir featuring waves of red cherry and red raspberry fruit aromas and flavors, complimented by tones of sandalwood, baking spices and fertile earth. I swear I could taste an “iron minerality” in this wine. Impeccably balanced, with a deft touch of oak, empowering juiciness and a long cherry-fueled finish. Intoxicating in a good way. Score: 94. Reviewed September 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Knudsen Vineyards Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.55, 200 cases, $70, screw cap. Fruit sourced from three blocks that revealed themselves to be special and distinct. 100% clone 777. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A totally different wine from the regular Willamette Valley bottling. Darker fruited in a mid weight style with aromas and flavors of black cherry, pomegranate and black raspberry framed by a touch more oak. Compared to the regular Dundee Hills bottling, there was more extraction, a little more tannic backbone, and a longer, deeply aromatic finish. A luscious texture really enhanced the pleasure. Even better when tasted several hours after opening. Score: 96. Reviewed September 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Kutch Bohan Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

11.3% alc., $49. Release January 9, 2018. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. A pheromonic nose offering a deep well of fresh cherry, strawberry, and raspberry fruits along with exotic spices including mulling spice. A wine of ethereal refinement, with searching and perfumes flavors of red cherry and berry, spice, tobacco and bacon fat. Very silky mouthfeel with a buried but supportive structure and a refreshing finish that drives another sip. Only Pinot Noir could offer a wine of such delicacy and sensuality while knocking your socks off with flavor. This is a wine to share with your partner for it could easily lead to romance. Score: 97. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.0% alc., $59. Release January 9, 2018. Vineyard is located 8.2 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Soils are marine quartz sandstone and Goldridge. Vine age is 13+ years. Clones are dijon “828,” 115 and 777 on 101 x 14 rootstock. A very cold site. Planted in 2001 by owners Ron and Judy Lougheed. Very intense and small clusters with berries the size of peas. Yields often less than 1 ton per acre. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Intoxicating nose of pie cherry, pipe smoke and exotic spice. Mouth filling goodness in a mid weight style offering flavors of cherry, raspberry, burnt tobacco and spice. Plenty of tannic backbone for support working in harmony with welcome acidity. The polished mouthfeel is striking as is the extraordinarily long finish. Still exceptional when tasted four days after a bottle was opened and re-corked. This wine shows the most whole cluster character of the wines in the 2016 lineup. Score: 95. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.0% alc., $59. Release August 14, 2018. Vineyard is situated 3.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean at 935-1,030 feet elevation. Soils are Graywacke and sandstone. Clones 114 and 115 on 44-53 rootstock planted in 1998. Located 1.7 miles north of Hirsch Vineyards. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Other worldly aromas of crushed black cherry, pine, spice and burnt tobacco. Amazing attack and expansive mouth filling presence of black cherry fruit. A fruit grenade combined with an ephemeral demeanor. This beauty offers exceptional length, vibrant underlying acidity and uncommon finishing intensity. A complete wine that has everything you could ask for in Pinot Noir. Still great when tasted four days after opening the bottle. Ridiculously good. Score: 98. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lenné Estate Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 100 cases, $58. Released February 1, 2019. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Energetic aromas of spiced cherry and complimentary toasty oak. The pretty black cherry and black raspberry core caresses and envelopes the palate in a scintillating fashion. This wine really grabs your attention. Impressive concentration, yet bright and vigorous, with nuanced additional flavors of orange Pekoe tea and mocha. The mouthfeel is satiny and the finishes displays both intensity and length. Score: 94. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lenné Estate Cinq Élus Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 125 cases, $78. A blend of the best barrel from each of the five estate clonal blocks. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is the most seductive in the 2016 lineup, offering the scent of juicy, pure blackest cherry. The chorus of ripe and expansive black raspberry and blackberry fruit along with the supportive, juicy acidity is utter contentment . A complete wine with exemplary harmony, leaving behind an extremely long trail of of black cherry goodness. As good as this wine is now, it is an ideal cellar candidate and would be an ideal centerpiece for a special dinner in the future. Score: 95. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lingua Franca Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $50. Inaugural release from the Estate Vineyard. Dry farmed organically on Basalt Jory and Nekia soils. Fruit is sorted in vineyard, then sorted by hand, and then sorted by a special de-stemmer/sorter. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The black cherry aromas are very slow to arrive in the glass. A bit brutish on the palate upon opening, but blossoming from a bottle opened several hours prior. A step up from the AVNI with more fruit intensity and more finishing length. Excellent pizazz with ideal tannin and acid integration and a suede texture. I absolutely loved this wine over time. Recommend decanting if you open now. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Lynmar Estate Block 10 Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.64, $80. Released spring 2018. Dijon 667 and 777 from a single east-facing block in Quail Hill Vineyard. Aged14 months in French oak barrels, 64% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enticing scents of blackberry jam, bramble, and oak spice. There is no shortage of boysenberry and blackberry fruit is this mid weight plus styled wine that fills the mouth with opulence. That said, the fruit load is beautifully balanced with appropriate oak treatment. Nuances of earth and spice abound. The long finish reveals why this block has a special calling. Considerably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed November 2, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Masút Estate Vineyard Eagle Peak Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.60, 3,100 cases, $40. Clones are 115 (50%), 777, 113, Mt. Eden and Masút. 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 6-day cold soak, 10-day ferment, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 32% new. · Gorgeous moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Irresistable aromas of boysenberry, blueberry-pomegranate, black grape juice, spice and forestry. A stunning wine in the mouth with a terrific attack, length and finish. The mid weight flavors of juicy purple and black berries seem to melt in the mouth. The sap is framed by a deft touch of oak and the velvety mouth feel is a turn on. This wine is great from the time you pull the cork and still great when tasted later in the day. This is the most exceptional wine from this producer I have tasted to date. I felt in the past that the Masút wines often leaned too much on oak, but this wine has none of that. You can feel the Fetzer boys’ passion in this Pinot. Score: 96. Reviewed March 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Merry Edwards Meredith Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 1,375 cases, $68. Clone 667 forms the foundation of this wine. UCD 37, 777 and a Swan selection round out the blend. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, sawdust and nutty oak. A glorious attack of lavish black fruits draws attention. Intense and brooding, even over time in the glass. Harmonious tannins create a sleek and satisfying texture. The glorious finish (and I have this underlined in my notes) concludes with waves of ripe fruit. Bombastic! Score: 94. Reviewed January 16, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Merry Edwards Flax Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 580 cases, $63. This vineyard is located on Westside Road. 100% Pommard clone. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Assertive aromas of black cherry, bola and underbrush. Delicious core of ripe black cherry fruit backed by substantial but not intrusive tannins. More appealing elegance compared to other 2016 Pinot Noirs reviewed here. The finish is remarkable for its length and the display of haunting black cherry goodness. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when more spice accent came out to enhance the regal fruit. Score: 95. Reviewed January 16, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Metzker Terra De Promissio Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 145 cases, $75. The winery’s first reserve wine. 50% clone 777 and 50% clone 115. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in tank, aged 14 months in French oak puncheon barrels, 70% new, for 14 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely scented with aromas of burnished cherry, blueberry and spice. A very saucy and sexy wine, with a sleek and smooth demeanor, and enticing flavors of black cherry, cola and spice. Satisfying out of the chute with impressive mid palate intensity, deft oak treatment, integrated tannins and a ravishing cherry pie filling finish of uncommon length. The pedigree of the vineyard shows through in this beauty that wraps you in silk pajamas. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Migration Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $70. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new, 60% neutral. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Vigorous aromas of black cherry, baking spice, black tea and cigar hold up over time in the glass. An excellent charge of sumptuous black cherry fruit is complimented by a hint of oak and an earthiness. Impeccably balanced with a redeeming cut of acidity, and an intense, black cherry-fueled finish. Pretty much all you can ask for in a Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed January 17, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Morgan Tondré Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.60, 91 cases, $64. Vineyard is adjacent Garys’ Vineyard. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant perfume of blackberry and boysenberry fruits, fertile earth and toast. Amazing attack of purple and black fruits that are expansive in the mouth and progress through an extremely long finish. Rather luxurious, yet uplifting and docile, with lacy tannins and a hint of noble oak. This vineyard is a consistent producer of stellar wines. I have tasted many wines from this vineyard made by different producers through the years and they have always excelled. Score: 94. Reviewed April 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Moshin Vineyards Rosalina Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, RS 0.1%, 200 cases, $58. Estate grown and bottled. Grapes are from a 5.5-acre estate vineyard planted in 2007 in Goldridge soil. Calera, Pommard, and Wädenswil 2A. Harvest Brix 24.0º. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 37% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Provocative aromas of Bing cherry, baking spices and bark. Quintessential Russian River Valley flavor profile of black cherry, cola, spice and a touch of toasty oak. Easily approachable, with a soft, dreamy texture and gracious tannins. Plenty of charm, with juicy cherry fruit fanning out on the lip-smacking finish. Score: 94. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Neely Hidden Block Spring Ridge Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 98 cases, $48. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Demure, but very pleasant aromas of cherry and fertile earth. A complete wine featuring mid weight flavors of dark cherry and dark berry blessed with an underlying earthy tone. Gracious tannins and ingratiating acidity make for an uplifting drinking experience. The fruit in this beautifully composed wine has an uncommon brightness and charm. Every Pinot connoisseur will love the lip-smacking finish. Score: 94. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Open Claim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 80 cases, $75. Release fall 2019. 40% 667, 40% 777 and 20% Wädenswil. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A little burnt match reduction is evident upon opening but resolves completely by the following day when dark fruits and spice come to the forefront on the nose. Very suave in the mouth, with a mid weight plus core of boysenberry and blackberry fruits that are expansive and expressive. Seamless, with peach-skin tannins, and a remarkably long finish. Even more refined and sophisticated when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has pizzazz. Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Paul Lato “The Contender” Drum Canyon Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $75. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of plum, blackberry jam, mushroom, floral bouquet and a hint of oak. A stunning wine from the get-go with mid weight plus flavors of black fruits with accents of spice, licorice and a subtle oak shadow. Remarkable explosiveness on the mid palate. Silken in texture with a cordial balance, finishing really long and fruited. So tasty you can’t turn away. Score: 95. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Paul Lato “Atticus” John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $75. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is mainly red fruited with added aromas of rose petal, spice and forest. Beautifully ripened strawberry, black raspberry and black cherry fruits are long in the mouth and unusually juicy. This debutante is refined and silky, with balanced tannins and complimentary oak and baking spice accents. The amazing finish lasts at least a minute. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Paul Lato “Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $70. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Cordial aromas of cherry, crushed strawberry, rose petal and spice. Very tasty mid weight cherry core with an honorable spice accent. Good energy and composure, very silky with drop-dead elegance and refinement. Not a big-fruited bombast of a wine, rather one of charming delicacy. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Paul Lato “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $80. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Exuberant aromas of black cherry, rose and exotic spices holds up over some time in the glass. The most tannic wine in the 2016 lineup and what you would expect from this vineyard, but the tannins are supportive without being intrusive. Amazing attack of sweet blackberry, black raspberry and pomegranate fruit flavors that are expansive in the mouth and boldly expressive on the finish. The alcohol is tucked in nicely. Even more seamless and glorious when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The pedigree of this vineyard as well as its terroir shines in this wine. Score: 95. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 615 cases, $90. Released September 2018. Native yeast fermentation, 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 63% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, complimentary spice and tobacco. Fullbodied with remarkable dark cherry and berry fruit intensity. Luscious and dreamy on the palate with corralled, mellow tannins, and a deft touch of spicy oak. A bold expression of Pinot Noir yet displaying lovable freshness. A distinctive wine that has no peer. The wine gains countenance and class when tasted from an opened bottle several hours later. Score: 96. Reviewed January 16, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $69. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Heady aromas of dark cherry and berry and sous bois. Mid weight plus in style, with more sappy and deeper flavor than le nord. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and pomegranate fruits are highlighted with tastes of tobacco and spice. Texturally seductive, with enmeshed tannins and a very generous black-fruited finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle the intensity and length of the finish grabbed my attention. Score: 94. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Privé Vineyard Joie de Vivrie Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $99. 115 of 192 bottles signed by wiinemaker. Etched, heavy bottle. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of dark berries, fertile earth and oak. Velvety in the mouth in a mid weight plus style with initially reserved flavors of blackberry and cassis. Heavenly texture and balance with an outlandish finish that persists in the mouth for over a minute. Even better and more giving when tasted two and three days from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Don’t even think about drinking this wine for three to five years. A tour de force that unfortunately few will get to drink. Score: 96. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sarah’s Vineyard Tondre’s Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 160 cases, $38. This vineyard is the prize of Sarah’s Vineyard and is capable of producing extraordinary Pinot Noir. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Fantastic quality at a reasonable price. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Clinging aroma of an array of red berries and a perfect compliment of oak. Somewhat light in color and lighter in weight and elegantly composed, but highly flavorful offering vibrant flavors of cherry and raspberry. Very charming and caressing in the mouth with a lacy texture and an appealing compliment of oak. This is a high fashion Pinot Noir that exemplifies what Pinot Noir should be - does not taste extracted or manipulated. Still delightful the following day. I have had many great wines from this vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Screen Door Cellars Russian River Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 90 cases, $22. · Moderate pinkish orange color in the glass. Soaring aromas of strawberry, white peach and blood orange. Generous layers of flavor unfold on the palate, including pear, strawberry, melon and blood orange. Clean and bright, with a welcome grip of acidity on the orange flower water themed finish. The top Rosé I tasted this year and one that can be chilled and enjoyed on its own or used to enhance any summer dining experience. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sea Smoke ‘Ten’ Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.60, $82. 100% de-stemmed after hand harvesting. After a 5-day cold soak, inoculated with cultured yeasts to begin fermentation. Manual punch downs with a total maceration time of 16 to 28 days. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Alluring aromas of purple berries, spice and a shade of oak. Immediately open and giving in a mid weight plus style, featuring flavors of boysenberry and blackberry with a deft hint of oak. Expansive in the mouth with a cohesive tannic backbone and a very long and intensely fruity finish. Very polished, with fruit that offers a really charming spark of pleasure. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The balance in this wine predicts favorable age ability. A perfect accompaniment would be a grilled prime New York steak. Score: 96. Reviewed February 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sequitur Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $100. Unfined and unfiltered. Crafted by veteran winemaker Michael Etzel (Beaux Freres). · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, sous-bois, cedary oak and a subtle dried herb note. Enchanting charge of well-spiced dark cherry, boysenberry and black raspberry fruits envelope the palate with goodness. A firm backbone of tannins is supportive, an arrow of acidity adds vigor and toasty oak contributes complimentary accents. All the flavors come together in an exalted finish of uncommon length. Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Small Vines TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.59, RS 0.2 g/L, 295 cases, $82. Harvest Brix 20.8º-23.2º. Clones include Calera, Swan, Pommard, 943 and 459. Yields .98 lbs per vine.5-day cold soak, 60% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation. Aged 15 months on fine lees in French oak barrels, 24% new. 100% free run juice. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, boysenberry, black plum, beef grilling rub and a nip of nutty oak arrive with aplomb over time in the glass. Mid weight plus in style, with flavors of cherry, blueberry and purple grape and a companion note of savory herbs. Noticeably juicy, with taut tannins that show up on the slightly astringent, but lip-smacking finish. Still young, achieving more brilliance and better integration of tannins when tasted several hours after opening. Score: 94. Reviewed December 11, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Small Vines TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 295 cases. · Penetrating aromas of black cherry and purple berry that won’t stop. Plenty of satisfying purple and black fruits with some, but not imposing tannins. The structure should serve this wine well in the long term. The 2016 vintage is spectacular. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sojourn Walala Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.57, 475 cases, $69. This vineyard sits at 1,200 feet above sea level, just inland from the Pacific Ocean near the coastal town of Annapolis. Clones 113, 115 and “828.” 5% whole cluster. Open-top fermentation, native yeast, aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A nose of complexity, showing aromas of black cherry, wild dark berry, spice, undergrowth, floral bouquet and a hint of sweet oak. A wine of great fortitude the palate, with waves of boysenberry, blackberry and pomegranate fruits that hang on through an extended luscious finish. The satiny texture is quite appealing as is the wine’s seamless composure. This vineyard really impresses when the vintage allows. Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sojourn Cellars Riddle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.57, 450 cases, $59. Release spring 2018. Each of the four clones at the vineyard were picked and vinified separately. The Mt. Eden clone provides the backbone for this blend. Native yeast open-top fermentation and aging in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in August 2017. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Vivid aromas of dark fruits, spice and savory garrigue. Mid weight flavors of dark red and black fruits with a hint of cola and oak. Beautifully balanced with a spicy, satisfying finish. Score: 93-94. Reviewed April 15, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Spindrift Cellars OSU Woodhall Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $28, screw cap. This Oregon State University Vineyard consists of 26 acres located about 25 miles south of the University’s Corvallis campus. First planted in 1976, there are 6 acres of Pinot Noir planted on south-facing slopes at 450 to 700 feet elevation. Bellpine series and Dupree Series sedimentary rocks. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. An earthbound wine with considerable charm. Wholesome aromas and flavors of dark red cherry and berry in a mid weight plus style. Gentle tannins, a soothing texture and a glorious finish packed with showy ripe fruit. Score: 94. Reviewed February 2, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Spindrift Cellars Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc.,pH 3.55, TA 0.61, 148 cases, $32, screw cap. Sourced from five vineyards, most of which are over 15 years old and all are dry-farmed. Clones are Pommard, Wädenswil, 115, 777 and 667. All vineyard fruit was co-fermented in a 2.5-ton open-top wood fermenter. Aged in French oak barrels for a number of months. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Extroverted aromas of red cherry, red berry and sandalwood. Caressing and elegant in the mouth, with intense waves of dark red fruits accented with baking spices. A spirited wine with impeccable harmony and a long aftertaste. I wanted to swallow this one. Score: 94. Reviewed February 2, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Sylvanus Estate The Cipher Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 50 cases, $65. 50% whole cluster Pommard and 50% co-fermented 115, 777 and Mt Eden clones. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The savory nose is driven by aromas of fertile earth and sous-bois. Similar to the regular estate bottling, but with more brightness, energy, refinement and polish. Spirited and delightful, featuring an array of dark fruits creating a bold imprint on the palate. There is some wild game character that intrigues. Blessed with a bold, but agreeable tannin structure, this wine will hold its own for many years to come. Score: 94. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Ten Acre Earl Stephens Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 150 cases. Unreleased. Vineyard is located south of Forestville on a steep hillside. Clones are Pommard, 115 and 777. Some whole cluster inclusion. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Exuberant black cherry aroma with accompanying oak-driven notes of caramel and cocoa. The wine’s luscious black cherry fruit fills the mouth with goodness. The fruit is well-ripened but not over ripened. The tannins are well managed and their is noticeable supportive oak to go along with the sexy texture. I took the opened bottle with me after the tasting and sampled it 4 days later after it had traveled inside my car over several miles, and the wine held up beautifully, even showing much better than when first opened. Score: 94-95. Reviewed August 24, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Three Sticks Walala Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.67% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.63, 188 cases, $70. Released August 14, 2018. A Price Family Vineyards & Estates Estate vineyard, acquired in 2015. 17.2 acres of Pinot Noir perched atop a ridge near Annapolis, only a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. Clones “828,” 777 and 115. 25% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 61% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy, but agreeable aromas of black fruits, toast and a hint of floral perfume. Initially, this wine is very tight and closed becoming considerably more approachable after opened several hours and spectacular the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Great harmony in a mid weight plus style, featuring hedonistic black current and black grape flavors that are quite ripe but not too ripe. The texture is soothing, the oak is honorable and the preposterous finish goes on and on. Score: 95. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Tongue Dancer Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.59, RS 1.2 g/L, 223 cases, $49, white wax cap. Released March 8, 2018. A blend of three Sonoma Coast AVA vineyards. Clones 115, 667, 777 and a suitcase clone.100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 16 months French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Exuberant and seductive nose offering aromas of black cherry and spice. The gorgeous charge of Bing cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors really hit home on the mid palate and cling through a generous finish. Sleek in texture with a subtle complement of toasty oak and nicely integrated tannins. A real charmer that is both harmonious and on pitch. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the glass. Score: 95. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Trisaetum Estates Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 520 cases, $69. Release September 2018. This wine represents the most prized barrels from the three estate vineyards. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Somewhat brooding aromas of dark fruits. Strikingly flavorful fruit delivered in a mid weight plus style of sappy boysenberry, purple grape and black raspberry fruits touched by enticing spice and a hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel is very soothing as a result of amendable tannins. Somewhat moody at this stage, but the fruit still pops on the palate. Great potential here in future years, yet delicious now with decanting. Score: 94. Reviewed August 24, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Valerie’s Vineyard One Acre Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.,100 cases, $40. Three families hand farm this 1-acre vineyard along with vineyard practices guided by Phil Coturri. Produced and bottled by Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen (winemaker Jeff McBride). 14th vintage. Aged 12 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh berries, fertile earth and compost. Gorgeous in every way, featuring a vivid mid weight core of dark red cherry and berry flavors framed by engaging tannins and supported by juicy acidity. The unbelievably intense and persistent finish is a message from heaven. I have tasted almost every vintage of Valerie’s and the wines are consistently fine, but this one is the best ever. Score: 95. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $60. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of black cherry, spice, beef bouillon, and nutty oak. Elegant in composure in a mid-weight style, offering vivid flavors of red and black cherry and blackberry with a compliment of toasty oak. Beautifully balanced with a satin texture, lively acidity and a juicy finish of very good length. Tres Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed October 26, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 125 cases, $55. This vineyard is on the crown of the Eola-Amity Hills at elevations of 600 to 900 feet. The site is exposed to cool afternoon marine breezes that contribute to late ripening. Dai Crisp has farmed the vineyard organically since 2000. 26-year-old vines. Fruit 100% de-stemmed and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Flamboyant aromas of black cherry, exotic spices and sassafras. Stunning and succulent on the palate with far-reaching dark red cherry and berry fruit flavors. Harmonious, with a deft touch of oak, and a long, long, long finish. Ridiculous! Score: 95. Reviewed May 10, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 225 cases, $55, silver wax cap. Vineyard planted in 1982 and farmed by the owners, Dan and Helen Dusschee and their son Dustin. Soils are Bellpine loam. Ambient yeast fermentation, 15% whole cluster, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of black raspberry, spice and compost. Very classy, with mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and intense spice. A subtle pine, forest and floral note plays alongside the core of delicious fruit. The texture is enticingly silken, and the tannins are unusually tame for this vineyard. Overall, a highly nuanced wine with impeccable balance and an intensely aromatic and spicy finish that captivates. Score: 95. Reviewed May 10, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Wayfarer Wayfarer Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, 1,500 cases, $90. Grapes are picked and delivered to the winery before sunrise, then hand-sorted and de-stemmed before transferring to tank. 5 to 7-day cold soak followed by more than two weeks of native fermentation. Free-run juice was aged in French oak barrels, 44% for 15 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Everything you can ask for in a Pinot Noir, with lovely aromas of cherry, raspberry, dark rose petal and sous-bois. A cornucopia of up-front pleasure in a mid weight style, featuring earth-kissed flavors of black cherry and black raspberry and a hint of racy spice, framed by comforting tannins. Velvety in the mouth with an appealing cut of acidity on the extremely long, peacock tail finish. A celestial wine with the balance to achieve immortality. Score: 97. Reviewed March 23, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 WesMar Hellenthal Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $55. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. This wine takes time to reveal itself in the glass and was considerably better when tasted several hours after opening. Aromas of cherry and rose petal lead to a discreetly concentrated wine featuring riveting flavors of black cherry, kirsch and spice. The satiny mouthfeel is highly seductive and the gracious tannins make for easy access. The wine’s harmony and vigor impress as does the waves of fruit echoing on the glorious finish. As good as this wine is now, it will benefit from cellaring for a few years and will last many more. A truly ephemeral wine from a great vintage. Score: 95. Reviewed April 16, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Winter’s Hill Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 195 cases, $65. Release spring 2019. A selection of the finest blocks of the estate vineyard. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of black cherry, raspberry, spice and earthy flora. Packing plenty of black cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors, the pretty fruit load is reigned in by compatible tannins and acidity. The finish is remarkably long. A classy wine built for aging that will need another couple of years in the cellar to completely come out of its shell (although you can drink it now). This wine is deserving of the Reserve label. Score: 94. Reviewed November 2, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 AldenAlli Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.62, $65. Harvest Brix 25.2º. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Highly nuanced nose offering aromas of crushed dark grapes, boysenberry preserves, dark red rose bloom, baking spice, and green tea. Silky in the mouth with gentle tannins, offering middleweight flavors of purple and black fruits with a congenial spice accent and complimentary oak. This wine aims to please upon opening, but rises up several hours thereafter to become a black cherry and spice bombast that defies adequate description. Decanting is therefore advised. Score: 94. Reviewed April 1, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Alloro Vineyard Estate ‘Riservata’ Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.57, 300 cases, $50. A 12 barrel selection blend to capture additional body, weight, texture and complexity. This wine represents the best marriage of all the diverse characteristics contributed by each of the individual vineyard blocks. Truly, a reserve wine. 32% Pommard, 46% 777 and 22% 114. 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 6-day cold soak, native primary and malolactic fermentations, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 46% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is somewhat brooding but very genial, with aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and complimentary oak. More of everything in this wine, including concentration, intensity, tannin and finish. Makes a bold statement, yet easy to cozy up to. Mid-weight plus in style, with flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and spice. Silky in the mouth with a deft integration of oak. Still a bit aloof but the potential is obvious. Considerably more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. A stunning wine with swagger, depth and dimension. Score: 95. Reviewed May 10, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Alloro Vineyard Estate ‘Justina’ Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.57, 150 cases, $85. A special barrel select blend, crafted to show off the very best of the vintage. The wine is named after winery owner David Nemarnik’s daughter. 81% 777, 19% 114. 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 6-day cold soak, native primary and malolactiic fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. · This beauty is the polar opposite of the Riservata. More pastel in color with a moderately light garnet tone. Soaring aromas of cherry, raspberry, spice, balsam and nuttiness, becoming more demonstrative over time in the glass. More red-fruited in a mid weight plus, seductively elegant style that literally dances across the palate. The silk pajama texture creates the impression of grace and splendor, while the expansive finish resonates lip-smacking spicy goodness. There are notable tannins in the background, most certainly from the high percentage of new oak, but these tannins showed more amelioration when the wine was tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine went from great to exceptional over night. Score: 96. Reviewed May 10, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Anam Cara Nicholas Vineyard Reserve Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 125 cases, $50. Released fall 2017. Clones are 20% Wädenswil, 20% Dijon 115 snd 60% “field blend.” Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose offers a highly compatible marriage of ripened dark fruits and oak with that Pinot earthiness that can be so appealing. Intensely endowed with well-spiced purple berry and black cherry fruit flavors that sing all the high notes and offer superb length in the mouth. Impeccably balanced, with a long finish infused with cherry goodness. This wine is clearly a step up and worthy of the “Reserve” designation. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Anam Cara Mark IX Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 50 cases, $75. Release spring 2018. This wine is named for Nick and Sheila’s son, Mark, and intended to be the boldest cuvée of the vintage. This is both a vineyard and barrel blend, sourced from reserve rows cropped to 1.5 tons per acre. 75% Pommard reserve rows, 25% “field blend.” Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. No Mark bottling was offered in 2013, and the Roman numerals denote the wine’s place in the series. Like Heather’s, the Mark bottling is atypical in this vintage, more metrosexual than macho. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose reveals its charms slowly over time in the glass, offering aromas of wild berries and pleasant oak. Very engaging on the palate with a real mouthful of cherry and strawberry fruit goodness. There is plenty of spice accent to satisfy and the barrel management is first class. Slightly more elegant than the Heather’s bottling, even metrosexual, this wine is quite forward in this vintage and grabs your attention. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 800 cases, $50. Estate bottled. Very heavy bottle, long cork. Sourced from the finest lots at Bien Nacido and Au Bon Climat vineyards. Block 2 from Le Bon Climat Vineyard was planted in 1994 with a wide mix of clones including 103, 113, 114, 115, 2A, Mt. Eden and some Pinot Meunier. Block 11 at Bien Nacido Vineyard is planted with clones 667, 777, 115, 2A, Swan and Jackson in 1997. 50% Dijon and 50% traditional California selections. Jim’s son Knox arrived in 1998 and this is a distinct bottling to honor him. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels. Fined with egg whites. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose offers primarily non-fruit aromas of fertile earth, burnt tobacco and toast. Much more enticing on the palate, with mid weight flavors of Bing cherry and noticeable toasty oak. There is a healthy, but not intrusive backbone of tannins. Considerably more appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the oak had become more subservient to the fruit. Decant if you plan to drink now, but further cellaring is a better option. Score: 94. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Au Bon Climat Isabelle California Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 750 cases, $50. Very heavy bottle, long cork. This bottling was inaugurated in 1994 to honor Jim Clendenen’s daughter Isabelle. This unique wine is a blend of barrels from the best vineyards not only from the Santa Maria Valley, but the Russian River Valley and even Monterey County in some years. The selection is done by Jim in the Au Bon Climat winery cellar and each year the blend for Isabelle is different. Isabelle is the richest Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir with loads of intensity and power, yet it remains balanced and food friendly. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, sous-bois, ash and gentle oak come to the fore over time in the glass. The wellspiced red cherry fruit enters with a purpose, saturates the mid palate and exits with a ridiculously long finish. Nicely balanced and very approachable now, with bold but friendly tannins and energizing natural acidity. This beauty bowls you over.You will want to drink this one all by yourself. Score: 96. Reviewed July 20, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Balletto Cider Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.58, 590 cases, $42. Double Gold Medal at 2016 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Vineyard is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Sebastopol Hills. Vines are planted primarily to heritage selections of Pinot Noir. Indigenous yeast fermentation, aged in French oak barrels, 32% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose draws you in with aromas of dark raspberry, black cherry and pipe smoke. Mid weight in style, with vivid flavors of blackberry and black raspberry that grab hold of the mid palate with a vengeance. Satiny in texture with inviting harmony, and a very long, juicy and berry-fueled finish. You won’t be able to stop at one glass with this beauty. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2015 Benovia Martaella Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 300 cases, $60. This vineyard surrounds the winery in Santa Rosa in an area known as the Laguna de Santa Rosa. The 58- acre property has 42 acres of Pinot Noir (nine clones) and Chardonnay (four clones) planted in Goldridge soils. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. More forward drinking, with lifted aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, cola, spice and wilted rose. Delicious core of black fruits framed by discreet tannins. Very polished and fresh in character, with an extremely long and fruited finish. More modest in concentration than the La Pommeraie and Tilton Hill, but seduces with its vibrancy and openness. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2015 Benovia Tilton Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 300 cases, $60. The coldest Benovia estate vineyard, located a few miles from the Pacific Ocean near the town of Freestone. 11.7 acres were planted to Pinot Noir in 2009. Low vigor rootstock 420A and heirloom and Dijon selections of Pinot Noir. First vintage was 2012. · Deep, dark garnet color in the glass. The nose opens beautifully over time in the glass, revealing hi-tone aromas of black raspberry, spice box, underbrush and warm brioche. Lush and concentrated, with vigorous fruit flavors of blackberry, black raspberry and ollaliberry. Impeccably balanced with supportive tannins and acidity, and a deft touch oak. The finish is quite special in its own right, although falling slightly short of the stunning La Pommeraie. Still a Lolita, and will benefit from more time in bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2015 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

300 cases, $60. Sourced from a vineyard farmed byGeorge Martinelli located on Frei Road. The vineyard was once an apple orchard, leading to the name “La Pommeraie,” French for “apple orchard.” The vineyard is planted to a very high density of 1 meter x 2 meters or 2420 vines per acre. Dijon 777 and “828.” · Deep, dark garnet color in the glass. Deep, dark garnet color in the glass. A highly nuanced perfume offers aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, dark rose petal, cardamom spice and underbrush. The gorgeous and core of sappy purple and black fruits is backed by toned and firm fruit tannins. Big as is typical for this vineyard, but focused and adroit, with a dreamy velvety texture and a very long and silky finish offering an added pleasing floral note. A perfect example of the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. An extraordinary wine that I had to re-taste from a second bottle to be sure. Score: 98. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2015 Big Basin Vineyards Alfaro Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, $60. Released November 2017. 16-year-old vines planted at 588-730 feet in sandy gravelly loam in Corralitos. Clones 115, 667 and 777. 100% whole cluster native yeast fermentation. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enveloping aromas of blackberry, cassis, potpourri, fertile earth and ash. Satiny, smooth and flowing on the palate, with impressive richness that fills every nook and cranny in the mouth with serious intent. The mid weight flavors of purple grapes, blackberry, pomegranate, tea and tobacco really saturate the finish. Beautifully balanced, this wine’s mouthfeel is highly seductive. Still exceptional when re-tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Broadley Vineyards Claudia’s Choice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 350 cases, $50. Wine named for Broadley Vineyards co-founder Claudia Broadley. Pommard and Wädenswil clones. 70% whole cluster. Wild yeast fermentation in two 3-ton open-top oak fermenters for 14 to 21 days. Starting with pump overs and then two punch downs per day. Aged 14-18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh dark fruits and spice although a bit tight. Delicious essence of blue and black fruit mix with a hint of dark chocolate. Firm but mature tannins conceal the fruit at this early stage. The velveteen texture and grand finish leave a memorable impression. Great potential. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Broadley Vineyards Jessica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 250 cases, $50. Wine is named for Morgan Broadley’s wife and partner in Broadley Vineyards. This wine is produced each year from the same Dijon clone 667 and 115 section on the estate vineyard surrounding the Broadley’s home. 80% whole cluster. Wild yeast fermentation in a 5-ton Seguin Moreau open-top wood fermenter for 14 to 21 days. Starting with pump overs and then two punch downs a day. Aged 14-18 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy but pleasant aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and walnut. Silky in the mouth with a vivacious core of dark fruits that really grab your attention and hold on. The wine is boldly structured with tannins and finishes with intensity and purpose. A marvelous wine than will benefit from a few years in the cellar. Score: 94-95. Reviewed September 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Brooks Note Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.8% all., pH 3.60, TA 0.72, 230 cases, $44. Rochioli and Wädenswil 2A clones from the lower, eastern blocks, and Romanée-Conti clone from the western blocks. 10% whole cluster, open-top fermentation, 3-day cold soak, native yeast, aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Terrific aromas of black cherry and baking spices leap from the glass. Just what you desire from Pinot. Light to mid weight gloriously fresh flavors of strawberry, cherry, spice and tobacco framed by toned tannins. Lovely balance and a very long, quenching finish. Still pumping out a deep well of fruit pleasure when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The vintner really hit the mark in this vintage! Score: 95. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Calera Reed Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 165 cases, $75. Vineyard planted in 1975 (4.4 acres) and 2012 (1.54 acres). Yield 0.59 tons per acre. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 10% second vintage and 60% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Wines from this vineyard tend to be more red-fruited and elegant. Aromas of red cherry, spiced berry, dried rose petal and burnt tobacco reflect the whole cluster inclusion. The mid weight flavors of dark red fruits are accented with a hint of spice and caramel. The fruit is succulent yet refined and the overall impression is graciousness. Slick in texture, with a really long, mesmerizing finish. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Calera Jensen Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 495 cases, $90. Vineyard planted in 1975. Yield 0.44 tons per acre. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, 10% second vintage and 60% neutral. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherry, exotic spices and underbrush. The first taste tells you this wine is special. The mid weight essence of black cherry fruit is long and intense, yet refined. The fine-grain tannins provide the perfect backdrop and the satiny texture is mesmerizing. The finish offers a good grip of acidity and uncommon generosity. This wine is always the Prima Donna among the Calera wine stable. Score: 96. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 323 cases, $60. Sourced from Rochioli ranch vineyards. Clones originated from the West Block along with Dijon 777, 115 and 667. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Highly aromatic, offering soaring scents of Bing cherry compote, allspice and nut meg with a compliment of oak. Loved the nose. Intense attack of oak-kissed Bing cherry fruit in a mid weight style. A seductively creamy texture holds court in the mouth, the tannins are in sync, and the finish is generous with cherry goodness. The wine was considerably more appealing when tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with much better oak integration. A year or two of cellar time is advisable. A Rochioli vineyard wine that you can actually buy! Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Cattleya Cuvée Number One Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc.,pH 3.52, TA 0.67, 143 cases, $50. Spring release. Very limited production. sourced from Lakeview Vineyard in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. Pommard and 115 clones. Each clones fermented in its own open-top fermenter. 100% de-stemmed. 5 to 10-day cold soak, fermented on skins for 22 days. Each clone aged separately in French oak barrels for 11 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of Bing cherry raspberry, redwood grove and sous-bois. Intense on the attack with mouth filling flavors of black cherry and black raspberry fruits. A decadent, powerful wine that is yet demure in character with oodles of persuasive fruit goodness fueled by spirited acidity and backed by invisible tannins. The finish is exceptional long and endowed with uncommon generosity. I tasted this wine throughout a day’s time and it never wavered in its showy character. Wow! Score: 96. Reviewed November 12, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Cattleya Donum Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 50 cases, $70. Sourced from the oldest (37-years-old) vines at Donum, the West Slope. Roederer clone. 25% whole cluster. 5- day cold soak, fermented on skins for 18 days then barreled down. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lovely nose offering aromas of exotic spices, fertile earth, dark chocolate and blackberry preserves. Silky and seductive in the mouth with impressive harmony, displaying mid weight flavors of darker cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate accompanied by a stealthy earthy tone and the slightest thread of oak. Well structured but integrated tannins with a noticeably long finish that ingratiates with pleasure. Score: 94. Reviewed November 12, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Chateau St. Jean Le Seul Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $75. Sourced from Gap’s Crown and Sun Chase vineyards, both located in the Petaluma Gap AVA. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, blueberry-pomegranate, cardamom spice and fertile earth. Highly engaging on the palate, with a mid weight core of primarily black cherry goodness. A subtle spice, floral and vanilla accent add interest. Impeccable balance with well-matched tannins and easy approachability. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed March 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Chenoweth Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 303 cases, pH 3.50, RS 0.6 g/L, $75 (mailing list only). A noteworthy grower’s designate wine sourced from three meticulously developed and carefully farmed vineyards (Chenoweth Ranch, Treehouse and Bootleggers) managed by Chenoweth Vineyards. The Chenoweth family has lived in the Sebastopol area for more than a century and have farmed everything from wine grapes to apples, prunes and cherries. Charlie Chenoweth is well known as one of California’s most renowned vineyard managers. Clones are 667, 777, 115, 37, 23, Pommard and a Calera selection. 8% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Energetic perfume of black cherry, raspberry and sous bois. A deeply flavored cherry core is framed by gracious tannins, spirited acidity and a welcome oak compliment. The wine is exquisitely balanced with a lingering finish that has good snap that demands another sip. Fresh as a mature barrel sample and everything you can ask for in a Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed October 12, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Coeur de Terre Sarah Jane’s Block Reserve McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.67, 91 cases, $65. Six clones planted in 2000 in Willakenzie sedimentary soils and farmed organically since inception. Harvest Brix 23.7º, 2.4 tons per acre. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Tenacious aromas of blackberry, black cherry, wet soil and char. A big boy wine in a mid weight plus style, offering a flood of intense and succulent black fruits with striking presence in the mouth and with uncommon finishing generosity. The tannins are perfectly matched to the fruit load, contributing a slight astringency to the finish. I love the fruit in this wine! Score: 94. Reviewed February 2, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Coeur de Terre Abby’s Block Reserve McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.67, 98 cases, $65. Clones are from a selection of vines in the Estate Vineyard and farmed organically since inception. Complex sedimentary based soils. Harvest Brix 22.9º, 2.5 tons per acre. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A nuanced nose offers aromas of darker cherry, Asian spices, mushroom, underbrush and earth. The best nose in the 2015 lineup. A little lighter in weight with redder fruit compared to the Sarah Jane’s Block, featuring cherry and raspberry fruit flavors. This wine does not have quite the finish of the Sarah Jane’s Block, but has more elegance and charm. Different, but in a good way. Score: 94. Reviewed February 2, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.55, 554 cases, $70. Marjorie Vineyard is Cristom’s oldest estate plantings, predating the company back to 1982. Named in honor of winegrower-owner Tom Gerrie’s grandmother. Own-rooted, lower-density plantings. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 114, 115 and 777. Vines produce very small, highly concentrated clusters. 59% whole cluster native yeast fermentation. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 58% new. Fined with egg whites, unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Complex and sexy nose, presenting aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, spice, tobacco leaf, menthol and vanilla. Mid weight flavors of dark cherry and berry framed by husky tannins. Commendable richness and length in the mouth, with the fruit becoming more charming over time in the glass. The juicy, persistent finish rounds out a special wine. Noticeably better when re-tasted later in the day and still exceptional when re-tasted three days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Marjorie is usually my Cristom paramour. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 de Lancellotti Onelia Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.40, 60 cases, $75. Sourced from Formaglini Vineyard. Clone 777. 30% whole cluster. Native fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. An array of aromas arrive over time in the glass including black cherry, ripe strawberry, spice and pipe smoke. Remarkable attack of mid weighted cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruits underlain with baking spices. Seamless, silky and sexy, finishing with charitable red fruited goodness. Score: 94. Reviewed August 27, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 de Lancellotti Lachini Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.50, 220 cases, $60. Sourced from Lachini Vineyard located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. 60% Pommard and 40% 115. 15% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of wild strawberry and blueberry arrive with a bit of oak. A comforting wine with vivid flavors of black cherry and blueberry sporting impressive mid palate intensity. Satiny in texture, with the right touch of oak and a very generous finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, I was enthralled by the seductively smooth texture of this wine. Score: 94. Reviewed August 27, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Domaine De La Côte Memorious Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 376 cases, $60. 50% whole cluster. Aged in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is alive with the scent of black cherry reduction, spice and timber. Intense attack of fresh cherry fruit flavor lifted by bright acidity, and backed by silky tannins. The exquisitely balanced wine just keeps opening and opening, finishing with a extremely long and gregarious finish that is cherry-fueled. Whole cluster character is more moderate and for me, just perfect. Score: 95. Reviewed October 22, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Domaine De La Côte la Côte Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 370 cases, $90. 100% whole cluster. Aged in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The whole cluster inspired nose offers aromas of cherry, burnt tobacco and smoked paprika. Brimming with red fruits, this middleweight styled wine has refined tannins, vital acidity, an extra bit of sophistication, complexity donated by whole cluster inclusion, and a perky finish that inspires another sip. Score: 94. Reviewed October 22, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Domaine Della Terra De Promissio Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc, pH 3.46, TA 0.62, 125 cases, $70. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Captivating aromas leap from the glass including black cherry, black raspberry, caramel and wine cave. An enchanting array of black fruits greets the palate with resolve, dances lightly on the mid palate, and slides smoothly off the finish. A signature Pinot that is very seductive in all ways including the silk and satin texture. Amazingly giving at this young age. Score: 94. Reviewed August 5, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Nicolas-Jay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.56, 2,400 cases, $65 ($150 magnum). Released April 2017. Fruit sourced from every AVA in the Willamette Valley, almost exclusively biodynamic, organic and LIVE certified vineyards.Harvest Brix 22.6º. Aged in French oak barrels, 33% new, 67% neutral. · A very interesting wine that does not make an impression upon opening but evolves beautifully over time. When I tasted this wine at 10 a.m. and then again at 5 p.m. from the same bottle, the wine had transformed dramatically. I drank a glass with dinner and can attest to its superb food compatibility. Moderate dark garnet color in the glass. Highly pleasing aromas of black cherry, blackberry, spice and sous-bois. Mid weight plus in style, with charming flavors of blueberry, dark cherry and earthy delight. Soft in the mouth, with a structure for aging, and a sleek, rewarding finish that is fruit-filled and refreshing. Still terrific when tasted the following day. If you want to drink now, decant and leave in the decanter for several hours prior to drinking. This will allow the wine to become noticeably more cordial. Score: 94. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Donelan Cushing’s Block Barbed Oak Vineyard Bennett Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 222 cases, $78. Heritage clones. Vineyard is exposed to prolonged foggy mornings that temper and extend the growing season. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, sweet pipe smoke, clove, burnt tobacco and cardamom spice. The luscious black cherry and black raspberry fruits make an immediate impression upon entry. The wine really brings the senses to alert. Ideal balance, buried tannins, the slightest oak input, and a very long, fruited finish make for a very special wine that an be thoroughly enjoyed now. I liked this a lot! Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 75 cases, $60. Average vine age 15 years. Rochioli and La Tache selections. Yields 0.5 tons per acre. Well-drained, light silty sand to silty clay based dark loam with high iron. Native ferments, 50% whole cluster, aged 11 months in Francois Frères oak barrels, 50% new. With sale of vineyard, this may be last vintage for Drew although negotiating for 2017. · This wine exudes pure class. Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Gorgeous nose with soaring aromas of Bing cherry, pomegranate and sous-bois. Velvety and lush in the mouth, with a mid weight core of delicious red fruits that are vivid and charged with goodness. The wine displays impeccable balance and a lingering finish that is memorable. Score: 96. Reviewed July 9, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Balo Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 50 cases, $50. Jason has worked with this vineyard since 2006. Average vine age 19 years. Yields 2.0 tons per acre. Clones are Pommard, 777 and 115. Perrygulch and Boontling loam soils. Native ferments, 40% whole cluster, aged 11 months in 2 and 3-year-old Francois Frères and Sirugue oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very lovely and enticing aromas of spiced cherry and earthy flora. Noticeably juicy on the palate, featuring a mid weight array of cherry, Damsel plum, and botanic flavors. Both savory and fruity, with firm fruit tannins, and an extremely long, quenching finish. An age worthy wine that will rise above with more time in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed July 9, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Drew Estate Field Selection Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 75 cases, $60. Third vintage. Vineyard is three miles from Pacific Ocean. Average vine age 6 years. Yields 0.3 tons per acre. Clones are 943, 115, 667, Mt. Eden, Pommard and a Swan selection. Soils are Ornbaun, Yellowhound and Zeni, well-drained, silty sand clay loam with marginal fertility. Native ferments, 40% whole cluster, aged 11 months in Francois Frères and Sirugue oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of black cherry, mushroom and forest. Savory black cherry and raspberry flavors in a mid weight plus styled wine with sinewy tannins. Complex, with nuances evolving over time in the glass, revealing a unique streak of minerality and bloodied game notes. Very good tension, with impressive power at a relatively low ABV, and a long, mineral-infused finish that is ingratiating. Score: 94. Reviewed July 9, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Emerald Ridge Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

