Category Archives: 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

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

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

Williams Selyem Pinot Noir 2006

SONOMA COAST | CALIFORNIA | $46
Superbly integrated with subtle boysenberry, cherry and mature, nearly overripe strawberry, and notes of cedar, moist earth and cola. Complex fruit and savory notes neatly interweave, producing a fabric of inseparable flavors. Velvety texture gently massages the palate and natural acidity adds buoyancy. She’s mature, yet vivacious as ever, with a joie de vivre many, perhaps years younger, openly envy. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 8/3/14)

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

Baileyana Pinot Noir ‘La Entrada’ 2012

EDNA VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $33
Blackberry and purple plum with complex flavors of tar, caramel, Mission fig, bay and forest floor. Medium bodied, muscular and deep — a fairly big Pinot but well balanced with nice fruit and soil integration and refreshing highlights. A real man without a need to prove it — it’s what George Clooney has all over, say Arnold Schwarzenegger. A very good wine. (Reviewed 7/27/14)

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

Bishop’s Peak Pinot Noir 2012

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $20
Red plum and raspberry fruit with notes of sweet earth, coffee and verbena. Light-medium bodied — almost lean — focused and refreshing with nice, natural acidity showing through. She plays to her strengths, errs little and succeeds wildly. A good wine and at $20 a superb everyday Pinot bargain. (Reviewed 7/11/14)

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Filed under $20 and less, California, Pinot Noir