Banshee Pinot Noir 2016$30.00
This is the most important wine in the Banshee lineup, and they treat it as such. The 2016 edition is an exciting, yet friendly wine, bursting at the seams with aromas of macerated wild berries and an elegant, soft earth undertone. The flavors combine both sweet and tart, reminiscent of Santa Rosa plums and wild blackberries that grow so commonly in Sonoma Wine Country. The finish is bright, slightly herbal, and savory making this an excellent food wine, as well as a charming drinking experience by itself.
Belle Glos Pinot Noir 2016, Los Alturas Vineyards, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA$55.00
Probably better known for their wildly popular Meiomi Pinot Noir, Belle Glos makes a wonderful single vineyard Pinot from the Los Alturas Vineyard in the Santa Lucia appellation. Located in one of the highest-plantable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, this pristine bench offers the Las Alturas Vineyard cool, coastal days with consistent sunshine and a foundation of Gloria sandy loam soil. When planting this 15-acre vineyard, they matched various Pinot Noir clones to individual slopes and soil attributes of the land. Yields are deliberately kept low in order to preserve the fruit intensity these clonal choices provide. The Belle Glos Pinot Noir 2016, Los Alturas Vineyard starts off with a deep ruby red color and intriguing aromas of sun-warmed blackberries, ripe plums, with hints of black licorice. A complexity of dark berry fruits unfold on the palate; blackberries and bing cherries along with dark chocolate flavors. Vanilla and cedar oak undertones on the mid-palate further enhance the wine. The overall impression is rich with refined tannins, firm acidity and explosive layers of ripe fruit.
Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2013, Stanly Ranch$58.00
Cherry Pie is another innovative offering from visionary winemaker Jayson Woodbridge, creator of Hundred Acre and Layer Cake Wines. Jayson sought out the owners of Stanly Ranch, on the Napa side of the Los Carneros appellation – their grapes were some of the most sought after Pinot Noir grapes in California. Then, in early 2008 while perusing New York’s Soho District, Jayson happened upon the Campton Gallery during its exhibition of paintings by artist TR Colletta. Like TR Colletta’s art, Jayson’s art is evocative, complex, textural and fundamentally American. His Cherry Pie Pinot Noirs are dazzling in their rich, layered, sensory excellence and are redolent of the flavors and aromas of something delicious baking in a warm kitchen – comforting, inviting, and with their rich, dense, dark fruit flavors.
The 2013 Stanly Ranch is blockbuster Los Carneros Pinot Noir. Saturated ruby hue, concentrated black cherry and red fruit aromas introduce a full creamy palate. Layers upon layers of fresh red fruit, strawberry jam, cocoa and toast. Mouthwatering, ripe red fruit and buttery vanilla linger on the palate. Beautifully textured and ready to enjoy.
Domaine Drouhin Cuvee Laurene Pinot Noir 2014, Dundee, Willamette Valley, Oregon$75.00
French Soul, Oregon Soil. That's how Domaine Drouhin characterizes itselt. Their estate winery in the Dundee Hills of Oregon, creates elegant, fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines forged from the family's tradition of fine winemaking in France. Named after Véronique Drouhin's elder daughter, Laurène is their flagship wine, and is produced entirely from Pinot Noir grown on the family's estate in the Dundee Hills.In recent years, Laurène has been named one of the “Great Wines of America” by Paul Lukacs in his book of the same name and “perennially one of Oregon's best wines” by Portland Monthly Magazine. The 2014 Laurène is an essay in balance. Its color is both brilliant red and deep ruby. The nose is baked fig, rhubarb and pomegranate. On the palate, the texture is both light & viscous, with mouth coating tannins, and flavors of spice & ripe raspberries with a touch of tartness. The exceptionally long finish leaves you with sweet, lush fruit & wonderfully bright layers. While intensely woven now, a couple years of cellaring, or decanting, will reveal silk, elegance and an expressive depth of texture. Enjoy now, and over the next 8-10 years.
Fiddlehead Pinot Noir “Seven Twenty-Eight” 2013, Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Santa Barbara USA$44.00
Named after the mile marker of the Estate Fiddlestix Vineyard, 7.28, on Santa Rosa Road, which is smack dab in the middle of the glorious Santa Rita Hills AVA and sandwiched by the Santa Rosa Hills to the south and the Santa Rita Hills to the north. This wine reflects the cool climate influence on Fiddlestix fruit and is a blend of all six clones planted in this Vineyard. The terroir always gives forth to great color, fabulous spicy aromatics, broad textures, a juicy mid-palate and sassy acidity, and produces a wine saturated with the essence of smoky, black cherry cola. It's incredibly true to Pinot noir, true to its roots and always aged in the bottle prior to release for your ultimate enjoyment. Fiddlestix Vineyard delivers every time!