(Tech data not yet available) · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of wild strawberries and cherries soar from the glass. Mid to full bodied explosion of fruit flavors that attack with length and purpose, finishing with a grand generosity. Score: 93-94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Deviate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., Ph 3.49, TA 0.68, 406 cases, $72. A followup of the first deviation from single-vineyard bottlings in 2013. This wine is a blend if two far flung Sonoma Coast vineyards: Jentoft Vineyard in Green Valley (Calera clone) and Putnam Vineyard near Annapolis. De-stemmed, 5-day cold soak in small open-top fermenters, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Earth, floral and foliage aromas compete with an array of dark berry scents that is intoxicating. Very smooth and sexy on the palate with vibrant blackberry flavor framed by ripe fruit tannins. Remarkable follow through on the intense finish that seems to last a minute. Still very young, but blessed with unbridled potential. You can plan a special dinner around this wine. Score: 95-96. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Redwood Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.65, 292 cases $62. The 32-acre Putnam Vineyard is situated on a hillside at 1,000 feet elevation near Annapolis and only six miles from the ocean. Low yields and intense berries. Gravely soil and deficit irrigation leads to naturally low-yielding vines, producing thick skinned fruit, small berries and concentrated flavors. Fermented in open-top fermenters. 5-day cold soak, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Gratifying aromas of dark berries, spice and underbrush lead to a discretely concentrated mouthful of black raspberry, blackberry and purple grape flavors. Flat-out delicious, gaining traction over time in the glass. A substantial backbone of fine-grain tannins predict age ability. More composed and harmonious when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed April 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Ellen Redding Marin County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 120 cases, $36. Sourced from Chilean Valley Vineyard, located in the Petaluma Gap AVA. Dijon clones 667, 777 and 115. 33% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak, native primary and secondary ferments, aged in two once-used and three neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Very expressive aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, warm spice, vanilla and brioche. Delicious mid weight plus for of sweet black fruits rounded out with tastes of spice, cola, dark chocolate, black tea and toast. Velvety in the mouth with a hedonistic slant but enough tannins and oak to corral the rich fruit core. This wine grew in appeal when tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and I could not stop drinking it. My notes say, “great.” You won’t find a better California Pinot Noir in the marketplace at this price. Score: 95. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Eric Kent The Pianist Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.65, 70 cases, $52. Released spring 2017. Artist Dutchess. 100% Grand Vent Vineyard. A special barrel selection from assistant winemaker Hanna Chort. 69% Pommard, 25% 667 and 6% 113. Small amount of whole cluster, 30 days on the skins. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Resolute aromas of boysenberry, plum and peppery spice lead to a mid weight core of vivid and vibrant fruit mimicking the aromas. Nicely balanced, with unpretentious tannins, and a glorious finish that has both determined intensity and unrelenting length. A Grand Cru finish for sure. Score: 94. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Eric Kent Sascha Marie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.63, 218 cases, $52. Released spring 2017. Artist Valerie Savarie. 56% Roberts Road, 22% Grand Vent and 22% Stiling vineyards. 50% Swan, 28% 777, 15% Pommard, 4.5% 113 and 2.5% 667. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 62% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A toned and trim wine with both weight and weightlessness. Aromas and flavors of dark cherry and blackberry are accented with nutty oak. Noticeably juicy, with a gentle grip of tannins and a finish that is joyously long. This wine is a wine of immense charm and poise. Score: 95. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Evening Land Seven Springs La Source Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $75, Dijon clones planted in shallow and rocky soils at the very top of the vineyard. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of black cherry, spice, burnt tobacco, mocha and toast maintain over time in the glass. Delicious and seductive, with mid weight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry highlighted by baking spice and sandalwood goodness and underlain with complimentary oak. Rather elegant, with inviting Pinot delicacy, offering more flavor and complexity than the color would dictate. The finish has unusually gratifying length. A memorable wine from an iconic vineyard. Score: 95. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Evening Land Anden Seven Springs Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $100. For a brief period, following the divorce of Seven Springs Estate founders Al MacDonald and Joni Weatherspoon, the Seven Springs Vineyard was cleaved in two. Joni retained the vineyard’s upper half and the name Seven Springs, while Al christened the lower portion ‘Anden,’ a linkage of their children’s names Andrew and Kristen. The lower half of the vineyard is home to the Seven Springs’ original plantings of Pommard and Wädenswil on their own roots dating to 1984. Anden Pinot Noir celebrates the oldest corner of the Seven Springs vineyard as it slowly succumbs to phylloxera. 100% whole cluster, aged in 100% new Ermitage oak barrels and bottled without filtration. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of cherry, mulch, burnt tobacco and spice. Light to mid weight in concentration, with a generous charge of dark red cherry fruit. Hints of tobacco, earth, toast and vegetation add interest. Elegantly composed and silky in the mouth, with imperceptible tannins and an extremely long finish reflecting the pedigree of the vines. This wine won’t bowl you over with sap, but it will seduce you with nuance. As the winery announcement said, “A subdued and timeless interpretation of Pinot Noir ….and a celebration of the finite time these vines have left.” Score: 96. Reviewed May 10, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Evesham Wood Mahonia Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

$36. Vineyard is located in the South Salem Hills and planted in volcanic soils. Non-irrigated vines. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. “Oh, my God!” aromas of fresh cherry, exotic spices including clove and allspice, fertile earth and a hint of gingerbread. The flat-out delicious red cherry core is in sync with a lovely Wassail spice accent. Seamlessly composed in a mid weight style, with welcome vibrancy and a lasting echo of scent and fruit on the finish. I especially liked this wine for its uniqueness. A wine-gasm that is a must for Pinot lovers. Score: 96. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Evesham Wood Sojourner Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

$36. The newest vineyard to join the winery’s lineup. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Earth bound aromas lead to a bold wine with serious intentions. The sappy, mid-weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, plum and spice attack the palate with a vengeance causing the taste buds to beg for mercy. The luscious fruit is tempered by a firm tannic backbone and the wine is well-mannered despite its fruit load. An Energizer bunny finish that goes on and on. This wine will do a tap dance on your palate and is highly unique among the wines in the Evesham Wood lineup. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Evesham Wood Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

$36. Highest altitude site in the winery’s lineup. Made from organic grapes, non-irrigated vines. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasant aromas of red cherry and red berry, spice and mulch. Light to mid weight in style featuring juicy red cherry and berry flavors with a hint of spice and tobacco. Dreamy balance, with gentle tannins and a quenching finish. Rather elegant and balletic, but highly flavorful, with understated Pinot extravagance. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Evesham Wood Cuvée J Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13% alc., $50 (sold out). Made with organic grapes. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Gifted aromas of cherry, raspberry, spice, dried herbs and forest. High-collared with impeccable balance, featuring plenty of spiced cherry goodness with a subtle thread of savory herbs, earth and citrus. Full of grace and gallantry, with substantial but compatible tannins, and a most agreeable, long finish. Simply beguiling. Still terrific when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating desirable age worthiness. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 805 cases, $70. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of black grape, cassis, pomegranate, earth and bramble. Full-bodied, with a sappy core of luscious dark fruits, attacking the palate with explosiveness. A bold wine, yet harmonious, with matched tannins and supportive acidity, and a deft touch of oak. The gregarious fruit obscures nuances, but the wine will captivate fruit lovers. Score: 94. Reviewed October 22, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Ferrari Carano Sky High Ranch Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.5% alc. $55. Sky High Ranch Vineyard is surrounded by towering redwoods and forest above the fog line at 1,600 feet elevation. De-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel open-top and small bins. 3-day cold soak, proprietary yeast strains, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 53% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very sexy nose full of pheromones and spice along with fruit scents of black cherry that are knee bending. This wine really emotes, with a core of beautifully ripened black cherry fruit and gently folded in oak. Perfectly balanced with a grand finish that lasts until the next sip. This is a wine I want to spend some time with. Tasted twice including at home in usual fashion with same result. Score: 97. Reviewed July 8, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Flâneur Cuvée Constantine Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.53, 602 cases, $40. Release summer 2018. Wax closure. Constantin Guys was a stroller, observer and painter of crowds in the streets of Paris in the mid-19th century, 40% La Belle Promenade, 45% Flânerie and 9% X-Novo vineyards. Native yeast fermentation, 28% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 23% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy, but emerging aromas of dark cherry, earthy flora, nutty oak and a hint of vanilla. Prodigious mid weight plus core of black fruits complimented by a toasty oak thread. Good integration of tannins, with a smooth texture and a very powerful boysenberry-driven finish. Still young and evolving and considerably more aromatic and giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 235 cases, $65. Clones “828” and 667. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose soars with intense aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, spice, violets and vanilla. Filled with glorious California fruit kissed by the sun, this mid weight plus beauty is polished and silky, with rich flavors of purple and black berries with a compliment of toasty oak in the background. Sappy, but not compotey, with balanced tannins, juicy natural acidity, and a generous finish that taps into the pleasure centers of the brain. A bit hedonistic, but true to character of this vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.70, 494 cases, $75. Released May 2018. 106 acres of Pinot Noir first planted in 2002 in the new, cool Petaluma Gap AVA. Clones “828” and 667. 85% de-stemmed and 15% whole cluster added later. 5-day cold soak, 10-15 days of extended maceration, aged 16 months on the primary lees in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of purple and black berry fruits plus fertile earth. A startling attack of boysenberry, black raspberry and dark strawberry fruit with a touch of spice in a mid weight plus style. Flat-out delicious, with amazing length in the mouth and a gracious, flavorful finish. The combination of boisterous fruit, enviable harmony, and polished mouthfeel makes for an invigorating experience. I recently wrote about this vineyard in the PinotFile as it has become one of California’s most provocative sources for Pinot Noir grapes. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell Martaella Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.68, 342 cases, $65. 42-acre high-density plantings including 9 different clones and heirloom selections. 85% of fruit de-stemmed, 15% added as whole cluster. 6-day cold soak, 10-15 day extended maceration post fermentation. Aged 16 months on primary lees in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enticing and giving aromas of cherry, blueberry and spice engage the senses. The dreamy, satiny mouthfeel immediately grabs your attention. A full-bodied stream of black cherry and blueberry sap retains a pleasing succulence due to underlying bright acidity. This special wine aims to please from the get-go. Still stellar when tasted from a previously opened bottle the following day. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gary Farrell McDonald Mountain Vineyard Clone 667 20% Whole Cluster Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.23, TA 0.76, 90 cases, $70. Black label indicating this is a special winemaker bottling. Vineyard is located in the cool Sebastopol Hills and was planted in 2008 in Goldridge soil. Two adjacent blocks of 667 produce seductive wines and the winemaker could not bring herself to blend it away. 80% de-stemmed, 20% whole cluster. 5-day cold soak, 10-15 day extended post-fermentation maceration. Aged 16 months on primary lees in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. This wine must be decanted for full enjoyment as it is very shy and monolithic upon opening. My remarks refer to tasting the wine 8 hours after opening. The nose is quite exotic and seductive, offering aromas of crushed blackberries, cassis, dried herbs and sweet oak. Well-endowed with a core of black cherry, black raspberry, and cardamom spice backed by ripe tannins. The lively acidity drives a juicy, succulent experience. The finish offers an echo of dark fruits that are both aromatically engaging and persistent. Score: 94. Reviewed July 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gracianna Westside Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc.,150 cases, $72. Released July 2017. A selection of the best four barrels in the cellar. Bacigalupi Vineyard. Blend of Dijon 667 and 777, and Pommard clone. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Alluring aromas of Bing cherry, cola and baking spice. Delicious flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate in a beautifully composed mid weight style that offers easy going tannins, a soothingly silky texture and tucked in alcohol. A glamorous wine. Score: 94. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Gracianna Westside Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 144 cases, $76. Released July 2017. 10th Anniversary bottling. Gold medal at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. A blend of clones 667, 777 and Pommard from Bacigalupi Vineyard. · Beautifully composed in a middleweight style with luscious red fruit that is nicely spiced. The fine-grain tannins make for easy consumption and this stellar wine is beautifully balanced. Note: this wine was previously reviewed in 2017 with a consistent score. Score: 94. Reviewed December 11, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Guillén Damian Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 73 cases, $40. A meticulous selection of the best barrels in the cellar based on harmony, complexity and mouth feel. A three vineyard blend (33% Vista Hills, 33% Flȃnerie, and 33% Meredith Mitchell). 66.6% Pommard, 33.3% Dijon 667. 100% whole cluster, native fermentation. Aged on the lees for 12 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Really nice perfume of wild boysenberry, wilted rose, exotic spice and tobacco. Very streamlined in style with impressive balance and elegance. Vivid mid weight flavors of purple and black berries with a healthy tannic backbone that is supportive and not intrusive. The wine finishes with a gentle grip of acidity and toothsome fruit. Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Joseph Jewell Starscape Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.61, 200 cases, $48. Clone 777 planted in 2000. Harvest Brix 24.1º. 15% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. Unfiltered. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of black fruits, molasses and toasty oak. Dense, bold and slightly withdrawn in a mid weight plus style featuring well ripened fruit flavors of blackberry and blueberry-pomegranate. Big but not too big with plenty of vigor and a sleek mouthfeel. Typical of Martini clone. When tasted several hours after opening, the nose had come alive with more fruit appeal and the wine showed more polish, class and concentration. Score: 94. Reviewed February 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Ken Brown Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.59, 154 cases, $65. Vineyard originally planted in 1971, but newer clones and rootstocks have been added over the years. Clones 943 (planted in 2008) and Wädenswil 2A (planted in 2011). Soils are Botella Series, clay and loam with a high calcareous content that drains well. Grapes destemmed, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 38% new. Light egg white fining and bottled unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The wine is a chameleon in the glass, offering everychanging aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, clove, cardamom, and tea leaf aromas, and purple and black fruit flavors nicely touched by spice and toasty oak. The fruit core packs a punch and the sense is lushness and velvet in the mouth, yet the wine is light on its feet. Opulent and huggable. Score: 95. Reviewed April 14, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Knudsen Vineyards Estate Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.55, 225 cases, $70, screwcap. Clone 777 planted in Jory soil. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of fresh cherry, spice and rose petal. Upon entry, the wine engages with riveting and luscious black cherry, black raspberry and plum flavors accented with a charming dose of spice. A sophisticated wine that is truly special with impeccable balance, a seamless texture and a grand finish that lingers until the next sip. This collectible wine was even more seductive when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when my wife and I eagerly polished it off. Score: 96. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Kutch Bohan Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.46% alc., 125 cases, $49. George Bohan farms the original vines his father planted 40+ years ago. The original plantings are dry farmed and on their own rootstock. Soil is sandstone. 3-day lag time, all fruit crushed and punched down by foot, native yeast primary fermentation and native malolactic fermentation in barrel, aged 17 months on the lees in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An impressive terroir-driven wine that leads with attractive aromas of strawberry, cherry, mushroom, sous-bois, spice and floral notes. A bit rustic and earthy, while still offering a delightful array of dark red fruits. The sinewy tannins are in harmony with the wine’s juicy acidity as part of impeccable balance. The silky texture is dreamy as is the elegant demeanor. The best thing you can say about this wine is that you want to keep on drinking it. Stunning when tasted four days later. Score: 95. Reviewed March 29, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.78% alc., 350 cases, $59. This vineyard is a mere 3.5 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean at 935 feet elevation. Farming is directed by Ulises Valdez. Planted in 1998 to clone 114 in Graywacke and sandstone soil. 3-day lag time, fruit crushed and punched down by foot, 100% whole cluster, native yeast primary fermentation and native malolactic fermentation in barrel, aged on the lees for 17 months without racking in neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, rose petal and spice are echoed in the teasing flavors that bring an uncommon goodness to play. The wine delivers a special experience from the attack, through the circus of fruit on the mid palate, and on the enduring finish that exceeds all the other wines in the 2015 lineup in length. There is a tug of tannin on the finish but this will ameliorate with more time in the bottle. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the aromas of cherry, spice, rose petal and burnt tobacco were seductive and the infusion of whole cluster character into the fruit profile was orgasmic. Score: 96. Reviewed March 29, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Kutch Signal Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $52. 100% whole cluster, native yeast primary fermentation and native malolactic fermentation, aged 17 months in 100% neutral French oak barrels without racking. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine shows that Jamie knows what to do when he gets special grapes, even though this is his inaugural effort from this vineyard. Haunting aromas of black cherry, blackberry, spice and brioche create a party in the nose. Fresh black cherry extract floods the mouth complimented with hints of oak and earth. The tannins are sturdy enough, but more modest in this wine. The striking finish has intense cherry goodness and impressive length. This wine is a real charmer and very approachable now. The wine still showed exceptional balance when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating potential for longevity. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 LaRue Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 150 cases, $70. Release fall 2018. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of black cherry, BBQ spice rub and floral perfume. Refined and gracious on the palate, with an amazingly generous core of black cherry fruit that seems to persist on the finish for minutes. A bit of spice and tobacco flavor adds intrigue. Not perfect, as some tannin shows up on the slightly tart finish, but this is still a very compelling wine. This vineyard is always my paramour among the LaRue stable of wines. Score: 94. Reviewed June 9, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lenné Estate cinq élus Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $80. This wine is made only in great vintages. The name, cinq élus means “five chosen,” reflecting that this wine is a blend of the best barrels from all five clones grown at the estate vineyard. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Hi-tone aromas of ripe strawberry and Bing cherry with a hint of mocha. Clearly a step up in class, with a mid weight core of delicious purple and black fruits backed by polished tannins. Great energy, vibrancy, length and intensity. Didn’t taste it the next day because my neighbors and I finished it off the same day I opened it. Score: 94. Reviewed May 10, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lingua Franca Ryan’s Plow Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $60. Named after Ryan Hannaford who is an Aussie transplant to the Willamette Valley and has a talent for biodynamic farming. The sources for this cuvée are tended by Ryan and come from two Jory soil vineyards near Lingua Franca (Seven Springs and Black Walnut vineyards). · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. My notes reflect my impressions of the wine when tasted two days after opening. Seductive aromas of cherry, strawberry and spice lead to an elegantly composed wine with vibrant flavors of cherry and strawberry. Suave tannins, noticeable mid palate intensity, and a remarkable finish filled with sweet cherry and strawberry aromatic goodness. Score: 94. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lingua Franca Tongue ‘n Cheek Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $60. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. My notes reflect my impressions of the wine from a previously opened bottle two days prior. Initially the nose and palate were quite primary. Penetrating aromas of dark red cherry and berry, dark red rose and anise. Mid weight plus in style, offering the vivid essence of fresh dark red cherries. Somewhat earthbound, with an attractive note of iron minerality. Expansive in the mouth, impeccably balanced, and sporting a remarkable finish replete with dark cherry fruit that is tenacious for what seems like a minute. Score: 94. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Littorai Wendling Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $75. A newer source for Littorai. 23 acres located in Philo, in the deep end of the Anderson Valley, planted by Paul Ardzrooni (Ardzrooni Family Wines) and two winemaking colleagues in 2009 (I believe Ted Lemon is a partner). The vineyard is planted entirely to multiple clones of Pinot Noir and is organically farmed. The site is the most northwestern vineyard in the Anderson Valley AVA giving it close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose offers intriguing whole cluster nuances of exotic spices, pipe bowl, rose petal and earthy flora. Impressive attack of black cherry, plum and spice flavors with a savory undertone. Expansive in the mouth, with a very long, succulent and juicy finish. Beautifully composed with a firm structure taming the fruit. Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Littorai Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $75. This wine is from an iconic California vineyard planted in the early 1990s just north of the town of Philo. This is the only valley floor vineyard that Littorai works with anywhere. Located at the cooler end of the Anderson Valley, but protected on two sides so the site is warmer than one might expect. Several blocks that Littorai sources from are dry farmed. Littorai is the largest purchaser of Savoy Vineyard grapes since 1995. The vineyard is farmed organically. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The aromatic goodness explodes over time in the glass, offering hi-tone black cherry and spice cabinet aromas. Intense and sappy, with mid weight flavors of black cherry, blueberry, pomegranate, raspberry and spice, with a nuanced earthy underpinning. A sophisticated wine that satisfies from attack to finish, offering impeccable balance. This wine has that ephemeral Pinot quality that is the Holy Grail of vintners. Score: 97. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Littorai The Haven Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $90. Another estate site lying northwest of the town of Occidental on a 1,200 foot ridge. Approximately 40 different rootstock and clonal combinations planted in 2001 within a 4-acre vineyard. Biodynamically farmed. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Upon opening, the nose is primarily barrel driven. When tasted the following day, the nose was exotically spiced, with plenty of blackest cherry fruit aroma and a hint of tobacco. A mid weight plus treasure with unctuous black raspberry and blackberry fruit, warm spices, and earthy, savory character. Flat out delicious with enviable harmony and an extraordinarily intense and persistent finish. Score: 95. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lucienne Smith Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.57, 2,230 cases, $50. This vineyard sits at the highest elevation of Hahn’s vineyards. Harvest Brix 24º-26º. Calera and Jardini clones. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new, 60% neutral. · Invigorating aromas of cherries and spice. This wine has a noticeable juiciness and spring in its step. Fresh, clean flavor of dark red, spiced cherry in a middleweight style with a luxurious, comforting texture like a Nike Dry Fit shirt. Complimentary notes of mocha and vanilla join the tasty fruit flavors. The finish is extended and generous, and the final impression is one of thankful harmony. Score: 94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.55, 644 cases, $50. This wine is from a 20-acre vineyard located at the northern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands. It experiences the strongest maritime influence of all of Hahn’s vineyards and the coolest growing season. Harvest Brix 24º-25.5º. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new and 60% neutral. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, red berry, spice and toast. The delicious dark cherry core really alerts the taste buds. Very polished, even slinky, with a subtle swirl of toasty oak and brown spices. The gossamer tannins make for seductive drinking and the persistent finish is the most striking of the four 2015 Lucienne Pinot Noirs. This wine is quintessential Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. Score: 95. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 LUMOS Temperance Hill Vineyard Temperance Hill Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 196 cases, $45. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, herbs and seasoned oak echo on the nose. Very charming, with a nicely spiced mid weight blackberry fruit core. The tannic backbone is substantial but not at the forefront. The subtle oak treatment delights. What sets this wine apart is the remarkably persistent finish. Like Tom Brady, it’s all about the finish. Score: 95. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 LUMOS Temperance Hill Vineyard North Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 72 cases, $48. The North block is 7.4 acres of Pinot Noir situated at 815 feet elevation. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The extroverted nose offers scents of muddled black cherry, spice and violets. Inviting delicacy in this light to mid weighted wine offering layers of flavors including black cherry, black raspberry, spice and tobacco. Ingratiating harmony with lacy tannins and a generous finish, while not quite the length of the Temperance Hill Estate bottling, still very giving. Score: 94. Reviewed February 21, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Maggy Hawk Hawkster Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 495 cases, $66. Clone Wädenswil 2A. A 6.18- acre block. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasing aromas of forest and blackberry fruit. Both earthy and fruity, exhibiting a mid weight core of fresh black cherry and black raspberry sap clothed in gracious toasty oak. Soft and silken in the mouth with a notable juiciness and a big, even giant, persistent finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, that glorious finish continued to grab my attention. Score: 94. Reviewed March 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Maggy Hawk Jolie Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 641 cases, $66. Clone 115. A southeast facing 10.03-acre block that consistently produces the most nuanced and pretty Pinot Noir from the vineyard and always my favorite wine in the lineup. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of black cherry, clove, and Wassail spices, becoming more explosive over time in the glass. The mid weight black cherry essence is pure and vivid in the mouth, carrying over through an exceptionally long finish. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has an aura that captivates me year in and year out. Score: 94. Reviewed March 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Masùt Vineyard and Winery Estate Vineyard Eagle Peak Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.60, 1,500 cases, $45. Eagle Peak is a recently recognized AVA marked by coastal afternoon breezes, many microclimates, and elevations ranging from 800 to 3,000 feet. Vineyard planted in 1997 in the shadows of Eagle Peak.Blocks 5, 6, 7, 12, and 13. 81% 115 and 19% 777. Yield 2.1 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak in stainless open-top tanks. Aged 12 months on the lees in French oak barrels, 50% new and bottled unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Nicely appointed aromas of black pie cherries, rose petal, and timber. Blackberry, black raspberry and black grape fruits are luscious and perfectly ripened, composed in a mid weight style with added back notes of licorice, conifer and toasty oak. Both savory and fruity, with a seductively satiny mouthfeel, and a deep black cherry infused finish. A distinctive wine with plenty of character that reveals itself nicely now, but will improve in the cellar. Congratulations to the Fetzer boys on one of the best wines yet from Masùt. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Morgan Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.60, 1,335 cases, $64. Vineyard Certified Organic since 2002 making it the first vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands to achieve both organic and sustainable certifications. Clones 777, 667, 115, 114 and Pommard 4. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Very special nose that attracts with aromas of plum, blueberry, blackberry, cardamom spice and floral blossom. A high-collared wine that is flat out terrific, offering mid weight plus flavors of an array of blue and black fruits. Gifted with plenty of extract yet discreet in generosity with the right touch of oak and earthiness. A tenacious finish completes the picture. Score: 95. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Morgan Double L Vineyard Clones 667/115 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.738, 68 cases, $64. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Those nose is spectacular, offering waves of aromas over time that include fresh raspberry, black cherry and spice. Perfect in every way, with a heavenly core of deep red cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruits. Very giving, soft and satiny in texture, with a finish of uncommon length. Score: 94. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Paul Lato “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $80. The most westerly vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley appellation making it the coolest due to its proximity to the ocean. Low yielding vines of clones 115, 667 and 777. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Cozy fruit aromas of black cherry and raspberry are paired with aromas of fertile earth, spice, burnt tobacco and bark. A flood of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry goodness greats the mid palate. Velveteen in texture with deft oak appointments. A juicy cut of acidity energizes the lengthy finish. Score: 94. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Paul Lato “Atticus” John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $75. A newer vineyard on the eastern side of the Sta. Rita Hills. Clone 115 and Swan selection. Ownership partners are Sebastiano Sterpa and John Wagner, and vineyard manager is Ruben Solzono. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of exotic spices, beautifully ripened dark red and purple fruits and a pine sap note are knee-weakening seductive. An ephemeral wine with impressive vibrancy, amazing harmony and silkiness. The boysenberry fruit core is enlivened by bright acidity that also energizes the finish that lasts and lasts and lasts. I found it really hard to avoid swallowing this one. The wine was still almost indescribable when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Score: 98. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Paul Lato “The Contender” Drum Canyon Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $75. This vineyard is an estate property of Dierberg Winery. Sourced from a parcel located in the western section on the steepest slope, graced by southern exposure. Planted to Swan and Calera selections. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is rather shy upon opening, delivering more sustained black fruit and spice aromas over time in the glass. Mid weight plus in style with an energetic core of gorgeous boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors accented with spice and earth. Lush in the mouth with impeccable balance, suave tannins, and a very long, fulfilling finish. Score: 96. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Paul Lato “Seabiscuit” Zotovich Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $75. This vineyard is located in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills off Hwy 246. A collaboration between Steve Zotovich, his family, and vineyard manager Ben Merz. Dijon clones 113 and 115. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of black cherry, sous-bois, mushroom and spice. Vivid and vibrant in the mouth with a mid weight core of wellspiced blackberry goodness. Silky, fine-grain tannins satisfy, as does the elegant demeanor, lasting finish, and overall harmony. Even better the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 97. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Paul Lato “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $90. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose soars over time with enticing aromas of raspberry compote, rose petal, fertile earth and vanilla biscuit. Silky in the mouth, with plenty of sap yet lacking a husky character, offering flavors of earth-toned, mineral driven, blackberry, black raspberry fruit flavors along with a riff of spice. This wine kept grabbing appeal over time in the glass and was considerably more generous when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The tannins had been tamed, and the finish was of uncommon length. Decanting of this wine would be advisable if drunk now. A superb rendition of this vineyard’s terroir. Score: 97. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Zena Crown Vineyard Eola- Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.49, 500 cases, $65. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas arrive over time in the glass, including blackberry, cassis, toast, warm spices and bacon. Mid weight plus in weight, with a substantial black fruit load balanced by burly tannins. Oak is deftly matched to the fruit that has an earthy underpinning. The wine was considerably better when tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle and may deserve a higher score with a few years in the cellar. Score: 92. Reviewed October 8, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Pisoni Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $85. Produced from tiny yields in this vintage. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of earth, iron, toast and dark fruits predict a serious wine. Full-bodied flavors of boysenberry, blackberry and cassis saturate the palate with goodness. Structured tannins are suave and supportive rather than intrusive. The balance is spot on. The finish is incredibly long, seemingly lasting for a minute or more. I rarely encounter a domestic Pinot Noir with this length of finish. The wine is still relatively young and is more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Easily a 20-year wine. Score: 96. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Prince Hill CL 95 Grand Vin De Garage Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

45% whole cluster fermented. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, dark berry and sandalwood. The nose is intoxicating. Mid weight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with a welcome spice accent. The wine offers well-structured tannins that are in balance, a deft touch of oak, and a pleasingly sappy cherry presence woven through the finish. Reminded me of Pommard in character and even a Chambertin. This charming wine continued to evolve in the bottle over a day’s time and became flat-out terrific. Score: 95. Reviewed January 20, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 RAEN Royal St. Robert Cuvée Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 800 cases, $56. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A complex nose offers a perfume of brambly red berries, potpourri, burnt tobacco and exotic spices. Splendid attack of cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruits in a fresh and crunchy style with oak chiming in with aplomb. This wine delights with balanced fruit tannins, a hearty and sustained finish, and an appealing elegance. Score: 95. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2015 Ram’s Gate Silver Eagle Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.61, 132 cases, $76. This property is managed by Ulises Valdez. Located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley region, the vines were planted in 2007 near the town of Occidental just 6 miles from the coast. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Appealing perfume of cherry, allspice, and earthy flora. A complete wine with luscious black cherry and black raspberry fruit flavors that strike an impression. The fruit is infused with exotic spices that hold interest. Bold on the attack, lengthy in the mouth, and finishing with purpose and generosity. Score: 94. Reviewed March 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 70 cases, $75. 1.25 tons off of 1.75 acres. Aged in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is initially replete with aromas of woodland, smoke, smoldering embers, grilled mushroom and spice, presumably due to 100% new oak still relatively soon after bottling. When tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the oak was more subdued and the sexy fruit aromas were beginning to arrive. Much better on the palate with a mid weight core of charming black cherry and black raspberry flavors. Very silky in the mouth, with gentle tannins. Not as sappy as the other 2015 Rivers-Marie wines and thereby more sophisticated and alluring. This wine definitely needs a few years in the cellar and will reward your patience. It will turn out to be the best wine in the 2015 lineup. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sandler Wine Co Peterson Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $40.100% de-stemmed. Aged 11 months in 100% used French oak barrels. This vineyard tends to be ostentatious at an early age and this vintage is no exception. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Spellbinding aromas of black cherry, raspberry, sandalwood and perfumed flowers. Discreetly weighted and quite gracious, yet offering a full flavor experience including tastes of black raspberry and blackberry fruits. Very suave in the mouth, with silky tannins, a velvety mouthfeel and a lovely finish. A harmonious offering for connoisseurs. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2015 Sanglier River Tusque Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.56, 124 cases, $36. The name of this wine is French Provencal for “The Old Lands.” Aged 9 months in French oak barrels, 10% new and 90% 1 to 3-year-old. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is wild and exotic, with aromas of purple berries and complimentary oak notes. Generously endowed in a mid weight plus style, with intense and succulent flavors of boysenberry, pomegranate and blackberry augmented with loads of spice. The wine’s haunting flavors are framed by supporting tannins and an unusually lengthy finish. This wine just has plenty of Pinot speak. Score: 94. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Screen Door Cellars Leras Family Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 50 cases, $65. The Leras family has been farming grapes for over 75 years. This vineyard is planted to Pommard, “828,” and 667 clones. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Terrific nose with profuse aromas of dark cherry and raspberry, spices including sage, white pepper and a hint of vanilla. An abundance of black cherry and cola flavors are accented with a back note of charcuterie and oak vanillin. Smooth in the mouth with immersed tannins and a charitable finish. Most notable is that this wine grew in appeal over time and was considerably better when tasted from a previously opened bottle later in the day. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Screen Door Cellars Roan Family Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley

