Top Ten Pinot Noirs of 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year. I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.

2012 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

Nice to be able to try this with a bit of age on it.  Deeper cherry red in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherry lozenges, slight mushrooms and dust.  On the palate, this has a full bodied, juicy texture.  Cherry candies/lozenges.  The bottle lists 14.6% abv but it seems higher both in texture and warmth on the finish.  That said, this is enjoyable and probably better as a cocktail than at the dinner table.  It could probably hold up with a grilled steak.  It probably should be drunk in the next few years.  

2017 Landmark Pinot Noir Hop Kiln Estate, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a pretty classic RRV Pinot Noir.  It skirts the line between elegance and brawn nicely.  A nice value for a Pinot Noir of this quality.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has sour cherries, slight root beer, and baking spices.  Really a great texture.  Creamy but with some cut to it.  It dances on the palate which has plenty of cherry fruit and sunshine.  Slight char note underlying the fruit.  Nice finish.  This is young and needs some cellaring or air.  It unwinds a bit in the glass but gives the impression of more to come.  It should be cellared for three to five more ye

2018 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Overlook, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

This is the base Pinot from Landmark.  It sources grapes from Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then spends 10 months in 25% new French oak.  Stylistically it is middle of the road with more elegance but still lots of sunshine.  Cherry red in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with a bit of smoke and cherries at first but lightens with air to show some pretty strawberries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the strawberries come thru.  Nice acidity.  Turning more to tart black cherries on the finish.  There is some depth.  This i

2008 Sineann Pinot Noir Wy'east, USA, Oregon, Columbia Gorge, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is really drinking in a great place right now.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has sour cherries, slight spice, slight cherries and just a bit of earthiness.  On the palate, this  is juicy with a smooth texture.  Layers of sour cherries and cherries with a bit of earthiness.  Long finish.  This is probably at peak but should easily be at this level for another five to seven years before slowly going downhill.  A great match with roasted fowl but drinks well on its own too.  

2017 Landmark Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, USA, California, Monterey, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a surprisingly big and bold Pinot Noir.  The surprise is more that it is from the Santa Lucia Highlands.  The vines were planted in 2008.  Although 2017 wasa bit lighter of a vintage in Sonoma/Napa, it would appear that down in Monterey, there was no issue in getting fruit ripe.  Certainly not for this wine.  It has a very pretty ruby/garnet color.  Clear and bright.  The nose shows coffee, black cherries, and a slight rhubarb.  With air a bit of brown sugar emerges.  On the palate, this is full bodied with light tannins.  It has juicy red berries.  There is some oak coming thru as

2016 Winderlea Vintage Sparkling Brut, USA, Oregon, Willamette, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

This is the inaugural vintage for this wine.  A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir.  The dosage (added sugar) was 4g/l which is very low.  Light silvery golden in color with a fine line of tiny bubbles.  The nose is expressive.  Very clean with pears, slight lanolin, lemon curd and yeast with underlying slight nuttiness and a hint of smoke.  On the palate, this has a nice crispness.  Light strawberries with more profound lemon cream along with a slight nuttiness.  There is some orange rind on the finish.  Clean and deep, it is tight in the glass.  No guess as to how it ages balancin

2012 Sineann Pinot Noir Resonance Vineyard, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Sineann makes some of the bolder Pinot's in Oregon, but they age beautifully.  In fact, if the style on release is too big for your tastes, just hold onto them.  At age eight, this one is somewhere in between.  It is drinking beautifully if not yet at peak.  Deep ruby in color with some purple swirls.  The nose has black cherries, sour cherries, spice and just the slightest bit of earthy funk starting to develop.  On the palate, this drinks younger.  Lots of cherries and slight sour cherries with just a bit of underlying earthiness.  Tight at first, it unwinds in the glass.  Great mouthfeel

2018 Hess Central Coast Pinot Noir, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This is a value drive Pinot Noir from one of the longtime California wineries.  Ruby in color with slight purple swirls.  On the nose this has cherries, sour cherries, slight hay/earthiness to it.  On the palate, this is ripe, slightly sweet Pinot Noir.  Big cherry fruit.  A bit of underlying cola flavors.  A soft texture.  Light tannins.   Slight bitter note on the finish.

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