Category Archives: $21 to $50

Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard 2011

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $36
Red cherry and roasted plum fruit showing notes of leather, violets, cacao, sage, black cardamom and a hint of orange peel. A vigorous wine brimmed with flavor, medium bodied, full for a Pinot, nicely complex and superb fruit-savory integration. Super satisfying and thoughtful — altogether enjoyable. He’s a complex, soft-spoken gent who gets things done — he tells it like it is, and the results, they speak for themselves. A very good wine. (Reviewed 9/13/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Pinot Noir

Tolosa Pinot Noir Estate 2012

EDNA VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $32
Cherry, strawberry and cranberry with accents of rhubarb, cola, oak and soil. Complex, well integrated with thoughtful interplay. An entirely enjoyable wine: light-medium bodied, full flavors, forward fruit, solid structure, velvet texture. “Good natured, by and large,” as he puts it, and that has made Mr. Hanks the most likable in Hollywood — who can disagree? A very good wine. (Reviewed 9/13/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Pinot Noir

Cristom Pinot Noir ‘Mt. Jefferson Cuvée’ 2011

WILLAMETTE VALLEY | OREGON | $27
Subdued cherry and red currant fruit with subtle notes of redwood, camphor and orange peel with a wisp of petroleum. Medium bodied, lightly flavored, evenly balanced with a perk of acidity and drying green tannins on the finish. A stoic wine, brooding, perhaps contemplative. We have here Walter White before Heisenberg. A good wine. (Reviewed 9/13/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Oregon, Pinot Noir

Domaine de Terrebrune Rose 2012

BANDOL | FRANCE | $29
Barely-there salmon-pink color with light fruit flavors of pink grapefruit guava, pear and watermelon, plus notes of hibiscus, savory, coin minerals and lemon zest. Complex yet subtle, quaffable yet thought provoking — here’s a wine for the hoi palloi and bougouis alike. She plays in a Czech folk band alongside grizzled gents twice and three times her age and girth, and holds together rhythm and melody with virtuositic prowess wielding a contemporary bass guitar amongst others’ vintage-relic instruments. 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault. A very good wine. (Reviewed 9/13/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, France, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir ‘La Bage Au-dessus’ 2009

SANTA MARIA VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $30
Mature strawberry fruit with rhubarb and black cherry notes, plus satisfying earthy flavors of cedar, nutmeg, cardamom and sweet, damp soil. A suede-like texture gently massages the palate with a well-integrated blend of fruit and savory. Svelte in profile, reserved in nature, yet superbly complex with seemingly effortless balance. The decadent party up above, indeed. A very good wine. (Reviewed 8/15/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Pinot Noir, Uncategorized

Flying Goat Pinot Noir Salsbury Vineyards 2009

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $38
Ripe black cherry and fresh strawberry fruit with rhubarb, forest floor, cola and aromatic bitters. Light-medium bodied, full flavored, nicely integrated and quite complex. Easy-but-present acidity and a delightful fruit-savory interplay makes this a supurb food-friendly wine as well as one to be enjoyed alone. Spins, leaps and bounds — this goat flies. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 8/23/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Pinot Noir

Mueller Pinot Noir ‘Tempi’ 2010

RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $48
Deep yet soft cherry fruit with notes of plum, allspice, cedar and forest floor. Medium bodied with chamois smoothness and a touch of palate-massaging grain. Well-integrated complex flavors provoke contemplation yet deliver easily accessible satisfaction for everyone. It’s a classic. A “thinker,” indeed; Auguste Rodin would be proud. A very good wine. (Reviewed 7/11/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Pinot Noir

Anglim ‘Cameo’ 2010

CENTRAL COAST | CALIFORNIA | $24
Pear and white grape with notes of grapefruit, jasmine and stony minerals. Delicately flavored, slightly floral and balanced with intricate interplay between fruit, soil and acidity. Very easy drinking. But no small-roll performer, she; we have a player, albeit one less recognized. 48% Grenache Blanc, 47% Viognier, 5% Rousanne. A good wine and a real value. (Reviewed 8/10/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Vigonier | Rousanne | Marsanne

Ken Brown Pinot Noir 2011

SANTA RITA HILLS | CALIFORNIA | $42
Black cherry and purple plum with notes of blackberry, forest floor, cola, cacao and graphite. Medium bodied, lush but not racey, complex and well balanced with a silky smooth texture. The beauty is the restraint. Every sublime note adds to the whole. It’s the composer here, not the musicians, showing mastery — a symphony not an orchestra. Sourced from Rio Vista, Rita’s Crown and La Rinconada Vineyards. A very, very good, near excellent wine. (Reviewed 8/10/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Pinot Noir

Joseph Swan Pinot Noir Saralee’s Vineyard 2010

RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $39
Raspberry, cranberry and and mature strawberry fruit with rhubarb, cedar and a faint, pleasant hint of mineral spirits. Light bodied but quite cloudy — a visual putoff for some; however, not this reviewer. Finishes bright and tart, complimenting fat- and protein-rich foods. Present tannins bring structure, and there’s a nice chamois-like texture with some tooth. But it’s the fruit, and the accompanying acidity, that rule the day. Unassuming, perhaps forgettable by appearance, but oh what expression — she can sing — Susan Boyle definitely has talent. A very good wine. (Reviewed 8/10/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Pinot Noir