14.2% alc., 50 cases, $65. The Donnel family met the Roan family at schools their children attended. 100% Pommard clone. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of red cherry and sandalwood lead to a very charming wine that exudes pinotosity. Only modest in weight, but intensely flavored with luxurious tastes of cherry, red berry, brown sugar and spice. The wine displays cool climate vibrancy, a mellow finish and impeccable balance. A stunning wine that offers everything you look for in Pinot Noir. The lighter color may put some drinkers off, but you would be regretfully remiss. I was tasting eight Pinot Noirs and this wine was tasted at the end. It immediately made me sit up in my chair, stare at the glass and smile. Score: 96. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sea Smoke “Ten” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.62, $82. Released October 2017. Composed of ten French clones from the organic and biodynamic certified Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard. A selection of the most robust wines of the vintage and as a result, the darkest and richest of the Sea Smoke bottlings. In 2015, reduced yields led to a small crop with unusually high grape concentration. Grapes were 100% de-stemmed followed by a 5-day cold soak in open-top fermenters and then inoculated with cultured yeasts. Total maceration 16 to 28 days. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A brooding wine that seems reluctant to engage the drinker upon opening. Rustic aromas of clay, earth and dark berry and stone fruits. A voluptuous mouthful of purple and black berry and black plum fruit flavors greet the palate along with firm but not muscled tannins. Harmonious in mouth feel and character with a purple-fruited finish that seems endless. A little more appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more aromatic goodness and fruit expression. The wine was just starting to come out of its shell three days later and was very seductive. Challenging to score this wine as it needs a few more years in bottle. Don’t even think about drinking it now. Score: 93-95. Reviewed April 15, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sean Thackrey Andromeda Devil’s Gulch Ranch Marin County Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 329 cases, $60. Produced and bottled by Sean Thackrey, Bolinas, CA. Grower Mark Pasternak only sells Pinot Noir grapes to Sean Thackrey and Dan Goldfield for vineyard-designated bottlings. Devil’s Gulch Vineyard is located above Nicasio and is one of the cooler and windier Pinot Noir growing sites in California. Yields are small due to wind that interferes with pollination, often less than 1 ton per acre. Thackrey aims for a wine “that is uniquely expressive and one that is wilder and more mysterious and not meant to be light and simple.” Aged 13 months in neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A very interesting nose with uncommon aromas of peppermint basil, herbcoated black cherries, peppered beef and earthy flora. Rather bold in a mid weight plus style, with generous flavors of black cherry, blackberry and brewed tea. Plush in feel, with commendable balance and with a density that does not sacrifice charm. A truly unique wine from a challenging site crafted by a contemplative winemaker. Score: 94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Siduri Dierberg Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 194 cases, $55, screwcap. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A love able nose, with hi-tone aromas of redder fruits, potpourri and bark. Very charming in the mouth, with vivid flavors of earth-kissed cherry and strawberry backed by genteel tannins. Impeccably balanced with a compelling finish. This wine exudes charisma and is quintessential Central Coast in character. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Siduri Hawk’s View Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 295 cases, $50, screwcap. Released April 2017. A combination of grapes from ungrafted vines and newer Dijon clones on roots, all dry farmed. · Light ruby red color in the glass. A real charmer with seductive aromas of cherry, cranberry baking spices and earthy flora that hold up nicely over time in the glass. Juicy, forward and elegant, with a light to mid weight core of delicious Bing cherry, cola, red licorice and spice flavors. The wine has a balletic character with impeccable harmony and is thoroughly delightful. Score: 94. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Small Vines TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 246 cases, $82. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. I was enamored with the nose that offered deep and expressive aromas of cherry, purple berry and exotic spices. A robust charge of well-ripened dark red cherry and berry fruits alerts the senses. The fruit seems to come in waves, immersing the mid palate and finish bold and long. A touch of spice and forest adds interest. Nicely composed with a healthy tannic backbone that blends in for accomplished harmony. This wine has an impressive arsenal of aromas and flavors. Score: 95. Reviewed December 11, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.60, 1,020 cases, $59. Release spring 2017. This vineyard is located on Roberts Road at the western base of Sonoma Mountain. The base of this wine is clone 115 with small portions of 777 and Swan clones added in for complexity. Extremely low yields. 100% de-stemmed, open-top fermentation with native yeast, and aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Persistent aromas of black cherry, spice, purple grapes and oak shavings lead to a mid weight treasure of purple berry and black cherry goodness that has impressive depth of flavor and a remarkably plush and luxurious mouthfeel. Not a powerhouse like the Gap’s Crown, but nimble and texturally mesmerizing. Needs a little time to fully integrate the oak. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed December 13, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sojourn Walala Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.65, 328 cases, $69. Release spring 2017. Inaugural vintage from this vineyard formerly owned by Premier Pacific and now owned by Bill Price. The vineyard sits on a spectacular ridge located 1,200 feet above sea level, just inland from the Pacific Ocean near the coastal town of Annapolis. Clones 113, 115, 777 and “828,” are planted in gravelly loam soils.The vineyard rarely is warmer than 80ºF but the elevation gives the vines ample sunlight and there has not been a problem getting grapes to ripen. 100% de-stemmed, open-top fermentation with native yeast, aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A standout in this lineup of excellent 2015 Pinot Noirs, offering aromas of cherry, strawberry, cranberry and spice with a forest floor accent. Flat-out stunning on the palate with a charge of delicious black cherry fruit that sticks to the mid palate and hangs on through an extraordinarily long and graciously fruity finish. Beautifully composed, with dry well-proportioned tannins and a satiny mouthfeel. This wine breathes new life into the promise of Pinot Noir that winemakers dream about. Score: 96. Reviewed December 13, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sojourn Ridgetop Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.58, 200 cases, $59. This is one of those secluded west Sonoma Coast vineyards that is very hard to get to. It is owned and managed by Thomas Rivers Brown and Fred Schrader with Ulises Valdez caring for the vineyard. It is surrounded by redwood trees at 1,100 feet elevation. This is unique site, located near Annapolis, is rather tropical. Yields are miniscule with concentrated flavors as vines struggle to grow in Goldridge loam soil and remnants of ancient seabed. Clones 115, 667 and 777 were fermented separately. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of dark red cherry and berry with a compliment of spice and sous-bois. Exotic and foresty in the mouth, with engaging flavors of purple berries, pomegranate, blueberry and pine needle. Gentle in demeanor, with well integrated oak, and a juicy, persistent finish. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing loads of enchanting black cherry, purple berry and spice flavors. A unique wine with character. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Sojourn Riddle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.58, 350 cases, $59. This vineyard is located in the cool Green Valley of Russian River Valley near the town of Occidental. Planted in 2008 at high density of 3.5’ x 6’ in Goldridge soils. Clones 115, “828,” Pommard and Mt. Eden taken as original bud wood from a prominent vineyard planted along California’s Central Coast. 100% de-stemmed, open-top native yeast fermentation, aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy, but seductive aromas of darker cherries and berries, spice and floral intricacy. Well-structured with a mid weight core of forest-tinged purple berry fruits. Admirable elegance, with opulent fruit and that appealing West Sonoma Coast savoriness. Beautifully composed, with a fat and lifted finish. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Soléna Prince Hill Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.50, 150 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 23.0º-24.3º. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. Vineyard planted by Dick Earth in 1983. 22 acres of Pinot Noir in Jory soil. · Moderate light garnet color in the glass. A very showy wine from the get-go, with charming aromas of fresh red cherry, strawberry, spice, and sandalwood. Silky smooth in the mouth with seductive mid weight flavors of black cherry black raspberry and spice. Very giving now with modest tannins and unrelenting juiciness as well as a very lengthy finish. This wine reflects its Dundee Hills terroir. Score: 94. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Soléna Domaine Danielle Laurent Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.62, 490 cases, $55. Clones 114, 115, 667, 777, “828,” Pommard and Swan. 80-acre, densely planted in Willakenzie soil. Harvest Brix 24.2º-24.9º. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A sophisticated, haunting wine with the right combination of spiced, dark red and purple fruits and savory earthen notes in a mid weight style. The tannins and acidity are in step creating a wine of impressive harmony that still needs time to fully express itself. The most backward wine in the 2015 lineup, yet the one that is the most complex and potentially the best. Wines from this vineyard have improved as the vineyard has matured. Score: 94. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Compton Alpine Cuvée Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.59, 444 cases, $38, screwcap. Sourced from multiple vineyards in the “banana belt” of the Willamette Valley where there is a relatively warm microclimate within the hillsides of the Monroe area. Weathered volcanic soils of Basalt and Jory type. Diverse clones. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Exceptional aromatic seduction, with aromas of crushed dark berries, underbrush and spice. Like a gift of heaven on the palate, with delicious mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and warm spices. Outstanding harmony with meticulous oak integration. This beauty really delivers the goods in a darker, riper fruited package with seamless tannin and acid integration. Pinot royalty that was even better when tasted later in the day from an open bottle. Buy this one by the case or two to drink now and over the next few years. WOW! Score: 94. Reviewed October 22, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Talisman Huckleberry’s Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.68, 74 cases, $65. Close-spaced vineyard is planted in Goldridge soils and managed entirely by hand by Bill and Lauren Hipp. Dijon 115, 667, 777 and “828.” Yield 2.2 tons per acre. Ambient fermentation with 25% whole cluster lasted one week. The tank was then sealed and extended maceration performed. After about 40 days, the fermenter was drained, the remaining grapes pressed, and the wine was barreled using oak from five coopers. The wine remained unracked for 21 months of aging in 50% new French oak. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of purple berries lead to a big boy wine with a charge of purple and black fruits that floods the mouth with goodness and generosity. Beautifully crafted and very charming, with impeccable balance, deftly managed oak, and a lengthy finish. More appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the aromatics really came alive. Score: 94. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Talisman Destein Estate Bennett Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.58, 50 cases, $N/A. Vineyard is located in Jamison Valley at the east end of the Bennett Valley AVA. It is subject the cool air flowing through the Petaluma Gap. Soils are scanty, non-vigorous. Dijon 777 clone. Yields 2.0 tons per acre. Ambient fermentation with 25% whole cluster. After a week-long fermentation, the fermenter was sealed for extended maceration. About 40 days after picking, the must was pressed and the wine barreled to five different coopers. The wine remained unracked for 21 months in 50% new French oak. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very pleasant aromas of dark cherry and baking spices draw you into the glass. Instantly gratifying, with a mid weight core of delicious black cherry and black raspberry fruit flavors that are expansive in the mouth. Terrific harmony, with a silky, refined mouthfeel and a very long finish that exhibits a peacock tail of black cherry goodness. Flat-out terrific. Score: 94. Reviewed May 3, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Ten Acre Jenkins Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.65, 150 cases, $65. Vineyard planted by Charlie Chenoweth in 2001. Clones 115 and 667 planted in Goldridge gravelly loam soils. 5-day cold soak, native yeast fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Deep Bing cherry perfume along with a compliment of oak and spice rub. Black cherry and blackberry goodness floods the mouth in a mid weight styled wine with a rounded, soft texture. A brotherly touch of oak and friendly tannins are in harmony with the well-endowed fruit. Elegantly aggressive and quintessential Russian River Valley. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Three Sticks Gap’s Crown Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.60, 220 cases, $70. Vineyard is located on the western slope of Sonoma Mountain in the recently approved Petaluma Gap AVA. The area enjoys the cooling effects of both wind and fog plus a sweeping western exposure. Swan, “828,”, 115 and Rochioli selection of Pommard. 20% whole cluster. Open-top fermentation, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely mix of aromas including boysenberry jam, underbrush, tobacco and biscuit. Delicious mix of purple and black fruits in a middleweight style that offers exquisite balance. The sexy, satiny texture makes the eyes light up as does the extremely long finish that never seems to quit. An extraordinary wine. Score: 97. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Three Sticks Walala Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.59, 218 cases, $70. Inaugural release. This 17-acre vineyard is perched on a ridge at 1,200 feet elevation just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean near the town of Gualala and in the middle of 19,000 acres of pristine forestland. This heavily maritime-influenced vineyard is on the extreme edge of Pinot Noir viticulture. Soil is Goldridge sandy loam along with gravelly Hugo loam. 25% whole cluster, open-top fermentation, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Sensational aromas of blackberry, cassis and warm Holiday spices that are deep and persistent. Mid weight plus flavors of slightly sweet purple and black berries are bold and generous accented with the right amount of spice. Bombastically flavored with majestic fruit, yet elegantly composed with impressive balance and a silky mouth feel. This on-the-edge vineyard continues to astonish with its fruit concentration. Score: 95. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Three Sticks Cuvée Eva Marie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.62, 112 cases, $90. Inaugural release. One Sky Vineyard is located high atop Sonoma Mountain and is a new jewel in the crown for Three Sticks. At 1,400 feet elevation, growing grapes here can be a challenge. A mix of heritage and Dijon clones planted strategically in Goulding cobble clay loam that provides excellent drainage. 25% whole cluster, open-top fermentation, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 57% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Captivating aromas of blackberry, sage, earth and mulch. The wine captures the heart with a dreamy texture that is pure silk. Vibrant flavors of purple and black fruits with the right touch of spice and oak compliment. The wine wows the senses with appeal, finishing long and charitable. My notes say, “Wow!” Score: 95. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Trisaetum Estates Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 358 cases, $69. Released June 2017. A combination of Trisaetum’s three estate vineyards. A selection of the most prized barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is grand, with gloriously fresh aromas of blackberry, black grape, spice and fertile earth. A flavor explosion greets the palate with layers of purple and black fruit accented with notes of spice, savory herbs and toasty oak. Well-structured with suede tannins and a remarkably long finish. Score: 95. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Van Duzer Homestead Block Estate Grown Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.51, 243 cases, $60. 100% own-rooted Pommard clone. 10% whole cluster. 8 days of extended maceration. aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The best nose of the three Block Pinot Noirs in this vintage, offering bright aromas of fresh cherry, cola and spice. Delicious darker cherry essence that is expansive in the mouth and lingering on the finish. Silky and ephemeral, with righteous oak. Pinot royalty. Score: 94. Reviewed February 2, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Walter Scott Dubay Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 125 cases, $50. This small vineyard is located on a steep, rocky hillside and is farmed by viticulturist Ryan Hannaford. Yields were 1.6 tons in 2014. Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of well-ripened blackberry, cassis, Asian spices, nut oil and vanilla in a moderately rich styled wine with impressive balance and a fulfilling finish replete with exuberant blackberry, blueberry and pomegranate fruit. Somewhat unyielding at this young age, but the charm and pedigree is evident. Considerably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with aromas of exotic spices, lush fruit flavors, and good cut on the juicy finish. Score: 93-94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Walter Scott Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 125 cases, $ 65 (sold out). Sourced from one acre of the original 1983 plants of un-grafted Pinot Noir vines found in the lower half of the vineyard. Walter Scott is one of the few wineries to get fruit from this vineyard outside of the estate holder, Evening Land. Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is very open and giving, offering soaring aromas of cherry, strawberry and spice. Redder fruit is profiled in this mid weight wine with superb harmony. More open at this young age, sporting regal spiced fruit and a juicy finish filled with black cherry delight. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the quenching finish and invigorating acidity stood out. Score: 94-95. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Walter Scott Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 100 cases, $50. This iconic vineyard sits on the crown of the Eola-Amity hills at elevations of 600 to 900 feet. The site, farmed by owner Dai Crisp, is exposed to cool afternoon marine breezes that define the wines and contribute to late ripening. Sourced from a block containing 24-year-old vines. Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. I was at a loss of words in describing this joyful nose offering aromas of dark berries, spice and underbrush with a feral tone. One can really taste the Temperance Hill terroir in this wine, with its structured sense and its typically vigorous black cherry and black raspberry fruit flavors. The wine is in perfect harmony, with a silky mouthfeel, gracious acidity, fine-grain tannins, and a lasting finish. Still an overwhelming experience when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Pinot Noirs from this vineyard are consistently captivating. Score: 96-97. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Walter Scott Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 325 cases, $50. Vineyard planted in 1982 by Dan and Helen Dusschee who own and farm the vineyard sustainably with their son Dustin. The vineyard is located in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range and vines are planted on Bellpine loam soils. The wines are typically structured and powerful. Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is reserved but alluring with wafting aromas of cherry blossom, raspberry coulis and tobacco and an earthy underpinning. Unctuous on the palate with perfectly ripened fruit flavors of strawberry, cherry and raspberry. As typical with this vineyard, the tannins are a bit imposing but are not drying, and they smooth out over time in the glass. Wines from this vineyard can be a bit gruff, but that quality is not evident in this wine. I remained infatuated when I tasted this wine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This one will stay the long course. Score: 96-97. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 WesMar Balletto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $45. Pommard clone. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Very complex and sensual nose offering scents of exotic spices including allspice, savory herbs, new leather, dark rose petal and boysenberry jam. Mouthwatering mid weight plus flavors of blueberry and boysenberry fruits blessed with enhancing spices, showing exceptional length in the mouth and finish. The wine floods the mouth with saturating fruit yet retains a vibrant demeanor due to balancing tannins and acidity. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle offering glorious spice on the nose, a satin texture in the mouth and the biggest and longest finish of any of the wines in the 2015 WesMar lineup. Like Shaun White at the Winter Olympics, a stunning finish. Score: 95. Reviewed March 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Winter’s Hill Block 10 Single Block Series Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 98 cases, $49. Block 10 is the highest elevation block planted to Pinot Noir and receives the most direct sunlight. 100% de-stemmed. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Heady aromas of marionberry, purple grape and baking spices. Aims to please in the mouth, with an attack of vivid black cherry and spice flavors that demands attention. Remarkable intensity, yet cohesive tannins and acidity make for seamless drinking. The wine’s remarkable ending offers uncommon vibrancy. Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Winter’s Hill Block 10 Single Block Series Whole Cluster Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 98 cases, $49. 100% whole cluster fermented. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Dramatic aromatics that excite including scents of black cherry, black raspberry, rose petal and exotic spices. My notes say, “Oh-man!” Equally seductive on the palate, with mid weight unctuous flavors of black cherry and black raspberry immersed in exotic spices. Noticeably different texturally from the 100% de-stemmed version of this wine with meaty, fine-grain tannins that seem to caress and elevate the fruit. A very long, flavorful and juicy finish completes the picture. A connoisseur’s wine. Score: 95. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Aether Matrix Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $65. Harvest Brix 24.1º. Calera and 115 clones. 25% whole cluster, indigenous yeast, aged 27 months in neutral French oak barrels.The name implies a mosaic of flavors and aromas ever changing and moving through time. In the case of this wine, Matrix is a fusion of the energy and flavors of two vineyards with divergent yet simpatico character - Quinta del Mar and Drum Canyon. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy, but very pleasant aromas of black cherry and black raspberry fruits. Vivid array of dark red to purple orchard and berry fruits presented in a seductive, mid weight style with valued length. Seamless with a polished texture and ethereal refinement. Notable but not intrusive oak in the background. Finishes bright and quenching with a burst of cherry goodness. The most transcendent of the 2014 Aether Pinots. Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Angela Estate Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $36. this 34-acre vineyard was planted in 2006 to Wädenswil, 777 and 115 clones. Marine sedimentary soils. The vineyard is owned by South African wine producer Antony Beck as a gift to his wife Angela. Production of the wine is overseen by Ken Wright. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of berry patch, black cherry, dried herbs and damp mulch lead to a an elegantly styled, but powerfully flavored middleweight wine featuring a delicious core of black cherry fruit. Forward and giving, with impeccable balance and an intensely-aromatic, cherry-driven finish. Classic Oregon Pinot Noir to enjoy now or over the next ten years. Score: 94. Reviewed May 10, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Ayoub Estate Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.50, 440 cases, $60. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is clearly an outstanding example of this vintage. Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, spice box, dark red rose petal and burnt tobacco. Revealing harmony with the first sip, this beauty is both elegant and silky on the palate, offering a mid weight array of black berry fruits supported by feathery tannins. Very giving at this early age. Even more striking the following day, when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with an exuberant nose and enviable balance. Score: 93-94. Reviewed February 1, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Balletto 18 Barrel Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 450 cases, $44. Composed of grapes from estate vineyards in the hills southwest of Sebastopol. · Dazzling aromas of wild berry jam and dark muddled cherries. Superb presentation of a mixture of dark red cherry and berry fruits that enter with aplomb, expand in the mouth and finish with memorable length. Silken in texture, with a splendid acid underbody, offering elegance with power. A subtle sense of earthiness, terra cotta and mushroom add a savory note that tantalizes. Score: 94. Reviewed August 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Baxter Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.42, 65 cases, $52. Clones 2A, 667, Pommard and “828.” 25% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 10% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Exceptional aromatic presence, with soaring scent of raspberry, strawberry, rose petal and spice. More earthy and rustic on the palate, yet offers vivid fruit flavors of red and purple berries with a mushroom accent. The intensity and appeal builds in appeal over time. The juicy finish really satisfies. Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Big Basin Vineyards Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 326 cases, $48. Very good stem lignification allowed 100% whole clusters. Tremendous color and flavor at low sugar levels. 16-year-old vines planted to Mt. Eden, 115 and 667. Soils are sandy loam over sedimentary base rock. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This is a glorious wine in all respects. The whole cluster dimension is perfectly complimentary in this wine. Soaring aromas of cherry, rose petal and spice are harmonious. Silky in the mouth, with a deep spice-enhanced cherry and raspberry fruit flavor. Vibrant and refreshing, this wine soothes rather than attacks the palate. Very comforting with impeccable balance and a bombastic cherry finish. Even better when tasted two days later from a previously opened and recorked bottle. In one word, Wow! This wine really emotes. Score: 97. Reviewed February 1, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Big Table Farm Earth Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 108 cases, $105. Label features a cattle skull. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of crushed black cherries, exotic spices, rose petal and a hint of oak. The wine hits the palate with vigor, offering bright flavors of black cherry, blackberry, and smoky spices. Beautifully balanced and refined with a finish that holds on for dear life. This wine does not have the power of the Willamette Valley and Pelos- Sandberg offerings, but is more seductive with sleek tannins and a polished demeanor. This is a black tie wine that commands plenty of respect. Score: 94. Reviewed April 22, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Bohème Tenth Anniversary English Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 446 cases, $49. Vineyard is located at the southwestern edge of Sebastopol Hills. Clones 115, 667, Vosne-Romanee and Calera each vinified separately. Yields 3.3 tons per acre. Tailored cold soak, 25% whole cluster fermentation, hand punch downs, aged 22 months in seasoned French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Enchanting aromas of purple grape, pomegranate, black cherry, baking spice, and sweet pipe smoke set the stage. Flat out terrific in the mouth, with alluring mid weight flavors of raspberry and black cherry and a hint of oak and feral gaminess. Smooth and polished in texture, with a quenching cut of acidity on the finish. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Brick House Cuvée de Tonnelier Ribbon Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $48. The name of the wine roughly translates to “barrel maker’s cuvée.” The wine is blended from the oldest vines on the farm, a 10-acre block of Pommard clone just south of the brick house planted in 1990. Natural yeast fermented. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Clean and fresh aromas of black raspberry and blackberry build in the glass over time. Light to mid weight in character in a beautifully elegant and masterfully crafted wine offering flavors of black cherry and black raspberry. Everything is in sync with an impressive attack and glorious finish. Submerged tannins make for easy approachability. Score: 94. Reviewed October 22, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Brick House Evelyn’s Ribbon Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $68. A barrel selection of equal parts Dijon and Pommard clones. This bottling is the finest wine the estate vineyard has to offer. Named in honor of the winemaker’s mother. Raised on gross lees in barrel for a minimum of 16 months. A larger percentage of new French oak and whole cluster fermentation give this wine its long term age ability. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Clearly a special wine on encountering the seductive aromas of fertile earth, black strawberry, raspberry and oak spice. The best nose in the lineup. The charge of mid weight plus blue and black fruits is mouth filling and the result is an impression of boldness and ripeness. A sturdy backbone of tannins matches up well with the sappy fruit, a slip of oak adds character, some earthiness chimes in, and the finish lingers indefinitely. the wine can be enjoyed now, but has the balance and structure to age magnificently. Score: 95. Reviewed October 22, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Broadley Vineyards Estate Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 800 cases, $30. A blend of Pommard, Dijon 115, 667, and 777, and Wädenswil clones from various blocks including the oldest planted in 1981. 90% de-stemmed, wild yeast fermentation in open-top fermenters, aged 12 months in Francois Frères French oak barrels, 15% new and balance 1 to 2-year-old. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Hi-tone aromas of blueberry, black raspberry, spice and iron set the stage for the delicious core of well-spiced cherry and raspberry fruit flavors. Structured, but balanced, with a satiny texture and a finish that clings to the palate for what seems like a minute. The most gracious wine tasted here from Broadley blessed with a grand cru finish. Spot on. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Brooks Crannell Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.60, 300 cases, $48. Vineyard farmed by Richard Crannell. Jory and Nekia soils - well-drained, volcanic basalt from ancient lava flows. Vineyard planted in 1984 at 550 feet elevation. Native yeast fermentation, aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of cherry, dusty earth, ground savory and white pepper. Delicious pie cherry core wrapped around suave tannins and accented with a kiss of oak. The flavor of this wine really hits home and the glorious cherry-driven finish seems to last a minute. Score: 94. Reviewed August 27, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Brooks Rastaban Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.51, 500 cases, $55. Pommard, 115 and 777. Native yeast fermentation, aged 18 months in French oak barrels. The most intense and complex barrels in the cellar. The best effort for the vintage. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The intoxicating nose offers aromas of black cherry, cigar box and exotic spices. Very classy and impeccably balanced, with mid weight flavors of black cherry and ripe strawberry underlain with a pleasing earthiness. Impressive polish and verve, with enough structure for aging, although it is hard to keep your hands off it now. Score: 95. Reviewed August 27, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Cattleya Wines Cuvée Number One Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., very limited, unreleased. Sourced from Lakeview Vineyard in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. Pommard and Dijon 115. Named after the successful first of many blending trials between both clones. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, cassis and bark. Exceptionally refined in the mouth with a velvety texture, featuring mid weight flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and plum. Impeccable balance with involved but not intrusive fine-grain tannins. and an intensely endowed finish. A gregarious and toothsome wine that is meant to please. Score: 94. Reviewed February 5, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Chasseur Freestone Station Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.62, 124 cases, $60. A collaboration between William Hunter and the Cleary and Dutton families. Sourced from Dutton Ranch-Freestone Station Vineyard. Clones 115 and 115. Harvest Brix 25.2º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Complex and alluring nose offering scents of cherry, raspberry, spice, seasoned oak, graham and even a hint of peach. One could be happy just smelling this wine. Mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice exude class. The wine has both precision and clarity and a pleasing grip of juicy acidity on the glorious finish. Sublime. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Chasseur Soft Asylum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.58, 105 cases, $60. A blend of the best barrels from best blocks from the best vineyards. Harvest Brix 25.2º. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry juice, worn leather, wilted rose and vanilla. The mid weight plus flavors of black cherry and black raspberry have an ephemeral character. Satin in texture, with nothing out of place, and an extended black cherry fueled finish that transcends all other Chasseur Pinots in this vintage. Still superb when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A ticket to heaven. Score: 95. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Cobb Wines Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 310 cases, $75 ($160 per 1.5L magnum). This 3-acre vineyard gets the most fog of any of the vineyards Cobb works with leading to an appealing vibrancy. Located near the town of Occidental, this vineyard is planted to 2 Dijon clones in Goldridge soil. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Sensational aromas of burnished cherry, spice, pine sap and wilted rose lead to a middleweight core of delicious cherry fruit accented with spice and cola. Seamless, elegant and polished with a generous finish that is unusually persistent. This wine tugs at your heart strings. Score: 95. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Couloir Monument Tree Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $48. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine really impresses with aromas of muddled black cherry and raspberry, along with spice and wooded forest infusions. The aromas achieve more penetration with time in the glass. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, blackberry and spice satisfy with added accents of dark caramel and char from oak. Intriguing and beautifully balanced, with a seductive velvety texture that makes you want to pour this syrupy Pinot on your waffle. Score: 94. Reviewed July 24, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Couloir Wines Monument Tree Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 198 cases, $48. Previously reviewed and included in Volume 10, Issue 24 of the PinotFile. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine really impresses with aromas of muddled black cherry and raspberry, along with spice and wooded forest infusions. The aromas achieve more penetration with time in the glass. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, blackberry and spice satisfy with added accents of dark caramel and char from oak. Intriguing and beautifully balanced, with a seductive velvety texture that makes you want to pour this syrupy Pinot on your waffle. Score: 94. Reviewed August 16, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Couloir Wines John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 196 cases, $52. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of blackberry jam, soy, potpourri and earthy flora. The wine explodes with glorious fruit on entry, saturating the mid palate with delicious flavors of black raspberry, plum and spice, finishing with both length and intensity. Impeccably balanced with vibrant acidity and integrated tannins, this beauty offers a sublime experience for hedonists. Score: 94. Reviewed August 16, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.60, 381 cases, $69. Only vineyard kept when the property was bought in 1992. This upper field had been planted in 1982 but abandoned in the late 1980s. The vineyard was named in honor of founder Paul Gerrie's late mother. The vineyard is distinctive in that it is own-rooted and lower density (6' x12') plantings. 8.5 acres are planted between the lower slopes of Louise Vineyard and Eileen Vineyard at the top of the hill. By 2004, Marjorie was re-planted with young vines grafted to phylloxera resistant rootstocks to supplant the older original vines. In 1999, the original Martini clone was grafted over to Dijon 114, 115 and 777. Beginning in 2004, re-planting of Marjorie was undertaken with Pommard, Wädenswil, 114, 115 and 777. Some original Pommard and Wädenswil vines remain. Both original and young vines contribute to this bottling. Harvest Brix 24.3º-24.7º. 48% whole clusters, no cold soak, native yeast fermentations, minimum effective additions of sulfur and tartaric acid, bladder pressed, and aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 47% new. Bottled after fining with egg whites and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a whole cluster delight of black cherry, rose petal, cinnamon, and exotic spice aromas. The whole cluster also embellishes the palate that features a mid weight core of succulent, well-spiced cherry fruit that is flat-out delicious. Welcome balance, with silky tannins and juicy acidity, finishing with a lengthy stream of spiced cherry and raspberry fruits. Even better the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing more power and depth and an even more gorgeous finish. Score: 96. Reviewed December 13, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.61, 940 cases, $59. Vineyard named after founder Eileen Gerrie, wife of Paul Gerrie. Planting began in 1997 to Dijon 114, 115 and 777 and Pommard clone at high density. Wadenswil was added in 2006 bringing the vineyard to 16.61 acres, the largest planting of Pinot Noir on the estate. This vineyard extends to the crest of the Eola Hills and is exposed to the last rays of sunlight each day and the first cooling Pacific Ocean breezes. Soils are primarily Jory and Nekia. Harvest Brix 24.5º-24.6º. 48% whole clusters. No cold soak, minimum addditions of sulfur and tartaric acid, native yeast fermentation, bladder pressed, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 44% new. Bottled after fining with egg whites and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Seductive aromas of black cherry, exotic spices and sous-bois lead to a sturdy and highly flavorful palate featuring dark cherry and purple grape fruits gently framed by firm but not imposing tannins. Engaging fruit purity and delightful spice with a lingering, juicy finish. You will want to elope with Eileen. Score: 94. Reviewed December 13, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Cristom Louise Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.58, 856 cases, $59. The first vineyard established at Cristom in 1993 and named for founder Paul Gerrie's maternal grandmother. Densely planted at 2300 vines per acre on the upper slopes of vineyard ("Upper Louise") and 1,815 vines per acre on the lower vines closest to the winery ("Lower Louise"). Louise has the most dramatic soil diversity among all Cristom vineyards. 9.31 acres are planted with Dijon 113, 114, 115 and 777 and Pommard clones. Harvest Brix 23.6º-25.1º. 42% whole clusters. No cold soak before native yeast fermentation. Minimum effective additions of sulfur and tartaric acid. Bladder pressed and aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 51% new. Bottled after fining with egg whites and unfiltered. · Light cherry red color in the glass. The aromas of crushed cherry, spice, rose petal, pine sap and vanilla oil draw your nose into the glass. A perfectly ripened core of dark red cherry essence fills every nook and cranny in the mouth and really clings to the finish. There are nuances galore, including accents of cardamom spice, boysenberry juice and subtle oak spices. The wine has noticeable energy and enough tannin for the long haul. Even more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle exhibiting dreamy balance. Score: 95. Reviewed December 13, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 De Ponte Cellars Estate Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 432 cases, $60. A limited bottling from the most prized vineyard blocks and select barrels. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The dreamy nose reminds of walking through an angel garden with aromas of loam, pine needle, alpine flora and black cherry. Delicious mid weight flavors of black cherry, raspberry and spice with a thread of iron “minerality.” Elegant, silky and gorgeous, with refined tannins, juicy acidity and a very long and memorable finish. As good as the Dundee Hills bottling is, this wine is a step up in class. Score: 94. Reviewed February 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 De Ponte Cellars Baldwin Family Reserve Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 219 cases, $75. Typically a richer, more full-bodied offering that is the winery’s most limited production. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a luxurious deep black cherry perfume that raises the senses like a pheromone. The flavor profile is similar to the Estate bottling, but this wine has more structure and fruit sap. Striking mid palate presence of deliciously ripe dark cherry, blueberry and black raspberry fruits that are delicately spiced. A dreamy wine that has a slightly creamy texture, noticeable but supportive tannins, and a long finish that is almost too good to be true. Still seductive when tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed February 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Dehlinger Altamont Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $70. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Expressive aromas of Bing cherry, spice and sous-bois. Fullbodied, with a core of gorgeous black cherry fruit accented with flavors of cola, spice and dark chocolate. Plush and seductive in the mouth, with a seamless character, finishing with an entrancing deep cherry remembrance. Score: 94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2014 Dierberg Drum Canyon Vineyard Ty Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 62 cases, $95. This wine is made from a special block of clone 667 which showed more fullness and complexity in the barrel. This block is located in rockier soils and a perfect slope. Named after Jim and Mary Dierberg’s grandson, this wine is the pinnacle of the Drum Canyon Vineyard. Fermented with some stem inclusion. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. An array of dark fruit aromas are complimented with notes of warm spices and a bit of oak-driven notes of anise and tobacco. Embraceable core of dark cherry fruit with floral and brioche accents. Soft in the mouth, with a very long black cherry imbued finish. A big but not cumbersome wine that will need more cellaring for full oak integration. Score: 94. Reviewed August 5, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Domaine De La Côte La Côte Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 820 cases, $90. 100% whole cluster. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A searching nose that mesmerizes the drinker with aromas of cherry, cola, pipe smoke and smoky caramel that picks up noticeable intensity over time in the glass. This wine has a little more of everything, including fruit sap, oak and tannin, but they all blend seamlessly in this mid weight plus offering featuring dark red fruits. There is a charming briskness and freshness to this wine that encourages the drinker to linger over every sip and refreshes for the next taste. The finish is of Grand Crus length as well. This is the stuff that Pinot dreams are made of. Dreamers can expect this wine to age beautifully for ten years or more. Score: 98. Reviewed December 1, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Domaine De La Côte Siren’s Call Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 145 cases, $120. Inaugural vintage from this vineyard. Estate grown, produced and bottled. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is remarkably complex, offering aromas of dark cherry, mysterious Asian spices, sous-bois, burnt tobacco and smoke. Light to mid weight in style, with invigorating acidity that forms the first impression. Demure flavors of tart cherry and cranberry with a touch of spice and tobacco. The fine-grain tannins are supportive and make for easy approachability. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was in full flight featuring all the best of whole cluster. The palate had picked up some weight, raspberry fruit arrived, the wine was vivid and vibrant, and the finish left a mouthwatering impression. You can just sense the cool ocean breeze in this wine. Score: 94. Reviewed February 13, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Dutton Goldfield Fox Den Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.67, 565 cases, $62. This vineyard is located at the western border of Green Valley just above the town of Occidental. Soils are Goldridge sand loam. Dan Goldfield and Steve Dutton planted this 8-acre vineyard in 2002 on the home site of Ed and Sue Smith. Dijon clones 667, 777 and 115. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a plethora of savory scents including earthy flora and herb seasonings as well as raspberry and mocha notes. Very fresh and lively in a mid weight style featuring flavors of strawberry and red and black raspberry. Highly engaging and generous, slightly creamy in texture, modest in tannins, and finishing with a crispness that appeals. This wine has all the features that we have come to relish in Pinot Noir: perfume, texture, elegance and freshness. Score: 94. Reviewed December 1, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Dutton-Goldfield Deviate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.63, 325 cases, $72. The 8th small Pinot Noir bottling (DV8). A deviation from the winery’s single vineyard focus, this wine is a blend from two favorite vineyards, Jentoft Vineyard in Green Valley (Calera selection planted in 2003) and Ellenbach Vineyard near Annapolis. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of damp earth, pine and mashed blackberries soar from the glass. Rich and luxurious, with a charge of well-spiced boysenberry and blackberry fruits that saturate the palate and adroitly fade slowly through an enduring finish. Quite sappy, yet possessing a nimble demeanor. Firm, but supportive tannins supply a backbone for aging in this marvelous wine. Score: 95. Reviewed December 1, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Dutton Goldfield Emerald Ridge Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.60, 646 cases, $62. Vineyard planted in 2001 by Steve Dutton in Goldridge sandy loam soil to several Pinot Noir clonal blocks. This offering contains Pommard, 2A, 667 and ‘828.’ De-stemmed, 5-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. A complex wine with an array of aromas including wild dark berries, cardamom spice, forest and floral bouquet. Mid weight styled juicy flavors of blueberry, dark raspberry and plum. Supportive oak with soft tannins and a quenching finish. This wine will benefit from more time in bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 En Garde Starkey Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 138 cases, $55. Vineyard is located in Sebastopol just outside the Green Valley AVA. Owned by Diane Starkey and cared for by Arturo Robledo. 30+-year-old vines including clones 23, “828,” and Pommard. Harvest Brix 23.6º. 15% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A wine with special drive and purpose, offering engaging aromas of blueberrypomegranate, blackberry preserves and subtle oak. Enters with a charge of blue and black berry fruits framed by fine-grain tannins and maintains in the mouth. Impeccable harmony, with a long, powerfully aromatic finish. Score: 94. Reviewed September 24, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Eric Kent Sascha Marie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.60, 306 cases, $52. Sourced mainly from Roberts Road Vineyard located in the eastern Petaluma Gap region combined with contributions from four other sites. 56% Roberts Road, 16% Stiling, 16% Grand Vent, 8% V-C Ranch and 4% Rayhill. Clones are 44% Swan, 28% 777, 18% Pommard, 4.5% 115, 3% 113 and 2.5% 667. Aged in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Flirtatious aromas of cherry pie, hazelnut and baking spices. Plenty of sappy Bing cherry fruit accented with spice. Sleek and forward drinking in a mid weight plus, generously fruity style that extends enough juicy acidity for admirable balance. This wine has that charming pinotosity that is impossible to describe but you know it when you experience it. Score: 94. Reviewed October 2, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $45. This is a blend of the best grapes from individual parcels on the Ranch located in southern Sonoma in the northwestern corner of the Carneros AVA. 13 different soil types, all variations of volcanic origin. Dijon 667, 777, 113, 114, 459, Pommard, Martini and various heirloom selections. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of black raspberry, spice, and earthy potpourri. A terrific wine that instantly perks up your attention with ingratiating mid weight flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, spice, white pepper and mushroom with a deft touch of oak seasoning. Sensual on the palate, with sinewy tannins and enough power to seduce. Still terrific the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle indicating long-term age ability. Quintessential Carneros and one of the best Pinots I have tasted from this region in my recent memory. Score: 96. Reviewed November 30, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Etude Ellenbach Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $60. Vineyard is 4 miles from Pacific Ocean in Annapolis in the northernmost West Sonoma Coast. It is positioned just above the fog line at 800 feet elevation on a steep hillside. A variety of clones are planted in Goldridge soil, unique among the region’s volcanic soils. Dijon “828,” and 115. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A mysterious nose that releases its charms slowly over time in the glass, climaxing with a gorgeous array of dark purple fruit, cardamom spice and sous-bois aromas that overwhelm. A delicious core of dark fruits is perfectly accented with spice and a schmear of oak. This wine has a polished demeanor, with refined tannins and a very impressive and high-spirited finish that is both juicy and persistent. You need this beauty in your cellar. Score: 95. Reviewed November 30, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Etude Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

$45. Vineyard is located about 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean alongside the Santa Ynez River bench at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley. 35 small blocks with a variety of rootstocks and clones planted in well-draining clay loam and calcareous marine shale.Clones 667, 777, 113, Pommard 4 and 5. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Engaging perfume of fresh crushed cherries, savory spices and rose petal. Very silky and elegant, with sportive mid weight flavors of ripe strawberry and black cherry fruits with a welcome touch of spice. The tannins are noticeably refined, something of note since the tannins can be aggressive in wines from this vineyard. Just a touch of oak seasoning is complimentary. A brilliant offering, with a finish that goes on and on. The winemaker’s extensive experience with the fruit from this vineyard shows in the excellence of this wine. A superb value to boot. Score: 94. Reviewed November 30, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Seven Springs Estate La Source Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 1,611 cases, $75. Since 2012, this wine has always been a selection of the very best barrels in the cellar. For this vintage, rather than hew to tradition, Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr tasted through all individual blocks of Seven Springs Vineyard. The uppermost blocks planted to Dijon clones set themselves apart from the older vines downslope. The upper vines are in rockier soils and exposed to windier conditions making them stressed. Adjacent to the top block is a small vineyard called Clos de La Fôret that is encircled by a dense grove of Douglas Fir (see photo below). This block performs beautifully in a warm vintage like 2014. This wine was aged in French oak barrels, 30% new, and bottled without fining or filtration. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of cherry, pomegranate, rose petal, exotic spices and sweet pipe smoke. Delicious attack of cherry fruit with added notes of spice and rose water. Luscious, yet balletic, with refined tannins, complimentary oak, and an aromatic finish featuring cherry and strawberry at its best. This wine is a perfect example of why people get so excited about Pinot Noir. It simply grabs your heart. Still superb when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 96. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Seven Springs Estate Anden Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $. The lower half of Seven Springs Vineyard is home to the original 1984 plantings of Pommard and Wädenswil clones of Pinot Noir planted on their own roots. This wine celebrates the history of Seven Springs focusing on vines that are slowly succumbing to the ravages of phylloxera. The smallest and most beautiful clusters are harvested and fermented on the stems. The wine was raised in 100% new Ermitage barrels and bottled without filtration. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Very shy nose initially, even reductive, picking up appealing aromas of cherry, spice and toasty oak over time. Very fulfilling in the mouth, with a whole cluster fermented demeanor, offering flavors of dark cherry, spice and burnt tobacco. There is also a savory underpinning that is intriguing. Very subtle oak support, integrated tannins and a juicy finish. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating this wine will benefit from more time in the cellar. Score: 94-95. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Felton Road Block 3 Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $69.99. Imported by Young’s Market Co., Tustin, CA. 100% organic and biodynamic viticulture since vineyards first designed beginning in 1991. This wine is taken from older vines in Block 3 of The Elms Vineyard, one of four properties farmed by Felton Road in the Bannockburn subregion of Central Otago. 25% whole clusters, fermented with indigenous yeast, moderately long maceration on skins, aged 13 months in French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Engaging aromas of black cherry, sous-bois and tobacco. Beautifully composed, with a delicious attack of black cherry fruit accented with sweet oak and well-proportioned tannins. The finish has remarkable staying power. The oak overlay is not imposing and should further integrate over time. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more appealing. Easy to find superlatives for this gorgeous Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed February 5, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 237 cases, $62. Clones 667 and “828.” Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 42% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is initially brooding, but fans out over time to reveal enticing aromas of darker berry jam, spice and earth. A remarkable attack of mid weight plus black cherry, blackberry and spice flavors are flat out delicious. This wine is impeccably balanced with impressive mid palate presence and follow through into a long, masculine finish. A 60 minute wine: the bottle is sure to be gone in 60 minutes. Score: 94. Reviewed August 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

400 cases, $75. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Spectacular nose filled with soaring aromas of Bing cherry, spice and rose petal. A bombastically flavored yet elegant wine, offering a chewy and sappy core of cherry fruit complimented by a deft touch of oak. The gossamer tannins make the wine easy to cozy up to, and the finish is blessed by angels. Score: 94-95. Reviewed June 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Gary Farrell Fort Ross Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

530 cases, $70. Calera and 777 clones. 50% whole cluster fermented. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely nose replete with scents of cherry, spice and rose petal. It’s love at first sip with this ripe and succulent middleweight styled wine with flavors of blueberry and plum and a subtle savory thread. More tannin in this wine as you would expect from the whole cluster inclusion, but the tannin is harmoniously supportive. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Gary Farrell Toboni Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.65, 907 cases, $55. Released May 2016. Sourced from clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard planted in 2001. Aged 8 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. This wine packs more concentration than the color would indicate. I loved the aromatics, showing elevating scents of fresh Bing cherry, cola and potpourri. Richly endowed with flavors of dark cherry and black raspberry with a hint of baking spices, in a very friendly mid weight plus style that is beautifully composed and finishes with a memorable infusion of cleansing acidity and fruit. Way too easy to drink. Score: 94. Reviewed June 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Gary Farrell Love in the Time of Calera Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

70 cases, $70. A Black Label offering indicating this is a special bottling from the winemaker who loves Calera clone. This wine combines Calera clones from two vineyards: Fort Ross and Martaella. Some wine was vinified with 50% whole cluster in an oak tank and some was vinified with 30% whole cluster in stainless. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Amazingly intoxicating nose featuring dark cherry, rose petal and spice aromas. Intensely flavored, yet suave, graceful and caressing on the palate with well-matched angular tannins and a very long amorous finish. This wine is like finding true love: indescribable but exhilarating. Score: 96-98. Reviewed June 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.55, 1,130 cases, $84. Harvest Brix 25º. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, 40% neutral. This vineyard typically provides rich, lush fruit and a velvety texture. 60% clone “828,” provided voluptuous dark fruit flavors while clone 667 was added to balance the acidity and structure. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black fruits, sweet pipe smoke, oak spice, nuts and earth. Robust mid weight plus flavors of blackberry and boysenberry are deftly balanced by firm tannins. Rounded and polished with a luscious palate that is both creamy and replete with heaps of berry goodness. Impeccably balanced, this wine finishes long and sturdy. Flat-out delicious. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Goldeneye Confluence Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.87, TA 0.49, 540 cases, $84. Grapes picked at a lower Brix and earlier than Gowan Creek, attempting to accentuate the brightness and red fruit character typical of this vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.5º. Aged 16 months in medium toast French oak barrels, 57% new, 43% neutral. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. This wine offers a redder fruit profile with scents of cherry and strawberry on the nose. Less sappy, less tannic and more vibrant than the other 2014 Goldeneye Pinot Noirs, but still blessed with a succulent mid weight core of red berry and cherry fruits complimented with a riff of sandalwood-linked oak. Special in every way, with commendable harmony and length of finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, I was still seduced, and particularly impressed by the extraordinary finish that seemed to last indefinitely. Score: 96. Reviewed April 19, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.51, 1,175 cases, $120. This wine is made from the finest barrels of wine, the top 5% of estate Pinot Noir, blended for both power and elegance. Four estate vineyards. Aged 16 months in 100% new medium toast French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. This wine is quite reserved upon opening and only brought it when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Deep fruit aromas of ripe strawberry, blackberry and blueberry-pomegranate fruits paired with a compliment of toasty brioche. Polished, sophisticated and seductive on the palate with an array of opulent purple fruits backed by silky tannins. The fruit load is expansive in the mouth, and propels the long, long, long finish to a glorious climax. I have tasted several vintages of this special wine, and this one falls in line as far as taste, but it offers a little more vibrancy and juiciness than in the past. Best to cellar this wine for a couple of years, but if you must open it sooner, by all means decant. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Gran Moraine Estate Reserve Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $65. The Estate Reserve Vineyard surrounds the Gran Moraine Vineyard and consists of 35 acres planted in 2007 to a variety of Dijon and heritage clones. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The aromas of fresh dark fruits rise up over time in the glass. The onslaught of delicious black raspberry, blackberry and black cherry flavors are luscious and seductive. Big by Oregon standards, with great depth of fruit, but still charming along with a soothing texture. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose had taken on plenty of spice and floral aromas (my notes say “terrific”) and the wine had assumed a harmonious demeanor. I would cellar this wine for a couple of years to achieve full enjoyment. Still a good friend now. Score: 95. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Guillén Adrián Reserve Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 125 cases, $60, Sourced from 3 vineyards, 100% Pommard clone: 40% Vista Hills Block G, 20% Saikkonen, and 40% Meredith Mitchell. Native yeast fermentation using 100% whole clusters. Basket pressed and aged on the lees in 100% lightly toasted new French oak barrels for 11 months. The wine was racked twice after MLF and again before bottling. Filtered. 100% Pommard. Jesus’ attempt to mimic DRC. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of plum, boysenberry, exotic spice and wilted dark rose petal. Vibrant purple fruits tread lightly on the palate in this juicy wine. Inviting integration of oak, fruit and oak tannins, and acidity. This wine will need a few years to fully evolve and display its engaging character, but it has purposely been built for longevity. Score: 93-95. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Guillén Damian Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 140 cases, $40. A meticulous selection of the best barrels in the cellar that offer harmony, complexity and mouth feel. 40% Vista Hills (667), 20% Meredith Mitchell (Pommard) and 40% Saikkonen (Pommard) vineyards. No cold soak. 100% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation. Basket pressed, aged on the lees 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. Filtered at bottling. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. enticing aromas of black cherry, pine sap and spice lead to a middleweight, cherry-driven wine that is succulent yet refined. Elegantly composed, with filigree tannins, an adroit finish and impressive harmony. The winemaker went for harmony rather than boldness and it shows. Score: 94. Reviewed January 6, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Hibou Riddle Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.60, 144 cases, $58. Released October 1, 2015. Harvest Brix 24.8º. 50% 115 and 50% Pommard. The Pommard block was fermented with 100% whole clusters so the final blend is 50% whole cluster. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new Remond. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh black cherries, spice, underbrush and a sweet floral intricacy. The perfectly ripened Bing cherry core is flat-out delicious, accented with a bit of spice, cola, dark chocolate and a trace of umami for good measure. Enviable composure and uncommon drink ability, with matched tannins and acidity, judicious use of oak, and a long, cherry-infused finish. This is one of a few exceptional Pinot Noirs that illicit emotion to the point that your excitement fuels a need to tell someone about it. I told my spouse who tasted the wine and absolutely loved it, and together we finished the wine quickly later in the day with dinner. Sublime. Score: 96. Reviewed February 26, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Kanzler Vineyards Estate Reserve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 225 cases, $78 (sold out). Good percentage of whole cluster in this wine and a significant proportion of Dijon clone 115 (55%) along with Dijon clone 667 and Pommard clone. Three barrels of 115 clone were fermented with 25% whole cluster inclusion. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Similar in aromatic profile to the 2013 vintage with scents of cherry, spice and floral bouquet. Impressive attack of black cherry fruit that expands in the mouth. Juicy, with some textural interest, subtle oak in the background, and a very long finish featuring gorgeous black cherry fruit. The balance is impeccable. Will only improve with further time in the cellar. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2014 Kramer Vineyards Heritage Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.68, 125 cases, $45. Sourced from the oldest block of Pinot Noir in the Estate Vineyard. Own-rooted Pommard clone planted in 1989. Harvest Brix 22.1º. 75% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose starts off great after opening and builds in charity over time in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, rose, spice and cola are replicated in the mid weight flavors on the palate along with notes of plum and Marionberry. Gentle in the mouth, with seductive tannins and bright acidity in superb balance, finishing with enduring length and a subtle citrus note. This wine just kept getting better and better over time in the glass so decanting would be advised. This Pinot offers depth, dimension and freshness in a compelling package. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.4% alc., 350 cases, $59. This vineyard is located 3.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 935 feet. The site is farmed by noted vineyard manager Ulises Valdez. The vineyard was planted in 1998 to clone 114 in Graywacke and sandstone soils. 100% whole cluster, native yeast primary fermentation and native malolactic fermentation, aged on lees 11 months without racking in 100% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Intriguing, mysterious and seductive in every way, with aromas of fresh, dark fruits, floral meadow and forest. Velvety and enchanting on the palate, with sensual flavors of black raspberry, black plum, boysenberry, black tea, spice and floral goodness. The tannins offer good grip and the finish lingers. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still extremely appealing with a blessed mix of fruit, spice and floral tones and a huge finish that grabs at the heart strings emotionally. Truly, this is a wine that can make you blissfully happy. Score: 95. Reviewed April 2, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lange Estate Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $70. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, and dark chocolate draw the nose into the glass. The richest of the wines in the Lange lineup, with an arsenal of sappy black fruits matched with husky tannins. A masculine wine, that is yet nimble and charming, with a lovely texture and an energizing personality. Built for the long haul. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 LaRue Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 150 cases, $70. A 6-acre vineyard south of the town of Sebastopol. Dijon clones and Swan selection are planted in Goldridge sandy loam with volcanic ash that gives wines from this vineyard an unmistakable spice and minerality character. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. This wine is exotically spiced as typical for this vineyard. The aromas arrive over time in the glass to accolades, offering hi-tone aromas of dark cherry, burnt tobacco, vanilla, rose petal and spice. The whole cluster character infuses the mid weight core of cherry, raspberry and blueberry fruit flavors. The polished mouthfeel appeals, and the citrus imbued finish is up lifting. The wine seems to gain traction over time, releasing its charms in steps. Glorious when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 LaRue Emmaline Ann Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 70 cases, $70. A 3- acre vineyard near the town of Freestone planted to Dijon clones in Goldridge sandy loam soils. The vineyard’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and high elevation at 800 feet contribute to its character. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Fruit-driven aromas of dark red cherry and berry with a hint of sarsaparilla and floral intricacy. Impressive fortitude on the palate with mid weight flavors of an array of well-ripened cherries and berries. The wine sports gentle tannins and an extremely long finish. Very soothing, offering power in a velvet glove character. Score: 95. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 LaRue Thorn Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., 50 cases, $70. This vineyard is is farmed by Ted Klopp who also farms Klopp Ranch Vineyard. This wine is a blend of Pommard and 115 clones planted in Goldridge sandy loam soils. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of ripe berries, black cherry, spice and fertile earth lead to a middleweight fashioned wine with a solid grip of black cherry and black raspberry fruits. Very engaging on the mid palate and finish, with a silk and satin mouthfeel, a deft touch of oak, and up lifting acidity on the WOW finish. Noticeably better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lenné Estate cinq élus Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $80. A blend of the best barrel from each of the five different estate vineyard blocks. Only produced in great vintages. (score 11/19/16 was 92-93). · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of dark red cherry, spice and sandalwood. A delicious core of dark cherry and raspberry fruits alerts the palate on entry, enveloping the taste buds, and lasting through a very long finish. Beautifully balanced and truly age worthy. Score: 94. Reviewed September 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 LUMOS Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

