10th Pinot Noir Shootout Results
Scores: Men Judges Bang for your Buck

10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout Results
Scores: Women Judges
Scores: Women Judges Bang for Your Buck
Scores: Men Judges
Scores: Men Judges Bang for Your Buck
Blanc de Noirs and Brut Rosés

heartheartheartheart = Love at First Sip = Gold Medal

Angeline 2010 Pinot Noir


Russian River Valley, $16.00

6000 cases produced
(91) Pink


Male: Beautiful oak and floral character on the nose with cherry and cola coming in as the wine opens. Strawberry, rhubarb, pomegranate, and bacon on the palate. Crisp acid. Soft tannins. Well-balanced. Great finish.

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs
Carneros, $20.00

Male: An elegant combination of fruit and yeasty lees combine with strawberry and brioche flavors with a touch of orange peel. Finishes with crisp acidity and lingering fruit flavors.
Gruet Rose Brut
Lower Rio Grande Valley, $13.75

Male: The inviting aromatics tell me this was crafted and aged over an extended period. The palate is broad showing strawberry and cherry. The finish is crisp and dry. Nice!
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $15.00

5600 cases produced
Male: Nose of cherry pie, vanilla, cola, and light toast. Subtle lively palate of stone fruit, cherry and spice. Gets spicier and opens up as the wine opens. Lovely mouth feel. Much more than the nose hinted. Well integrated acids. Silky texture. Cherry vanilla finish. Very nice structure.
Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir


Central Coast, $19.99

26000 cases produced
(91) Tan


Male: Light aromatics of black tea. Cassis and more black tea on the palate. Excellent structure… Expansive and long.

Angeline 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir
Sonoma-Mendocino-Santa Barbara Counties, $16.00

45000 cases produced
Male: Muted cherry nose with a rich velvety mouth showing nice elegant cherry fruit. The wine is silky smooth with light earth tones that show through on the finish.
Freixenet Elyssia Brut Pinot Noir
Cava, Spain, $18.00

2480 cases produced
Male: Riper strawberry notes with lemon peel on the nose are followed by a solid red fruit core which balances nicely with just enough zesty acidity on the finish.
Gruet 2009 Pinot Noir
Lower Rio Grande Valley, $18.00

Male: Lush fruit flavors of black cherry and blueberry with lovely violet accents. Gorgeous fruit on the mid-palate.The flavors are enhanced by light Earth and truffle accents. Light tannins. Firm acidity.
Hahn Winery 2010 Pinot Noir
Monterey, $12.00

50000 cases produced
Male: The aromas are ripe and rich showing concentrated red raspberry and black cherry. The fruit is delivered onto the palate where it is joined by a myriad on other red, blue, and black fruit flavors. Exotic spice elements mid and earthy elements late make this a very interesting and desirable wine. Nice acidity completes the package. “Obviously a cool climate wine.”
Harlow Ridge 2010 Pinot Noir


Lodi, $10.99

12500 cases produced
(90) Orange


Male: Blueberry, peppermint, strawberry, caramel, and sandalwood opening through the finish. Good acid. Good weight.

Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $13.99

13000 cases produced
Male: The aromas and flavors are in perfect balance showing ripe strawberries, red raspberries and black cherry balanced with nice spice elements and earth notes. Well crafted.
Laurier 2007 Pinot Noir


Los Carneros, $19.99

1500 cases produced
(90) Mint Green


Male: Really nice rich nose! Fascinating variety of aromas and flavors…strawberry, rhubarb, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, bubblegum, and a touch of earth. Vibrant acidity. “It comes at you like a pointillist painting, but the whole is pleasing.”

Leucadia Red 2009 Pinot Noir
Sonoma County, $20.00

700 cases produced
Male: Straightforward. Good cherry and sugar cookies in the nose and in the mouth. “A bargain if it’s under $25.00”
Lucas & Lewellen 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $20.00

3986 cases produced
Male: Intense layers of candied cherry, rhubarb, cocoa powder, mulberry, and dried spices on nose. Strawberry, cherry, rhubarb, mushroom, and meadow herbs show on the complex palate with a smooth complex finish.
Picket Fence 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $17.99

12000 cases produced
Male: Crimson in color with light ruby orange rim. Herbs, cherry and red plum with clove and white pepper spice back notes on the nose. Good mix of ripe fruit and lush oak from entry into a smooth finish.
Segura Viudas Aria Brut Pinot Noir
Cava, Spain, $12.00

