2014 Littorai Pinot Noir Platt Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

One of the best "Classic" producers of California Pinot Noir.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, cherry blossoms, spice, slight fennel and char.  Medium bodied.  Light tannins.  Great acidity.  At age ten, this is getting close to mature but still very fresh, vibrant fruit.  Flavors of cherries, black cherries, spice and slight rose notes.  Long finish.  This should have another five to eight more years before it slowly fades.  Great with some cheeses, this will work on its own, but better with food.  A nice choice would a creamy Mushroom Chicken

2002 Sineann Pinot Noir Resonance Vineyard, USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2002
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Nice to revisit this.  The vineyard is now owned by Louis Jadot (of Burgundy fame) but for many years, this was the top wine in the Sineann portfolio and 2002 was as good as it gets.  Now, at age 22, this wine was brilliant.  Deep garnet with slight purple swirls in color, no signs of browning, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, slight sour cherries, spices, sandalwood, slight earthiness and slight char.  Deep and complex.  Medium to full bodied.  Light remnants of tannins left.  Great balance.  On the palate, this is deep, layered and complex.  Plenty of fresh cherries, some

2019 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard, USA, Oregon, McMinnville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

Consumed over two days, this was better on day 2.  Momtazi is an interesting vineyard with a bit different profile than most Oregon Pinot Noir vineyards.  It seems to produce bigger wines with a few different qualities such as coffee, char and dry forest floor when young.  Ruby/Purple in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has black cherries, plums, coffee beans and char.  On day 2, more red fruit cam out along with a bit of forest floor - dry leaves.  Medium bodied.  Light tannins.  Good balance.  The palate has black cherry flavors.  On day 2 there were also some red cherries and a

2009 Frédéric Magnien Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Great showing for this.  At age 15, it is still youthful but showing some tertiary development.  For Burgundy, this is on the bigger, more powerful side.  deep ruby in color with some purple swirls, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, cherries, spices, and slight earthiness.  Full bodied.  Light but present tannins.  Great balance.  On the palate, this is delicious with cherries, black cherries and spice.  Long finish.  Showing depth and complexity that will no doubt emerge over the next decade or more.  Great on its own, this would be very nice with a plate of

1996 Jean Raphet et fils Charmes-Chambertin, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1996
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Burgundy is not the "mine field" it used to be but back when this wine was released, every bottle and most producers seemed like a crap shoot.  Opening this bottle certainly had me concerned, but I need not have been.  It showed very well and at least equaled my highest hopes.  Better than a very good bottle opened about six months ago.

Calera 2021 Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir, Jensen Vineyard

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

Calera is unique in that it is not in the typical Pinot Noir growing regions in California – it is unto itself. Therefore, the wines coming from here offer a unique perspective. The acidity and minerality along with earthy volcanic soil and higher elevation growing makes these interesting wines. The Jensen Vineyard Pinot offers black cherry, strawberry, lingonberry, light huckleberry and blueberry fruit notes. Additionally there are light notes of pomegranate, sandalwood, Douglas fir, candied almond and Rainer cherry.

Rhys 2021 Pinot Noir, Alpine Vineyard

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

As the name suggests, this Pinot grows at an average elevation of 1,300 feet, a scant 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. There’s a wonderful rustic quality to this, given that the Santa Cruz Mountain are comprised of ancient soils. The fruit is restrained, more earthy and mineral driven, just the sort of style that works well with a variety of different foods. Yes, there is black cherry, pomegranate, huckleberry, but also a light dried raisin note. There as also great acidity, a whisper of candied almond, sandalwood, resin and boysenberry.

Kosta Browne 2021 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

The allure of Kosta Browne wines has been that, though they are very expressive wines, they are subtle. Shunning the in-your-face-Pinot-with-a-dash-of-Syrah, these wines are meant to reflect the place where they are grown, and the proof of this is that they taste like it. To further this point I received five Pinot Noirs to sample and opened one blind and tasted it. My first thought this was Sonoma Coast, and after looking at the label, it was.

Rhys 2021 Pinot Noir, Bearwallow Vineyard

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

With vineyards in both Santa Cruz and Mendocino counties, Rhys can pull from a variety of sources to make a variety of Pinot Noir. With Bearwallow, their vineyard in the Anderson Valley, there is a delicate and quite lovely feel to this – something as smooth as silk. The softness texturally belies its layered complexity. Yes there is the requisite black cherry, boysenberry, loganberry and light strawberry, but there is also black tea leaf, light resin and sandalwood.

Whitehall Lane 2020 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Stage Vineyard, Petaluma Gap

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

As Pinot Noir goes, this is quite simply a very pretty wine. Sure, that’s not the sort of descriptor that most reviews use, but it is accurate. Subtle, soft, almost subversive, this is a Pinot that doesn’t announce itself, it doesn’t brag, it simply waits in the glass for you to try it. There is noticeable but subdued fruit; black cherry, pomegranate, Rainer cherry, light strawberry, pomegranate but they are wonderfully melded together so that nothing stands out – except for the quality of the wine in your glass at that moment.

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