190 cases, $45 · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An exceptional wine with very expressive aromas of muddled black cherries and spicy oak. Sleek and refined on the palate, with powerful black cherry and black raspberry fruit flavors that saturate the mid palate and persist through a very long finish. A wine of pedigree, with courageous balance and an aim to please. Score: 94. Reviewed October 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 MacRostie Goldrock Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 441 cases, $56, screwcap. This vineyard is located in the remote reaches of northwestern Sonoma County, a few miles from the Pacific Ocean near Annapolis. At 780-feet elevation, the site is exposed to marine air that frequently brings fog. The result is delayed ripening of mature vines which are grown on low vigor, gravelly loam soil. Clones are 777 and “828.” 100% de-stemmed, inoculated yeast strains, 3-day cold soak, pump-overs and punchdowns. Barrel aged for 17 months in French oak, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh blackberry compote and spice. Exuberant mid weight plus flavors of black raspberry and boysenberry satisfy on the attack and mid palate. Highly flavorful, beautifully ripened fruit backed by crisp acidity and filigree tannins in an impeccably balanced wine that deserves high accolades, especially for the intensely fruited, ebullient finish. Score: 94. Reviewed December 1, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Maggy Hawk Unforgettable Maggy Hawk Estate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.57, 247 cases, $66. Clone 667. 5-day cold soak, slow moving AMII yeast fermentation, daily punch downs, and aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose predicts an extraordinary experience with soaring aromas of fresh cherry, iced dark berries, forest floor and honey mocha. The opulent blackberry and boysenberry fruits show uncommon intensity and focus with a adulatory succulence. The wine offers impressive mid palate presence, toned tannins, and extraordinary fruit intensity on the finish. Truly unforgettable. Score: 95. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Maggy Hawk Stormin’ Maggy Hawk Estate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.57, 297 cases, $66. Clone 667. 5-day cold soak, slow moving AMII yeast fermentation, daily punch downs, and aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Vivacious aromas of black cherry, blackberry and brioche. Just terrific smells. Descriptors can’t do justice to this gorgeous wine that offers delicious flavors of blueberry, blackberry and cola with a commendatory touch of earthiness and oak. The balance is spot-on, the gentle fine-grain tannins make for easy approachability, and the extraordinary finish is particularly noteworthy. Score: 96. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Maggy Hawk Jolie Maggy Hawk Estate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.55, 614 cases, $66. Clone 115. 5-day cold soak, slow moving AMII yeast fermentation, daily punch downs, and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 29% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Time is needed for this wine to open so I recommend decanting. With time, the nose becomes ridiculously alluring with aromas of black cherry, cranberry, rose petal, pecan oil and allspice. Flat out delicious, with crunchy, intense black cherry, blueberry and black raspberry fruit flavors. Impeccably balanced and perfectly structured, with a finish that is a celebratory black cherry delight. I have tasted multiple past vintages of Maggy Hawk Pinot Noir, and Jolie is always the one I want to date. Score: 97. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Manross Lone Oak Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.69, 50 cases, $58. 100% Pommard clone. 30% whole cluster. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Exhilarating aromas of fresh Bing cherry, spice, vanillin and nutty oak. Polished and refreshing on the palate, with the mid weight essence of glorious black cherry, cherry cola and black raspberry flavors. Plenty of ripe sap, but vibrant, with a juicy acid underbelly. Lovely balance, with silken tannins and a compliment of oak. Still charged with deep cherry flavor and juiciness when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Uncommon verve in a seductively-appointed Pinot that is welcoming now. Score: 94. Reviewed February 13, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Morgan Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.58, 45 cases, $60. Clones 943, 115, “828,” and 777. This vineyard is adjacent Garys’ Vineyard and was established and is farmed by Tondre Alarid and his son Joe. 100% de-stemmed, native yeasts started whole berry fermentation, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring scents of Bing cherry, spices including nutmeg and sandalwood that sustain over time in the glass. A highly satisfying wine with the mid weight flavor of succulent, spiced cherry. The wine offers impeccable balance and a memorable spiced cherry fueled finish. This vineyard has a signature spice element that I have consistently tasted in multiple wines from different producers and I believe this is one of Santa Lucia Highland’s greatest Pinot Noir vineyards. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Native Flora Next Time Estate Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $48. Bottled two months ago. Aged in about 20% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of cherry, redwood, rose petal and spice. Regal and balanced, with a light to mid weight core of cherry, pomegranate and spice flavors, underlain with soft tannins. Forward drinking, with pleasing persistence and length. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Native Flora Jaguar Reserve Estate Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

200 cases, not released. Aged in 12.5% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring aromas of crushed cherries, baking spices and sandalwood lead off. A remarkable attack and everexpanding array of red fruits is slightly overshadowed currently by an overlay of oak that should integrate with more time in bottle. The finish is robust and memorable. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Nelson Hill Deep End Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 279 cases, $42. Clones 114, 115, 777 and Pommard. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose exhibits great cherry purity and persists over time in the glass. Flat-out delicious attack of black cherry fruit that envelopes the palate and persists through a grand finish. Sleek, refined and harmonious with modest, slightly burly and chalky tannins, and a deft compliment of oak. This wines seems mostly Pommard in character. Score: 94. Reviewed July 24, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Occidental “Bodega Headlands Cuvée Elizabeth” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $160. Steve Kistler, co-founder and winemaker of Kistler Vineyards for 37 years, established a new Pinot Noir label called “Occidental” owned and operated by the Kistler family. The project is dedicated to producing Pinot Noir from the Freestone-Occidental area. A modern winery has been built on a ridge top adjacent Bodega Headlands Vineyard capable of producing 7,500 cases of Pinot Noir annually. This wine is one of four released in the spring 2016. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Engaging nose that picks up interest over time in the glass, offering scents of black cherry, sous bois, baking spices and sweet oak. Modest in weight, with a core of dark red cherry and raspberry fruit flavors, with a slight earthy underpinning, and a proper infusion of oak highlights. The tannins are nicely integrated, and the cleansing finish has spectacular length with endless waves of cherry goodness. Still outstanding the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,056 cases, $75. Sourced from three small blocks within the larger Hyde Vineyard combining new and older plantings of the Hyde-Calera selection and include coveted grapes from the “old field.” Patz & Hall has sourced grapes from Hyde Vineyard since 1995 and several sections of the vineyard are planted exclusively for Patz & Hall. 10% whole clusters, wild and cultured yeast fermentation, aged in French oak barrels, 60% new, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating perfume of black cherry, pomegranate, black grape juice and sweet oak. Full-bodied, with earthy flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and black cherry framed by slightly grainy tannins and complimentary oak. A very honorable wine with a succulent mid palate, a silky mouthfeel and a palate-staining finish. Even better when re-tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle. A dreamy ode to Larry Hyde’s legacy. Score: 96. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Paul Hobbs Ulises Valdez Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $72. Calera and Beba clones planted in 2002 in Goldridge soil. Yield 2.7 tons per acre. Harvest Brix 25.2º. 7% whole cluster inclusion. 5-day cold soak, 16 day total maceration. Indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 65% new, spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry jam and spice draw the nose into the glass. A full-bodied charge of blackberry and black currant flavors meet the palate in a big and bold style that balances power with harmonious tannins and acidity. Velvety in the mouth, with a luscious finish that shows a slight waft of alcohol. Still exceptional the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Paul Lato “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $85. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deeply scented nose of cherry, herbs and steak sauce. Rather tame for a Pisoni wine, even an anathema, but reflects the Paul Lato style. A mid weight earthbound cherry core shows off the ripest of the fruit tasted in the three wines reviewed here. As typical for Pisoni Vineyard, the wine has a strong physique, but yet is highly approachable in this case. Pisoni Vineyard is truly one of a handful of Grand Cru California vineyards and representative wines always reflect its excellence and terroir in one way or another. Score: 94. Reviewed August 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Peter Michael “Le Caprice” Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $116. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine left me grasping for superlatives. Lovely aromas of black cherry, dark berry and spice. A melange of purple and black fruits elevate the mid palate and finish in this superbly balanced wine offering added notes of clove spice, anise, vanilla, and sweet oak. At once both succulent and refined, with a peacock finish that goes on forever. Still superb the following day from a previously opened and re-corked wine indicating a long life ahead. Extraordinary in every respect. Score: 98. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Phelps Creek Vineyards “Beehive” Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 117 cases, $38. Estate grown. Sourced from Dijon 777 block that was originally home to abandoned beekeeper boxes before vines were planted. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 20% new, 80% second-use. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intriguing aromas of black cherry, cola, spice and forest floor hold up majestically over considerable time in the glass. Flat-out delicious and very showy, with a mid weight plus core of black cherry, spice, dark chocolate and cedar flavors. Both plush and smooth on the palate with balanced tannins, skillful oak management, and an incredibly glorious cherry finish. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Enjoy this one for for its exuberant cherry fruit now. Score: 94. Reviewed February 1, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Phelps Creek Vineyards “Cuvée Alexandrine” Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 416 cases, $54. Winemaker Alexandrine Roy selected the finest 15 barrels of wines made from estate fruit in 2014 for this wine. Harvest Brix 23.8º. Clones are Pommard, 115 and 777. Native yeast fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is remarkably complex, offering scents of dark red and black cherry and berry, rose petal, aged leather, and turned earth. A noticeable contrast to the “Beehive” bottling, with more structure, more savory and earthy facets, less flashy fruit, and slightly more oak contribution at this young age. A very sophisticated wine that is clearly built to age. The mid weight flavors of black raspberry and blackberry are set off by notes of spice and toast and emerge slowly in the glass over time. The finish is uncommonly generous as all great wines are. When tasted several hours later, the wine was more giving, indicating that it should be decanted if drunk now, but will benefit from more time in the cellar. Still evolving when tasted from an opened bottle two days later. Enjoy this one for its complexity and longevity. Score: 96. Reviewed February 1, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 780 cases, $80. Released September 2016. 24% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in selective French oak barrels, 61% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · “Early bud break from warmer winter. Fruit dropping required due to high potential yields. Harvest was early, but total days of fruit development was still long, with the growing season more ‘shifted’ from the early bud break as opposed to the season being ‘cut short’ by warm weather late in the season.” Moderate dark reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black raspberry juice, Bing cherry, vanillin and pain grille. The mid weight core of gorgeous black cherry and black raspberry fruits arrive with notice, expanding in the mouth and finishing with remarkable length. The wine seems crisper and less concentrated in this vintage, to the better, with a compliment of toasty oak in the background. The tannic structure holds the fruit in check, and the texture is appealingly silky. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still captivating and quite approachable. A reference wine for Pisoni Vineyard. Drink 2018-2028. Score: 95. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Privé Vineyard Joie de Vivre Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 12 cases, $90. Estate grown. Etched, hand painted, numbered and signed bottle. Produced from the first few gallons of each press load from le nord and le sud blended and aged in 50% new French oak barrels for 12 months. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Similar to the le sud but with a deeper, more penetrating nose focused on cherry fruit. Plenty of cherry and purple berry sap to delight in a juicy, mid weight styled wine that has admirable oak integration, ample but balanced tannins, and an especially long finish. A high-collared wine that is approachable now, but will age beautifully for years to come. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Previously reviewed 11/22/15 (92). Score: 94. Reviewed December 13, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 RAEN Home Field Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 200 cases, $80 (sold in 6-packs, sold out). Fermented with 65% whole cluster, 16-day extended maceration, indigenous yeast fermentation, and aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 0% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red cherry and berry along with underbrush and sous bois evolve slowly in the glass. Very similar in all respects to the Freestone Occidental bottling, but with more fruit expression and less savory overlay. Styled as a middleweight plus offering, featuring flavors of dark red and purple fruits, this wine’s fruit really clings to the palate. The tannins are polished, and the deep red cherry finish is spectacular. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was more expressive and the palate was filled with joyful waves of fruit with sous bois integration. (Note: I had a second bottle of this wine at a restaurant several months later and the wine was not nearly as good so you have been warned) Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Rhys Vineyards Skyline Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $99. 2.12 acres planted to Rhys selection and Swan situated at 2280 to 2315 feet elevation with a southwest and southeast facing exposure. 100% whole cluster, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Many aromas show up over time on the nose including black cherry, exotic spice, burnt tobacco and rose petal. On the palate, the sappy purple fruits show uncommon concentration, but are in tune with the broad, energetic tannins and juicy acidity. The result is a beautifully balanced wine. Very exotic, with many varieties of spice showing up over time. There is textural interest from whole cluster inclusion as well. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Many aromas show up over time on the nose including black cherry, exotic spice, burnt tobacco and rose petal. On the palate, the sappy purple fruits show uncommon concentration, but are in tune with the broad, energetic tannins and juicy acidity. The result is a beautifully balanced wine. Very exotic, with many varieties of spice showing up over time. There is textural interest from whole cluster inclusion as well. Score: 94. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Hillside Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $149. 2.25 acres, selection massale, 1600 feet elevation, 6” to 18” of topsoil over soft shale. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Initially, the aromas are brooding with only a hint of black cherry, burnt tobacco and oak. Substantial tannins underlie the prodigious core of sweet black cherry fruit that is augmented with notes of exotic spice, Charcuterie and black raspberry. There is enough lively acidity to invigorate the wine. When tasted the following day and three days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, this savory wine was more aromatic with some mellowing of tannin, but still not entirely friendly (although the fruit remained seductive as did the persistent finish). This wine will require considerable patience (? ten years) in the cellar for full enjoyment. I could be underestimating the final score of this wine but it is challenging to fully evaluate its potential now. Score: 93-94. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sanglier Emilia’s Cuvée Family Reserve Bennet Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.60, 155 cases, $60. Calera and Swan clones grown at Laguna Vineyard. Aged 19 months in French oak barrels, 40% new, 60% 1 and 2-year-old. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers its charms slowly over time in the glass, reaching a climax filled with dark cherry, berry, rose petal and nutty oak aromas. A little more oak and structure in this high collared wine, filled with succulent boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors that saturate the palate. Prodigious, yet not jammy, with a pleasing acid backbone and a good grip of juicy fruit on the ostentatious finish. A superb wine that is delicious now, but will benefit from short term aging. Score: 94. Reviewed February 13, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sea Smoke “Ten” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.56% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.62, $82. Released October 2015. The name is derived from ten low vigor French clones planted in the Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard. While “Ten” incorporates all ten clones, it is also a barrel selection of the richest and most extracted wines of the vintage. It is the deepest and most robust Sea Smoke Pinot Noir. The amount of new oak has gradually been reduced as has the amount of toasting as part of the ongoing winemaking evolution. 100% de-stemmed, 1 to 4-day cold soak, inoculated with cultured yeasts, total maceration time of 16 to 28 days. Both free-run and press wines were racked to oak barrels. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Upon opening, oak-infused aromas and flavors combine with a fruit-charged core of dark cherry, blackberry, pomegranate and spice. The wine showed much less oak overlay when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the fruit became front and center. Boldly styled, with delicious fruit expression, supportive tannins, and integrated acidity. A masculine interpretation of Pinot Noir, yet not highly muscled, offering a soft, approachable tone, and a refreshingly juicy finish. Decant this beauty when you pull the cork. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sequitur Ribbon Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir

$100. A new project from winemaker Mike Etzel (Beaux Frères) and his spouse Carey Critchlow. A blend of 15 clones (including Coury “clone,” and California heritage clones including Calera, Mt. Eden and Martin Ray) grown biodynamically on never-farmed soil in Ribbon Ridge. The 12-acre vineyard is planted adjacent Beaux Frères’ Upper Terrace Vineyard. Cool fermentations are carried out using indigenous yeast in several different vessels. There was moderate use of lightly toasted new oak barrels from a variety of tonnelieries. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An impressive debut wine, offering alluring aromas of cherry, rose petal, spice and pine needle, and mid weight flavors of baked cherry pie, ripe strawberry and spice. Impeccably balanced, with a sleek mouthfeel, and a finish replete with black cherry goodness. At once elegant and highly flavorful, this beauty is pure and refined. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine still had me singing its praises. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 1,011 cases, $65, screwcap. Released February 1, 2016. Bottled without fining or filtration. Both vegan and gluten free. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding, mysterious aromas of blackberry compote, meaty black grapes and iron. Clearly a special, full-bodied and luscious wine that balances power with charm. The array of heady black fruits is dusted by earthy complexity and framed by mellow tannins that are unusually tame for a Pisoni Pinot Noir. There is beautiful integration of acidity, oak and alcohol, with a remarkably long, royally endowed finish. The pedigree really stands out in this sublime offering. Score: 94. Reviewed April 22, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Small Vines MK Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.54, RS 0.4 g/ L, 171 cases, $82. Released August 2016. Vineyard planted by Small Vines Viticulture in 1999 on an east facing ridge above Occidental. Organically farmed using biodynamic practices. 4 feet x 4 feet vine spacing (2722 vines per acre). Yields 2.5 lbs per vine. Dijon 114, 115, 667 and 777. Harvest Brix 22.7º-23.1º Brix. 50% whole cluster. 5-day cold soak, native primary and malolactic fermentations, pre and post fermentation maceration, aged 15 months on fine lees in French oak barrels, 43% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A wine of immense charm with aromas of black cherry, spice, loam, and savory herbs and an explosion of plum, black raspberry, iron and spice flavors on the prodigious attack. Exemplary harmony with matched tannins and a glorious finish. Still impressive the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has something extra special. Score: 94. Reviewed August 16, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Small Vines TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.57, RS 0.4 g/L, 309 cases, $82. Released August 2016. Vineyard planted in 2009 on a cool and windy ridge top in Sebastopol. Organically farmed, Goldridge sandy loam soils. 4 feet x 3 feet vine spacing (3630 vines per acre). Yields 1.5 lbs per vine. Calera, Pommard, Swan and 943. Harvest Brix 22.3º-24.4º. 3 to 5-day cold soak, native primary and malolactic fermentations, on skins 14-18 days, pre and post fermentation maceration, aged 15 months on fine lees in French oak barrels, 23% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a lovely blend of black cherry fruit and a savory note of herbs. The black cherry and blueberrypomegranate flavors really wake up the mouth. Moderately bold, with firm tannins, complimentary oak, with spice and dried herbs in the background. A marvelous wine that perfectly balances fruit and savoriness. Even more dazzling the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 96. Reviewed August 16, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Small Vines TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 309 cases. · Lovely aromas of deep cherry, raspberry and pepper. Love the nose. Terrific core of black cherry and blueberry fruits that are framed by compatible tannins. The wine has an elegant demeanor with fully immersed oak. Probably in its prime drinking window now but will last many more years. Score: 95. Reviewed June 4, 2019 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sojourn Riddle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.58, 350 cases, $59. Released fall 2016. Vineyard is located north of Occidental on the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA. Clones are 115, Mt. Eden and Pommard planted in sandy loam Goldridge soils in 2008. 100% de-stemmed. Open-top fermentation with native yeasts, aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with hi-tone scents of dark berry jam and Asian 5-spice. Mid weight plus in style with a strong physique, yet charming and nimble. The dark berry core really grabs on to the mid palate and holds through a fruit-laden finish. The wine has a trim oak compliment and a thick yet lubricating texture. Score: 94. Reviewed May 11, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sojourn Ridgetop Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.56, 250 cases, $59. Released fall 2016. Vineyard is owned and managed by Thomas Rivers Brown, Fred Schrader and Ulises Valdez and is located in the northern Sonoma Coast near Annapolis. The site is surrounded by redwoods at about 1,100 feet elevation. There is a notable maritime influence, with fog ever present and receding each day. Clones 115, 667 and 777 blended together after being separately fermented in open-tops with native yeast. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Gorgeous aromas of strawberry cherry and rose petal. Intriguing on the palate with a charge of black cherry, black raspberry, blueberry and spice flavors delivering a real mouthful of pleasure. Impeccably balanced, with a cashmere mouthfeel and a remarkable finish that offers good cut, length and a baby oil exit. Score: 94. Reviewed May 11, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.57,1,350 cases, $59. Released spring 2016. Sourced from Roberts Road Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap region. Clones 115, 777 and Swan. Grapes were allowed to hang on the vine until late harvest. 100% destemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered August 2015. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The intoxicating nose is complex, offering scents of cherry, strawberry, spice, earth and exotic bouquet. A vibrant wine on the palate that features well-spiced redder fruits framed by poised acidity and toned tannins. Silky in texture, and deftly balanced, with an intensely fruited finish reminiscent of a perfectly ripened, sweet strawberry. This wine is the best I have ever tasted from this vineyard. Score: 95. Reviewed May 11, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Sojourn Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.57, 775 cases, $48. Released spring 2016. This vineyard is located in the Petaluma Gap high on a ridge. Some whole cluster fermented Pommard clone is blended with clone 777. 15% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in July 2015. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is more savory than fruity, offering aromas of potpourri with redder fruits in the background. The intense attack of perfectly ripened cherry fruit is almost numbing, yet the wine is focused and refined. There is plenty of savory spices and a light hand with oak. The satiny texture is very comforting, and the finish has grand cru length. A perfect marriage of fruit and savory nuances. Score: 94. Reviewed May 11, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soléna Domaine Danielle Laurent Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.70, 517 cases, $55. Harvest Brix 23º-25º. Vines planted in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with aromas of black cherry, dark raspberry coulis, bakery spice and floral bouquet. Luxurious on the palate in a mid weight plus style with waves of black cherry and purple berry fruits that are plush and expressive. Substantial fruit tannins back up the fruit concentration. A high class wine that has staying power in the mouth and finishes with a peacock tail of fruit. The best wine I have had from this maturing vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed December 13, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste L’Ambroisie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 73 cases, $100. “828” Monoclone®. 43% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in Remond French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of dark cherry, black raspberry sous bois, spice and pipe tobacco soar from the glass over time. Charming on the palate with a mid weight plus core of richly flavored dark cherry and black raspberry fruits framed with a touch of oak spice and tobacco. Enviable vibrancy, with fine tannins, a silken mouthfeel, and a very persistent finish redolent in sweet cherry fruit. This is the most boisterous wine in the 2014 lineup, yet one that dances graciously in the mouth from attack to finish. The acid and tannin are compatible backbone companions predicting age ability. Score: 96. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste Grands Charmes Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 23 cases, 777 Monoclone®. Sonatera Vineyard. 50% whole cluster. Aged 28 months in a single new French oak barrel. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very lovable wine with a seductive perfume of cherry, exotic spices and burnt tobacco. Elegant and silky, with a mid weight core of expansive cherry and raspberry fruits picking up depth over time in the glass. A dollop of oak and spice add satisfaction. The tannins provide supportive structure and the bright acidity contributes verve. Nicely composed, with an enduring finish. The wine rises to another level over time. Score: 94. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Soliste Contrebande Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 23 cases. 115 Monoclone®. 25% whole cluster. Aged 28 months in one new French oak barrel. · Gorgeous robe of moderate garnet in the glass. Enthralling perfume of black cherry and raspberry fruits accompanied by hints of spice and undergrowth. A lip-smacking wine with pristine balance, offering mid weight flavors of black cherry, purple berry, nutty oak and exotic spice. Everything you could ask for, including fine-grain tannins, exemplary acidity, and a vigorous finish that seems relentless. A killer wine with harmony that really stands out. Score: 94. Reviewed November 17, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Spell Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.58, 125 cases, $48. Rochioli selection Pommard, 2A and a DRC selection. Aged in 33% new, 33% once-used and 33% older French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, with scents of cherry, exotic spices and potpourri. Plenty of flavor is packed into the mid palate and finish of this mid weight, captivating wine that features black cherry and black raspberry fruits embellished with a deft touch of oak and a bit of umami. Structured tannins are slightly astringent at this early stage. The finish is one to celebrate, with extraordinary black cherry aromatic persistence. This zesty wine is cause for celebration. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Stoller Family Estate Reserve Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.60, $45. 100% estate grown. Sourced from older sections of the vineyard and includes several clones. Aged in French oak barrels, 30% new and 70% neutral. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with exuberant aromas of black cherry, spice cabinet, and dark chocolate. A gorgeous wine featuring an onslaught of purple and black fruits including blackberry, black cherry and black currant that sustain through a full-bodied mid palate and lead to a bountiful finish blessed with beautifully ripened fruits that fan out in peacock tail fashion. There are nuances to be found as well, including Asian 5-spice, dark chocolate, and anise. A bold wine that despite its fruit load is impeccably balanced so that it finds a level path and never veers from its purpose. A California wine dressed up in Oregon clothing. In one word, superb. Score: 95. Reviewed April 22, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Honey’s Cuvée Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 46 cases. Aged 21 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Clones 115 and 777, 100% whole cluster fermented - méthode ancienne. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. More primary than the regular Red Dog bottling, but with deeper flavored darker fruits, a silky mouthfeel, and a delightful dark berry infused finish. A bit more rustic and savory at this stage, and more tannin, but with a generous finish. The wine needs considerable foreplay as reflected in the vivid fruit flavors assuming considerably more intensity over time in the glass. Best to cellar a few years. Score: 93-94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Talisman Weir Vineyard Méthode Ancienne Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 47 cases, $85. Aged 21 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Sensual aromas of lurking dark red fruits. The bright and seductive dark red cherry core is underlain with a firm but not intrusive tannic backbone. The whole cluster seems to fill out this wine with goodness. There are accents of exotic spices, pine sap and burnt tobacco contributed by the whole cluster. The finish seems to go on and on. Hard to resist now, but this beauty will benefit from more time in the cellar as it is built for aging. Score: 93-94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Talisman Starscape Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 338 cases. Vineyard is located in the Middle Reach sub region of the Russian River Valley. Clones 777 and ‘828.’ Aged 21 months in French oak barrels, 57% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enticing scents of cherry, green tea, and floral blossoms. Noteworthy attack of mid weight black raspberry and black cherry flavors that really cling to the palate through the finish. Gentle tannins make for easy drinking. The most fruit forward wine in the lineup with the most striking finish replete with vivid fruit that hangs on for what seems like a minute. Score: 93-94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.62, 352 cases, $65. 30% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is highly engaging with aromas of cherry, raspberry, earthy mushroom, cinnamon spice and slightly charred oak picking up intensity over time in the glass. The middleweight flavors of black cherry, dark raspberry and blueberry are expansive and nicely accented with spice and oak. Plenty of charm and elegance with a silky mouthfeel, good vibrancy and welcome finishing power. This wine really blossomed later in the day when re-tasted from an opened and recorked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 30, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Trisaetum Family Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 142 cases, $100. Release August 2017. A combination of Trisaetum’s three estate vineyards. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Heady scents of black pie cherries, grilled beef and brioche. Intense attack and mid palate presence of black cherry and black raspberry fruits with added tastes of dark chocolate and Asian-5-spice. The cashmere texture is quite seductive, the sap is mouth coating, and the finish is grand cru in spirit. An age worthy, connoisseur's wine. Score: 95. Reviewed June 25, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Van Duzer Alchemy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, $N/A. A barrel selection meant to be different each vintage but seems to end up as same composure: 33% Wädenswil, 33% 115, and 33% Pommard. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Effusive aromas of black cherry and spice leading to an amazing attack of ripe blueberry, black cherry and black raspberry fruits sprinkled with a hint of vanilla. The hair-raising attack and 30 second finish make you sit up in your chair. A very special wine. Score: 95-96. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Waits-Mast Nash Mill Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 67 cases, $40. Released November 2016. Vineyard owned by Zac and Krista Robinson, whose family also owns Husch Vineyards. Harvest Brix 26.5º. A mix of 115 and 667 and Pommard clones harvested from this fog-bound, deep end site. Fermented whole berry with native yeasts and aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, cranberry, wilted rose and pipe smoke. Flat-out great on the palate with a delicious core of black cherry fruit. Elegantly composed and satiny in texture, with modest tannins and a sleek, polished demeanor. The oak lends a helping but not intrusive hand. This wine simply stands out immediately upon tasting and continues its peacock tail finish when tasted over a two day period. Score: 94. Reviewed July 9, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Wayfarer Mother Rock Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 335 cases. Clones are Mt Eden and Dijon 777. · Very sexy perfume of dark red berries and cherries with a lovely spice and floral accent. The deep red fruits really demand attention in this well structured mid weight plus styled wine that offers considerable textural interest. Balance is spot on, the finish is noticeably generous, and the wine has a very streamlined demeanor. Score: 92-94. Reviewed August 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Wayfarer The Traveler Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 195 cases. A suitcase selection. 0% whole cluster. · The most closed wine. Much more expressive after the wine was decanted. The nose is rather primary, offering scents of rose petal, spice, woodland path and oak dust. A charge of glorious blackberry, blueberry and pomegranate flavors are framed by mature tannins. Very sleek and soft in the mouth, with good natural acidity and a very lengthy finish. Score: 92-94. Reviewed August 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Wayfarer Paige’s Ridge Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

14.8% alc.. Clone 667, estate grown. Named after Jason Pahlmeyer’s wife Paige. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black fruits, damp earth and underbrush lead to a mid weight plus offering that is flat-out delicious. Layers of invigorating black cherry and blackberry fruit are tempered by honed tannins combined with enough acidity to elevate the prodigious sap. A deft touch of oak seasoning adds interest. A harmonious wine with a generous finish that is beautifully crafted in a bold California style. Yes, it is excessive, but so what. December 2016. Score: 94. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Wayfarer Golden Mean Wayfarer Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.. Pommard and Swan clones, estate grown. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. I was enthralled with the nose on this wine, offering hi-tone aromas of earthy black fruits, sous-bois and mocha that were persistent. Both mature purple and black berry fruits form the essence of this mid weight plus wine that is impeccably balanced with a soothing velvety texture and a polished demeanor. The wine speaks to you with open arms: “Take me.” December 2016. Score: 94. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Wayfarer The Traveler Wayfarer Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. A single suitcase selection. Estate grown. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring aromas of blackberry and cassis. Considerably more open than last tasting in May 2016, offering a gorgeous core of discreetly concentrated, well-spiced black cherry and blackberry fruits that are broad in the mouth and display freshness, vibrancy and juiciness. This beauty is very harmonious and giving, finishing with unbelievable length and generosity, and deserves an ovation. December 2016. Score: 95. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 White Rose Estate Winemaker’s Cuvée Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $105.White Rose Estate, Lia’s, Anderson Family and Luciole vineyards. 95% whole cluster. 30% new French oak. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Typical whole cluster nose with aromas of cherry, exotic spices, and rose petal. Striking flavors of fresh cherry and strawberry in a mid weight style with a touch of anise. The tannins are fine grain and the finish is extremely generous. In a word, marvelous. Score: 94-95. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 White Rose Estate Guillen Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

$80. Clone 115, 100% whole cluster. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Highly aromatic, with scents of darker red cherry and spice. Discreetly sappy with plenty of red and blue fruits to satisfy. A firm tannic backbone is supportive without being intrusive in this elegantly crafted wine that has a finish that is both bold and dramatic. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Windy Oaks Old Vine Chalone Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.68, 48 cases, $65. These sourced old vine grapes were crushed, fermented, aged and bottled at Windy Oaks Estate. Dick Graff took over Chalone Vineyard in the Gavilan Mountains in the mid 1960s. The vines had been originally planted by a Frenchman in 1919. Graff nursed the vines back to health and planted new vines. This bottling is the result of a small allocation from Graff’s early plantings. Partial native fermentation, 50% whole cluster, aged 21 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Complex aromatic gifts including black cherry, sous-bois, briar, spice and nutty oak, reaching more heights with time in the glass. A connoisseur’s wine that is not propelled by rich fruit but rather by nuance and complexity. Mid weight flavors of cherry, red berry and spice are surprisingly intense considering the light color of the wine. Elegantly crafted and perfectly balanced, with fine grain tannins, juicy acidity, and an astonishingly long, orgasmic finish. This wine brought back memories of my encounter with a 1990 DRC Romanée-Conti wine many years ago. Not a powerhouse, but like an angel that is heaven sent. Score: 97. Reviewed December 1, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Zena Crown Vineyard The Sum Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.51, 286 cases, $75. Sourced From blocks Zena East 1, 12 and 14. Harvest Brix 14.0º-27.0º. Pommard 4 and 667, 11-year-old vines. 40% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 75% new (M to M+ toast). · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Demure, but pleasant aromas of cassis, earthy flora and wood shed. The most harmonious wine of the trio tasted here, with a bit more vibrancy. Nothing is out of place. A discreetly sappy black cherry fruit core is accented with a touch of cardamom spice. Oak is contributory without imposition. The wine has a mouth filling presence, a sleek texture, with integrated tannins, and a potent finish. There is an indefinable special quality to this wine that makes it stand out. Score: 94. Reviewed November 12, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.57, 300 cases, $56. Released September 2015. George Martinelli Frei Road Vineyard farmed by the Martinelli Family. Name of wine pays homage to the history of the site which was once an apple orchard. Dijon clones 777 and “828.” 10-day cold soak, indigenous yeast fermentation lasted for almost 3 weeks. Aged 16 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This is a real crowd pleaser with intoxicating aromas of dark berry jam, toasty oak and rose petal. The mid weight plus core of showy and gorgeous purple and black fruits literally explode on the palate. The ripe tannins are well matched and there is enough juicy acidity to keep the wine vibrant. A bombastic but gentle wine that displays the hallmark of a great Pinot Noir. This wine will part your hair!. Score: 94. Reviewed November 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Big Basin Vineyards Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 240 cases, $48. Released September 2015. 15-year-old vines planted at 485-570 feet elevation in sandy clay loam over sedimentary base rock soil. This feature vineyard consists of 12 acres of Pinot Noir on Pleasant Valley Road in Corralitos. The vineyard is farmed by noted viticulturist Prudy Foxx: no herbicides, deficit watering and careful canopy management. Clones are Mt Eden (37), 115 and 667. 76% whole cluster (varying percentages from 100% to 57%), whole berry and native yeast fermentation. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is intoxicating with its blend of dark red cherry and berry, exotic spice, dark rose petal and pine sap aromas. Fans of whole cluster inclusion will go ga-ga over this wine with its array of luscious dark red and black cherry fruit flavors, plenty of spice, a hint of tobacco and savory tea, and a floral note in the background. The wine has impressive harmony with a welcome acid lift that brightens the experience. Add a dreamy texture and you have a compelling wine that is what the French like to call bien élevé. Score: 95-96. Reviewed February 26, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Black Kite Angel Hawk Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 190 cases, pH 3.56, TA 0.58, $85. Clones 114, 115 and Pommard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Gorgeous label. The aromas leap from the glass, penetrating the olfactory senses with black cherry, blackberry, peat, citrus, cardamom and redwood timber scents. Luscious, but angelic on the palate, with mid weight plus flavors of black cherry and black raspberry fruits. A very sexy wine with a velvety mouthfeel, silky tannins, complimentary oak, and enough acid to energize the luscious fruit load. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, offering an incredible attack and finish and a just plain delicious drinking experience. A serious wine with intentions. Score: 94. Reviewed April 4, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Bohème Stuller Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 264 cases, $53. Clones 115 and 667. Yield 0.95 tons per acre. 30% whole cluster inclusion. Aged 25 months in seasoned French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of oak-kissed black cherry lead the way for engaging layers of black cherry, pomegranate and blueberry fruit flavors. A hint of chile spice is among the swirl of spice accents. Tannic support is perfectly matched, acidity is nicely integrated, and a very long, seductively slick finish raises the spirits. An entirely charming and classy wine. Score: 94. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Briceland Vineyards Alderpoint Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 147 cases, $33. Vineyard is the most easterly of the southern Humboldt vineyards Briceland works with and although slightly warmer, the warmth is moderated by the vineyard’s proximity to the Main Fork of the Eel River. Planted in 1991 in consultation with Briceland’s founding winemaker Joe Collins and currently tended by viticultural expert Rey Sanchez. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, sous-bois and a floral note. Delicious mid weight plus flavors of black cherry and red currant. Juicy and luxurious, even chewy, with merged tannins, and perfect phenolic ripeness. Almost better than sex. Score: 94. Reviewed January 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Calera Selleck Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.68, 327 cases, $N/A. From the 4.8-acre Selleck Vineyard that was planted in 1975. Yields .93 tons per acre. Native fermentation, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. Bottled unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Enthralling aromas of cherry, rose petal, white pepper and scrub brush. Intriguing and complex, with flavors of well-spiced black cherry and black raspberry fruits along with significant oak compliment. Plush on the palate with a very long finish. The tannins are firm but not foreboding, the bright acidity keeps the fruit fresh, and the alcohol is well integrated. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, there was less oak overlay apparent and the finish was other worldly. Score: 94. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Calera Jensen Vineyard Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.64, 1,088 cases, $88. From the 13.8-acre Jensen Vineyard that was planted in 1975. Yields 1.12 tons per acre. Native fermentation, aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. Bottled unfiltered. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, rose petal, smoke and toasty oak rise from the glass. Relatively light in color, but substantial in flavor, featuring mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry. The gorgeous fruit seems to last and last and thoroughly illuminates the senses. There are still firm tannins that need time to soften but the wine is hard to refuse at this early age. The sensual mouthfeel adds even more appeal, and like all great wines, the finish is grand. Score: 94. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 CARR The Yard 114 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 56 cases, $60. Released March 2015. 18-acre vineyard planted by Ryan Carr in 1998. The site is unique in that it has heavy limestone content in the soils. Aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 15% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This is a highly unique and delicious wine that offers aromas of dried fruit leather and spice and flavors of dark red and black pie berries. Layered and seamless, with a seductive softness in the mouth, and a huge finish, this luscious wine is delightful. A rarely seen clone 114 bottling that is heaven sent. Score: 94. Reviewed July 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 CIRQ. Bootlegger’s Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.58, 694 cases, $125. Clones 23, 37, Calera, CC, Elite and Pommard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring aromas of fresh dark red and black stone and berry fruits with a sexy spice component. A glamorous wine that offers impeccable balance between sweet, sappy purple fruits and firm structural integrity. The mouthfeel is seductive, the acidity gives energy and lift to the prodigious fruit, and the extraordinary finish defies description. Still wonderful two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A masculine wine with a sensual side. Score: 95. Reviewed December 1, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 COBB Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 450 cases, $70. From a 6-acre vineyard near Sebastopol in western Sonoma County. Dijon and Swan clones planted in Goldridge sandy loam. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Often my favorite COBB bottling, this wine has a glorious nose featuring cherry, rose petal, baking spice and dark chocolate aromas. Elegant and suave, with exquisite balance, this mid weight beauty flaunts its delicious essence of fresh cherries with enticing accents of spices including cinnamon. Very easy to drink now with seamless oak integration and a glorious finish of more than respectable length. Score: 94. Reviewed June 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 COBB Diane Cobb: Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 275 cases, $85. A half acre was planted Coastlands Vineyard to over 20 varieties of Pinot Noir in 1989. The dry farmed block was later expanded to 1.5 acres with a single selection Diane Cobb believed was the best performer in the original trial block. This bottling is a co-fermentation of the nursery Pinot Noir clones and commemorates Diane Cobb who passed away in 2006. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, baking spices, red hots and beef lead to a light to a mid weighted style offering fruit flavors of cherry and strawberry along with whole cluster savoriness. The wine has structured but elusive tannins and a vibrancy that appeals. The intense finish seems to return in waves and rises noticeably above the other 2013 COBB Pinot Noirs reviewed here. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, I noted, “It is hard to believe so much flavor and nuance originates from such a lightly colored wine. This is a perfect example of the glory of Pinot Noir.” Even beyond the great finish, this wine has something special that is indescribable. Score: 95. Reviewed June 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard Marin County Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 194 cases, $44. 35%whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately deep red color in the glass. The nose really perks up the senses with flamboyant aromas of red cherry and boysenberry. Expansive and layered on the palate, with impressive attack and finish featuring flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice. Amazing fruit intensity for Marin County and spectacular phenolic ripeness at a relatively low ABV. A very pleasing wine with balanced tannins and acidity, a silky texture, and an intense finish featuring sweet black cherry and berry flavors with real length. Score: 94. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Davis Family Vineyards Soul Patch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $55. Double Gold 2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. A barrel selection of favorite barrels of the vintage. Some whole cluster fermentation to lift the aromatics. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. As typical, this wine needs considerable decanting or several years in the cellar before it can be fully enjoyed. Upon opening, the nose is reluctant with subdued fruit trying to emerge. Highly structured and very tight, the wine showed great promise initially with bountiful black cherry and blackberry fruit veiled by oak and tannins. When tasted 4 days later from a previously opened and recorked bottle, this wine had completely transformed. In a word it was fantastic. The deep aroma and flavor of black cherry was intoxicating, there was considerable nuance shown by subtle spices and herbs, the oak had taken a backseat seasoning role, and the tannins had become very suave. The wine assumed an irresistable polish and developed extraordinary length on the finish. Score: 94-95. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Donum East Slope Single Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.65, 157 cases, $90. Sourced from an east-sloping vineyard block of the Donum Ranch planted to a Calera selection. East Slope is a cool site, prone to uneven set with a mix of large and small berries. 5-day cold soak, slow natural fermentation, brief extended maceration, aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The most expressive nose in the 2013 Donum lineup, with welcoming aromas of Bing cherry, cake spices and sandalwood. This wine oozes charm and freshness, featuring mid weight flavors of cherry, dark red berry and plum. Cohesive tannins and acidity make for seductive drinking. The finish has remarkable staying power as well as a dancing suavity. This wine is a perfect prelude to seduction. Score: 95. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Donum West Slope Single Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.62, 269 cases, $90. Sourced from the middle portion of west-sloping vineyard block, a 5.5-acre site at the Donum Ranch. The Donum Roederer selection (the “Donum selection”) is the mainstay of the Donum Carneros Pinot Noir and certain vines developed further depth and complexity, so a stand-alone West Slope bottling was started in 2007. 100% Donum selection. 100% de-stemmed, 8-day cold soak, 4 weeks in tank, aged on the lees 15 months in French oak barrels, 63% new. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. A very engaging wine, offering hi-tone aromas of darker berries and cherries and a sprightly note of potpourri. The luscious core of dark red and black berry fruits is long and expansive, and accented by hints of cola, sweet oak, and earthiness. Impeccable balance, with a silky countenance and a classy finish of notable aromatic persistence. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Drew Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $55. Fifth release from this vineyard in the deep end of the Anderson Valley owned by Burt Williams. Sourced from the Rochioli block situated on a south slope with lighter soil provides finesse and charm, while the La Tache block is on a gentler slope with more clay soil giving more power and richness to the fruit blend. 50% rochioli selection and 50% “828” (La Tache selection). 50% whole cluster fermentation. Native fermentation and malolactic fermentation. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Almost a shame to open a bottle now, for this is built to cellar a few more years. Lovely aromas of black cherry, sous-bois, dried herbs and stem. Luscious mid palate flavors of dark cherries, black raspberries and pomegranate with firm tannins underneath, and a lengthy, lip-smacking finish driven by bright acidity. Much better over time in the glass and was still pumping out glorious flavors two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very classy, even extraordinary. Score: 94. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 En Garde Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