Foxen Pinot Noir Block 8 2014, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley$68.00
Rich nose; smooth and silky juicy bing cherries and raspberry; mellow, lush and ripe with tangy acidity and lovely structure; elegant, long and racy with a long, pure finish. An incredible, profound Pinot Noir, Foxen's 2014 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Block 8 was completely destemmed and aged 17 months in 50% new French oak. Its deep ruby color is followed by sensational notes of sweet cherries, black raspberries, crushed flowers and a touch of licorice. Medium to full-bodied, layered and multi-dimensional, with seamless texture, this is California Pinot Noir at its finest. Drink it any time over the coming 7-8 years. “A powerful, structured wine, the 2014 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Block 8 is literally bursting at the seams with explosive energy. A host of savory herbs, smoke, licorice and tobacco open up in the glass, but this is a wine to put a way for a few years, as the elements still need time to come together. The firm, grippy finish and the wine's overall delineation are both striking.” — Antonio Galloni – 95 points
Hartford Court Land’s Edge PInot Noir 2014, Russian River, CA$56.00
Land's Edge Pinot Noir is a classic “True” Sonoma Coast multi-vineyard Pinot Noir blend from stunningly beautiful, mostly estate vineyards that overlook the cool Pacific Ocean coastline. This wine has a floral, raspberry and black cherry scented bouquet complemented by balanced oak and broad, deep and rich cola, earth and spice notes in the finish. “The 2014 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards is soft, open and expressive, all of which suggest it is best enjoyed over the next few years. Dark red cherry, plum, spice and a hint of new oak meld together on the supple finish. The Land's Edge is a blend of fruit from Far Coast and Seascape, and is a great introduction to the house style.” Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate. 92 Points.
Hartford Court PInot Noir 2015, Russian River, CA$43.00
This Hartford Court Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 is fruit forward, spicy, earthy and supple – sourced from estate owned vineyards in Green Valley and grower owned vineyards in the Sebastopol Hills and Laguna Ridge sub-regions of Russian River Valley. Complex aromas of ripe cherries, violets and cedar are followed by flavors of perfectly ripe, firm black cherries, mixed red and black berries. Allspice and coffee notes complement a long, multi-faceted finish in this exciting, new Hartford Court Pinot Noir! 90 Points Outstanding – California Grapevine.
Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Pinot Noir 2013$43.00
Wild strawberry jam aromatics with smoky, briary and raspberry flavors, finished with a burst of blueberry. Cultivated on Mendocino County's Anderson Valley’s high eastern ridge, this remote vineyard is full of chunky, broken rock in thin, powdery soil similar to a Goldridge classification. The Jackson Estate Outland Ridge 2013 Pinot Noir's vines strain to cling to the ridgelines yet produce deep profoundly complex and age worthy wines.
Locations OR Pinot Noir$23.00
Naturally, Dave Phinney's first endeavor in Oregon had to be Pinot Noir. With a climate and soil profile ideally suited to the notoriously fussy varietal, they sought out the best region – the Willamette Valley. Graceful hillside slopes, ruddy volcanic dirt, and optimal diurnal swings provided spectacular fruit come harvest. Vivid red with a deep purple core, the nose is generous with ripe cherry, black raspberry, acacia flowers, and hint of forest floor. Immediately, the palate is treated to a textural mélange of sweet cherry, pomegranate, rose petal, and sappy strawberry. A lively mid-palate reveals a mineral twist and exotic spice notes juxtaposed with fine tannins and superb clarity on the finish.
Malm Cellars Pinot Noir 2014, Sonoma Coast, CA USA$27.00
Malm Cellars has become one of Sonoma County's best kept secrets! Nearly every activity here including vineyard management, crafting, production, and product distribution, revolves around one man, ex-Sonoma State soccer star turned winemaker, Brendan Malm. Malm's wines quickly exploded onto the oenophile stage, when a bottle drawn from his first barrel captured gold medal honors at the prestigious Orange County Fair. Fifteen years later, Malm Cellars wines are sought after by collectors and connoisseurs alike. The 2014 Sonoma County Pinot Noir is primarily from a vineyard high up on Sonoma Mountain. A mix of clones 115, 667 and 777 only add layers to this bottling making it one of my best values to date. Hand sorted in the vineyard at the winery allowed them to bring in only the best fruit. The wine was aged on the lees for 6 months. During barrel aging, the lees were stirred every two weeks to enhance the rich, round character of the wine. After 2 1/2 years on French Oak this wine was gently bottled. Inky and intense, positively bursting with the flavor of blueberries and blackberries in a tightly knit package. Enjoy the exotic spices in the aroma that carry through on the palate. Ripe, but not overripe, this is a luscious Pinot for anyone who appreciates something with more acidity and grace than the typical fruit bomb. Only 625 cases made.
Miura Pinot Noir 2015, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA$32.00
Born in the United States, but raised in Spain and England, Emmanuel Kemiji is a graduate of the University of California at Davis. After a remarkable career as a Master Sommelier, Emmanuel Kemiji took his passion for wine to the vineyards in 1995.The name Miura is derived from Don Eduardo Miura, the most famous breeder of Spanish fighting bulls and a name synonymous with nobility, boldness, and power. The Miura Pinot Noir 2015 bottle is unique, sporting an etched image of a red-eyed bull rather than a paper label. From the Mission Ranch we get an extremely luscious and full-bodied fruit that oozes with strawberry and raspberry fruit. From the cooler Silacci Vineyard we get a more perfumed and brighter fruit with pleasant earth tones underneath.