Balletto Pinot Noir 2016, Russian River Valley$34.00
Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2016 exhibits everything you would expect from a serious pinot. It combines full and captivating aromatics with a delicate texture that defines the Balletto style of Pinot Noir. The wine itself is full of contradictory forces: it’s weighty with a luscious mid-palate, but also surrounded by notable tannins and acidity that keep it focused, balanced and taut. It has plenty of dark fruit, but it’s also layered with savory earth and spices that offset it. The overall impact is complex, impressive and delicious. The 2016 Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was grown on seven different estate pinot vineyards. The sites range from quiet rolling hills to steep and cold hillside plantings. This diverse combination adds distinct elements from each site and creates a complex wine with structure and grace.
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 2017, 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 2017, 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.
Beresini Pinot Noir 2014, Black Dog Ranch, Carneros$42.00
The delicious 2014 Pinot Noir Wine Carneros, Napa Valley is made from 3 clones of Pinot Noir – the Swann clone, the Calera clone and the Martini clone. The Beresini 2014 Pinot Noir shows classic Carneros Pinot notes of red cherry, earth and cranberry. This wine is medium weight with crisp acidity and bright red fruits followed by earthy/mint tones.
Champ de Reves Pinot Noir 2014, Anderson Valley$42.00
As a winegrowing region, there is no other Pinot Noir AVA in America that has more potential than Anderson Valley in Mendocino. The features of the valley are a Mecca for the cultivation of Pinot: here one finds daily, cooling maritime influence, dramatic geological contours with high mountains on either side of the valley, rocky soils and a mix of classic California flora and trees. The Champ de Reves spectacular vineyard is perched high above Boonville in the hills of Anderson Valley, just 18 miles from the Pacific coastline. Boone Ridge is a veritable aerie, with sweeping views of the valley below. A wide array of aspects in the vineyard creates multiple mesoclimates, each displaying unique characteristics as these relatively young vines continue to age.
The Champ de Reves 2014 Pinot Noir shows vibrant blueberry-strawberry fruit intertwined with aromas of dark-red rose, maple, licorice, and toasted hazelnut. On the palate, juicy raspberry, dark cocoa, and pennyroyal flavors emerge. Delicately-balanced acidity and crystalline minerality lead into a firmly structured finish.
Domaine Drouhin Cuvee Laurene Pinot Noir 2015, 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 2015 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.
Dutton Estate Pinot Noir 2015, Karmen Isabella, Russian River$40.00
Vintage to vintage consistency and representing the Russian River Valley terroir are the hallmarks of the Dutton Estate Karmen Isabella Pinot Noir 2015. Beginning with a red brilliant hue in the glass, you’ll be further enticed by the intense aromas of raspberry, Bing cherry, tart cranberry, and delicate rose petals. The entry is bright and supple with red currant and wild strawberries intermingling with pomegranate, plum, and orange rind. The finish is long with a kiss of French vanilla. Enjoy it now or store for the next four to seven years. 1026 cases produced. 92 Points – Planet Grape, Publisher’s Pick and California Grapevine – “Fragrant, floral, seductive, bright, raspberry and cherry fruit aroma with hints of rose petals and Asian spices; medium body, crisp, elegant, nicely balanced, red fruit flavors with bright acidity and a silky mouthfeel. Very highly recommended.”
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!
Flowers Pinot Noir 2017, Russian River$59.00
The Flowers Russian River Pinot Noir 2017 features aromas and flavors of red cherry and cassis with layered notes of baking spice, savory herbs and dried rose hips. The flavors are elevated on the palate by bright acidity and fine tannins.
“Exotic aromas of ripe strawberries and orange peel with hints of foie gras and crushed stone. Full bodied, dense and tight with firm and chewy tannins that are slightly austere, providing form and structure. Give this time to soften, but it already shows energy.” 94 Points James Suckling
“Rich and plush, with floral notes to the ripe dark plum and wild berry flavors. Medium-grained tannins show on finish, which is filled with decadent Asian spice details. Drink now through 2023.” 92 Points, Wine Spectator.
Foxen Pinot Noir Block 8 2016, 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 2016 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 2016 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
Hanna Pinot Noir 2017, Russian River
HANNA Winery was founded in 1985 by Dr. Elias Hanna, a world famous cardiac surgeon, who was eager to find a place in the country to continue the farming heritage of his upbringing. His daughter, Christine Hanna, took over management of the winery in 1991, and guided the winery’s expansion to become an iconic producer of Sauvignon Blanc, as well as handcrafted estate grown Burgundy and Bordeaux varieties.
Brilliant garnet in the glass with aromas of baked cherry, hazelnut, sassafras and pennyroyal. The Hanna 2017 Pinot Noir offers flavors of white raspberry, a turn of spring earth and fresh truffle. Seamless, lively and rich on the palate, it finishes with luxurious length.
It boasts a surprisingly deep ruby/purple color, lots of spicy black cherry fruit, medium to full body, and lovely texture as well as length. It is another excellent wine from HANNA.
Gold Medal Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Hartford Court Land’s Edge PInot Noir 2015, 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 2015 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.