150 cases, $60. Clones are Martini, Pommard, 23, 667. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 83% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is somewhat reserved, opening slowly to reveal lovely aromas of black cherry, spice and bark. A gorgeous black cherry cola core alerts the taste buds, offering more pop than any other wine in the 2013 En Garde lineup. There are more substantial tannins and more oak infusion, but the composite picture is harmonious. Bold, with serious intentions, yet seductive and refined. I liked this wine incrementally more over time in the glass and even more the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Escarpment Single Vineyard Kiwa Martinborough New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.48, $56. Grapes come from Cleland Vineyard. 24-year-old vines, deep alluvial gravels, clones UCD 5, 6 and 13. Fermented in wooden vats, on the skins 16 days, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The least expressive wine of the three single vineyards reviewed here, but still offering a peak at impressive potential. Aromas of mixed berries and loamy soil lead to a gorgeous core of blackberry and black raspberry fruits beautifully accented with spice and oak. This well-structured, mid weight plus wine has nicely balanced acidity and a finish replete with dark fruited goodness. A brooding wine that only hints at the 10 to 15 year future. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was more showy and pleasurable, but still revealed a need for further cellaring to bring the tannins into further harmony. Score: 94. Reviewed February 5, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Escarpment Single Vineyard Pahi Martinborough New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.50, $56. Sourced from McCreanor Vineyard that has vines that are 26-years-old. Clone 10/5. On the skins 19 days, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Engaging aromas of cherry, strawberry and wilted rose. Impeccable marriage of black cherry fruit and oak in a mid weight style with suave supporting tannins. Admirable harmony, with an array of perfectly ripened dark red fruits, finishing with a peacock tail of aromatic good will. The most “feminine” of three Single Vineyard wines tasted together. Score: 94. Reviewed February 5, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Evesham Wood Cuvée J Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 149 cases, $50. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, exotic spices, earthy flora and rose petal. The wine fills the mouth with pleasure, offering generous layers of black cherry fruit enhanced with notes of cardamom, thyme, vanilla and oak. Somewhat firm, but balanced tannins add needed structure for the sappy fruit. The finish has memorable length and generosity. A very age worthy wine of uncommon excellence. Score: 94. Reviewed January 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Foursight Charles Vineyard Clone 05 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 125 cases, $49. Released February 1, 2016. 100% Pommard 05. Four favorite barrels. Wild yeast fermentation, 40% whole clusters, hand punch downs, wild yeast malolactic fermentation in barrel, and aged in French oak barrels, 60% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Robust aromas of Bing cherry and bark are followed on the palate by a delicious core of fresh black cherry fruit and cola flavors. Very suave, with a tug of balanced tannins and an amazingly intense finish that elevates this wine above the norm. This is a perfect example of why Pommard is my paramour. Score: 94. Reviewed April 22, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Furthermore Eden Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.72, 125 cases, $50. 100% Mount Eden clone (thus the name of the vineyard). Harvest Brix 24.6º. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Striking aromas of fresh strawberry, cherry and sandalwood lead to a light to mid weight core of intensely flavored oak-kissed cherries. Very forward and immensely satisfying with a silky mouthfeel, the wine finishes with plenty of cherry goodness. When tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had further blossomed and offered a delightful charge of cherry and spice. Plenty of Pinot singing. Score: 94. Reviewed August 18, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Furthermore Nevina’s Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.73, 150 cases, $60. Clone 777. Harvest Brix 24.2º. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep, penetrating aromas of darker cherries and darker red berries along with the scent of rose petal and woodlands. The palate seems whole cluster inspired with flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, plum and spice, with hints of vanilla and root beer. Impressive attack and mid palate presence with streamlined tannins and a juicy demeanor, finishing with pizzazz. Noticeably better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gary Farrell Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.65, 507 cases, $65. Released May 2015. Gary Farrell Winery has sourced fruit from this historic vineyard for more than 20 years and is one of the fortunate few to source some of the Pommard selection from the legendary Q Block, considered the most prestigious Pinot Noir block on this famous site. De-stemmed with a small percentage of whole clusters, 5 to 7-day cold soak, 10 to 15 days of extended maceration. Pressed gently off the skins and seeds, inoculated for malolactic fermentation, and racked into French oak barrels, 40% of which were new. Aged 14 months on primary lees, racked once just before bottling. · Light garnet color in the glass. The nose blossoms over time in the glass, offering aromas of cherry, strawberry, herbs, spice and sandalwood. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry and raspberry are accented with hints of oak vanillin. Soft and supple in the mouth with juicy acidity and modest fine-grain tannins. Very easy to like with a generous finish that lasts and lasts. This is a delicate wine that really delivers flavor and persistence. The finish seals the deal for me. Score: 94. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gary Farrell Toboni Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.63, 694 cases, $55. Released May 2015. Toboni Oakwild Ranch is located in the Santa Rosa Plain. Planted in 2001 to 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. Partially de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, 10 to 15- days extended maceration post fermentation, aged 9 months sur lies in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. Racked off primary lees once just before bottling. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of dark red cherries and berries with many subtle nuances including spice, citrus zest, and wine cave. The nose becomes more generous over time in the glass and it is hard to take your nose away from the glass. The lively fruit flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate are very seductive. The tannins are silky and the remarkably intense and lip-smacking finish resonates for at least a minute. Wines from this vineyard can be meaty and gamey, but this version is more fruity and vibrant. I guarantee you will love this wine. It is the best I have ever tasted from this vineyard. Score: 96. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gary Farrell Rochioli-Allen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.70, 414 cases, $70. Released February 2016. Sourced from Rochioli Vineyard and Allen Vineyard located nearby on opposite sides of Westside Road. Predominantly Pommard from old (1974) and new (1996) Allen Vineyard plantings with the balance is Pommard from the Rochioli River Block. Small % of whole clusters, 5 to 7-day cold soak, inoculated fermentations, 10 to 15-day post-fermentation extended maceration, aged on primary lees for 14 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Nuances abound in this wine, with aromas of cherries, red rose petals, spice, earth and woodland. Lovely cherry flavor tip toes on entry, tap dances mid palate, and hip hops through a boisterous and remarkably sustained finish. A beautifully composed, harmonious wine that will please now yet enthrall for several years to come. Score: 94. Reviewed February 5, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Gypsy Canyon “The Collector” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14% alc., 100 cases, $110. A blend of select top barrels from estate vineyard. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Upon opening, the nose was very shy and primary. Much better on the palate, with a mid weight plus blanket of delicious cherry fruit with a slight earthy bent. Plenty of sap to satisfy, framed by fine-grain tannins and balancing acidity. Considerably better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the nose developed exciting scents of cherry and spice and the fruit core came alive with plenty of Pinot singing. This wine is a crouching tiger that should be decanted if opened now or preferably allowed to develop over a few years in the cellar. Score: 92-94. Reviewed July 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Halleck Vineyard Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $110. Tasted from a bottle that had been opened one to weeks prior and kept under Coravin and tasted from a freshly opened bottle sampled with Coravin. · The previously opened bottle was highly aromatic with soaring scents of red fruits and spice. On the palate, it resembled a previously opened wine. The newly opened bottle had a primary nose with a brighter, fresher fruit palate. In either case, a very impressive, elegantly-styled wine. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2013 Halleck Vineyard Clone 828 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $65. Sourced from a vineyard located less than a mile from Halleck Estate Vineyard on Burnside Road. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Gorgeous perfume of cherry, spice and dried rose petal. Light to mid weight in style with a bright backbone of acidity. Impressive red fruit intensity considering the wine’s lighter demeanor. Tight and focused, with soft tannins and a clean finish. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2013 Hartford Court Hailey’s Block Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.63, 192 cases, $65. Released January 2016. A block within the Arrendell Vineyard, named after Don and Jennifer Hartford’s daughter. Clones 114, 667, 777 and Pommard planted in 1996. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 28% new. Bottled Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very special, offering hi-tone aromas of an array of purple fruits and spice. A little tight, but hinting at greatness, with an attack of purple and black fruits that attracts attention, continuing through a very generous finish. A sumptuous accent of spice and savory herbs adds nuance. Very seductive, with a silky smooth mouthfeel. Score: 94. Reviewed June 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Hartford Court Arrendell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.2% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.62, 288 cases, $100. Released January 2016. The crown jewel in the Hartford Court lineup from a vineyard planted in 1975 to Martini clone. Wood from this vineyard has been sent to UCD to get a virus-free field selection version. The vineyard struggles to ripen less than one ton per acre by Halloween in most years. It is one of the coldest sites in the Russian River Valley and has been called the “snowshoe vineyard” because in wet years, workers need to wear snowshoes to get through the muddy rows of vines. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 44% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is flat out gorgeous filled with promising aromas of boysenberry and blackberry preserves with a wild, organic tone. Power to thrill, with a spellbinding core of dark fruits that envelope the palate and linger on the prodigious finish. Despite the fruit heft, the wine is welcoming with refined tannins, juicy acidity and a silky demeanor. A highly unique wine of uncommon provenance. Score: 96. Reviewed June 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Keller Estate Precioso Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.57, 70 cases $75. A special barrel selection from the 2014 vintage. 100% de-stemmed, aged in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A sophisticated offering with seeking aromas of dark cherry, blueberry, mushroom, underbrush and oak spice. A delicious array of darker fruits greats the palate with aplomb, expanding in the mouth and lasting like what seems 30 seconds on the finish. Perfect harmony, a deft touch of oak spice, and an earthy, savory bent that adds interest. Texturally very interesting, featuring dry, suede tannins that predict age ability. A regal offering that will please any Pinot connoisseur. Score: 94. Reviewed December 1, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Ken Brown Rita’s Crown Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.56, 323 cases, $60. This is one of the highest elevation vineyards in the region at 600 to 950 feet. The soils are shallow and the vines are exposed to coastal fog and ocean winds. Planted in 2007, it has quickly become one of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Clones 667, 777 and “828.” · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring perfume with an array of dark fruits including black cherry and black raspberry, with a hint of spice and rose petal. Flat-out delicious mid weight plus core of black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors matched to balanced tannins and juicy acidity. The mid palate attack is eye opening, the seductive mouthfeel is velvety, and the richly endowed finish leaves an impression. A very classy offering from one of Central California’s winemaking icons, and one of the best Pinots I have had from this region in 2015. Score: 94. Reviewed November 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Ken Wright Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $50. This vineyard is planted to own-rooted Pommard first established in 1988. Soil is Yamhill - shallow silty loam over basaltic bedrock. The vineyard is owned and managed by Susan Meredith and Franck Mitchell. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Scents of cherry, forest floor and oak char are somewhat shy, but the fruit explodes on the palate. Rich raspberry and cherry flavor that attacks the mid palate with a vengeance. Accents of baking spice, earth and conifer add interest. Uncommon fruit energy that fuels an intensely flavorful finish. Rare to find a wine with such palate saturating fruit. The nose has not arrived, so give this wine at least a year in bottle. Score: 93-95. Reviewed December 11, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.3% alc., 350 cases, $59. Vineyard planted in 2001 in Goldridge soils. Clones are “828,” 115 and 777. 580 feet elevation, 8.5 miles inland from the coast. One of the coolest Pinot Noir vineyards in the North Coast with average mean monthly growing season temperature of 60ºF. VSP trellising, spur pruned, 8' x 5' spacing. Aged in 100% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is mesmerizing with hi-tone aromas of cherry rock candy, raspberry coulis, spiced plum and rose petal. Sleek and seductive and seamless in every way, this wine offers juicy flavors of Bing cherry, raspberry and strawberry robed in modest, soft tannins. Highly approachable with a refreshing lift of tight, defining acidity. More demure and feminine than the McDougall bottling. Wow! Score: 93-94. Reviewed January 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.2% alc., 500 cases, $59. Vineyard planted in 1998 in Graywacke and Sandstone soils. Dijon clone 114. VSP trellising, spur pruned, 8' x 5' spacing. 935 feet elevation, 3.4 miles inland from the coast. Aged in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely scent of black cherry, blackberry jam, wilted rose and underbrush. Delicious mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry supported by firm but balanced tannins and the slightest hint of oak. The tremendously flavorful attack of sappy fruit leads to an extraordinarily long and juicy finish. Enjoyable now, this wine will benefit from more tannin integration over time. This is a wine that brings you to your knees, makes you turn your eyes to the heavens, and give thanks. Score: 95-96. Reviewed January 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Laetitia Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.61, 205 cases, $60. Sourced from original plantings located in low yielding blocks in the heart of the Laetitia Estate Vineyard. Only produced in exceptional vintages. Harvested in late August at 24.9º Brix. Martini clone 13.4-day cold soak, whole berry fermented in small open top fermenters with the addition of RC 212 yeast. After 6 days of fermentation, the wine was gently pressed and racked into 100% French oak barrels, 30% new, where it was aged for 12 months. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, drawing the nose to wondrous aromas of strawberry, cherry, spice and a hint of smoky oak. Very charming, with a mid weight core of delicious red fruits framed by suave tannins. Impressive elegance and class, with the ripe red fruits holding court through a finishes that lingers for what seems like a minute. Score: 94. Reviewed November 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Laetitia Single Vineyard Les Galets Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.563, 209 cases, $60. Composed of grapes from low yielding blocks. The name means “stones” in French. Only produced in the most promising vintages. Multiple picks from late September to early October. Harvest Brix 25.5º. Dijon clone 115. 4-day cold soak, whole berry fermented in small open top fermenters with an addition of RC212 yeast. After 6 days of fermentation, the must was gently pressed and racked to 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, rose petal and vanilla soar from the glass. Brightly fruited with layers of dark fruits and exotic spices. Highly distinctive, with a firm, but complimentary tannic backbone, a hint of oak seasoning, juicy acidity and a silky mouthfeel. An exceptional wine of unusual breeding that will bring you to your knees. Score: 95. Reviewed November 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Littorai B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 186 cases, $80. The vineyard is located southwest of the town of Occidental, overlooking Bodega at an elevation of 900 feet. Goldridge over sandstone soils. Littorai has a long term lease on this site so that it is farmed as if it was an estate vineyard. Farmed for over a decade using biodynamic methods. Yields 1.99 tons per acre. Vines planted in 1991 and 1994. Clones are Swan, Pommard, 114, 777, Calera and a proprietary clone. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. This has been my favorite Littorai bottling since I first discovered it 15 years ago. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Alluring, even intoxicating aromas of fresh cherry, raspberry, blackberry, sous-bois and spice. Gracious and sexy, with finesse rather than swagger, offering a mid weight core of nicely ripened black cherry and black raspberry fruits framed by a hint of tannic sinew, integrated juicy acidity and a deft touch of oak. A note of exotic spice sneaks in at the finish. A very seductive wine. Turn down the lights when you pull the cork on this beauty. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Littorai Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 613 cases, $70. Littorai section of vineyard planted in 2004 and are highest elevation blocks on the property at 750 feet. The vines are planted to a rootstock and clones specifically chosen by Littorai. Platt is only 6 miles from the coast and overlooks the town of Bodega. Goldridge sand loam over marine origin sandstone soils. Organically farmed. Clones “828,” 115, 777, proprietary, and Calera. Yields 4.67 tons per acre. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate cherry red color in the glass. A wonderland of aromas greet the drinker with notes of black cherry, blackberry, woodland and seasoned oak. Impressive attack of heady dark cherry and dark red berry fruits transition to a plush mid palate embossed with a woodsy, savory note, finishing with uncommon length and charm. A wine of special breeding with cohesive tannins and acidity. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has somewhere to go. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Loring Wine Company Keefer Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.61, 300 cases, $50, screwcap. Released September 2014. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Rather typical for Keefer Ranch, with fresh aromas of strawberry, red cherry and sandalwood. Extravagant flavors of cherry, ripe strawberry, spice, and cocoa dust with the right touch of oak. Refined and sophisticated, with a huge, extremely long finish that nearly brings you to your knees. Score: 94. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Loring Wine Company Aubaine Vineyard San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.55, 200 cases, $50, screwcap. Released February 2015. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of black cherry, sarsaparilla, clove and other spices, and brewed tea leap from the glass. Delicious core of black cherry, black raspberry and cassis flavors wrapped in tame tannins. Plush and mouth filling with a fruit-filled finish that is memorable for its length. This vineyard can produce wines that are rugged and tannic, but Brian has tamed the beast beautifully in this vintage. This is a stunning wine that really grabbed my attention. Score: 94. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUMEN Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 99 cases, $49. A barrel selection. Harvest average Brix 23.7º. Clones 667 and Pommard 5. Aged in 84% neutral French oak and 16% new Hungarian oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. The aromas of fresh boysenberry, plum, spice and toasty oak draw you into the glass. Beautifully balanced and polished on the palate, with flavors of black raspberry, boysenberry and plum with a slight earthy undertone. The oak seasoning is complimentary, the tannins are proportional and the wine’s juicy acidity makes for refreshing drinking. The intensely aromatic spiced plum on the very long finish is especially impressive. This wine truly reflects Santa Maria Valley terroir and is the best Pinot Noir I have ever had from this vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed August 18, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUMOS Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 143 cases, $45. Release January 1, 2016. Vineyard is USDA certified organic. Vegan-friendly. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting perfume of dark berries and pie cherries with an earthy underpinning. Heavenly flavors of marionberry, plum, pomegranate and spice that fills the mouth with layers of goodness. This wine comes at you from all angles and refuses to leave on the fruit-laden finish. A Pinot Noir that is both husky and masculine, yet refined and sophisticated. The serious fruit intensity is deftly balanced by a tannic backbone that insures age ability. I can’t say enough good things about this special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed November 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 LUTUM La Rinconada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 225 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 24.6º. 100% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of fresh black cherry pie, spice and sweet oak. Gorgeous mid weight plus fruit core featuring lightly spiced black cherry and boysenberry with an earthy tone and a taste of iron. Substantial tannins are folded in with seamless awareness. Very classy juice that is infused with vibrancy, finishing with a juicy cut of acidity. The best wine I have had from this vineyard in recent memory. Score: 94. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 MacPhail Lakeview Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.58, 192 cases, $49. Inaugural release from this 8.6-acre vineyard planted in Goldridge sand loam soil. Harvest Brix 24.5º. Clones 114 and 115. 84% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, native and proprietary yeast fermentation, native malolactic fermentation in barrel, batonage weekly for 3 months, aged 16 months sur lie in 100% French oak barrels, 37% new. Unfined and lightly filtered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose reminds one of the holidays, with aromas of cherries, berries and Christmas spice. Delicious Bing cherry fruit floods the mouth with a bit of purple berry and spice chiming in. The tannins are soft and balanced, the mouthfeel is all velvet, and the extraordinarily intense finish made me sit up in my chair. Still prodigious the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with all components working in perfect harmony. Score: 94. Reviewed November 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Maggy Hawk Hawkster Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.53, 268 cases, $66. Primary clone is Wädenswil 2A. 5-day cold soak, proprietary yeast primary fermentation, fermented in three separate lots unlike the other Maggy Hawk wines. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 49% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A panoply of dark red berries, earthy flora and wood spice greet the nose. In the mouth, the delicious flavors of dark red cherry, raspberry and spice are accented with a judicious touch of oak. The satiny texture is sensual and comforting and the wine’s balance is impeccable. Like all great wines, the intensely flavorful finish refuses to dissipate. Still exceptional the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed February 26, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Maggy Hawk Jolie Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.52, 352 cases, $66. Primary clone is 115. Harvested multiple times over a 10-day period from October 8 to October 18 allowing the wine to display the full range of characteristics of clone 115. 5-day cold soak, proprietary yeast fermentation, punch downs daily, and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The markedly nuanced nose is a chameleon over time, taking on new aromas as it becomes more giving. Scents of dark berries, earthy flora, black cherry and spice are echoed on the palate. The fruit literally explodes on the mid palate, and holds on through a lengthy finish. Modest in weight, but highly flavorful, with tailored tannins, juicy acidity and a deft touch of oak. This wine tends to build in appeal over time in the glass. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still terrific, indicating certain longevity. Jolie, will you marry me? Score: 95. Reviewed February 26, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Patz & Hall Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,028 cases, $70. Released March 2015. This vineyard was first planted in 2002 in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap region and is now owned by Bill Price. Wild and cultured yeast fermentations, 15% whole clusters, aged in 100% French oak barrels, 65% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of purple berries and spice gain intensity over time in the glass. Fleshy and flavorful, with an abundance of fruit, yet soft on the palate with exemplary elegance. Fine-grain tannins add textural interest, there is commendable integration of oak, and the tasty finish seems to last forever. This virile beauty was kissed by an angel. Score: 94. Reviewed July 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Paul Lato “Atticus” John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $70. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine stands out from the crowd. Enticing perfume of black raspberry jam, tobacco oak and nori. Effortless and harmonious, with racy flavors of black raspberry, boysenberry and plum attacking with intent and persisting through a finish that won’t quit. The oak is very complimentary, the tannins are balanced, and the acidity is spot on. Stay for the finish. Score: 94. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Pellegrini Hurst Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.53, 160 cases, $45. Vineyard is located in the far western reaches of Sebastopol. 100% Pommard clone. Aged 14 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing scents of black cherry, kirsch, flower shop and the slightest oak. Impressive roundness and polish, with mid weight plus flavors of succulent dark fruits. The silky texture really stands out in this special wine that is thoroughly enchanting. Score: 93-94. Reviewed April 20, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $75 (sold out). A blend of barrels and different vineyard blocks from the estate property.Each block vinified separately in small lots using native yeast fermentation, hand punch downs, no fining and no filtering. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry reduction, cassis and baking spices gain intensity in the glass over time. A bit reticent upon opening, but picks up body and appeal with swirling. The mid weight purple and black fruits really glam onto the palate, finishing with uncommon generosity. The wine offers a little less extraction in this vintage, but more juicy acidity. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had undergone a remarkable transformation, offering a plethora of richly flavored fruit on the nose and palate held in check by a firm, balanced structure, and offering a glorious finish that had become even more generous. I would put this wine in the cellar and check it again in 3 to 5 years, but it will most certainly last well over a decade and a half. Score: 93-94. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $69. · Moderately light cherry color in the glass. Enticing aromas of cherry, leaf, spice and balsam lead to a mid weight core of fresh and juicy cherry flavor with a whisper of oak in the background. Very elegant and more giving than the le nord, with suave tannins and a deeply aromatic, cherry-fueled finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle, the nose was more expressive. Two days later, the wine was still hitting on all cylinders. Patience will be rewarded. Score: 92-94. Reviewed January 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Rogstad Walala Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 111 cases, $55. This vineyard is located on the West Sonoma Coast at 1,200 feet elevation near Annapolis just two miles from the Pacific Ocean. The 25-acre vineyard sits on a lonely ridge in a 19,000 forest above the fog line. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black fruits, mulch and roasted almonds lead to a full-bodied and delicious display of gorgeous purple and black fruit goodness attacking with intent and saturating the mid palate. Astonishing depth of flavor, with firm, matching tannins, a thread of toasty, spicy oak in the background, and a finish with eye-opening persistence. You won’t be able to keep your hands off this one. Score: 94. Reviewed March 6, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sante Arcangeli Split Rail Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.59, 370 cases, $36. This vineyard is located at 1,700 feet elevation on a Corralitos mountaintop. Clones include Martini, Wädenswil, Mt. Eden, Swan, 32 and Pommard 4. Harvest Brix 22.5º-24.5º. 100% de-stemmed, aged sur lie with battonage for 10 months in 95% French and 5% Hungarian oak barrels of which 30% were new and 70% were used. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light cherry color in the glass. Lovely nose with alluring aromas of Bing cherry, sandalwood and spice cabinet. A delightful wine that is deep on the palate with an impressive attack of fleshy dark cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors complimented by a subtle vein of savory herbs in the background. The fine-grain, slightly weighty tannins provide good structure, and the persistent finish brings waves of vivid, flamboyant fruit. Score: 94. Reviewed January 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Screen Door Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 180 cases, $50. Sourced from Leras Family Vineyard. Primarily Pommard clone, with a small portion of “828” and 115 cofermented. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light cherry color in the glass. Soaring aromas of Bing cherry, baking spice and toast set the stage. On entry, the mouthful of cherry goodness really opens your eyes, and accent flavors of cola, cardamom and oak add interest. The wine is beautifully composed, with balanced tannins and an expansive black cherry finish that will bring you to your knees. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. I loved it! Score: 94. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Siduri Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 350 cases, $54, screwcap. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy initially, picking up aromatic and flavor interest over time in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry, dark berry, spice and floral bouquet lead to a mid to full-bodied rainbow of black cherry, boysenberry, purple grape and plum flavors. The fruit is flat-out gorgeous. Well-proportioned tannins and a caressing, creamy mouthfeel complete the picture. Score: 94. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 450 cases, $60, screwcap. High yields but many berries in each cluster created an ideal situation. Grapes were picked over a month. A good percentage of whole clusters were used in the fermentation as the clusters had very ripe stems. 18 barrels (34% of the lot) were selected for this wine which includes barrels from the Big Block, Hermanos, and Tina’s sections of the vineyard. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Typical Pisoni with a rich load of purple and black berry fruits that balance the wine’s broad shoulders of tannins. The boldest wine in the Siduri lineup with a remarkable palate-staining, grand cru finish. The penetrating energy of the wine is striking. When I left a re-corked bottle for 4 days and re-tasted it, I was astonished by its brilliance. The tannins had thoroughly melded and the wine was all velvet, highly flavorful, and I experienced stars. This vineyard is truly the source of one of California’s greatest Pinot Noirs. Score: 96. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste Extravagant Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 23 cases, $100. Very best grapes selected through multiple passes at harvest. 50% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 16 months in a French oak barrel from Tonnellerie Rousseau. MonoClone®: single vineyard, single clone, single barrel source. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of cherry, wild strawberry and exotic spices. Suave and sexy, with mid weighted flavors of black cherry and whole cluster driven hints of pine sap, root beer, spice and edible rose. Eloquent in style with impeccable balance, the wine offered gossamer tannins, and a spice-fueled finish that was revelatory. I relished the whole cluster integration in this wine as well as its acidity that can enable many food matches. When tasted the following day, I was still “ga-ga” over this wine. This wine shows what Pinot Noir can offer when a dedicated vintner commits to meticulous viticulture and vinification techniques based on a fanatical devotion to Pinot Noir. Score: 97. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste L’Espérance Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.59, 123 cases, $85. Sourced from Sonatera Vineyard in Sebastopol, with vines planted in Goldridge sandy loam. Dijon 115. 0% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · The most Chambolle Musigny in style with an ephemeral quality that seduces the drinker. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. I thought sure this wine had whole cluster inclusion based on its savory components. Rapturous aromas of black cherry, raspberry, spice, rose petal and cigar. Velvety in the mouth, with a well-spiced black cherry core that is highly expressive. Lightest in weight of the three Pinot Noirs tasted today, but not light in flavor. Floral and toasty oak notes add interest. The delicate tannins make for an elegant impression. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was aromatically intoxicating and the spiced fruit core continued its exuberance. Tres Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed October 30, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste Renaissance Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.67, 147 cases, $85. Sourced from a special few rows of Sonatera Vineyard. Dijon 777. 50% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of fresh black cherry reduction sauce, sous-bois, and dark red rose petals. An “Oh Man!” nose. The mid weight flavors of cherry and raspberry combined with more subtle floral and spice notes tug at your taste buds. Silky in the mouth, with soft, fine-grain tannins and a bombastic cherry-fueled finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose almost brought me to my knees. Harmony personified. Score: 95. Reviewed October 30, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste L’Ambroisie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.56, 49 cases, $100. Sourced from the secluded Guidici Vineyard surrounded by redwoods in the Sonoma Coast AVA near Occidental, only 6 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Dijon “828.” 20% whole cluster, Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 0% new. Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. · The most intensely fruity and darkest fruited nose of the three Pinot Noirs tasted here. Black raspberry, blackberry fruits are complimented by an assortment of spices including nutmeg. Impressive attack of bold black raspberry, black cherry and spice flavors that find every crevice in the mouth, but an even more impressive finish that dances on for minutes. Impeccable balance, with a silk and satin texture, and inviting acid backbone. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, this wine was charming, sexy and loquacious with considerable nuance and a harmonious personality. I was taken by this wine not so much for its sappy fruit, but its complexity and finish. Score: 96. Reviewed October 30, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste Solitaire Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 52 cases and 78 magnums, $100. From a vineyard nestled in a redwood forest. Multiple passes through the vineyard selecting only the very best grapes. 50% whole cluster fermentation. Aged in one 600-liter barrel for 28 months. The model for this wine is the Bertheau Bonnes Mares. · Light cherry red color in the glass. A very young wine that needs decanting or more time in the cellar to evolve. Over time in the glass, lovely aromas of darker cherry and berry, rose petal, sous-bois and spice arrive with a gentle blanket of oak. More expression, yet reticent, on the palate, with a mid weight core of juicy black cherry fruit, spice and savory herbs that commands attention on the mid palate and persists through a pleasingly satin finish. Much better the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. No hurry to pop the cork on this one, much like a Bonnes Mares. Let the oak integrate further, the nuances rise up and the whole cluster work its magic. Score: 92-94. Reviewed February 13, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste Sonatera Vineyard T Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 123 cases, $85. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is focused on aromas of spiced black cherries, plum, vanilla and sous-bois. Very elegantly composed, with dark cherry and plum fruits engaging from entry to exit. Glorious flavors with whole cluster nuances, impeccable balance, and a cherry-fueled finish that never gives up. This wine has a spring in its step and is even more enticing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine will slay any appetite for Burgundian Pinot Noir. Score: 95. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste Forêt Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc. 123 cases, $85 (magnums $300). Sourced from a vineyard secluded by redwoods near Occidental, just 6 miles from the Pacific Ocean on the western coastal range. 50% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 22% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, sous-bois, red berries and nutty oak. Hair-raising attack of black cherry fruit causes the drinker to sit up and take notice. Very polished and elegant, with waves of cherry and spice flavor with the slightest burnt tobacco note. Gossamer tannins with a silky soft mouthfeel and a succulent, cherry-fueled finish. The wine has the balance to age magnificently. Score: 94. Reviewed December 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste Nouveau Monde Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.62, 149 cases, $85. Pommard clone grown in Petaluma Gap. Harvested at midnight and field sorted. 100% de-stemmed, brief cold soak, gentle fermentation of small lots with ritual manual punch downs. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. Claude says, “Incredibly aromatic, exotic and elegant Pinot Noir that beautifully marries the virtues of both Volnay and Pommard.” · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Haunting aromas of dark fruits, potpourri, pine sap, rose petal and wine cave. Polished, silken, and dreamy on the palate with mid weight flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, tea leaves and a hint of burnt tobacco. Spot-on balance with a seductive texture and a virile finish that gives and gives. Score: 97. Reviewed April 1, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Soliste L’ Ambroisie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.56, 49 cases, $100. Clone “828.” Harvested at first light and field sorted. 20% whole cluster fermentation. Brief cold soak, smooth fermentation of small lots with ritual manual punch downs. Aged 16 months in neutral French oak barrels. Claude says, “Once you have tasted L’Ambroisie, I assure you, words cannot adequately describe how you will feel.” · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Unreal aromas of blackest cherry, exotic spices, burnt tobacco, Prada leather coat and earthy funkiness. Spirited mid weight flavors of cherry, raspberry and baking spices progress to the very long finish without a hitch. The texture is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Truly glamorous and almost too good to be true. Still incredible, even ambrosial, the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 98. Reviewed April 1, 2018 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Sonnet Muns Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $38. Harvest Brix 26.0º. Clones 667, 777, 114 and 115. Proprietary Assmanshausen yeast ferment. Aged 18 months in tight grain Hungarian oak barrels, 35% new, with lees stirring during malolactic fermentation. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Engaging perfume of crushed cherries, spice, mulch and sandalwood. Delicious core of black Morello cherries soaked in Kirsch and raspberry fruit with a pinch of spice and vanilla. Beautifully balanced with suave tannins, a smooth mouthfeel, and a very long finish lingering for at least 30 seconds. When re-tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more expressive, bursting with cherry and raspberry goodness. Pure Pinot class in the glass. Score: 95. Reviewed February 26, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Talisman Adastra Vineyard “Méthode Valise” Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 20 cases, $125. Released October 1, 2016. One barrel from a suitcase selection. CCOF certified organic grapes planted in 1994. 100% whole cluster, feral yeast fermentation, aged in a new French oak barrel. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy nose offering only oak spice aromas without fruit. A serious, age worthy wine with a mid weight core of black cherry fruit enhanced with flavors of savory herbs and exotic whole cluster driven spices. Substantial tannins yet not indulgent, with remarkable length and intensity on the finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was still primary, but this wine was clearly the most complex and interesting in the 2013 lineup. It will definitely benefit from several years in the cellar. Score: 93-94. Reviewed October 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Tendril C Note Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 73 cases, $100. Aged 17 months in 100% new French oak barrels with 3-year, air-dried staves. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. An array of pleasurable aromas arrive in the glass including dark cherry, spice box, burnt tobacco and a feminine perfume. The oak treatment is overbearing upon opening, but when the wine was tasted later in the day, the oak had integrated beautifully. The wine is mid weight in style with waves of black cherry and dark berry fruits accented with a touch of oak-driven tobacco. The ripe, very fine-grain tannins create textural charm. Perhaps the most striking feature of this wine is the extra, I mean extra, long finish. Decant or keep your hands off this another couple of years. Clearly a special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed October 8, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $80. Eyrie’s original vineyard, and the home of the hawks that grace the Eyrie label. 7 acres planted to Wädenswil, Pommard and Tout Droit clones. The oldest Pinot Noir vines in the Willamette Valley. Elevation runs from 260’ to 410’ and faces south rolling east and west. · Light cherry color in the glass. The most sophisticated and nuanced wine of the single vineyards tasted here, with aromas of cherry, blueberry, and herb garden. Extremely enticing in the mouth, with focused flavors of red and blue fruits that are layered and persistent. Impeccably balanced with an extremely lengthy finish that separates this wine from very good. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 The Eyrie Vineyards Daphne Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $80. Named for a very dear and longtime friend of Eyrie. 1.5 acres planted to Pommard clone in 1974. Elevation is 820’ to 860’ with the most wind exposure. Hilltop soil is very shallow, averaging less than 10 inches on top of large boulders at 820’. Last of the single vineyards to ripen with tiny clusters. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring aroma of black cherries. Intense flavors of dark red and black cherries and purple berries backed by modest tannins and framed by juicy acidity. I was quite taken by this beauty. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Marlborough New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 800 cases, $26.99, screwcap. Imported by DJK Imports, South San Francisco, CA. Hand selected from two single blocks, one in deep alluvial gravel soils and one from heavier clay soils. Clones 113, 114, 115, 667, 777, 10/5, Abel and Pommard 5 from TWR Vineyard in the Omaka Valley. 100% de-stemmed, cold soak, fermented whole berry, small portion by indigenous yeasts. 17-days on skins, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Engaging aromas of black cherry, Asian 5- spice, sandalwood and fir tree. Delicious core of dark red cherry and raspberry with a silky entry and exit. Forward and embracing, with impeccable balance, and an intense cherry-driven finish. A very stylish Pinot Noir that is light on its feet. This wine really captured my attention, especially at this modest price. Score: 94. Reviewed February 5, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Valli “Bendigo” Gibbston Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.79, 440 cases, $44.99, screwcap. Grant Taylor has been making wines in the region since 1993 and has crafted wines for many iconic Central Otago wineries as well as his own label. Valli was established in 1998 and named after his great-great grandfather, Giuseppe Valli, who immigrated to New Zealand. This wine is a single vineyard bottling from Bendigo. Harvest Brix 25.3º. Clone 777 planted in 2000. 33% whole cluster, 22 days on skins, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 34% new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The perfume of blackberry, cassis and spice draws you into the glass. On the palate, the fruit intensity is remarkable, featuring a sensory onslaught of violet and black fruit and peppery spice flavors. The bodacious fruit sap is matched to daunting tannins which surface with an astringent charge on the finish. This wine will benefit from several years in the cellar to ameliorate the tannins, and can certainly last well into a second decade. Score: 94. Reviewed February 5, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Van Duzer Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

13.1% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.64, 1,960 cases, $18, screwcap. Released June 2014 (sold out except Wine Club members). 63% Wädenswil and 37% 115. 100% estate grown. A rigorous block selection was used to create this wine. Selected vines were encouraged to produced a higher yield to retain acidity. An early pick of clone 115 and a later pick of Wädenswil clone were blended. This Rosé, like few others, is intentionally created through directives in the vineyard and winery to produce a distinctive wine. After gentle pressing, the juice was inoculated with four yeasts to highlight the aromas and mouthfeel. After a slow and cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine was aged on lees. · The color is an enticing modest orange coral in the glass. I loved the aromas of strawberry, blood orange and cut flower bouquet. This wine offers everything you could want in a Rosé with fresh flavors of strawberries, raspberries, orange zest, a hint of herbs in the background, a creamy mouthfeel and bright citrus-infused acidity. This dry wine is extremely agreeable to drink and unusually provocative for a Rosé. Score: 93. Reviewed June 24, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 VIDON Vineyard Estate Mirabelle Clone 115 Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 96 cases, $50, Vinolok glass closure. Eleventh vintage from this block of clone 115. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Generous aromas of Bing cherry, raspberry, and strawberry with an earthy undertone. The ornate cherry and raspberry fruit really pops on the palate. A touch of spice and a sidecar of oak add interest, Very juicy and refreshing, with impeccable balance and a raspberry-fueled finish that is heavenly. I was giddy over this one. Score: 94. Reviewed August 29, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Waxwing Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 123 cases, $39. Vines planted in 1998 on a sandy loam hillside bordered by redwoods. Sustainable viticultural practices, careful canopy management, minimal late season deficit irrigation. A mix of Dijon and heritage clones including Mt. Eden, Wädenswil and Mariafeld. 50% of fruit de-stemmed as whole berries and 50% foot-stomped whole cluster. 5-day cold soak, native fermentation, aged 11 months in once-used French oak barrels. · Moderately light cherry color in the glass. Plenty of lovely whole cluster spice on the nose along with aromas of cherry, rose petal and sandalwood. Delicious middleweight flavors of red cherry, red raspberry, spice and crystallized rose. Bright with good tension and balanced tannins, finishing clean and uplifting. I could drink this all day. Score: 94. Reviewed January 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Wayfarer “Mother Rock” Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $115. Named for the sandstone substrate in this part of the vineyard. Clones 37 (Mt. Eden) and 777. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Somewhat muted nose that opens slowly over time in the glass to reveal aromas of Bing cherry, boysenberry and blackberry. Gorgeous flavor and finish in this mid weight plus wine featuring tastes of blackberry, ollaliberry, spice and gentle oak. Exquisite balance, supple tannins and a huge, generous finish that is dope. When tasted 2 days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was still slightly muted, but the voluptuous fruit flavors bowled me over. Score: 93-94. Reviewed July 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Wayfarer “The Traveler” Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $150. Made from a Burgundy suitcase clone. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting perfume of black cherry, blackberry and earthy flora, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass and holding forth even 2 days after opening. Very saucy, yet intriguing, with an array of sappy darker fruits that are refined and classy. The wine is quite young, even slightly brooding, but is clearly a tuxedo wine that has tremendous upside potential. A bit of earthiness and mushroom flavors are among the nuances. The finish is particular notable for its refreshing lift. Clearly the best Wayfarer Pinot Noir in this vintage. Score: 94-95. Reviewed July 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 White Rose Estate Guillén Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $95 (Club members priority). 100% whole cluster fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 13% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The nose draws you into the glass with elevating aromas of black cherry, Moroccan spices, cinnamon toast, pine sap and floral goodness. A bombastic combination of cherry and spice flavors attack the palate with noticeable energy, expanding over time in the mouth and grabbing on to the finish with tenacity. A classy wine that also offers a seductive, silky mouthfeel. Still pumping out plenty of generous aroma and flavors two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $125 (Club members priority). 100% whole cluster fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 9% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of cherry reduction sauce, exotic spices and wilted rose petal. The light to mid weight red cherry and cranberry flavors are nicely spiced and balanced with supple tannins and tight acidity. An underlying savory woodland flavor plays in the background. There is good grip on the red fruited, juicy finish that is both elegant and aromatic. Wines from this vineyard typically become more complex over time in bottle and this wine has the harmony to last. This wine brought back memories of a 1990 DRC Romanee-Conti wine I had the pleasure of drinking a number of years ago because of its lighter color and elegant yet flavorful demeanor. Score: 93-94. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $39. 100% estate fruit from the 15-acre Schultze Family Vineyard at the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in Corralitos. Five clones. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The nose personifies what I love about the Pinot nose: aromas of cherry, spice, rose petal and sandalwood. Delicious core of well ripened black cherry fruit, accented with a hint of white pepper and other spices and root beer. Very sleek and silky, with suede tannins and an elegant, charming presence. The preverbal iron fist in a velvet glove. Score: 94. Reviewed January 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Wren Hop Vineyards “Architects & Saboteurs" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

pH 3.65, 160 cases, $78. Sourced from Bent Rock Vineyard, clones 777 and 115. The vineyard is but a few miles of the Pacific Ocean and has a major maritime influence allowing slow ripening. Aged 14 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Deep, haunting aromas of blackberry, cassis, oak spice and cigar humidor. A mid weight plus array of dark fruits are enchanting and delicious. The tannins are soothing, the texture is refined and the mild oak notes of tobacco and toast are gratifying. This wine has the most extraction of the three wines tasted here, but the acidity keeps the wine nimble. Even better when tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A bodacious charmer. Pull the cork, put the dog out, find your spouse, turn off all distractions, dim the lights, and engage in some Pinot heaven. Score: 94. Reviewed April 2, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Airlie Vintner’s Blend Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.75, 150 cases, $35. Dunn Forest (50%) and BeckenRidge (50%) vineyards. Harvest Brix 22.0º. Pommard clone. 100% de-stemmed, high percentage of whole berry fermentation. 4- day cold soak, cultured yeast fermentations, inoculated for malolactic fermentation and aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. Six selected reserve barrels were racked to neutral barrels for an additional year of aging. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Only produced when vintages warrant. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of dark berries, black cherry milkshake and forest floor. Gorgeous array of dark red and black stone and berry fruits. Amazing depth of fruit but with well-matched tannins and a satisfying thread of acidity in the background. A huge wine by Oregon standards, yet crafted in harmony, finishing with a lip smacking, fruit jubilee. A bodacious wine built for the long haul, yet thoroughly enjoyable now. Score: 95. Reviewed January 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Alexana Signature Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 250 cases, $75. Favorite 10 barrels from the 2012 vintage. Aged 11 months in 38% new French oak barrels and bottle aged for 14 months before release. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The pleasing nose is relatively shy, offering aromas of dark fruits and a hint of oak vanillin. Full-bodied, lush and concentrated on the palate, with layers of dark red and purple fruits. Impeccably balanced with enough tannic bones to age and a complimentary whisper of smoky oak, this wine retains a juicy, vibrancy despite its heft and finishes with uncommon length and purpose. An impressive wine that emotes. Score: 95. Reviewed January 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Amalie Robert Estate Amalie’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 295 cases, $50. This wine is a barrel selection by Dena that reflects her palate and the site, and is meant to be approachable upon release. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of cherry, rose petal and spice are so enthralling, I was in no hurry to taste the wine. Very seductive, with a core of fresh black cherry, black raspberry and blueberry fruit flavors that saturate the mid palate and return in waves on the extraordinarily long finish. The wine is beautifully crafted with a supportive tannic spine and balancing acidity, but it is the finish that separates this wine from the pack. Score: 94. Reviewed September 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Amalie Robert Estate Dijon Clones Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc, 1,030 cases, $40. 100% estate grown and bottled. A collage of seven Dijon clones from twelve dry farmed vineyard blocks. The individual blocks were fermented with whole clusters and feral yeasts from the vineyard. The lots were aged a minimum of 12 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Exuberant perfume of black cherry cordial, rose petal, spice and pine oil. Ripe and rather bold, with a mid weight plus array of succulent black cherry, black raspberry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits that envelope the palate with sap and persist through a bodacious finish. Smooth, even creamy in the mouth, with filigree tannins. A wonderful reflection of the 2012 vintage. Score: 95. Reviewed September 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Amalie Robert Estate The Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 65 cases, $100. The vintner’s favorite barrels of the vintage.Half Pommard and half Wädenswil clones. Whole cluster inclusion and fermentation with feral yeasts. Aged a minimum of 18 months in new oak barrels, a third of which was very tight-grained wood grown in Russia. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Exuberant aromas of cherry, wildflower, baking spice and nutty oak. The gorgeous core of black cherry fruit is blessed with supportive, age worthy firm tannins. Flavor notes of exotic spices, vanilla and nutty oak add interest. Long in the mouth and extremely long on the extraordinary finish. A serious, connoisseur's wine that needs time in the cellar for full enjoyment. Even better when tasted several hours later and the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Did I say the finish goes on and on? Score: 97. Reviewed September 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,700 cases, $33. 20% 114, 20% 115, 20% 777, 10% 114 and 10% 667. Aged in 21% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry coulis and sandalwood. Delicious array of mid weight fruit flavors including black cherry and black raspberry with plenty of spice and a graceful oak sheen. Impressive harmony with remarkable persistence on the royal finish. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Reserve Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 420 cases, $46. 30% Pommard, 30% 777, 20% 115, 10% 114 and 10% 667. Aged in 37% new and 29% once-filled French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose invigorates with effusive aromas of fresh cherries, spice and dark red rose petals. Bright and elegant on the palate, with a pleasing core of cherry fruit accented with hints of brown spice and white chocolate. The suave tannins are nicely integrated, the texture is silky, and the finish is clean and refreshing. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Mark VII Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 90 cases, $66. 50% Pommard and 50% 777. Aged in 50% new French oak. The only unfiltered wine in lineup. A masculine, age worthy expression of the vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. My notes say,“fantastic nose,” with aromas of an array of dark red fruits and exotic spices. Discreetly bold flavors of dark red cherries and berries and red plums with a hint of dark chocolate in the background. A grand wine with excellent balance and length, ending on a high note with a rush of aromatic sweet cherries. Score: 94. Reviewed June 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Anne Amie Twelve Oaks Estate Boisseau Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.62, 125 cases, $40. Released March 2015. From the Brousseau block at Twelve Oaks Estate. At 750 feet elevation, Anne Amie’s highest elevation Pinot Noir planting and a cool site that does best in warmer vintages. Pommard 4, 667 and 777 clones. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged a total of 16 months in French oak barrels, 54.5% new, and racked into neutral French oak barrels after 10 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered and bottleaged for 12 months before release. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry, strawberry, spice and toasty oak. Vibrant and clean on entry with a core of black cherry fruit that really makes a statement. Beautifully crafted with a seamless composure, finishing with amazing generosity. Score: 93-94. Reviewed July 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Antica Terra Antikythera Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

516 cases, $100. Released March 1, 2015. · Amazing depth of color. Interesting aromatic drama, with scents of black cherry, blackberry, spice, Bailey’s Irish Creme, pine needle and a hint of oak. Full-bodied and rich, yet angelic in texture with velvety softness, offering delicious flavors of black raspberry, cassis, iron and spice. A whisper of oak chimes in. Well-ripened in this vintage and a noticeable departure from the previous two vintages with more fruit and more structure. A delightful wine that harkens back to the Sine Qua Non Pinot Noirs of the past, and can serve as a poster child for the voluptuous 2012 vintage in Oregon. Score: 94. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Asuncion Ridge Vineyards San Luis Obispo County Barrel Select Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 54 cases, $58. 100% free-run juice from all vineyard clones but mainly Pommard and 115. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Don’t even think about drinking this wine now without decanting. When tasted a day after opening from a decanted bottle, the wine was glorious with hi-tone aromas of dark berries and spice. Robust, yet velvety on the palate, with waves of boysenberry, blackberry, cola and exotic spice flavors that are perfectly complimented by oak. Beautifully balanced, with amazing fruit expression only possible in California. This special wine will excel with even more over time in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed May 25, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bacigalupi Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 300 cases, $65. 63% Wente and 37% Pommard clones. Brix at harvest 25.8º. 100% de-stemmed, whole berry fermentation. Inoculated with AMH yeast. Total cold soak and fermentation 19 days. Lees stirring weekly during malolactic fermentation and every other week thereafter. Aged 11 months in 42% new and 58% used French Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherries, strawberries, blackberries, forest floor and complimentary oak. Plenty of nuance to discover in this wine which offers flavors of dark cherry, sassafras, anise, exotic cinnamon spice, herbs and cola. Refined, seamless and quite approachable with balanced tannins and acidity and a clean, pleasant cherry-driven finish. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle predictive of age ability. Awesome! Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bailiwick Londer Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.61, 175 cases, $38. Clones are 115 and 777. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 37% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The nose is deeply perfumed with fresh cherry aromas as wine cave and sous bois play in the background. Delicious spiced cherry flavor that attacks with purpose and finishes with uncommon intensity. The wine has impeccable balance with modest tannins and integrated acidity. Additional time in bottle has benefited this wine. It’s cherry season now, so this is an appropriate homage to spring. Score: 94. Reviewed June 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Beckham Estate Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 225 cases, $30. Contains all four clones from the estate vineyard. 100% de-stemmed and whole berry fermented. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The vibrant nose picks up intensity and nuance over time in the glass, offering a rainbow of aromas including black cherry, ripe strawberry, black raspberry, spice and rose. Delicious well-sustained attack of black cherry fruit accented with clove and cola, carrying over to a magnificent finish of impressive fruit concentration. Very smooth in the mouth with the structure to age many years. This wine has a racy personality. Score: 94. Reviewed June 16, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 350 cases, $70. Sourced from Benovia’s historic Cohn Vineyard planted in 1970. This dry-farmed, 18-acre vineyard is planted to a massale selection of Pinot Noir (likely Martini and Pommard). Organically farmed for 6 years. Low yields of 1.25 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Vibrant, even exhilarating aromas of fresh cherries, spice and bark that hold up remarkably over time in the glass. Delicious layers of flavor featuring black cherry, black raspberry, brown spice, cherry licorice and toasty oak. Seamless, seductive and classy, with a finish of uncommon persistence. Lighter and more refined in this vintage, with more suavity and Pinot character. Still great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Bergström Gregory Ranch Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.,$47.50. From an estate-farmed vineyard owned by Wine Club members Dr. Kenton and Cindy Gregory. The vineyard was planted in 2007 to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 21 acres with 15 different clonal blocks on a steep hillside. Soils are sandstonebased marine. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic and alluring with bright aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, plum reduction sauce and spice. Exuberant and luscious on the palate with waves of black cherry, boysenberry and black raspberry fruits accented with spice. Velvety in texture with suave tannins and beautifully integrated oak. Highly pleasurable, this wine shows up the ripe, forward fruit of Oregon’s 2012 vintage. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more aromatic and flavorful. Wow! Score: 95. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Basin Vineyards Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 220 cases, $48 (retail offer). 42% whole cluster, whole berry and native yeast fermentation. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. I loved the intoxicating nose with its hi-tone scents of crushed black cherries, bark, exotic spices, rose petal and pine sap. Seamless and sleek on the palate, with a mid weight array of vivacious dark red and black cherry and berry fruits complimented with a riff of spice, oak, anise and sassafras. The cohesive tannins and acidity are beautifully enmeshed with the fruit, and the peacock finish is eye opening. Score: 94. Reviewed February 26, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Table Farm Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 224 cases, $48. 30% whole cluster. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A glorious nose offers upbeat aromas of black raspberry, cherry, blueberry, spice, and espresso. This wine has more oak presence than I like initially, but the fruit intensity can take it, and the wine sheds its oak the longer it sits in the glass. Vibrant fruit flavors of well-ripened black raspberry and black cherry, nicely spiced. Similar to the Willamette Valley wine in flavor profile but more intensity, a longer finish, and a more seductively plush mouth feel. This wine grows on you, the longer you spend with it. Easily a ten year wine.5 Score: 94. Reviewed July 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 326 cases, $48. Last vintage from this vineyard which was sold to Burgundy producer Louis Jadot in 2013. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is stunning, with an array of nuanced scents including plum, blackberry, black raspberry, sous-bois, exotic spices and bark. Mid weight plus core of well-ripened purple and black fruits, nicely spiced with well-integrated oak. Very fruity, slightly sweet and juicy, with a firm tannic backbone. Bigger, riper and sappier in this vintage as one would expect from a site in a warmer vintage. Evolves beautifully over time in the glass and is much better later in the day, offering a remarkably long grand cru finish. A memorable swan song. Score: 94. Reviewed November 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Black Kite Cellars “Redwoods’ Edge” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.57, 198 cases, $60. Released November 2014. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 66% of which were new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Elevating aromas of black cherry cordial, baking spice and vanilla. Perks up the palate upon entry with delicious flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, plum, Asian 5-spice and vanilla. Very smoothly textured with hedonistic concentration and a balanced tannic backbone. Amazingly long finish fueled by bright acidity that lasts over 30 seconds. This wine really taps the pleasure centers in the brain. Score: 94. Reviewed January 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Broadley Vineyards Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 50 cases, $59. A barrel selection consisting of a 50/50 blend of Zenith and Shea vineyards. 30% whole cluster, aged in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of dark berries, spice and floral perfume. A full-bodied charmer that floods the mouth with well-ripened black cherry and dark berry fruit accented with spice, and supported by firm, balanced tannins. Despite its fruit load, the wine is bright and refreshing and has the structure to age. A big boy wine that is flat out delicious. Score: 94. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Broadley Vineyards Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc. 250 cases, $50 (sold out at winery). Clones 777 and Wädenswil from blocks 11 and 19. 100% de-stemmed, wild yeast fermentation in 3-ton open-top Taransaud wood fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged 12 months in 30% new and 70% neutral Francois Frères barrels. · Superlatives can’t do this wine justice. Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherry, plum and exotic spice. Intense and mouth filling with layers of amazingly pure red and purple fruits, wellspiced, and matched with fine, mouth coating tannins. Sturdy on the palate, yet bright, succulent and juicy. The haunting finish is remarkably long, returning with waves of pleasure. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating long-term potential. Heaven sent. Score: 95. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Brooks Note Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 150 cases, $44. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring perfume of dark raspberry, blackberry and earthy flora. Striking attack of blackberry, cassis and black currant fruits that are mouth filling and finish with chewy concentration. An earthy undertone adds interest. Very sleek with harmonious tannins. This wine has the balance to age beautifully and will benefit from additional patience. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $53. Another in a long string of impressive wines by Terry Bering, the long time cellar master at Rochioli Vineyards. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A beautifully composed wine with enticing aromas of Bing cherry and spice echoed on the palate with added notes of blackberry, cola and loamy earth. Well-structured, but not imposing tannins, generous, layered concentration and an endlessly long finish. Still very young (Castalia Pinot Noirs typically need a year in bottle for full expression), but a quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Fire + Flood (Chapter 24) The Flood Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $60. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Penetrating aromas of darker stone and berry fruits flow from the glass and hold up over time. Full-bodied and boisterous flavors of Bing cherries, boysenberries and cassis caress the palate and persist with uncommon intensity on the very long finish. The wine still has an oak sheen which will integrate over time in the cellar. The soft texture is particularly appealing. A very special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Heintz Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.56, 200 cases, $48. 100% Swan selection. Aged 11 months on lees in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Highly aromatic, with bright scents of perfectly ripened cherry, cranberry and spice. A cherry bomb in the mouth that finds every nook and cranny, saturating the palate and holding tight through a long and mighty finish. Power without weight. Accents of spice, cola and oak add interest. The whole harmonious package. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 COBB Diane Cobb: Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 225 cases, $85. A cofermentation of 18 to 20 different Pinot Noir selections from Diane Cobb’s nursery block of dry-farmed, own-rooted vines that are among the oldest in the region. Seventh vintage. 40% whole clusters. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Deep, penetrating scents of cherry, black raspberry, spice, rose petal and humid bark. Ever-expanding flavors of black cherry, grenadine, black raspberry, and Asian 5-spice that saturate every nook and cranny in the mouth. Impeccable harmony with supportive fine-grain tannins, and a huge, peacock tail finish that is stunning. I was at a loss for more superlatives the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the arsenal of aromas and flavors were entirely seductive. Score: 97. Reviewed May 25, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 COBB Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 225 cases, $75. Dijon and Swan selection plantings in Goldridge soil. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 22% new. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Perfumed and sensuous, with aromas of Bing cherry, plum, spice, rose petal and smoky oak. Light to mid weight cornucopia of succulent cherry, strawberry, and blueberry fruits with a vein of citrus in the background and exotic edges to the experience. Exemplary roundness, with supple tannins, a silky mouth feel, and a refreshing grip on the finish which offers flavor and cut. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the aromas were still heavenly, and the finish had picked up steam. Brilliant! Score: 95. Reviewed May 25, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Cosa Obra Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.53, 294 cases, $27. After rigorous hand sorting, 100% de-stemmed with whole berries to tank. A 5 to 7-day cold soak was followed by fermentation managed with a combination of delestage and pumpovers. Extended maceration ranged from 3 to 4 weeks. Aged 12 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of Bing cherries, raspberry coulis and spice. The nose is literally intoxicating and persistent in volume even when sampled later in the day from a previously opened bottle. Bright, refreshing and light on its feet, with a delicious core of light to mid weight Bing cherry fruit accented with notes of tobacco, mocha, sassafras and sweet oak. The combination of balance and a light touch is hard to resist in Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Cristom Jessie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $58. One of the steepest vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley. This wine is typically deep, dark and displays a tension between the fruit and structure. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Vibrant aromas of black cherry and Marionberry elevate over time in the glass. A wine that astonishes with a charge of cherry fruit that is pure and deeply flavored. The amazing spiced cherry essence caresses the palate and expands in the mouth, finishing with impressive length and a pleasing snap of acidity. This wine’s impeccable balance insures long term age ability. An exquisite wine that is fresh and vivid, and aims to please even at this young age. Score: 94-95. Reviewed December 11, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $58. Typically the most precocious of the four estate vineyard wines and often the first wine released to the market. This vineyard extends to the crest of the property exposing the vines to the last rays of sun and the first cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Volcanic soils. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The seductive scents of dark berries, black cherries, rose petal and cardamon spice really get the juices flowing. It is challenging to adequately describe this nose since the aromas saturate the olfactory senses with so much whole cluster goodness. “Wow” might be the best descriptor. On entry, this wine delivers a charge of black raspberry fruit and exotic spices that really brings the palate to alert. This is a stunning wine with a silky texture, healthy young tannins, and a peacock finish that hangs on for at least a minute. There is some umami at work in this wine as well. Scary to think that this wine will be even better with more bottle age. Score: 96-97. Reviewed December 11, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Cristom Signature Cuvée Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $150. This bottling is rarely produced in small amounts from barrels that call out for a unique expression. The exact blend is not revealed because it is different each time the wine is made. This is only the fifth time this barrel selection from multiple vineyards has been offered since Cristom was established in 1992. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Haunting and exotic aromas of spiced black cherry and pine sap. A rainbow of purple and black fruits are accented with spice and floral notes in a gutsy style that offers ripe, honed tannins, unusually intense and caressing mid palate presence, and exceptional, even extraordinary length on the finish that is like a three-hour movie you don’t want to end. There is plenty of whole cluster goodness to engage the Pinot connoisseur in this evocative wine from a special vintage. Score: 95. Reviewed April 2, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Crittenden Estate The Zumma Mornington Peninsula Australia Pinot Noir

13.7% alc.. This a small family owned winery. Gary Crittenden was one of the first to plant grapevines in the region in 1982. The Zumma name was adopted by the family’s 27-acre farm (now vineyard) when purchased in 1981. This limited bottling is sourced from the estate’s oldest vineyard plantings. Wild yeast fermentation, bottled unfined and unfiltered. · This is clearly a special wine from the moment the cork is pulled. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The aromatics are engaging and persistent featuring aromas of cherry, spice and a subtle hint of oak. The delicious mid weight core of cherry, cranberry and raspberry fruits make an impression on the mid palate and deliver a long and generous finish. Soft in the mouth with integrated tannins, the wine holds up nicely over time in the glass. A very giving wine that aims to please. Still enticing later in the day from a previously opened and re-closed bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $55. This is an expression of the Green Valley and is composed of Pommard and Dijon clones. This is one of the coolest climate sites in the Russian River Valley. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The glorious nose is deep and inspired, with vivid aromas of fresh cherries, spice, Prada leather coat and rose petal. A cherry bombast on the palate that really made me sit up and take notice. Discreetly concentrated with added accents of spice, raspberry and plum with a complimentary note of smoky oak. An absolutely delicious and harmonious wine that floods the mouth with flavor. Score: 94. Reviewed October 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Campbell Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $65. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This is a stunning wine upon opening with invigorating aromas of fresh cherry tart, raspberry sauce and spice that jump from the glass. Very satisfying, with a silken richness of perfectly ripened wild berry and black cherry fruit accented with vanilla and a savory, dark sous-bois riff. The mid palate attack is vivid and mouth filling, and the generous finish echoes with an exotic goodness. This wine is blessed with perfect harmony between the supportive, sinewy tannins and the pleasing acid tension. It is scary to think this wine will undoubtedly improve over the new few years in bottle. A special occasion wine that reflects the extraordinary terroir of the West Sonoma Coast. Score: 95. Reviewed October 21, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

$55. Double Gold 2014 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Pommard and Dijon clones. · Extravagant aromas of Bing cherries, rose petal and spice. The core of intensely flavored cherries is complimented by a riff of oak and lively acidity. Impeccable balance and finishing persistence. (See also previous review of this wine in the PinotFile, October 2014) Score: 94. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 de Lancellotti Famiglia Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 75 cases, $35. A blend of estate fruit and sourced fruit all farmed Biodynamic. This wine is the least expensive in the de Lancellotti lineup, but I thought it was terrific. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas of cherry, spice and oak vanillin. Very smooth and likable on the palate, with an impressively intense mid palate attack of dark red cherry and black raspberry flavors with a compliment of cinnamon spice and oak in the background. Very crisp with a generous and persistent cherry-driven finish that is mouth watering. An impressive offering that was still pumping out the pleasure the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. No need to wait on this beauty. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 De Ponte Cellars Baldwin Family Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 223 cases, 150 magnums, $75. Sourced from the De Ponte Cellars Estate Vineyard. Aged 12 months in 80% new French oak barrels and the remainder in 2-5-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, cassis, spice and oak leap from the glass. The mid weight plus flavors of well-ripened purple and black fruits attack with mouth filling richness, yet the wine is supple and light on its feet. This is a connoisseur's wine with admirable balance and sophistication with a finish that lingers for what seems like a minute. Cellar worthy. Score: 95. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 De Ponte Cellars Lonesome Rock Ranch Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 502 cases, 102 magnums, $44. This vineyard is among the small number of vineyards located closer to the Pacific Ocean in the Willamette Valley. Aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels and 80% in 2-5-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas are enticingly fresh featuring black cherry, spice, peppercorn, rose petal and a hint of anise-laced oak. Stunning elegance with very suave, structured tannins supporting the mid weight flavors of fresh black cherry and black raspberry. Highly seductive, with a subtle earthy vein in the background. Easy to like now. Score: 94. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dehlinger Goldridge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $55. This wine comes from deeper Goldridge soils in the Estate Vineyard and tends to have more approachability. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Regal aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and rose petal lead to a mid weight plus styled wine with a delicious core of black cherry fruit that is supported by silky tannins and balanced acidity. A thread of toasty oak plays in the background. This wine has gorgeous balance and generous amounts of black cherry and blackberry fruit haunting the uplifting peacock tail finale. Score: 94. Reviewed June 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 DION Vineyard Old Vines Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 50 cases, $45. Pommard clone. Harvest Brix 25.0º. This wine is from the original block of selfrooted vines dating to 1976 and is the flagship bottling from this vineyard. Aged 13 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The aromatics are so engaging I was satisfied just to inhale the perfume. Aromas of fresh cherry and wine cellar lead to a mid palate explosion of black cherry goodness that alerts the senses. A bit of complimentary smoke and anise plays in the background. Polished and velvety in the mouth, with balanced tannins and a sleek, lingering finish. This beauty is old vine Pinot poetry. Score: 94. Reviewed July 9, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine De La Côte La Côte Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 300 cases, $90. From a small section of a 9-acre parcel that is planted in broken shale. The first vineyard harvested and always produces the most opulent wine. 100% whole cluster fermentation, aged in 0% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Compelling aromas of boysenberry, black raspberry, spice and purple rose. Very smooth and polished on the palate with layers of purple berry, plum, and spice flavors. Impeccably balanced with tannins hiding in the background, juicy acidity, and a remarkably intense finish. Still a little moody and will benefit from more time in bottle. This wine is the epitome of ephemeral. Score: 94. Reviewed January 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Cuvée Laurène Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $70. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, blueberry and raw beef pick up interest over time in the glass. Juicy and alert on the palate, with a mid weight plus sappy core of blueberry and black cherry fruits framed by a firm, supportive tannic spine. Plenty to like about this wine with an impressively long, dark berry fueled finish. This wine releases its charms progressively with each sip. It can be enjoyed now with decanting, but has the balance to age magnificently for another 5 to 15 years. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, there was more fruit talking and the wine had taken on a seductively smooth personality. Score: 94. Reviewed November 19, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Fleur de Lis Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 132 cases, $85 (member exclusive). Estate grown, produced and bottled. One of seven dry-farmed estate vineyards located on a hilltop at 720 to 740 feet elevation. Closely planted Dijon clones in Jory soil. An important component of the Evenstad Reserve bottling. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Vigorous aromas of cherry reduction sauce, strawberry, earthy flora and oak spice lead off. Very elegant in the mouth, with ebullient flavors of dark red and blue berries accented by a deft touch of sweet oak. Impressive acid-driven juiciness, cashmere tannins and good finishing length. Somewhat delicate yet powerfully flavored, this wine is full of sunlight, and exudes harmony and class. Still exceptional the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, taking on a darker fruit profile and maintaining its regal aura. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Mark Bradford Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 344 cases, $125. Named after Ken and Grace Evenstad’s son and was the first Pinot Noir vineyard planted at Domaine Serene. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Vineyard is one of seven estate vineyards. Dry-farmed, west-facing hillside site at 650 to 750 feet elevation closely planted to several clones of Pinot Noir in Jory soil. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 74% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A slowly evolving, but exceptional nose, offering aromas of cherry tart, raspberry jam, earth and tobacco. The mid weight plus core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits attack with a fury and sustain a presence that really alerts the senses. A somewhat muscular and aggressively styled wine that nonetheless reflects its Pinot Noir genetics and remains silky in its demeanor. The plucky tannins are well balanced as is the smart new oak and the deliciously spicy and berry-fueled finish leaves a memorable impression. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was notable for its seamless character. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Grace Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 340 cases, $175. Estate grown, produced and bottled. One of seven vineyards of the Evenstad Estate. Dry-farmed, east-facing, situated at 540 to 640 feet elevation, with Jory soils. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose extends a number of nuances, including aromas of an array of black and purple stone and berry fruits, spice, bacon and even a floral note. Clearly a classy wine on entry, offering well ripened heady black fruits that are deep on the mid palate, and underpinned by fine-grain tannins, juicy acidity, and compliments of oak-driven toast and black tea flavors. Packed with flavor, but light as a ballerina on its feet, this beauty has a very comforting texture. A very long and expansive finish completes the enjoyment of this majestic wine. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Donum Estate Grown West Slope Carneros Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.61, 273 cases, $90. 100% Donum clone. Long cold soak, extended maceration, native yeast fermentation. Free run juice was aged a year in a mix of 75% new and 25% used French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Complex aromatic profile including scents of strawberry, cherry and raspberry with earthy compliments of mushroom, fern and balsam. The following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose had evolved and became intoxicating with a flourish of berry and cherry fruit and spice. Mid weight plus in structure with darker fruit flavors on the palate including dark red berries and cherries with a touch of spice. Very plush, with substantial but not intrusive tannins, and an astounding and enduring finish offering a festival of fruit that makes this wine stand out from the pack. A superb cellar candidate. Score: 94. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Donum Estate Grown 1870 Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.63, 73 cases, $120. 100% Donum clone from the three finest blocks in the Donum Estate Vineyard. The finest blend from the Estate Vineyard and bottled only in exceptional vintages. The juice spent 17 to 33 days on the skins, before being drained to French oak barrels, 75% new, and aged 14 months without racking. The favorite four barrel blend was then determined and blended and bottled as the first 1870 Pinot Noir. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of dark strawberry, raspberry and enchanting sous-bois. Very refined and polished with impeccable balance. Vivid flavors of blackberry, black raspberry, pomegranate and spice, framed by structured but tucked in tannins, and finishing with uncommon drive and persistence. This wines takes the best features of the Donum Carneros Pinot Noir wines and blends them into one glorious package. Wow! Score: 95. Reviewed March 15, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield Angel Camp Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.59, 306 cases, $58. This vineyard is owned by Dan Goldfield’s good friend Brian Zalaznick, who planted this 11.5-acre vineyard in memory of his brother and family. It is located west of Philo on a knoll above the Navarro River, overlooking the valley. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, co-fermentation of clones (Pommard, “828,” and 667), 50% of press wine added back to enhance aromatics, aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple robe in the glass. This is one of those wines that you know is special from the get-go. Enormous aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, spice and sweet oak. Medium to full bodied and lush, it is crammed with zesty black cherry and black raspberry fruit with an undertone of cola, Asian 5-spice and dark chocolate. The tannins are modest and fine-grained, the lip-smacking acidity adds juiciness, and the supple finish is remarkably long and focused. The wine holds up beautifully after an hour in the glass. Like biting into a just picked, perfectly ripe black raspberry. An absolute knockout! Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Dutton-Goldfield McDougall Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.60, 390 cases, $58. The vineyard is on a south-facing ridge close to coast farmed by Mac, Barbara and Rich McDougall. 2 Dijon clones were planted on 9 acres in 1998 upon the urging of Warren Dutton. 1,100 feet elevation. Neighbors are Hirsch and Martinelli vineyards. Grapes are typically thick skinned with deep color and natural spice. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, open-top fermentation with punch downs. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of wild dark raspberries and blueberries, and brambly underbrush. The fruit really grabs your attention on the mid palate, filling every nook and cranny in the mouth, and holds on through an intensely fruity finish. There is plenty of blueberry and blackberry flavor accented with many nuances including cardamom spice, subtle oak, earthy flora, and ironbased minerality. A special wine of uncommon complexity that can go the distance. Score: 94. Reviewed November 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Eldridge Estate Single Clone MPV6 Mornington Peninsula Australia Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wonderful wine is showing a modest oak sheen that will integrate over time. The nose offers aromas of cherry, sandalwood, spice and sweet oak. Impressive fullness and richness on the palate that features discreetly concentrated flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum. Soft, even velvety in the mouth, with a richly fruited, very long finish. Hard to resist now, this gorgeous Pinot Noir will benefit from a few years in the cellar. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 En Garde Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 150 cases, $60. Release summer 2015. Clones “828,” 23, Pommard and Martini. Aged 18 months in 80% new Francois Fréres oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Extroverted nose featuring scents of Bing cherry, spice, tea and sous-bois. Delicious flavors of fresh, perfectly ripened strawberry, cherry and cranberry with harmoniously integrated oak. Very juicy and charming with plenty of grace, tannins so fine as to be imperceptible, and a long, powerfully scented finish. Still hitting on all cylinders the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed January 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Erath Prince Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.75, 1,203 cases, $50. This wine represents a tie both to the winery’s past and to its future. Prince Hill Vineyard is owned and managed by Erath’s founder, Dick Erath, who first planted the vineyard in 1983. Currently, Erath uses a majority of the fruit from Prince Hill as the centerpiece of its range of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with hi-tone aromas of red cherry, strawberry and sandalwood. The delicious cherry and strawberry flavored mid weight core explodes on the palate and lingers on the finish for an eternity. Juicy and vibrant, with well-matched tannins, this superb wine really stands out from the pack. Score: 94. Reviewed September 29, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evening Land Vineyards Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $75 (sold out). An expression of both rocky and shallow soils, containing old Pommard vines that are farmed organically and biodynamically. 100% de-stemmed, natural fermentation after a 4 to 5-day cold soak in open top oak and concrete fermenters. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is dark fruited, with hints of oak-driven toast and vanilla. Stunning entry and finish with layers of well-spiced black cherry and blackberry fruits in a full-bodied style. The tannic backbone is well proportioned and the texture is one of refinement. Despite its richness, the wine has good vibrancy. A classy offering that makes a statement and should benefit from another year or two in bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Evesham Wood La Grive Bleue Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $25. This wine pays homage to the Western Bluebird, preservation of whose habitat was a prime motivation for the winery’s decision to farm the estate Le Puits Sec Vineyard organically. Non-irrigated vines. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh cherry pie and rose petals. Delicious core of red cherry, red raspberry fruit flavors accented with notes of spice and floral goodness. Soft, silky and suave on the palate with supple tannins and appealing harmony. Amazing phenolic ripeness and flavor at this low ABV. Very special. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Failla Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 900 cases, $48. 100% de-stemmed, aged sur lie in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Vibrant aromas of fresh cherries, baking spices and sandalwood. Juicy and crisp, like biting into an iced cherry. Subtle touches of spice, earth and oak add interest. Very forward and easy to cozy up to with a long, aciddriven, mineral-laced finish. This wine really shows off the terroir of this Green Valley vineyard and could be a poster child for that cool-climate appellation. Will age beautifully. Score: 94. Reviewed February 22, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 645 cases, $65. Released December 1, 2014. A blend of clones including Dijon and Pommard, as well as Martini and Calera selections. Harvest Brix average 24.6º. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of fresh black cherry, rose petal and spice, with some cedary oak chiming in over time. Layer upon layer of gorgeous black cherry, kirsch and black raspberry goodness envelope the palate. A sexy, suave wine that is plush and velvety in the mouth, yet there is enough acidity to keep the experience fresh and vibrant. Nothing is out of place in this magnificent wine that finishes with a flourish of perfectly ripened black stone fruits. I ran out of superlatives with this one, but WOW sums it up. Still terrific the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating good age ability. Score: 95. Reviewed May 4, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ferrari-Carano Middleridge Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.59, 497 cases, $55. Release summer 2014. 22 acres of Pinot Noir planted at 1,600 feet elevation planted to Swan and Calera selections. 100% de-stemmed, 2-3 day cold soak, aged 10 months in 48% new and 52% older French oak barrels. Planned release later part of 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. An aromatic feast of fresh cherry, warm baking spices, sandalwood and a touch of grilled mushrooms and beef stew. Mid to full-bodied flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice are enticing, supported by gentle, submerged tannins. The generous fruit sap floods the mid palate with enjoyment, holding fort as well on the amazing peacock finish. Balance is impeccable. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ferrari-Carano Sky High Ranch Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.59, 634 cases, $55. Release summer 2014. A vineyard perched above the fog and frost line at 1,500 feet elevation that receives early morning sun and cool afternoon breezes, never allowing the temperature to rise as high as the in the Anderson Valley below. 100% de-stemmed, 2-3 day cold soak, aged 10 months in new and neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Fresh and lively aromas of cherry tart, strawberry, and vanilla lead to remarkably delicious core of red cherry and red berry fruits that are vivid and well spiced. Elegant, with balanced tannins and a mighty finish of uncommon length. A well-crafted, provocative wine that you can enjoy now or with age. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Freeman Akiko’s Cuvée Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

405 cases, $62. A barrel selection chosen by Akiko Freeman, Ed Kurtzman and assistant winemaker Mitchell Masotti. A blend of 6 vineyards with the most contributed by Campbell Ranch near Annapolis (clone 777) and the El Coro Vineyard at Keller Estate (Swan and La Tache selection). Aged 11 months in 33% new and 67% 1 to 4-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose was initially closed for business, opening slowly in the glass with swirling over time to reveal wonderful aromas of blackberry jam, black raspberry coulis, rose petal and spice. Delicious essence of fresh dark berries with hints of cola and Hoison sauce. Modest in weight, but highly flavorful, with suave tannins, a satiny smooth texture and an expansive finish. The balance is spot on and the overall impression is magical. You can drink it now for its elegance, but it will be even better after a few years in the cellar. Best Akiko’s Cuvée ever. Score: 95. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.57, 172 cases, $59. Planted in 2002, this is one of the Sonoma Coast’s preeminent vineyards. It is located on the western hillside of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of dark red berries and cherries, blueberries and baking spices. Engaging and harmonious, with a charge of chocolate-covered cherries flooding the mouth with pleasure. The vivid fruit is perfectly ripened and accented with an array of spices. Beautifully crafted, this wine is silky in the mouth, and ends with a glorious, black cherry-laden, peacock tail finish. Still highly aromatic and flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Fulcrum Brousseau Vineyard Chalone AVA Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.61, 148 cases, $55. This unique site has limestone soils. Third vintage from this vineyard. Aged 16 months in 33% new French oak. · Distinctly darker in color with a deep purple tone. The nose is rich with aromas of blackberry jam, ollaliberry, spice and campfire. Although rich with serious extract, the wine is beautifully balanced and caressing with husky, but not overbearing tannins. The delicious flavors of dark berries, currants, and plum are juicy and persist on the expansive finish that echoes with waves of earthbound dark fruits. This is a terroir-driven wine and clearly the best I have ever had from this vineyard. Brousseau Pinot Noir is typically black fruited with imposing tannins, but this wine is tamed and refined. Hat’s off to David! Even better the following day with a smoother presence. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Furthermore Gloria Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.61, 164 cases, $40. Inaugural wine from this vineyard. Calera, Swan and Pommard clones. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 50% of which were new Cadus. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Enticing aromas of red cherry pie glaze, cranberry, rose petal and conifer. Inviting, forward flavors of cherry, raspberry, sandalwood and baking spices including cinnamon. Lighter in weight, but packing a wallop of flavor that hangs on through a lengthy and silky finish. When re-tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had become an irresistable cherry bombast and my family couldn’t keep their hands off it. Score: 94. Reviewed March 16, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard 777 Oak Tank Fermented 17% Whole Cluster Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.70, 120 cases, $65. Released June 2014. Clone 777 from Block M of the 100- acre Hallberg Vineyard. Partially de-stemmed with whole clusters placed on top of the de-stemmed fruit so the stems could dry and develop more spice and refined tannins. Foot treading of the grapes was used initially to macerate, then 1 to 2 punch downs per day. 10 to 15-day post fermentation extended maceration. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels on primary lees. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very shy upon opening but explodes with aromatic goodness the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Plenty of spicy black berries seduce the senses on the mid to full-bodied palate and fruit-charged finish. Rather exotic, even fascinating, with many nuances unfolding over time in the glass. There is enough fruit to balance the wine’s broad shouldered tannins which will need some time in bottle to fully soften and integrate. A connoisseur's wine. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Gary Farrell Rochioli-Allen Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.69, 317 cases, $70. Released September 2014. Sourced from Rochioli Vineyard and Allen Vineyard which lie opposite on Westside Road. Both vineyards are farmed by the Rochioli family. Clones are Pommard from the Allen Old (planted in 1974) and New (planted in 1996) North Hill blocks, with the balance consisting of Pommard from Rochioli River Block. 10% whole cluster. 5 to 7-day cold soak, 10 to 15-day extended maceration, aged on the primary lees 14 months in 40% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Vibrant aromas of raspberry, black cherry, rose petal and baking spice are attention-grabbing. A vigorous mid palate attack of black raspberry and ollaliberry flavors is tenacious and palate soaking. There is a compliment of spice, earth, oak and savory herb notes in the background. Very smoothly textured with well-managed tannins, bright acidity, and a remarkable intensely fruited finish. Still fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with the grand cru finish still in evidence. This dreamy Pinot will age gracefully. Score: 93-94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 George Vintage X Buena Tierra Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 165 cases, $60. Inaugural release from this vineyard which is adjacent the Russian River and across the river from Rochioli Vineyard. Dijon clones. Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh Bing cherries, dark rose petals and spice. Lush and plush on the palate, filling the mouth with overreaching sappy fruit bling, featuring flavors of dark cherries, black raspberries, cola and baking spices. Beautifully composed with balanced tannins. This wine really grabs your attention and holds on. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Goldeneye Estate Grown Ten Degrees Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.52, 750 cases, $115. The name Ten Degrees pays homage to the 10 degree difference between The Narrows Vineyard in the cool “deep end” to the Confluence Vineyard in the South, a span of only 8 miles. Harvest Brix 25.5º. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding, but highly pleasurable aromas of black fruits, hung game and underbrush. A glamorous wine with a mid weight plus attack of pretty dark red and black fruits infused with spice. Impeccable balance, with integrated oak and firm, but not imposing tannins. The structure and balance predict long term age ability. The very long and juicy raspberry-infused finish emotes. This is a bold, yet refined Pinot that has a sophisticated demeanor. Score: 94. Reviewed July 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Guillen Family Damian Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 61 cases, $40. Sourced from Vista Hills Vineyard Block F planted in 2005 with Dijon 667. Jory soils. 4-day cold soak, 22 days skin contact, basket pressed, aged 11 months sur lie in neutral French oak. Racked twice and filtered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Invigorating aromas of black cherry pie glaze, vanilla, wilted rose and spice. Eye-opening attack of well-ripened black cherry and black raspberry fruits which are vivid and juicy. The tannins are beautifully managed and balanced acidity adds verve. The aging potential is obvious from the full and persistent finish. Score: 94. Reviewed June 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Guillen Family Adrian Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 23 cases, $60. Sourced from Vistal Hills Vineyard Block F planted in 2005 with Dijon 667. Jory soils. 4-day cold soak, 22 days skin contact, basket pressed, aged 17 months sur lie in one new French oak barrel. Racked twice and filtered. Bottled very recently. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is reticent, giving up reluctantly some hints of darker fruits, spice and a subtle oak. Rich and sappy, with a plethora of fruit flavors including black raspberry, plum, cassis and spice, supported by broadshouldered, yet refined tannins. The wine has a caressing mouthfeel, and a finish of startling length. I think Grand Cru entered my mind while tasting this beauty. Still very young, but the potential is obvious. Score: 95. Reviewed June 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Haden Fig Bjornson Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 123 cases, $30. 5 favorite barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Interesting aromatics featuring scents of ripe cherry, fig (seems appropriate) and bourbon. Extra-delicious core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit, nicely spiced with an additional peppery note. Admirable harmony, and a long, memorable finish that makes the knees weak. This is a wine that tugs at your emotions and defies adequate description. One of the best values in Oregon Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed July 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Hartford Court Hailey’s Block Estate Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.55, $65. Released January 2015. Sourced from a block within Arrendell Vineyard that is named after Don and Jennifer Hartford’s daughter, Hailey. The block was planted in 1996 to Dijon 114 and 777 when Hailey was six years old. The site is probably the coldest spot in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. Aged 17 months in 100% French oak barrels, 44% new. · Moderate dark reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of ripe strawberries, black cherries and black raspberries with hints of spice and violet. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and cassis with a well-proportioned backbone of acid and tannin. A highly enjoyable wine of great character. Score: 94. Reviewed May 4, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Hartford Court Arrendell Vineyard Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.59, 298 cases, $90. Released January 2015. This low-lying vineyard sits in a very cold meso-climate that allows full expression of the terroir. The old vines were planted in 1975 and struggle to ripen a 1 ton-per-acre fruit load of heirloom selections. Aged 14 months in 100% new French oak barrels, 45% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A wonderful array of fresh scents greet the drinker including black cherry, kirsch, cassis, sousbois and violets. Sappy and robust, with intense layers of flavor that unfold on the palate in stages to reveal notes of boysenberry, cassis, plum reduction sauce, and earthy herbs. Very smoothly textured with balanced tannins and a lingering finish. A special wine of uncommon personality and breeding. Score: 95. Reviewed May 4, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Hirsch Vineyards Block 8 Sonoma Coast Estate Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 290 cases, $85. Located on the West Ridge of the vineyard, this section has iron oxide-laden soils that are unique within the vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of red cherries and red berries and spice lead to a delicious core of fresh, well-spiced cherry and strawberry fruits that are framed by sublime tannins. A touch of earthiness and oak seasoning adds interest. A complete wine that emotes due to its texture, flavor and roundness. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, this wine continued to stand out, reminding me of a great Chambertain. The vintner made a prudent decision to bottle this wine separately. Score: 94-95. Reviewed November 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Hyland Estates Coury McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 375 cases, $60. Released September 2014. A limited barrel selection from self-rooted vines in the oldest blocks of the vineyard planted to the “Coury clone.” · Moderately light crimson color in the glass. The nose is both fruity (cherries) and earthy (mushrooms). Delicious layers of black cherry, black raspberry, plum and spice flavors that expand in the mouth and deliver a very long, pleasing finish. Beautifully crafted, with a sleek mouthfeel and endless charm. Score: 94. Reviewed July 13, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Hyland Estates Founders’ Selection McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 75 cases, $100. Released November 2014. A one barrel selection with special label and wax closure. · Moderately light crimson color in the glass. Exotic aromas of spice, potpourri and black cherry draw the taster into the glass. Delicious mid weight flavors of perfectly ripened black cherry and black raspberry fruits with added notes of Hoison sauce and spice. Impeccably balanced with suave tannins, a peach fuzz texture, and an hi-tone and vibrant finish of uncommon length. This wine really delivers the essence of fresh fruit and finishes with a serious purpose. A keeper. Score: 94-95. Reviewed July 13, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 9,375 cases, $55. 100% estate grown, 40% Pastorale Vineyard and 60% Quarter Moon Vineyard. Aged 13 months in 35% new and 65% 2 to 3 year old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is complex and persistent with hi-tone aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, forest floor, spice and red licorice. A seamless wine with serious extract of black raspberry and blackberry fruits nicely accented with spice and oak. The finish is remarkably intense, leaving quite an impression. Probably the most concentrated Pinot Noir ever from this very cool locale, yet displays the cool-climate vibrancy to support the fruit load. A beauty that will attract many fans. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $75. From three specific blocks of the estate 41-acre vineyard located at 500 feet elevation only a few miles from the Pacific Coast as the crow flies. A mixture of Calera and clones 90 and 96 with some 459 and 777. 26% whole cluster. 21% fermented in oak open top fermenters. Aged 14 months in 55% new and 45% 2-year-old and 3-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Terrific aromatic presence featuring scents of blackberry reduction sauce, cassis and exotic spices. Suave, polished and packed with a flavorful assortment of dark fruits, this gorgeous wine offers many nuances including cardamom, Asian 5-spice and game accents combined with a perfect compliment of oak. Admirable balance with welcome acidity on the lip smacking finish. This wine has loads of charisma. Score: 94. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $75. This 34.5-acre estate vineyard surrounds the Freestone winery and is but 8 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Calera and 777 clones. 30% whole cluster. 33% fermented in oak open top fermenters. Aged 14 months in 55% new and 45% 2-year-old and 3-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Haunting aromas of black cherry, sous-bois, rose petal and spice box. A truly harmonious drinking experience with every component singing in tune. Delicious flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with an accent of exotic spices and black tea. The fruit holds on to the peacock finish for what seems like a minute. Perfectly integrated acidity holds the rich fruit in balance.This wine is true to its mission. Score: 95. Reviewed December 12, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ken Brown Radian Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.61, 203 cases, $70. This vineyard is located at the extreme western end of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA and is one of the coldest vineyards on the West Coast. Soils are rocky clay loam with generous amounts of diatomaceous earth. 70% clone 667 and 30% clone 115. 100% de-stemmed, cold soak, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 38% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The proximity to the ocean is reflected in this wine with its aroma of sea breeze accompanying scents of black raspberry, blackberry and graphite. A complex and unique wine, with mid weight plus flavors of purple and black fruits, anise, cardamom, and cassis. Rich and sappy, but refined, with impeccable balance, and an extremely persistent finish that dazzles with charming purple fruited aromatic goodness. Score: 94. Reviewed August 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ken Wright Cellars Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 310 cases, $45. This vineyard was planted in 1988 to own-rooted Pommard clone. Yamhill soil - silty loam over basaltic bedrock. Owned and managed by Susan Meredith and Frank Mitchell. Typically produces small berries and clusters and is well-structured, requiring a bit more aging. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. A wide array of aromas appear in the glass, including black raspberry, forest floor, bramble, leather, vanilla and spicy oak. Very soft and smooth on the palate with ripe flavors of red and black raspberries, Satsuma plum and cherry. Impressive depth of flavor and a persistent finish that is almost painfully intense. The tannins are firm and muscular and make an appearance on the finish. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more integration of tannins. Tremendous aging potential. I find wines from this vineyard to be in the upper echelon of the Willamette Valley. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ken Wright Cellars Abbey Claim Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $45. 17 acres planted to Pommard, 777 and 115 at an elevation of 450 feet above sea level. Soils are varied but primarily ancient marine sediments among the oldest in the Willamette Valley. The vineyard is owned by Ken and Karen Wright and managed by Mark Gould. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is subdued and slowly evolving with aromas of dark fruits including spiced plum with a hint of earthy flora and oak. Flat-out delicious on the palate with attention-grabbing flavors of dark cherries and black raspberries accented by baking spice and an echo of oak. Discreetly concentrated with modest, firm tannins, and a lovely texture that is pure velvet. Beautifully composed with the balance for long-term aging. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kosta Browne Cohn Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 36 cases, $84. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of dark fruits, wine cave, seasoned oak and spice cabinet. Bold and dense charge of purple and black berry fruits with hints of cassis and spice, filling the mouth with goodness and lasting on quite a glorious finish. This wine sports admirable balance and plenty of old vine goodness. Even better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A special, even exceptional wine. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kosta Browne Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 1,266 cases, $84. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Love this nose which has big-time volume with swirling. Aromas of cherry, cranberry and nutmeg lead to mid weight flavors of cherry, strawberry, cola, mocha and baking spices. The brightest wine in the 2012 KB lineup with a good cut of underlying juicy acidity, and a substantial peacock finish. This is one remarkably provocative wine. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kosta Browne 4-Barrel California Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 98 cases, $84. · Darkest wine in the 2012 lineup. The aromas are clean, pure and elevating, featuring notes of ripe cherry, raspberry and blueberry with a hint of nutmeg. My notes say, “Wow!” Delicious array of perfectly ripened Bing cherry, raspberry and ollaliberry fruit with riffs of oak-driven mocha and tea. Very suave in the mouth with impeccable balance and a long, multifaceted finish. This wine is always special. In Pinot veritas. Score: 95. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kosta Browne Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Engaging nose that draws you in with aromas of black cherry, raspberry and spice. Beautifully composed, with middleweight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry balanced by tame tannins. Nicely spiced with giving oak in the background, and seamlessly composed. A terrific wine that can be thoroughly enjoyed now but will age magnificently. Drink now to 2026. Score: 94. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Kramer Vineyards Cardiac Hill Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.64, 100 cases, $42. Crafted from LIVE-certified grapes. Sourced from the steepest hillside vines on the estate vineyard. Clones are Pommard and Dijon 11. Harvest Brix 23.3º. Willakenzie soil with a high clay content which stresses the vines and leads to small yields. 100% de-stemmed. 5-day cold soak, pumped over and punched down twice daily until dry, then pressed. Aged 17 months in 25% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. I am crazy about this nose which features aromas of black cherries, complex floral notes, complimentary spice and a hint of smoky oak. On the palate, the mid weight flavors of black cherry, ripe strawberry, raspberry and spice are enticing. The bright acidity gives the vibrant apple fruit flavor a lift. There are plenty of tannins to go the distance. A delightful wine with charm and sophistication. Score: 94. Reviewed December 11, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lachini Vineyards Cuvée Giselle Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.545, 328 cases, $72. This is a selection of the finest 13 barrels from the Estate Vineyard East, Middle and West blocks. Yields averaged 2.6 tons per acre. 40% Dijon clones, 30% Pommard clone, and 15% Wädenswil clone with a small amount of “suitcase clone.” Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enchanting perfume of wild, dark berries, cherry pie glaze, spices and a hint of white pepper. A stunning wine in every respect, with a well-ripened core of black cherry and dark berry fruits. Very juicy and vivid with structured fine-grain tannins adding support along with a compliment of tasty oak. A very intriguing wine that exhibits wonderful harmony. When tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle, I couldn’t get enough of this joyous juice. WOW! Score: 95. Reviewed September 3, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lachini Vineyards PRIMA Lachini Estate Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.72, 75 cases, $100. Second vintage of this ultra premium Pinot Noir which represents the finest expression of the Estate Vineyard’s terroir. This wine is only crafted in worthy vintages. 3 barrels: 1 of Dijon 115, 1 of Dijon 114, and 1 of Pommard. Aged nearly 18 months. The abbreviated crest on the special label indicates a dedication to the owners family’s heritage. The name PRIMA means “FIRST” or “BEST.” · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas leap from the glass showing zeal and purpose with scents of marionberry, blackberry, cassis, tobacco and Prada leather coat. Still a bit brooding and mysterious, but highly seductive, with a mid weight plus core of luscious and juicy purple and black fruits. The fruit seems to burst on the mid palate, filling the mouth with goodness. The wine’s tannins are well matched to the fruit load, and the resulting overall harmony is impressive. One feature that really stands out is the suave and velvety mouthfeel. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had become more open and expressive. Keep this beauty in the cellar for another year or two at least for full enjoyment. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 3, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Whole Cluster Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.59, 420 cases, $40. Harvest Brix 23.8º-26.8º. 45% whole cluster maceration and fermentation. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Better be sitting down when you drink this knock out wine. Copious aromas of black cherry, spice, rose petal and other exotic flowers. Reminds me of a classy woman’s perfume. Seamless and sensual on the palate, offering a festival of spiced black cherries and black raspberries with perfectly integrated tannins and acidity, and a long, supple finish that leaves an impression. Everything good about whole cluster is exemplified in this beauty that has that magical je ne sais quoi that makes people go ga-ga over some red Burgundies. Score: 95. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Estate Whole Cluster Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.59, 420 cases, $40. 45% whole cluster maceration and fermentation. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Previously reviewed April 19, 2014 and notes are from that review. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. You better be sitting down when you drink this knock out wine. Copious aromas of black cherry, spice, rose petal and other exotic flower scents. Reminds me of a classy woman’s perfume. Seamless and sensual on the palate, offering a festival of spice black cherries and black raspberries with perfectly integrated tannins and acidity, and a long, supple finish that leaves an impression. Everything good about whole cluster is exemplified in this beauty that has that magical je ne sais quoi that makes people go ga-ga over some red Burgundies. Score: 95. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Single Vineyard Les Galets Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $60. Low yielding blocks. Dijon 115 and Wädenswil 2A clones. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Deep aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, anise and vanilla. Full-bodied flavors of dark berries, plum reduction sauce, and Asian 5-spice. The flavor is amazing! The luscious fruit load is beautifully balanced by melded tannins and balanced acidity. Caressing and creamy in the mouth, with a hint of oak enlarging the envelope, the wine finishes replete with soaring fruit fragrances. I’m in love. Score: 94. Reviewed November 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 LaRue Emmaline Anne Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.4% alc., 50 cases, $70 (two bottlesper person). From a 3-acre vineyard near the town of Freestone. Dijon clones are planted in Goldridge sandy loam soils. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Similar to the Sonoma Coast bottling, but a step up in nuance and sophistication. Wondrous aromas of wilted rose, red cherry and spice led to a delicious palate of crisp, juicy red plum, cherry and red raspberry fruits. A faint note of oak and floral bouquet lurks in the background. Refined and classy, with a mouthwatering finish. Score: 94. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 LaRue Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.6% alc., 125 cases, $70. Clones are 115, 667 and Swan. Less than 5% whole cluster. Aged 17 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very exotic aromatic profile brimming with alluring scents of black cherry, spice, rose petal and a hint of sweet oak. The nose reminds of one that reflects whole cluster fermentation. This is a special wine of charm and character, offering juicy cherry fruit that dances across the palate. Accents of spice and flower bouquet add interest. The experience is bright and energetic with great harmony and elegance. The wine offers a refreshing cut of acidity on the long finish that seduces with spiced cherry and red berry fruits. Very difficult to keep from drinking the whole bottle. Score: 97. Reviewed May 4, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 LaRue Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 50 cases, $75. First planted in 1989 by the Cobb family, the vines are among the oldest on the Sonoma Coast. Clones are Pommard, Martini and Wädenswil. 15% whole cluster. Aged 17 months in 100% French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The nose is somewhat subdued but very pleasing, offering aromas of darker red fruits, balsam, vanilla and sous-bois. Very intense and saturating on the palate with an explosion of fresh cherry and raspberry fruits that are flat out delicious. A little more structured, sappy and masculine with a touch more oak overlay than the Rice- Spivak bottling. The finish is remarkable for its persistence, generosity and juicy acidity. This wine was even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, displaying the fat, silken richness that only Pinot Noir can achieve. Score: 96. Reviewed May 4, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lenné Estate Karen’s Pommard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 150 cases, $55.The best barrels from the Pommard block. Named after Steve Lutz’s spouse, Karen. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very complex nose offering an array of pleasurable aromas including black cherry, cola, mocha, spice, rose petal, and sweet oak. The discreetly concentrated core of perfectly ripened black cherries is complimented by a riff of cola and spice. The peacock finish is the most intense and lengthy of the 2012 Lenné wines. Score: 94. Reviewed June 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lenné Estate cinq élus Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.72, 126 cases, $72. This wine is offered only in great vintages. The name, cinq élos means “five chosen.” A blend of the best barrels in the cellar from 5 separate clones planted in the vineyard (Pommard, 114, 115, 777 and 667). 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated yeast. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very sexy aromas of purple and black berries, exotic spices and vanilla bean. Mid weight plus in style and texturally superb with a satiny presence that only Pinot Noir can deliver. Delicious flavors of black plum, kirsch and blackberry that seem to come in waves over the palate. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had really come alive with a striking nose offering penetrating scents of very ripe purple berries and spice, layers of dense fruit that saturate the palate, and an incredibly long finish. Steve Lutz is very proud of this wine and rightly so. Don’t hurry to drink this beauty (a Lolita). Score: 93-95. Reviewed July 13, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 LIOCO Klindt Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 287 cases, $N/A. Harvest Brix 21º. Clones 115, 667, and 777. Clones co-fermented, 30% whole cluster fermentation, native yeasts, 5-day cold soak. Aged 11 months in 20% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. A swan song (vineyard sold and fruit no longer available to LIOCO). · Light garnet color in the glass. Uplifting aromas of fresh cherry, red rose petal, spice and sandalwood. Much more flavorful than color would suggest, with mid weight tastes of dark red cherry and whole cluster spice and floral goodness. The velvety texture is of special interest as is the wine’s remarkable harmony. The class of this tasting. Score: 94. Reviewed July 28, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Littorai Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $65. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Vivid aromas of alpine strawberry, raspberry coulis, briar and vanillin oak. Delicious fruit charge featuring raspberry, strawberry and cherry with stylish spice. Crisp and clean with modest tannins and a cherry and raspberry fueled finish of notable length and vibrancy. Still young and will take on more complexity with aging. Even better later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. You will like this one. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Littorai B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $75. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Engaging aromas of fresh berries, black cherries, mushroom, conifer and subtle oak. A very refined and classy wine that offers an intense attack and length. Mid weight dark red cherry and berry, and blueberry flavors are featured with a touch of savory dried herbs in the background. The dark red raspberry finish is delightful. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating a promising future. This is always my favorite Littorai bottling. Score: 93-94. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Littorai The Haven Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $80. This site is northwest of Occidental on the southern shoulder of a 1200-foot ridge. The soils are very diverse including sandstone, shale and gravel. Planted in 2001, this is usually the latest ripening site in the Littorai vineyard family. There is about 40 different rootstock and clonal combinations within a very small 4-acre vineyard. It is farmed using agroecological and biodynamic methods but is not certified. Yields are tiny. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Delightful perfume of ripe berry mash. Delicious mid weight plus core of perfectly ripened dark red berry and black cherry fruits. A bit earthy and savory with a hint of cola. The suede-like texture is very appealing and there is a well-proportioned tannic backbone. Beautifully balanced, this classy wine is just now showing some appeal, but will certainly be more complex and purposeful with further cellaring. Score: 93-94. Reviewed August 18, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Block M Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.60, 67 cases, $55. Second vintage produced exclusively from fruit planted in the 1.25-acre Block M of Fe Ciega Vineayrd. Mt. Eden Clone. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, inoculated 14-day fermentation. Aged 25 months in 55% new French oak. Lightly filtered, but not fined. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very ingratiating, offering plenty of dark red and black berry fruit aromas. In fact, one sniff of this beauty and you know that you are in for something special. Delicious, perfectly ripened flavors of black raspberry, black cherry and plum reduction sauce. Medium to full bodied with round, dry tannins, a very polished mouth feel and a long, long finish. Clearly a very classy wine that any red-blooded pinotphile will adore. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Loring Wine Company Cargassachi Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $50, screwcap. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring perfume of fresh blackberry tart, currants and earthy flora. A killer on the palate with massive concentration of deep purple and black berry fruits (but not jammy), with a subtle underlying earthy, animale character. The tannins are reigned in and balanced, and the striking finish grabs hold and won’t let go. An unabashed, unapologetic, hedonistic wine of uncommon flamboyance. The expression of earthiness in this vineyard sets it apart. A great vintage for Cargassachi Vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lynmar Estate Old Vines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.60, 301 cases, $70. SF. Swan selection from a 1971-1972 planting of 2+ acres. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. I loved this wine! Enticing aromas of cherry, raspberry, spice and cola lead to a full-bodied entourage of fruit flavors including black cherry, dark berry, plum, cola and rhubarb. Layers of pleasure with nuances showing up with each sip. The tannins are still a little firm and grippy in this young wine which will benefit from cellaring. The finish is spectacular, with a velvety array of fruits fanning out in peacock fashion. A glorious old vine offering. Score: 95. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lynmar Estate Quail Hill Vineyard Bliss Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $70. SF. A massale selection of organically farmed fruit (? Dijon and Pommard). 10% whole cluster fermentation. Aged in 55% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The fruit is remarkably expressive in this wine but not overwrought. The aromas and flavors of blackberry, black raspberry and plum strike the mid palate with a vengeance, expanding to coat every nook and cranny, before departing with uncommon density and length. The tannins and oak are beautifully integrated and supportive. A decadent wine that I really liked. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lynmar Estate Five Sisters Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $100. SF. A special barrel selection consisting of five barrels. Includes Mt Eden, Swan, Calera, and Quail Hill selections. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A full-bodied, voluptuous wine, with exuberant aromas and flavors of black cherry, black plum and black raspberry with a subtle earthy underpinning. Very smooth and seductive on the palate with balanced tannins and a remarkable finish that brings you to attention. This is a connoisseur’s wine that should age ten years effortlessly. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 MacPhail Mardikian Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.56, 283 cases, $85. Limited release November 2014. Harvest Brix 26.5º-26.7º. Pommard, Martini, Wädenswil 2A and 114 clones. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, native malolactic fermentation in barrels, battonage weekly for 3 months, aged 16 months sur lie in French oak barrels, 50% of which were new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose shows off a commendable balance between darker cherry and berry fruits and oak. Delicious mid weight core of black cherry goodness with hints of spice, cola and mocha and a whisper of oak. Satiny smooth in the mouth with complimentary tannins and a finish that saturates the senses. This wine really hits the mark with emphasis. Score: 94. Reviewed January 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Maggy Hawk Jolie Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.54, 312 cases, $66. Dijon clone 115. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 64% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is subdued upon opening, but blossoms over time in the glass to reveal aromas of dark cherry liquor, spice, and plenty of floral goodness including violets and roses. The nose was even more captivating the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and was reminiscent of capturing a whiff of seductive perfume on a beautiful woman. The mid weight plus core of dark cherry and raspberry fruit is incredibly flavorful and reveals many nuances over time including spice, conifer, rosehips tea and just the right touch of oak. Elegant and sleek with amazing length, this wine is the whole package. Compared to the 2011 vintage, this wine is a bit more elegant, more fashionable and shows more adroit oak integration. I have tasted this wine on three other occasions and was blown away each time. An exemplar. Score: 98. Reviewed May 25, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Maggy Hawk Stormin’ Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.54, 223 cases, $66. Dijon clone 667. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 41% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is more earthy than fruity, with aromas of mulch, mushroom and a hint of blackberry jam. Very soft and silky in the mouth with impressive harmony, this mid weight wine offers layers of sweet dark blackberry, black raspberry and spiced plum flavors accented by complimentary mocha-laced oak. The tannins are satiny and folded in nicely. The fruit intensity builds in the mouth, culminating in an orgasmic finish that never seems to want to go away. Score: 94. Reviewed May 25, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Maggy Hawk Hawkster Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.54, 268 cases. Aged 16 months in 100% French oak barrels, 63% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of wild berries, mushroom and earthy humus draw you into the glass. A striking array of rich black cherry and dark berry fruits saturate the palate with joy, fanning out on the finish in glorious fashion. Robust, yet refined, with the balance to last and improve over further time in the bottle. This is a complete wine with every component singing in unanimity. A wine that brings emotion. Score: 97. Reviewed November 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Martin Ray Reserve Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.54, $35. Released November 2013. Tasting room only. Sourced from the Tina Marie Vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.4º. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very exotic aromas of spice, wild berries and earthy flora. Delicious essence of fresh black raspberries and blackberries that makes a statement on the mid palate. A touch of spicy oak adds interest, the acidity is nicely integrated, and the tannins are soft and composed. A stunning wine that finishes with uncommon length. Wow! Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 McIntyre Vineyards Estate 25th Anniversary Edition Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.60, 340 cases, $36. Released December 2013. Harvest Brix 25.0º. Dijon 115 and a “heritage” clone from a 40-year-old own-rooted planting of Pinot Noir. Indigenous yeast and malolactic fermentations. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. The aromas have not arrived in this wine, but the delicious flavors are striking. An array of layered fruits meet the mid palate with ripe black raspberry, black currant, plum and dark chocolate notes. Full-bodied with firm but complimentary tannins. Impressive intensity with finishing power and persistence. An age worthy wine that needs time for the aromas to arrive and the tannins to integrate. More appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle sporting inviting aromas of dark berries, black cherry and spice. Decant if you must drink now. A handsome and pedigreed example of Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed February 4, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Montalto Vineyard Single Vineyard Main Ridge Block Mornington Peninsula Australia Pinot Noir

13.1% alc.. Clone D5V12 planted in deep red volcanic soils. Wines are produced from 6 vineyards across the Mornington Peninsula including Main Ridge, the highest and coolest site. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. I love the nose that fills the glass with aromas of perfectly ripened cherries, raspberries and spice. Very smooth and seductive on the palate with pleasingly vivid flavors of black cherry and plum. Well-structured for the long haul, with a finish that has a vibrant, mouthwatering fruit presence that lingers endlessly. Score: 93-94. Reviewed September 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Navarro Deep End Blend Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $49. Sourced from Middle Ridge, Marking Corral, Garden Spot and South Hill vineyards. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is both exotic and fruity, offering scents of dark cherries, black raspberries and redwood forest. A beautiful wine in all respects with plenty of spicy black cherry and black raspberry fruit supported by integrated fine-grain tannins, and an intensely fruited finish. This wine has a special texture which is hard to describe, but stands out from the other two 2012 Pinot Noir bottlings from Navarro. So juicy and tasty, you can “nibble” at it. Score: 94. Reviewed July 28, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Owen Roe The Kilmore Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $42. Winemaker David O’Reilly is one of the few Irish-born winemakers in the United States. This wine is named after the Kilmore Doorway which is displayed on the label in a photo. This Romanesque doorway was a sculpted entrance to the ancient Trinity Island Abbey in County Cavan, Ireland. Here the great patriot Owen Roe O’Neill sought solace during his quest for Irish independence. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones from vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton District. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers an array of enticing aromas including raspberry, dried cherry, sassafras, leather saddle and sandalwood. Modest in weight, but highly flavorful, the wine offers notes of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, dark chocolate and coffee. Very gracious and easy to drink now, this beauty has the balance and tannic backbone to age effortlessly in the cellar for 5 to 10 years. I loved the 2010 vintage of this wine, and this vintage is a hair better. Score: 95. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Pfendler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.586, 350 cases, $45. Pommard clone and Swan and Calera selections. Harvest Brix 23º. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day whole berry cold soak, 8 months sur lees aging, 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of fresh red cherries, with hints of spice, mushroom and cedar. Very polished and elegant in the mouth, featuring ripe darker red cherry and berry flavors accented with spice and earthiness. Impeccably balanced with gossamer tannins and a bright, persistent, lip-smacking finish. This wine conveys a special sense of richness, roundness and brightness you don’t find everyday in Pinot Noir. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Phelps Creek Vineyards Cuvée Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very sexy nose replete with hi-tone aromas of purple berries and plum sauce. Mid weight plus flavors of black raspberry, marionberry and spice. The most intensely sappy wine in the lineup with a big mid palate attack and a dreamy finish of remarkable length. The oak is nicely integrated. The wine is still young, with some unresolved tannins but the future is bright. Score: 93-94. Reviewed July 28, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2%, $75. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas leap from the glass including blackberry, cardamom spice and oak vanillin. Juicy and full-bodied, but not jammy, with a gorgeous fruit core of blackberries, boysenberries and plums framed by generous, but balanced tannins. Some earth-based goodness chimes in as well. The fruit clings to every nook and cranny and refuses to go away, displaying a sweet, tenacious finish of uncommon length. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very approachable now, but has the stuff to last 20 years. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I tasted this beauty. Score: 98. Reviewed January 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc.. · “A very moderate growing season with few weather challenges.” Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas arrive slowly over time in the glass, revealing an array of black fruit goodness. Full-bodied, with a perfectly ripened core of blackberry, boysenberry, black tea and oak spice flavors in dancing in harmony. Tannins are evident but not intrusive, the texture is seamless, and the fruit-filled finish is remarkably long and intense. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had maintained its excellence indicating a long life ahead. Drink now to 2026. Score: 95. Reviewed January 16, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 75 cases, $65. 100% Pommard clone planted in Jory soil on a southwest facing hillside. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine defies description. The nose is heavenly with broad aromas of black cherry, black raspberry tart, exotic rose petal, potpourri and a hint of truffle. Upon entry, the wine explodes with a delicious array of fruit flavors including black cherry and black raspberry with many nuances adding complexity including spice, rose hips tea, sassafras, vanilla and nutty oak. Not overwhelmingly rich but exceedingly flavorful with a royal presence, offering silky tannins, appealing barrel presence, and a finishing array of fruit that returns for several encores. Balance is spot on so this refined wine will age beautifully. I could go on, but you get the idea. Orgasmic. Score: 98. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Privé Vineyard le nord Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 100 cases, $55. 100% Pommard clone planted in Jory soil (rootstock dates to 1980) on a southwest facing hillside. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is complex and captivating initially, with aromas of black raspberry, black currant, licorice, spice and purple rose petals. The wine hits the mid palate with an unctuous core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit caressed by soft tannins and brought to vivid heights with bright underlying acidity. Very smooth and sexy, with a gorgeous finish replete with perfectly ripened blackberry fruits. Darker fruits, earthier and a little more sap and tannin than the le sud, with more evident acidity and a brighter finish. This wine is like le sud’s teenage sister - more rebellious, untamed and immature. Much better when re-tasted later in the day. Awesome. Score: 97. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc.. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Appealing scents of black cherry, bittersweet dark chocolate, coal and underbrush. A delicious bombastic wine with great balance between richness of flavor and energetic verve, offering mid weight plus flavors of black cherry and boysenberry. So luscious, so satiny, so dreamy. This wine has the tannin structure to easily be a 15-year wine. Drink now to 2027. Score: 96. Reviewed September 3, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Raptor Ridge Gran Moraine Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 127 cases, $45. Released November 2013. Willakenzie soils. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is extravagantly appointed with bright aromas of fresh black cherries, black berries and a hint of oak. Rich and sappy, but not jammy, with deep, mouth coating flavors of blackberries, black cherries and Hoison sauce with many additional nuances including spice, vanilla and cola. Very soft and luxurious on the palate with a firm, but not astringent tannic backbone, and a long, long finish. Still needs time to fully integrate the tannins but this wine is brimming with pleasure. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 450 cases, $50. Vineyard dry farmed for the first time ever. · Moderately deep reddish purple color in the glass. A sexy nose of black cherry, spice, root beer, toasty oak and iron and is a chameleon in the glass. Middleweight, refined flavors of dark red cherries and berries that expand in the mouth and leave an impression on the glorious finish. Suave tannins, juicy acidity and a judicious touch of oak add charm to the experience. This beauty leaves a lingering message of spiced plum and raspberry on the finish. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 275 cases, $75. · Moderately dark, very pretty garnet color in the glass. The aromas pull you into the glass with a fascinating array of scents including dark berry coulis, forest floor, molasses and even pulled pork. A delicious onslaught of dark plum and black raspberry fruit engages the palate with hints of earthy goodness and exotic spices. This wine has an exceptional presence on the palate. Beautifully composed, with supple, balanced tannins and integrated acidity, finishing with length and aplomb. An argument for old vines. Wines like this make you want to go to church to give thanks. Score: 97. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rivers-Marie Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 200 cases, $50. Inaugural bottling from this vineyard. Clones 115, 667 and Pommard. · The outlier in that it is clearly different from the other wines in the 2012 lineup. Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose has a vivid aroma of black raspberries and black cherries with oak-driven espresso highlights. This wine displays a riper profile, and has more concentrated sap, but is not jammy. The core of dark stone and berry fruits are nicely spiced and there is a hint of cola and sassafras peaking out. The tannins are silky and the finish is flush with black cherry goodness. The finish really stands out for its generosity and length. I love the sweet fruit and oak interplay in this wine. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Roadhouse Winery Dark Purple Label Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.625, 275 cases, $49. Release first quarter 2014. Sourced from Silver Pine Vineyard located at the western edge of the Sonoma Mountain at 980 feet above sea level.Harvest Brix 26.5º. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated fermentations, aged 12 months in 20% new, 60% 1 and 2- year-old, and 20% 3-year-old tight grain or very tight grain French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color and slight haze in the glass. This wine’s nose is the clear standout with effusive aromas of black cherry, blackberry, spice and earthy flora. The ripest and darkest-fruited wine of the four tasted today. This wine really stands out from the pack with mouth-filling flavors of black cherry pie, black raspberry jam and spice. Medium to full-bodied, and creamy in the texture, with a spectacular finish that explodes with fireworks in the mouth. The wine picks up allure over time in the glass. I have had some exceptional wines from this vineyard and this beauty follows suite. Score: 94. Reviewed February 4, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Rocking K Vineyard Single Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., Unreleased. 50% whole cluster. Aged in 40% new French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, spice, s’mores and espresso. Brilliant Bing cherry flavor with a delicious finishing kick of fruit. Plenty of cola and oak-driven notes are evident. The tannins are suave and the mouth feel is dreamy. Could turn out to be the best and most age worthy of the three vintages sampled here. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine showed more whole cluster driven spice and much better integration of oak. Yummy. Score: 95. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 ROCO Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 250 cases, $60 ($45). Dijon clones planted in sedimentary soil. Estate grown and vinified by Rollin Soles. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, house-cultured indigenous yeast, post-fermentation soak, aged in French oak barrels for 18 or more months, a combination of new, one, two and three-year-old tight-grained barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Highly scented nose offering aromas of cherry, baking spice, and a floral-based perfume. Superb flavor, with an intense attack and finish that sails along, featuring black raspberry and black cherry fruits. Ideal harmony with balanced t n’ a, and a caressing, velvety mouthfeel. Way too easy to drink. Score: 94. Reviewed September 3, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $65. Sourced from the original 1971 plantings at Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Very engaging nose that is whole cluster inspired with aromas of rose petal, spicy cola, cherry and spiced pear. Soft and silky on the palate with succulent flavors of red cherry and red berries with a hint of dried leaf and rose water in the background. More brightness and more savory than the Rinconada bottling. Plenty of bones for aging, with a nice interplay of juicy acidity and suede tannins on the finish. A sommelier’s wine built for food. Considerable better and more expressive the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with plenty of spice, cola and fruit flavors dancing on the palate. Score: 94. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sanglier Old Camp Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.56, 49 cases, $45. The vineyard is just above the Russian River on the eastern ridge and enjoys slightly more brilliant sunshine than the valley below, but still has exposure to the Pacific fog that creeps into the Valley each summer night. Pommard and 667 clones. Aged in French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is alive with scents of Bing cherries, cola and cinnamon spice. An evocative wine with a plush attack of black cherry and black raspberry fruits that alert the palate. Nicely spiced and showing a hint of oak, this wine delivers a generous charge of cherries jubilee on the expansive finish. Highly flavorful, even hedonistic, but not overweighted or sweet. Score: 94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Scott Paul Audrey Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $83. Magnums too ($175). Sourced from special old vine blocks of Maresh Vineyard. · Moderately dark reddish purple color that glows in the glass. Spectacular aromas of raspberry, dark cherry and spice that pick up intensity over time in the glass. Mid to full-bodied core of juicy black cherry and black raspberry flavors that are vivid and uplifting. The finish is intense with flavors fanning out in unabashed generosity. This wine has that old vine nuance that emotes. Big and curvy in this vintage, this normally elegant bottling still retains some of that seductiveness. More restrained at this stage than the Le Paulée, but offers more upside long term. A wine to contemplate. Score: 94. Reviewed July 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sea Smoke L.D. Sea Spray Blanc De Noirs Sparkling Wine

11.9% alc., pH 3.15, TA 0.90, $80. 100% Pinot Noir vinified by methodé champenoise. 9 months in Barrel and 24 months en tirage. A long, cool fermentation was completed in stainless steel tanks followed by once-used and neutral French oak barrels. After 9 months of aging on the lees, the wine was bottle aged an additional 24 months en tirage before disgorging. The wine was finished with no dosage. · Lovely delicate pinkish orange color in the glass. The nose is searching and complex, offering scents of yeasty lees, salty ocean, peach pit, walnut oil, and subtle cherry and raspberry fruits. Tremendous vibrancy in the mouth with a lively bead, offering flavors of peach, orange water, dried cherry, cranberry and brioche. Thoroughly dry, with noticeable persistence of flavors on the soprano finish that delivers a tight grip of acidity. This wine calls out for foie gras. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Seven of Hearts Special Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.59, 147 cases, $45. This wine includes fruit from four vineyards in different appellations. A barrel selection. Clones are Pommard, 115, 777 and “828.” At least 40% whole cluster fermented. Aged in 33% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of fresh red berries lead to a panoply of strawberry, raspberry and spice flavors that fill the mouth with goodness. Impressive fullness and length. The tannins are evident but are broad, ripe and supportive. The berry fruit returns in waves on the wonderful finish. A special wine with potential. Score: 94. Reviewed June 26, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Seven of Hearts Very Special Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.59, 126 cases, $75. This wine is only made in very special vintages. From Luminous Hills, Armstrong, Lia’s and Durant vineyards. 33% whole cluster fermented. Aged in 23% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Extroverted nose offering aromas of wild berries and exotic spices. Forceful and assertive on the palate, yet elegant, with a perfectly ripened core of berry fruit still mildly compressed by tannins. Similar to the Special Reserve, but more aloof at this stage. An ethereal wine that oozes pinotosity. Score: 95. Reviewed June 26, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.59% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.63, 517 cases, $52. From six separate sections of the vineyard. Each section was treated differently, using whole clusters on some but not on others, adding yeast to the must on some, but not on others, etc. The ultimate blend includes five out of the six sections. Clones are Pommard, 2A, 777, 115 and 114. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry pie glaze, baking spices and sandalwood. The delicious and seductive core of juicy iced cherry and red berry flavors is wrapped in gossamer tannins. Beautifully composed and harmonious with a refreshing finish of cherry goodness. Keefer Ranch terroir really shows through in this wine. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Pratt Vineyard-Sexton Road Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.66% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.63, 282 cases, $48. 25% whole cluster in the Pommard section of the vineyard. Other clones include 777 and 23. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. This is the kind of Pinot perfume that drives pinotphiles crazy. Uplifting aromas of cherry latté, spiced Halloween punch, and black raspberry preserves lead to a delicious core of sappy black raspberry, black plum and spice flavors. Mouth coating from entry to finish with complimentary oak highlights. A pleasure nest. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.68, 423 cases, $55. First single-vineyard Pinot Noir release from the 2012 vintage. Sourced from three sections of the vineyard which were fermented separately. Some whole cluster in two of the three sections. The final blend included 37% of the barrels, a strict selection not driven by profit but by quality. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of dark red and black cherry berry mix with a hint of oak vanillin. Delicious, intense flavors of dark berries and black plums, nicely spiced with a lush, long finish. The darkest fruited, most tannic, and most powerful wine in the 2012 Siduri lineup. When this wine enters your mouth, the experience is scintillating. If this wine doesn’t make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, you must be undead. A distinctive wine that is tré Pisoni. Score: 95. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Cargassachi Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.69% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.68, 211 cases, $52. 100% clone 115. Vineyard picked in two sections giving a mix of flavor profiles. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is quite typical of this vineyard with aromas of black berry and stone fruits, black currant, mesquite, iron and earth. Plush, soft, rich and inviting on the palate, this wine offers a mouthful of earth-kissed purple and black fruits perfectly matched to ripe tannins. The intense, grandiose, and aromatic finish is full of juicy fruit pleasure. Wines from this vineyard can be somewhat animale in character and brooding, but this wine sparkles with freshness and vibrancy as well as offering inviting finesse with power. The best Cargassachi Vineyard Pinot Noir I have ever tasted. Scary to think this will get better with more time in bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 352 cases, $48. Released April 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of blackberry jam, sassafras, vanilla and earthy flora. Delicious array of dark cherry and berry fruits supported by suave tannins. Very charming soft mouth feel with plenty of finishing grace. A very appealing, beautifully composed and seamless wine that will only get better in the cellar. A real standout. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sinor-LaVallee Anniversary Cuvée San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 48 cases, $50. A blend of all the vineyards Mike Sinor works with. 100% whole cluster. Only produced in special vintages. Fermented in 60 gallon barrels with one end removed. Native primary and malolactic fermentations. Average 12 days in fermenter. Pressed off using an imported Italian basket press. Aged 15 months in 50% new Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This is a wine that demands your attention. Lovely aromas of wild berries, redwoods, and exotic spices. Discreetly concentrated dark red and purple fruits fill the mid palate with goodness. The tannic backbone is firm and sculpted at this stage, but not intrusive. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, the wine had elevated, showing more integration of tannins, and a spectacular peacock finish. This is a connoisseur's wine that will reward time in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Small Vines Wines Baranoff Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.57, 93 cases, $65. Released August 5, 2014. Vineyard planted in 2001 at top of ridge above the Laguna de Santa Rosa, Sebastopol. Sustainably farmed by Small Vines Viticulture, Inc.. Mostly Calera clone with some 115 and 777. Native yeast fermentation and native MLF. 35% whole cluster. Aged 15 months on fine lees in 25% new French oak. 100% free run. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Glorious nose over time, sporting aromas of black cherry, balsam, baking spice and Christmas kitchen. Amazing presence on the palate with numbing fruit intensity rarely seen in Pinot Noir. The dark berry and cherry fruit sap grabs on tenaciously through a very long finish. The firm, youthful tannic backbone holds the fruit in check and there is enough acidity to brighten the wine. This is a powerhouse wine that will need a few years for the tannins to soften. Don’t even think about drinking this wine now unless you decant for several hours. Score: 94. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sojourn Cellars Campbell Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., H 3.66, TA 0.57, 275 cases, $59. This vineyard is located in the remote far west Sonoma Coast near Annapolis and is now managed by Ulises Valdez. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Clones 115 and 777. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose evolves beautifully over time in the glass, revealing an enticing array of aromas including cherry pie glaze, spiced raspberry, red plum and garden flora. Velvety on entry and exit with mid weight flavors of blueberry and cherry with the slightest riff of spice. This wine is more than fruit centric with an appealing earthy, forest undertone. Beautifully balanced with submerged tannins and welcoming finishing intensity. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sojourn Cellars Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.55, 1,150 cases, $54. This vineyard is located on Roberts Road at the western base of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap. Clones 115 and 777 form the foundation of this wine with some Pommard clone and Swan selection blended in. 100% destemmed, native yeast fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of dark red cherries, raspberries and rose petals bring the nose to attention. Delicious flavors of fresh cherries, baking spice and sandalwood on a seamless frame. Very satisfying, with an appealing modesty and elegance and a silky mouth feel. A cherry kiss on the generous finish encourages another sip. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste Nouveau Monde Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 117 cases, $Not released. MonoClone® Pommard from Keller Estate. Large percentage of whole cluster. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The whole cluster is evident in a good way on the nose and palate. Plenty of exotic spice and flowery bouquet compliments the dark cherry and black raspberry core of fruit which has remarkable length. Crisp, fresh and elegant, yet has a substantial tannic spine. The memorable finish is filled with exotic spice and is endlessly long and gracious. Score: 95. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste L’Ambroisie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 60 cases, $100. Tasted from a bottle that was opened 2 days prior at a luncheon. Clone “828.” 12% whole cluster. · There is plenty of drama and personality to this wine. The nose is replete with engaging aromas of wild cherry, exotic spices, forest floor and fresh rose petals. Flavors of black cherry and spice dance on the palate, framed by elegant, suave tannins (surprisingly reserved considering the high percentage of whole cluster). A charming, silken wine with impressive fruit intensity and length on the spice-filled finish. Impeccable balance and freshness after opened for 2 days predicts longevity. Score: 92-94. Reviewed October 6, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste Barrique 9 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 23 cases, $100. Single vineyard, single clone, one barrel. From the Guidici Vineyard (the source of Soliste's Forêt bottling), this barrel stood out from the others that went into the Forêt. Hand bottled into unique Burgundy bottles, then hand waxed. · Moderately light red cherry color in the glass. Plenty to like about this wine with hi-tone aromas of cherry, spice box, sous-bois and buttery oak. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry and strawberry with elegance to spare. Seamless and demure with supple tannins and harmonious acidity. Very Chambolle-Musigny in character with a charming delicacy that seduces rather than imposes its will. This wine will be fascinating to follow over the ensuing years. Score: 93-94. Reviewed January 23, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste Forêt Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 241 cases, $85. Clone 23 (Mariafeld) from Guidicci Vineyard in Occidental. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens slowly to reveal glorious aromas of black cherry, black plum, sous-bois and spice. Quite bold for a Soliste Pinot Noir in this vintage, but still offering the Soliste style of elegance and intensity. Well-spiced black cherry, blackberry and black plum fruits flood the palate with goodness and hold on through a velvety, vibrant finish. Oak lends a gentle touch and the tannins are infused with maturity. Even better the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, this virile wine will age beautifully. Score: 94. Reviewed November 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Soliste Forêt Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 241 cases, $85. Clone 23 (Mariafeld) from Guidicci Vineyard. 50% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in French oak, 0% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Engaging, exotic, even intoxicating fragrance of black cherry, spiced plum, rose petal, and forest floor. The nose defies adequate description. Both weight and weightlessness, with soft tannins and impeccable balance, featuring flavors of Bing cherry pie, baking spices, cardamom, and earthy herbs. The finish offers racy energy and fruit flavors that return in waves. The whole cluster inclusion heightens the texture. This wine is Pinot Noir heaven. Even better than when originally reviewed six months ago. Score: 95. Reviewed August 17, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 218 cases, $52. Released October 1, 2015. Vineyard is located high above Bennett Valley on the northwestern side of Sonoma Mountain. Clones 115, 777 and Pommard 5 were planted in 2000 in loamy clay soil. Aged 20 months in 100% French oak barrels, 46% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A stunning wine from the get go, offering soaring aromas of dark berries, earthy flora, spice and rose petal. My notes say, “WOW,” about the entry and follow through, featuring juicy dark red and purple berries, spice, slight floral input, and engaging oak presence. Impeccably balanced. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still great indicating a long life ahead. Score: 94. Reviewed November 5, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Tessier Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 150 cases, $37. Last vintage due to sale of the vineyard. Aged in 38% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Intense aromas of black cherry pie glaze, baking spices and sandalwood. The nose continued to pump out aromas over an hour sampling period. Juicy and crisp on the palate with bright Bing cherry flavor augmented with riffs of spice and cola. Comforting finesse and persistence without weight. A gorgeous wine that displays all the best features of Russian River Valley fruit without the overbearing fruit concentration that detracts from many bottlings from this area. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Toulouse Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 150 cases, $55. A DRC selection and Wädenswil clone blend. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A captivating wine from the get-go, with high flying scents of black cherry, spice and potpourri. Delicious middleweight flavors of black cherry, raspberry and dark chocolate. Impeccably balanced with gentle oak seasoning and a seductively silky mouthfeel. This special vineyard always seems to deliver. Score: 94. Reviewed July 24, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Van Duzer Alchemy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1%, $65. The best blocks, lots and barrels blended like alchemy. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is like cherry pie day at baking school, with hi-tone aromas of black cherries, spice and vanilla. The cherry core is succulent on the palate and there is good structural bones, but the wine is soft and comforting and offers good tension. The balance is spot-on, and the wine finishes with an explosion of luscious black cherry fruit. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more flamboyant aromatic and fruit expression. This wine will quickly give you a Pinot high. Score: 95. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.52, 119 cases, $60. This vineyard is adjacent Seven Springs Vineyard at 600 feet elevation. Jory soils. 100% clone 777. 5 days of extended skin maceration. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 44% new. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Deep Bing cherry aroma with accents of sous-bois and floral bouquet. A very charming wine on the palate with vivid fruit flavors of black raspberry, cherry and plum with a compliment of spice, cola and nutty oak. The wine is very giving, with seamless tannins and a seductive texture that is like touching purple velvet. The entire experience is one of grace and polish. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed May 14, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Waxwing Lester Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 57 cases, $39. Released late 2013. Vines planted in 1998 on a sandy loam hillside bordered by redwoods in Corralitos. Farmed by Prudy Foxx. Dijon, Wädenswil, Mariafeld and Mt. Eden clones (this wine contains 667 and 115). 80% de-stemmed, 20% foot stomped whole cluster. 5-day cold soak followed by native fermentations. Age in once-used French oak barrels for 11 months and bottled with a light filtration. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is captivating with a bright, exotically spiced raspberry aroma. Delicious and polished, with discreetly concentrated flavors of deep red cherry, raspberry, and spice arriving in waves on the palate and leaving with aplomb. The tannins are very supple and the whole package is appealingly elegant. Still delightful two days later from a previously opened and recorked bottle indicating age ability. Clearly, the fruit was picked at the ideal time. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Wayfarer “The Traveler” Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.62, 170 cases, $150. A single “suitcase clone” from Burgundy’s most revered vineyard. 22% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 15 months in 63% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The intriguing nose is embellished by the whole cluster, offering an array of scents including dark berries, rose petal, sous-bois, and oak-driven spice and vanilla. The mid weight boysenberry, raspberry, plum and red currant flavors are satisfying on their own, but added notes of savory herbs and floral nuance bring the wine up a notch. This beauty has a touch more body and intensity than the “Wayfarer Vineyard” bottling, with more finishing length. Tannins are well managed. Though a bit reticent, I was able to discover more subtleties over time in the glass, and the wine was considerably more expressive the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has not been released and understandably so, but there is much to look forward to. Score: 93-94. Reviewed October 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Wayfarer “Mother Rock” Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.59, 400 cases, $115. Clone 37 (Mount Eden) and Dijon 777 co-fermented. 24% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 15 months in 56% new French oak. This wine is named for Wayfarer’s sandstone substrate. · Moderately deep reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is highly expressive, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Aromas of fresh raspberries, cherries and strawberries are glass filling, accented with very subtle spice and vanilla. The mid palate attack is rich and satisfying with mid weight flavors of red berries and plum carrying the charge through a generous finish. This wine has very complimentary integration of oak, the balance is spot on, and the texture is soft and luxurious. I was completely seduced by the mouthfeel which sets this wine apart from all the Wayfarer wines in this tasting. Still delightful the next day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Wayfarer Mother Rock Wayfarer Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $115. Named for Wayfarer Vineyard’s sandstone substrate, this wine is a blend of clones 37 and Dijon 777. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring aromas of blackberry jam, cassis and ripest strawberry. A boisterous wine on the palate, with exhilarating flavors of blackberry and black raspberry that attack with purpose, fill the mid palate with expansive resolve, and dance mightily on a finish that goes on and on. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when spice nuances appeared to embellish the fruit. Easy to run out of superlatives for this one. Score: 97. Reviewed June 18, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate Anderson Family Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.71, 118 cases, $90. Released. Harvest October 11, yield 1.7 tons per acre. Self-rooted Dijon 115. 100% whole cluster fermentation. 9-day cold soak, 26 days total skin contact, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Voluptuous, persistent aromatic pleasures including black cherry, spice and wilted rose. Boldly concentrated plum and black raspberry flavors are vibrant on the attack, showing numbing intensity as well on the huge finish. The tannins are supportive but not intrusive. Despite its sappy load, the wine has an elegant, polished mouth feel. Score: 94-95. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.62, 257 cases, $90. Released. A special cuvée from winemaker Jesus Guillen who choses his favorite barrels in the cellar. A blend of White Rose, Guillen, Vista Hills, Luciole and Red Hills vineyards. Vineyards planted 1978-2006 primarily in Jory soils. Harvest Oct 11-26. 93% whole cluster fermentation on average. 6-9-days cold soak. 20-26 days skin contact. Aged 16 months in 9% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Fabulous nose perfumed with aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, dark rose, exotic spices and peppery herbs. A terrific, well-structured wine in a masculine style (jesus prefers this) with layers of flavors including Bing cherry, black raspberry pie filling, sassafras and cola. The fine-grain tannins are nicely integrated and the finish is generous and satisfying. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate “The Neo-Classical Objective” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 428 cases, $80. Fall release. After meticulously tasting barrel samples blind before bottling, only vineyards that meet the neo-classical objective for a given vintage are selected for this blend. White Rose Vineyard (11%), Vista Hills Vineyard (11%), Anderson Family Vineyard (17%), Guillen Vineyard (28%), Lia’s Vineyard (22%), and Luciole Vineyard (11%). Pommard, Wädenswil, 777 and 115. Harvest Oct 11-26. 100% whole cluster fermentation. Total skin contact 16-26 days. Aged 16 months in 14% new French oak. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is shy initially, opening slowly to reveal scents of fresh dark berries, spice and cut flowers. Much more elegantly styled with a satisfying core of black raspberry, plum and black cherry flavors expansive on the palate and generating a lengthy, spice-laden finish highlighted by sweet oak and suave tannins. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.77, 235 cases, $125. Fall release. Harvest Oct 26-27. Yields only 0.5 tons per acre due to poor set. Self-rooted Pommard. 100% whole cluster fermentation. 6-day cold soak, total skin contact 20-21 days, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Well-perfumed with hitone aromas of cherry, raspberry, baking spices and sandalwood. Gorgeous fruit core replete with striking flavors of fresh red and black raspberries and exotic spices. Structured for the long haul with an amazingly long, peacock tail finish. This wine typifies the neo-classical objective of juiciness and freshness with enough tannic backbone to age and a minimum of oak intrusion to allow the fruit to clearly speak. Score: 95-96. Reviewed June 1, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate “The Neo-Classical Objective” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 428 cases, $80. After meticulously tasting barrel samples blind before bottling, only vineyards that meet the neoclassical objective for a given vintage are selected for this blend. White Rose Vineyard (11%), Anderson Family Vineyard (17%), Guillén Vineyard (28%), Lia’s Vineyard (22%), and Luciole Vineyard (11%). Pommard, Wädenswil, 777 and 115 clones. 100% whole cluster fermentation, 16 to 26-day skin contact, aged 16 months in 14% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, dark red rose petal, toasty oak, and exotic spice. This wine fills the mouth with a suave fruit attack and holds on through a tenacious finish that sports some fine-grain but minimally astringent tannins. The middleweight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice are sparkling and fresh. Significantly more richness than the 2011 version of this wine. A superb wine that will be intriguing over time. Score: 93-94. Reviewed December 16, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate Anderson Family Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.71, 118 cases, $90. Vineyard is in Chehalem Mountains AVA. Self-rooted Dijon 115. 9-day cold soak, 100% whole cluster fermentation, 26 days total skin contact, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, dark red rose and cardamom spice lead to a mid weight + palate of dark stone fruits embellished with delicious spice. The wine is long and silky in the mouth and finishes with spectacular intensity with the fruit returning for several encores. The flavor is eye-opening and the texture is intriguing. Still solid the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed December 16, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.62, 257 cases, $90. A special cuvée blended from favorite barrels in the cellar chosen by winemaker Jesus Guillén. A blend of White Rose, Guillén, Vista Hills, Luciole and Red Hills vineyards. 6 to 9-day cold soak, 93% whole cluster fermentation, 20-26 days of skin contact, aged 16 months in 9% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is a knockout with bright aromas of black cherry, sarsaparilla, smoky rose petal and spice. This wine is a textural masterpiece with waves of velvety goodness. The ripe flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice really impress and are framed by a good grip of acidity and a compliment of modestly firm, fine-grain tannins. The finish is incredibly long and vibrant. I like this wine more the longer I sampled it. It was extraordinary the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing an explosion of spicy fruit goodness and a very sleek demeanor. Score: 94-95. Reviewed December 16, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.77, 235 cases, $125. Low yields of 0.5 tons per acre due to poor set. Self-rooted Pommard clone. 6-day cold soak, 100% whole cluster fermentation, 20 to 21-day skin contact, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. This is a very elegant and refined wine with considerable freshness. The aromas of cherry, raspberry, wilted rose, and spice jump from the glass. The core of cherry, raspberry and pomegranate fruits is complimented by a vein of spice and leaf in the background. The very slight herbaceous note adds a bit of savoriness and is not at all off putting to me.This wine has more polished tannins than the Winemaker’s Cuvée and slightly brighter tension. The peacock finish is incredibly long and satisfying. Score: 95-96. Reviewed December 16, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 White Rose Estate Winemaker’s Cuvée Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

A blend of four vineyards including White Rose and Anderson. 85% whole cluster. · Light cherry red color in the glass. The nose demands attention with hi-tone aromas of dried rose petal, pine sap, spice and cherry. Light to mid weight in style and quite elegant, with a spiced cherry core framed by fine grain tannins. The texture is particularly appealing and the overall impression is one of harmony. Score: 94-95. Reviewed September 7, 2016 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 WildAire Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.55, 72 cases, $45. Harvest Brix 24.5º. 100% Wädenswil clone from Block 25. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, inoculated fermentation. Aged 10 months in 33% new French Oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Very engaging aromas of dark cherry pie glaze, spice, violets and smoky oak. Delicious core of nicely ripened black cherry fruit with a hint of mocha and spice. The fruit really attracts attention as it is vivid and juicy. There is a good amount of fine-grain tannins for structural integrity and noticeably intense finishing presence. I am not usually a fan of single clone Wädenswil Pinot Noir, but this beauty bursts my bubble. A standout. Score: 94. Reviewed December 11, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $82. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The knockout nose is orgasmic, featuring spicy black cherry, berry wonderland and dark chocolate aromas. Soft, smooth and polished on the palate, the dark red cherries and berries attack with intent, and the epic flavor circus finishes with a grand cru level of bombastic cherry goodness. The texture is very seductive and the fruit is vibrant and pure. Superlatives don’t do this spectacular wine justice. Score: 96. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Williams Selyem Burt Williams Morning Dew Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $78. This vineyard is located in the northern end or “deep end” of the Anderson Valley. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Effusive aromas of black cherry cola, blackberry jam, underbrush and oak-driven vanilla and anise. Mouth numbing flavors of black cherry, baking spice, dark chocolate, tea and anise with sequestered tannins and a huge, long, and I mean long, finish. Very soft and suave on the palate making for easy drinking now, but this wine can go the distance. A glorious wine that has many nuances to offer. Score: 95. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Williams Selyem Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $58. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, spice, bark, expensive dark chocolate and smoky oak. Velvety on the palate, offering a burst of blackberry, black currant and boysenberry fruits backed by supple tannins. Tremendous polish with a crazy long finish featuring spicy and very juicy plum fruit. Score: 94. Reviewed December 10, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Adelsheim Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.60, 363 cases, $68. 100% clone 667 planted in basaltic-origin (volcanic) soils. This 100-acre vineyard was established by Edward and L.S. Koo in 1981. Adelsheim replanted on of the ideal sections of the vineyard. A late ripening site. Fifth single vineyard bottling. Aged 10 months in 33% new medium toast French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is striking with bright aromas of Bing cherries, raspberries, and spice. Outstanding depth and length of flavor featuring a core of dark red cherries and berries with a hint of graham, cola and spice. Seductively ethereal in the mouth, with firm, supportive tannins, and a long, long, long finish. A brilliant wine with superb balance. Still extraordinary when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed October 11, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Anthill Farms Comptche Ridge Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $44. This vineyard is located a few miles from the Mendocino coastline just north of the town of Navarro and is dryfarmed by the Weir family. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherry pie glaze, peat, potpourri, sea breeze and a touch of oak. Delicious marriage of black cherry and blackberry fruit with a compliment of spice and anise. A little earthiness grounds the wine which really attracts your attention with impressive depth of flavor and class. The tannins are nicely balanced, the acidity is harmonious, and the finish is fruit-filled and generous. Extraordinary in this very cool vintage. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Arista Two Birds Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.58, 195 cases. Released fall 2013. Aged in 25% new, 50% 1-year and 25% 2-year French oak barrels. Vineyard named after proprietors Al and Janis McWilliams who call each other “bird” and live adjacent these vines. Planted in 2007, the 3-acre vineyard contains Pommard clone, Swan and Calera selections. Soils are a well-drained mixture of loam and clay formed from weathered sandstone. Each year select barrels are chosen for the final Two Birds Vineyard bottling. · More structured and intensely flavored than the Harper’s Rest and not as forward. The big-boy fruit veers to the dark red and purple side (black cherry, black raspberry, plum) and is accented by a meaty and bay leaf note. The intense finish is especially noteworthy, lasting what seems like a minute. I would have liked to spend a few hours with this wine to experience it as it unfolded. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $44. Released October 2012. Own-rooted Martini clone planted in 1972. Aged 9 months in French oak barrels. Dark violet color in the glass. 100% de-stemmed, extended cold soak, aged 9 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Plenty to like on the nose with hi-tone aromas of spicy black plums, fresh blackberries and vanilla cream. A big gulp of exotically spiced plum and dark berry fruit is front and center, very seductive, expanding in the mouth, permeating every nook and cranny, and finishing with power, length and a velvety appeal. The creme soda-laced oak and cinnamon and clove spice flavors are complimentary. Similar to the 2010 version which was an “All-American.” This wine has something unique and recognizable to me. Not even close to classic or Old World traditional Pinot Noir, but it tastes great and drinks seamlessly. Cool package too. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bernardus Soberanes Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 312 cases, $55. Vineyard farmed by Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni and located adjacent Garys’ Vineyard. Pisoni “clone” and Dijon 667. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. I really liked the nose on this beauty featuring bright aromas of black cherry, blackberry jam, cassis, brewed tea and oak. The delicious fruit including dark cherries and blackberries really jumps out. Nicely composed with integrated tannins, and a lengthy, intensely fruity finish. This wine has broad shoulders but is refined. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bernardus Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 429 cases, $65. This vineyard was planted by Gary Franscioni and named after his wife. Pisoni “clone” and Dijon 777. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddishpurple hue in the glass. Highly aromatic and intoxicating, with scents of cherries, dark strawberries and spice. The delicious core of cherry fruit is accented with hints of cola and oak-driven mocha. Very approachable with harmonious tannins and a lovable finish. Shows off the typical red-toned fruits and femininity characteristic of this vineyard. A dancing Pinot. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Big Table Farm Wirtz Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.6% alc., 119 cases, $45. This vineyard is old by Oregon standards as it was planted in the early 1970s. Brian likes to say he was still wearing diapers when the vines went into the ground in this vineyard. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine reminds of cherry pie baking day at cooking school. Deliciously flavored with ripe cherries and baking spices with a hint of sandalwood and wintergreen. Crisp and juicy with a long, spirited finish. Hard to put your finger on the reasons for it, but this wine grabs your interest and holds on. An old vine treasure. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 287 cases, $48. This vineyard is the warmest site in the Big Table Farm lineup. Typically this wine needs a few years to mature and this is evident in this vintage as well despite spending a year in barrel and a year in bottle. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. A well-mannered wine with aromas of dark cherry, marionberry and spice that fill the glass. While the core of black cherry fruit is delicious now, the wine is relatively primary at this stage. Still, it is obviously a classy and sophisticated offering. The tannins are firm but balanced and the finish is juicy and well-endowed with grandiose fruit flavor. Hold for 2-3 years or decant if you must drink now. Score: 93-94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 148 cases, $55. Aged 11 months in 66% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Be sure you are sitting down when you taste this charmer. The aromas leap out of the glass with purpose, offering scents of black cherry, black raspberry, Asian 5-spice and a hint of oak. The most sappy and forward of the three 2011 Pinots tasted here. Flat-out delicious with layers of flavor including black cherry liquor, black raspberry jam, and Hoison sauce. The fine-grain tannins are svelte, the balancing acidity is spot on, and the finish is filled with sweet-scented and saucy fruit. The finish is even more intense and persistence the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Log on to deliciouspinot.com for a good time. Score: 94. Reviewed February 4, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bluxome Street Winery Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 144 cases, $45. · Medium garnet color in the glass. The nose is quite enjoyable, offering scents of briar, red cherries and violets, but the flavors are remarkable. Red and black cherries, red plums and spice coat the mouth and finish with a peacock tail of glorious note. The finish lasts at least a minute, returning several times for an encore. In addition, the wine is seductively soft and smooth on the palate with a good cut of underlying mineral-driven acidity. The whole package. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bluxome Street Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 175 cases, $45. · Medium garnet color in the glass. The nose is really enticing, offering scents of briar, red cherry, and violets, but the flavors are remarkable. Red and black cherries, red plums. brewed tea and spice coat the mouth and finish with a peacock tail of glorious note. The finish lasts at least a minute, returning several times for an encore. In addition, the wine is seductively soft and smooth on the palate with a good cut of underlying mineral-driven acidity. The whole package. Drink or hold. Score: 96. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.61, 288 cases, $34. The vineyard is on a steep mountainside three ridges in from the Pacific Ocean at 2,642 feet elevation. Relatively shallow and rocky soils. Wide variety of clones and selections including Pommard and Swan. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 16% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak. Native fermentation in one-ton fermenters. Aged 11 months in 33% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, deep red rose petals and pine needle. Tasty with good intensity, featuring flavors of black cherries black raspberries and pomegranates with a hint of tea. Impeccable balance with mild tannins and juicy acidity, finishing with impressive intensity. Blossomed beautifully the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, displaying a dreamy, velvety mouth feel and seductive flavors. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Dragonfly Block Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.634, 72 cases, $39. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 25% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak, native fermentation, aged in 66% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Incredible nose that keeps pumping out aromas of fresh dark berries over time in the glass. Delicious core of black cherry and dark berry fruits, exotically spiced with a hint of toasty oak in the background. A seamless wine with powdery tannins and a finishing lift of decadent fruit that returns in waves for several encores. An exceptionally dreamy wine. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Reserve Humboldt County Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 25 cases, $45. Inaugural offering. A blend of 2011 vintages from Bosco, Phelps and Ronda’s vineyards. Aged 18 months in oak barrels. · The nose is rather shy, offering only a hint of dark red fruit and oak aromas. The flavor profile is more developed with delicious notes of perfectly ripened black cherries, black raspberries and plum underlain with hints of graham and cardamom spice. The fruit has real presence on the palate and offers layers of pleasure. Beautifully balanced with well-integrated acidity and tannins. Very impressive length on the peacock tail finish. This wine needs more time in the cellar for the nose to catch up to the palate. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, 300 cases, $55. I have been a long time fan of the Castalia Pinot Noirs produced from Rochioli Vineyard fruit by winemaker Terry Bering, the cellarmaster at Rochioli. This wine is 50% Rochioli River Block fruit and 50% from a 20-year-old block of Rochioli West Block selection planted in another vineyard on Westside and Rochioli Estate wine. Aged 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Terry told me his wines need time to evolve and I found this to be the case. I first tasted the wine last February and thought it was very good but not extraordinary then. My recent tasting found the wine had blossomed into something very special and it is certain to be one of my 2013 All-Americans. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of Bing cherries, strawberries, spice and musk which literally jump out of the glass over time. The flavor of cherry syrup caresses the palate with complimentary notes of spice and vanilla. The classy, lush fruit is perfectly buffered by ripe tannins and brought to life by bright acidity. The lengthy finish is simply gorgeous. Quintessential Russian River Valley richness, yet sleek, balanced and refined. Score: 96. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 CIRQ. Treehouse Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.60, 462 cases, $100. Decanted for two hours before tasting and re-tasted eight hours later. · Very dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine has a nose you could drink with deep aromas of black raspberry jam, plump blueberries, black cherries, spice and subtle oak. Ripe and exuberant on the palate, with a full arsenal of rich flavors including blueberry, black raspberry, pomegranate and black currant, finishing with a burst of luscious berry fruit. A hint of the finest artisan dark chocolate and humus add interest. This is a bombastic wine that is extremely flavorful, yet balanced, sensual and inviting. It tastes like it was made from very small berries with a high skin to juice ratio. After decanting, the tannins were supportive but not imposing. The more I tasted this wine, the more I liked it as I continued to contemplate its nuances. When tasted later in the day, the wine had evolved and became silkier and livelier, and was a beautiful accompaniment to grilled King salmon. The flavor profile and structure are more reminiscent of true Sonoma Coast than Russian River Valley. It’s an outrageously flavored and expensive wine, but it is damn good. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Davis Family Vineyards Soul Patch Estate Grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. A barrel selection from the Estate Vineyard. A combination of Pommard, 777, 667 and 115 planted in 1996. Farming has always been organic. The vineyard is in the sub region of the Russian River Valley known as Laguna Ridge featuring Goldridge series soils containing a high amount of volcanic ash. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Initially this wine is quite reserved and takes some coaxing in the glass to bring it into the open. Enticing aromas of Bing cherry, red berry, fruit cake, spice and sandalwood. Bold and intense with a meaty core of black cherry, black raspberry and blueberry fruits backed by complimentary oak. The luscious fruit is pulled into line with fine tannins and acidity. The finish deserves special mention as it is extraordinarily long and intense. The wine was much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. In fact, it was so tasty you could nibble at it. Decant if you must drink now, but the wine will benefit from a few years in the cellar. It’s wines like this that make Pinot my paramour. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 De Ponte Cellars Estate Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $55. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with bright aromas of strawberry, cherry and raspberry coulis. Lighter in color than the 2010 vintage Estate bottling, but brighter and more tantalizing with a crisp expression of red fruit. The tannins are nicely integrated, the oak is complimentary, and the finish is refreshingly crisp. A wine of great finesse, charm and harmony. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 De Ponte Cellars Baldwin Family Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $70. A winemaker selection of full-bodied and complex barrels in the cellar. Limited production. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose envelopes your senses with aromas of red cherry, raspberry and exotic spices that reveal themselves gradually in the glass over time. Superlatives can hardly due justice to this wine which is extraordinary in every way. It is polished, balanced, elegant and hi-collared, with a delicious core of vivid cherry, raspberry and spice flavors, a caressing texture, and remarkable persistence on the finish. This wine seduces with charm, not power. A connoisseur's wine that will age beautifully. Score: 96. Reviewed June 18, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 383 cases, pH 3.56, TA 0.62, 383 cases, $58. This 8-acre vineyard is located at the far western edge of the Green Valley on Stoetz Ridge. Low vigor soil and tiny crop. Clones are 667, lesser amounts of 777 and a touch of 115. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium garnet color in the glass. Terrific nose that draws you into the glass with bright aromas of wild berries, black cherries, tea leaf and spice. Super-delicious and captivating, with layers of enticing flavors including black cherry, black raspberry, plum reduction sauce, vanilla and spice. The depth of flavor really sets this wine apart. The oak is complimentary, the mouth feel is creamy, and the lengthy finish offers a refreshing grip. A scintillating wine. Score: 95. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Freestone Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.60, 503 cases, $72. This vineyard is located on a south-facing hillside above the town of Freestone at the far southwestern edge of the Russian River Valley only a few miles inland from Bodega Bay. A very cold climate very suited to Dijon clones. Yields are low with tiny berries and thick skins. Aged 17 months in 55% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy, but very lovely aromas of wild berry preserves, rose petals and spice. Delicious essence of blackberries and black plums with a wonderful spice presence which makes itself more known over time in the glass. An earthy, sous-bois underpinning adds interest. The svelte tannins are well balanced and there is admirable length to the finish. Still young and somewhat closed, but clearly an extraordinary wine. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Eric Kent Small Town Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.61, 414 cases,$48. Release Spring 2013. 38% Cleary Ranch and Michael Valentine, 23% Roberts Road, 23% Kiser/Vella, and Stiling. Clones 777, Swan, Pommard, 667, 114 and 115. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Enchanting nose offering aromas of exotically spiced black cherry and plum with a hint of smoky oak. Elegant and soft on the palate, with juicy flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and cardamom spice caressed by gentle tannins and ending on a clean, bright, dark cherry note. One of the most suave Pinots ever from Eric Kent. I like this wine for its seductive character. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Furthermore Nevina’s Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 83 cases, $50. Furthermore’s first estate vineyard. Located in Occidental six miles from the coast planted in 2002 to clone 777 by Scott Zeller. The vineyard was formerly known as Willow Creek and was bottled as a vineyard designate by Rivers-Marie. · My first experience with this vineyard and WOW! Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of freshly picked and crushed wild berries, spice, and ocean breeze. A little bit untamed, rugged and spirited, with delicious flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, molasses and dark chocolate and a firm tannic spine. The fruit has character and speaks of the earth and a sense of place. The experience is like throwing down fresh, juice berries while sitting on a ridge top overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Sonoma Coast. This is one sexy wine that really stands out among the excellent Furthermore Pinot Noirs in 2011. Score: 94. Reviewed November 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 george Vintage IX Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.,157 cases, $60. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromatic presence with scents of fresh black cherries, dark currants and spice. Delicious core of moderately rich dark red berry, plum and black cherry flavors with complimentary notes of spice and cola. Well-balanced tannins, focused acidity, and a very appealing crisp and juicy finishing note like biting into a fresh, cold, plump cherry. Very admirable effort in a difficult vintage. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Estate Grown Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 579 cases, $115. Drawn from the best blocks and barrels from estate vineyards, it is made up of the top 1.5% of estate grown Pinot Noir. The wine is a result of more than 50 trial blends of wines from Gowan Creek, Confluence and Split Rail vineyards (96 blocks and 49 combinations of clones and rootstocks). · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, sweet oak and rose petal build in intensity over time in the glass. Juicy and bright on the palate, with a special energy and vibe, featuring an array of berry and stone fruits complimented by oak. This wine has the structure and balance to age ten years and beyond. A connoisseur’s wine of uncommon grace and composition that easily justifies its lofty price. Score: 94. Reviewed July 28, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Guillen Family Adrian Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 23 cases, $60. One barrel of reserve wine. Sourced from Vista Hills Vineyard Block F planted in 2005 with Dijon 667. Jory soils. 11-day cold soak, 22 days skin contact, basket pressed, aged 24 months sur lie in one new French oak barrel. Racked twice and filtered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring, bright aromas of darker stone and berry fruits accented with spice and dark red rose petals. Powerful, yet very polished, with a layered array of dark red and purple fruits, well-spiced, with nonintrusive oak. Suave tannins show up on the glorious finish. Score: 95. Reviewed June 14, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Gundlach Bundschu Heritage Selection Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.83, TA 0.56, 308 cases, $N/A (allocation only). Released March 2014. Grapes are from the Bundschu family’s 150+year-old vineyard located on the southwestern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, eight miles north of San Pablo Bay. Huichica clay loam with gravel deposits. Two distinct blocks of 40+year-old Heritage vines were harvested and vinified separately for this limited barrel selection bottling. 7-day cold soak, indigenous yeast and malolactic, partially fermented in upright open-top French oak puncheons, aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Effusive aromas of black cherry, blueberry, rose petal and spice rub. Striking flavor attack on entry with plenty of dark cherry and black raspberry fruit that really pops! Hints of anise, black tea and nuts from supportive oak add interest. Very soothing in texture with balanced fine-grain tannins and a drawn out finish. A unique, nuanced wine that changes constantly in the glass. An argument for old vine Heritage clones. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Heart & Hands Brut Rosé Finger Lakes Sparkling Wine

12.5% alc., 115 cases, $25.99. Grown on shore of Seneca Lake. Whole cluster pressed and fermented in a stainless steel tank. · Pretty pink salmon color. Perfume of alpine strawberries and cranberries. Red fruited with imbedded citrus and minerality and slight alpine, herb note in the background. Slightly creamy with a healthy bead. Very crisp and completely dry. A satisfying offering. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hilliard Bruce Sky Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.57% alc., 420 cases, $55. Clones include Calera, Pommard, 115, 667 and 777. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas of fresh black raspberry, spice and subtle oak really draw you into the glass. There is plenty of sappy fruit concentration like the Sun, but there is more vibrant acidity and resulting juiciness. The core of darker berry and stone fruits is flatout delicious and very plush on the palate. The finish is strikingly endowed offering waves of bright fruit returning over and over for an encore. This beauty blurs the line between wine and heaven. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hirsch Vineyards East Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.62, 301 cases, $85. East Ridge is a distinct microsite within Hirsch Vineyard, comprising an area of 18 acres divided into 16 farming blocks. This wine is a selection of the very best barrels from five of the oldest blocks on the East Ridge. 58.3% Pommard and Wädenswil, 33.3% Mt Eden and 8.3% Swan. Vines planted between 1990 and 1998. 20% whole cluster inclusion. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Pure, clean aromas of blackberry jam, Hoison sauce, spice and damp soil. More intensity and length here, with rich flavors of earth-kissed purple and black fruits flooding the palate, complimented by a dusting of tannins and a bright spark of acidity. The wine finishes with an immensely satisfying finish that goes on and on. Terrific juice. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Joseph Jewell Hallberg Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.95% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.62, 145 cases, $44. Clones 777 and Pommard 5. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of cherry, raspberry and Middle Eastern spices. This is a nose you want to nibble. The flavors echo the nose with mid weight intensity and impressive polish. Baking spice and a good herbal note add interest. The tannins and acidity are nicely balanced and the finish is refined and flavorful. This is a beautiful wine that you want to keep coming back to. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kanzler Vineyards Estate Reserve Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. Some whole cluster inclusion, clone 115 driven. · This wine is gorgeous with plenty of Pinot singing. Uplifting aromas of cherry, blueberry and spice. A warm spice thread pervades the flavor profile. The silky, fine-grain tannins caress the palate and the finish is fresh and generous. A remarkable wine from a challenging vintage. Score: 93-94. Reviewed June 4, 2017 WINERY »

2011 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.59, 211 cases, $78. Vineyard is located in the Sebastopol Hills, an area featuring morning and evening fog, breezy afternoons, and bright, mild afternoon sun. Cooler temperatures lead to a longer hang time and this vineyard is usually the last to be harvested. Clones 115, 667 and Pommard. Yields 2.1 tons per acre. 100% destemmed. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Tighten your seat belt when you open this one. Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. With a nose you could drink, and a core of liquid magic that you can drink, this is one great wine. Aromas of dark red berries sprinkled with vanilla cream lead to sumptuous flavors of black cherries, blue and dark red berries, spice and dark chocolate. Power without weight, juicy without being cloying, this beautifully balanced wine is soft in the mouth and finishes with length and opulence. The pick of the litter. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kosta Browne Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.60, 368 cases, $78. A partnership between Gary Franscioni and Gary Pisoni planted in 1997. 100% Pisoni clone. Average yield 2.7 tons per acre. 8% whole cluster. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Whereas Rosella’s is decidedly feminine, Garys’ is more macho. Aromatic overload with deep scents of spiced black cherry and plum fruit with a hint of leather and conifer. Delicious, mouthfilling richness, with a bright core of black cherry fruit and a dusting of oak. Very smooth and seamless with tannins so fine as to be imperceptible. A delight to drink because nothing stands out except the luscious fruit. The wine finishes on a high note with remarkable intensity. Oh yah! Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kosta Browne Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.60, 125 cases, $78. Pisoni Vineyard is 45 acres perched at 1,300 feet overlooking the Salinas Valley to the East. Average yield 2.5 tons per acre. 100% Pisoni clone. 100% destemmed. Aged 16 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose on this wine is stunning and the most fragrant in the 2011 lineup. Fresh, bright, penetrating aromas of cherry tart, raspberry coulis, sandalwood and oak vanillin. Very soft, very flavorful, and very sexy with a plethora of dark red and black cherry and berry fruits in a mid to full-bodied style with a subtle sheen of oak in the background. The tannins are very reserved, allowing the extroverted fruit to shine. This is the most elegant and approachable Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir I have ever drank. If Rosella’s is feminine and Garys‘ is masculine, this wine is metrosexual. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kosta Browne 4 Barrel California Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.62, 98 cases, $78. Kosta Browne’s smallest lot but requires the most attention to detail. The four barrels are identified from 70 different lots, whittled down to the final four. There are no appellation or vineyard restrictions. 25% Gap’s Crown 667, 25% Koplen 667, 25% Keefer Ranch Pommard 5 and 25% Garys’ Pisoni. Average yield 2.1 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Patience is needed with this wine and decanting is recommended if you open now as it is the least approachable wine in the 2011 lineup. Slowly evolving nose, offering aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, and plenty of extroverted spice, reaching a crescendo after 30 minutes in the glass. Like all the 2011 Pinots from Kosta Browne, this wine is very soft in the mouth. Still a bit monotone and closed, the potential is obvious. Layered flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, blackberry and cassis with a dusting of oak and spice. Seamless, with excellent balance and length. This will be one helluva wine in a couple of years. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 345 cases, $55. Release August 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 50% de-stemmed and 50% whole cluster, all fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged sur lie for 10 months without racking in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Striking nose offering extroverted scents of black cherries, spice, briar and rose petal. Mouth watering flavors of ripe black cherries and dark red berry jam, with a joyful hint of spice. Very soft and smooth, almost ephemeral, but with eye-opening fruit intensity. There is an extra depth of flavor on the finish that keeps rolling along just when you think it must be finally done. I was really taken by this wine, and as I sat in my chair, I kept looking at the glass and shaking my head in wonderment. Even better the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Similar in some ways to the great 2009 vintage of this wine, but more approachable and elegant in style. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., 50 cases, $55. Release August 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 50% de-stemmed and 50% whole cluster, all fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged sur lie 10 months without racking in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose picks up intensity and interest over time in the glass, slowly revealing attractive aromas of blackberries, black raspberries and candied plum. Intensely fruity on the attack and mid palate, the broad flavors finishing with impressive length. Deep plum and dark berry flavors caressed in supple tannins with a velvety smooth mouth feel. A very subtle stem note in the background disappears and the flavors really blossom the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Give this wine some time in the cellar and you will be a happy camper. Reviewed December 8, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 LaRue Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 139 cases, $60. Aged 17 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An “Oh Man” nose with vibrant aromas of black cherry pie glaze, cranberry relish, spice cabinet and the slightest oak, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Juicy and refined on the palate with a perfectly ripened, dark red cherry core and what seems like whole cluster spice. Slightly earthy with supple tannins, floating over the palate in an ephemeral jaunt, picking up power as it goes until the finish explodes in delightful exuberance. When tasting this one, I had to swallow. Score: 95. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 La Rue Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 47 cases, $N/A (allocation only). Katy’s first vineyard-designated wine. This vineyard is 6-acres located south of the town of Sebastopol. Soils are Goldridge sandy loam and volcanic ash (the ash is unusual for this area). Dijon clones. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak barrels, then aged another year in bottle before release. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A high brow nose featuring scents of cherries jubilee, baking spice and dried rose petals. Charming in every way, with fresh, bright cherry and raspberry flavors accented with spice. Noticeably seamless and elegant with an endlessly long peacock finish that lasts over a minute. Totally amazing and impossible to score. Score: 97. Reviewed May 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir 13.5% alc., pH 3.70, 642 cases, $45. Released November 14, 2013. Harvested November 1, 2011. 30-acre vineyard on a steep south facing slope east of the town of Yamhill. Shallow soils, dense spacing and diverse clonal mix (Pommard, 115, 114, 777 and 667). Best barrels of each harvest. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely, fresh and vibrant aromas of cherry, red raspberry, cherry tart and Christmas spice opening nicely over time in the glass. Round and polished, elegant and restrained, featuring flavors of red berries and cherries and a hint of Moroccan spice and sous bois. Soft, but evident tannins, and nicely integrated acidity. The finish is highly satisfying offering a flourish of spicy cherry fruit. Extraordinary the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A dancing Pinot that is a fabulous food magnet. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 LIOCO Klindt Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.85, TA 0.57, $50. This vineyard is located in the cooler deep end of the Anderson Valley. Sandy clay loam soil with fractured rock. Farmed by Bob and Claudia Klindt. Pommard, 115, 667 and 777 clones co-fermented with wild yeast. 30% whole cluster. Harvest Brix 22.4º. 18-day fermentation, aged 16 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · The nose is exotic and intriguing, featuring aromas of dark red cherries and berries including strawberries, dried rose petals and Nutella spread. Two days later the wine had become even more aromatic, taking on notes of grilled mushrooms with intense scents of spice and bright red fruits. Flat-out delicious on the palate with layers of dark red cherry and berry flavors enhanced with a dollop of exotic spice and toasty oak. The sweet, sappy mid palate attack is attention-grabbing and the finish is fruity and generous. There is a firm backbone of tannin that should integrate with more time in the bottle. A special offering that should age beautifully. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Littorai The Haven Estate Bottled Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $80. · This is a wine that will make you sit up in your chair. The darkest wine of those tasted here with a moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose offers brooding aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, black currant, seasoned oak and forest floor. Delicious, round, polished and sassy with plenty of enticing sappy dark red and black fruit. The velvety mouth feel is quite sensual and the juicy finish leaves the hair stand up on your nape. Terrific the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Littorai B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $75. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The chameleon of a nose unfolds slowly offering a wide array of aromas including black cherry pie glaze, black raspberry jam, tea leaf, smoked bacon, and exotic spices. Quite reserved, offering its charms slowly over time in the glass to reveal a hearty core of black berry and stone fruit flavors enhanced by subtle oak notes. The dry tannins tend to dominate at this young age, but I can see through that as I have drank plenty of bottles of Thieriot Pinot Noir. The big, lengthy peacock finish elevates this wine to another level. In the words of Jan McInerney, “I’m obsessed, crazed with lust, spending ridiculous amounts of money on the object of my desire. Because when she’s good, she’s very, very good.” Score: 95. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Block M Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 53 cases, $60. Release May 2013. The first vintage from a block Rick planted in 2008. It is a 1.25-acre block located on the steepest part of the site and planted to Mt. Eden clone. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of black plum and black grape. Ambrosial core of dark plum, berry and purple grape flavor with appealing hints of iron and spice. The fruit is striking and it carries over to an unbelievably intense and long blackberry-driven finish. The fine-grain tannins are more reserved in this vintage making the wine very approachable. One of the best wines I have had from this vineyard. Reviewed April 13, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.64, 425 cases, $50. Released June 2013. Lone Oak is smallest and northernmost Pinot Noir estate vineyard. The cool 2011 vintage resulted in a relatively small crop, but the grapes that were harvested had greater intensity and concentration. Clones Pommard 5, 667 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, native and proprietary yeasts, aged 13 months in 40% new and 60% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Scandalous aromatics featuring bright aromas of red cherries, raspberries, sandalwood and spice. A chewy wine that you want to nibble with a perfectly ripened array of red stone and berry fruits. Soft and nimble, with delicate dry tannins and a refreshing cut of acidity on the ridiculously long finish. This beauty has the balance that predicts longevity in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Lucienne Smith Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.66, 438 cases, $50. Released June 2013. One of the first vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands and one of the original vineyards of Hahn Estate. It is the southernmost of the vineyards of Lucienne and located at the highest elevation, with the least influence from marine fog. Clones are Mt. Eden, Jardini, Pommard 5 and 2A. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, proprietary yeast, aged 13 months in 42% new and 58% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh black cherries, dark red berries, cardamom spice and a hint of toasty oak. Discreetly concentrated flavors of dark cherries and berries with a complimentary riff of spice and oak. Outstanding harmony, very smooth and sensual, with an appealing cherry tang on the juicy and lengthy finish. The wine continues to pick up charm over time in the glass. Very easy to drink now, but should get even better with another year in bottle. Very impressive, even extraordinary. Score: 95. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Masút Estate Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,041 cases, $40. Low yields, about 2.5 tons per acre. Native and selected yeast fermentations. Aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrels from several coopers. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherries, dark raspberries and a hint of toasty brioche. Very fruity and fragrant. Mid weight flavors of black cherries and raspberries with a touch of spice and a subtle earthy, savory note. Good energy, with mild tannins, bright acidity, and a raspberry-infused finish that slips off the back of the tongue with a lasting impression. Terrific! Reviewed February 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Masút Estate Vineyard Block 1 Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 115 cases, $55. From a 1.86-acre block of 1690 vines of clone 115 planted in 1997 on 104-14 rootstock. Aged 11 months in 100% new Cadus French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of earthy dark red fruits with a touch of red rose floral scent in the background. Impressive attack of mouth coating, silky and well-spiced cherry fruit complimented by perfect oak integration and supple tannins. A dreamy wine of great flavor that displays impeccable balance. Clone 115 is one of the few Dijon clones that can make a great stand-alone wine. Reviewed February 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 McIntyre Vineyards Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.62, 241 cases, $36. From the SIP Certified McIntyre Vineyard. Dijon clone 777 and 115. Indigenous yeast fermentation and indigenous bacteria malolactic fermentation. · Deep, dark purple color in the glass. Very fragrant with intense aromas of blackberry jam, black plum sauce, black currants, spice and darkly colored rose petals. Just gorgeous. Delicious earth bound flavors of black plum, blackberry and black currant with a very subtle citrus note on the finish. Full-bodied, but not heavy or jammy. Very soft and ephemeral in the mouth with gossamer tannins and impeccable balance. This wine really speaks of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Morlet Family Vineyards Coteaux Nobles Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $59. From a hillside vineyard (Coteau) on an eastern slope (Cote) on the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean (Eaux). The Nobles family have farmed this land for four generations. The name then is Nobles Hillsides or Coteaux Nobles. Luc Morlet winemaker and proprietor. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, offering inspirational aromas of fresh boysenberries and seasoned oak. Reasonably concentrated and quite delicious, with virile flavors of black cherries, black cherries and boysenberries. Beautifully put together with silky tannins and a lingering finish. Highly charming on the palate now, but could use more time in bottle for the aromas to catch up to the flavors. Score: 95. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Onward Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 150 cases, $58. 2/3 Pommard and 1/3 115 clones. Yields 1.5 tons per acre. Aged 2 years in bottle. 10-day cold soak, 100% de-stemmed, slightly warm natural yeast fermentation. · This big boy draws you in with hi-tone aromas of black cherry, dark red berry., pomegranate and rose petal. On the palate, the wine is earthbound and deeply flavored with notes of iron complimenting the mid weight, black raspberry, blackberry and pomegranate flavors. There is plenty to discover in this wine, which has firm, chalky tannins and a berry-fueled finish that leaves you begging for more. Score: 94. Reviewed April 20, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Paul Lato “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 175 cases, $70. 50% 115, 30% 667, 20% 777. 70% new French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Always one of my favorite Paul Lato Pinot Noirs and this vintage is no exception. The nose is quite shy, but aromas of black cherries and spice emerge with coaxing. The plush and creamy palate features intensely flavored blueberries and dark stone fruits wrapped in modest tannins. A sexy, wondrous wine that finishes with uncommon length and generosity and mouthwatering acidity. The wine shows amazing fortitude so soon after bottling. Score: 94. Reviewed September 29, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Peter Michael Le Caprice Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $110 (secondary market). Vineyard is located in the Ft. Ross-Seaview AVA. Winemaker Nicolas Morlet. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. This is a sophisticated, polished offering that hits all the right notes. The nose picks up interest over time in the glass exhibiting aromas of black cherry, purple berries, spice, rose petal and vanilla. Delicious mid palate attack of fresh black cherry, black raspberry fruits with a hint of spice and aniselaced oak. There is a nervy minerality in the background which is very appealing. Silky in the mouth, with modest chalky tannins, this elegant wine finishes with an enjoyable nutty cherry note that lingers. This harmonious and almost ephemeral wine drinks so effortlessly, one could easily polish off a bottle without realizing it. Score: 94. Reviewed August 15, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards Cuvée Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $50. Fourth generation Burgundian winemaker Alexandrine Roy joins Phelps Creek in Hood River, Oregon, each fall after placing her Gevrey-Chambertain wines in barrel. This wine is made from a selection of estate fruit. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Elusive aromas upon opening that emerge over time in the glass to reveal scents of cherry, raspberry and vanilla. Intensely flavored on the mid palate and finish exhibiting ripe cherry and raspberry fruits with a little dash of herbs and earth. A striking wine that has the tannins in the forefront at this young age, but is uniquely interesting. The finish is particularly noteworthy for its persistence and charm. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has obvious French breeding and will require patience. Over time, there will be plenty to discover. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards Cuvée Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.8% alc.. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Gorgeous nose filled with bright aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, spice and a hint of toasty oak. Very luscious considering 2011 was a very cool vintage, offering a plethora of dark fruits framed by firm tannins that create a mild astringency on the finish. This wine has a long life ahead. Score: 93-94. Reviewed July 28, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 ROAR Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.58, 641 cases, $52. Pisoni clone harvested at 26.8º Brix.. Aged 11 months in 77% new and 23% 1-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of red and black berry cobbler, black cherries and clove. Delicious core of dark red fruits with a slight savory accent. Full-bodied with a seductively soft texture and very fine tannins. Beautiful integration of oak. A little big and high in alcohol for me personally, but this is a great wine in its style. Garys’ Vineyard seemed to perform beautifully in this vintage. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 ROAR Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.61, 278 cases, $60. Pisoni clone. Aged 11 months in 58% new and 42% 1-year-old French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Wondrous aromas of black stone fruits, potpourri, forest floor and oak. Stunning on entry with copious flavors of dark cherries and berries and Hoison sauce that has real grip. The wine has some structural muscle but is approachable now. A very smooth mouth feel and an intense, peacock tail finish complete the experience. A hosanna to the Pisoni family. Score: 95. Reviewed September 29, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Scherrer ‘Big Brother’ Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 140 cases, $55. Released July 2015. A blend of fruit from a vineyard in Annapolis and one in Bodega. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Charming aromas of cherry, rose, and sous-bois. Intensely flavored yet has the comportment of a ballerina on the palate, with luscious flavors of perfectly ripened dark red cherries and berries wrapped in suave tannins. Impeccably balanced with a charge of cherry extract on the persistent finish. Perfect to drink now, but this wine has the structure and harmony to age beautifully. I recently (mid-2015) consumed a 2007 vintage ‘Big Brother’ and it still had many years of life ahead. Score: 94. Reviewed November 22, 2015 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 scratch KW Ranch Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.65, 35 cases, $45. Pommard 4 and 667 clones. 50% whole cluster. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly scented with aromas of darker berries, savory spices, rose petal and forest floor. Soft and enticing on the palate with a vivid array of dark red cherry and berry flavors that are well spiced and carry over with aplomb on the extended finish. The impeccable balance and drink ability is striking. Tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more appealing. My wife was gaga over this wine and she is more picky about Pinot Noir than I. Score: 95. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Siduri Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

235 cases, $48. Adjacent Garys’ Vineyard but rows are oriented differently so the winds pass through the vineyard more evenly and because it is more fertile, the vines are planted closer together. Fourth leaf. Pisoni selection, and 667. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark currants, ripe plum and brandied raisins. Delicious and harmonious, with gorgeous flavors of black plum and blackberries with a note of spice and citrus in the background. The fruit really sparkles in this wine and lasts and lasts on the finish that offers a teasing hint of spice and mocha. Spectacular the following day from a previously opened and closed bottle showing an Elvis on velvet mouth feel. A complete wine that is very refined and sophisticated and clearly the jewel of this vintage for Siduri. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Siduri Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 419 cases, $52. Grapes picked prior to October rains. Pisoni selection on two rootstocks. Some whole cluster. Aged 14 months prior to bottling. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose explodes upon opening with fresh cherry aroma and hints of spice, herbs and redwood. On the palate, the layers of flashy cherry and raspberry fruit really draw your attention and hold it through a finish like a three hour movie you don’t want to end. Spend some quality time wi