850 cases produced
Male: A deep rose color with a slight orange tint. Rhubarb and cherry aromas lead to a palate framed by red fruit and slightly sweet cranberry. A well balanced long finish
Seven Devils 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $20.00

1440 cases produced
Male: Nice aromatics of red plums, cherries, and cinnamon. Cherries and blackberry on the palate. Medium tannins. Good balance.
Tondre 2009 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir


Santa Lucia Highlands

??? cases produced
(90) Yellow


Male: Dark cherry, chocolate, and raspberry pie with cedar notes on the nose. The palate is complete and pleasing. Delicate and velvety. Great finish. Pork loin with plum sauce the perfect complement.

heartheartheart = An Affair to Remember = Silver Medal

Cline Cellars 2009 Cool Climate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $17.99

5329 cases produced
Male: The nose is tight at first opening to red berries with vanilla and baking spice. The palate opens slowly too revealing red fruit enhanced with earth notes. A lovely mineral edge creeps in on the finish.
Dancing Coyote Wines 2010 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
Clarksburg, California, $12.99

1274 cases produced
Male: Raspberry and vanilla notes on the nose lead to spice, vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry flavors. Nice oak integration. Very interesting.
Villa Maria Estate 2010 Private Bin Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $20.00

4000 cases produced
Male: The nose is elusive showing a touch of cherry, cola and spice that are replicated on the palate. The oak is subtle but deft showing throughout the long finish.
Barefoot Cellars Pinot Noir
California, $6.99

700000 cases produced
Male: Blueberry, rhubarb, beets, plums, and cola aromas. The palate is soft and ripe with a nice oaky element. Nice wine.
Big Vine Wines 2009 Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande, $14.00

2300 cases produced
Male: Leather, Bing cherry, cola, and tea leaf aromas. The mid-palate is delicious and finessed.
Block Nine 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $12.00

10000 cases produced
Male: The nose shows beautiful floral notes. In the mouth, the wine is smooth with cherry flavors on entry. Lemon on the bright and slightly edgy finish.
Estancia Estates 2010 Pinot Noir
Monterey County, $15.99

47415 cases produced
Male: The nose is tight. Dark fruit flavors accented with toasty oak. Nicely balanced.
HobNob 2010 Pinot Noir
Vin de Pays d’oc, $10.99

80000 cases produced
Male: Aromatics of strawberry with a hint of toast. Flavors of cherry, strawberry, toast, mocha, and a hint of cinnamon. Good acidity.
Leonard Kreusch 2009 Pinot Noir (Spatburgunder)
Rheingau, $16.99

2800 cases produced
Male: Floral nose. Sour cherry, licorice and earth on palate. Simple finish.
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $12.00

250000 cases produced
Male: Bright red fruit aromas with caramelly back notes. Ripe red cherry and baked cherry flavors. Cola and baking spices kick in mid to late. Nice!
Primarius 2009 Pinot Noir
Oregon, $17.00

21000 cases produced
Male: Strawberry, cherry, violets, and hints of rose on the nose. Cherry flavors with hint of green tea and eucalyptus. Some earth notes mid-palate. Smooth.
St. Joseph Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir
Grand River Valley, $19.99

300 cases produced
Male: Jam with hints of rose hips, rhubarb, and cedar. Sweet front with toasty notes. Cola, cocoa, and cinnamon on the finish.
Three Brothers 2009 Estate Three Brothers Vineyard Pinot Noir
SW Washington, $20.00

Male: Cherry, violets and oak on the nose. The flavors show an elegant blend of cherry, cedar, wet leaves, cranberry, and herbs. Lots going on. Consistent finish.
Turning Leaf 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $8.00

100000 cases produced
Male: Deep blood red in color, almost opaque. The nose is very floral showing distinctive violets. Rich and opulent with very bright fruit. Not a lot of oak showing here. The wine is still very pretty and unusual.
William Cole 2010 Columbine Reserve Pinot Noir
Casablanca Valley, $15.00

5000 cases produced
Male: Cherry and vanilla on the nose. On the palate there are cinnamon candy and orange peel overtones that enhance the cherry, rhubarb and oak flavors. Clove shows through on the balanced finish.
Acrobat 2010 Pinot Noir
Oregon, $20.00

31000 cases produced
Male: Plum and truffle aromatics. Light tannin, tart cranberry flavors on the palate. Warm finish.
Cottonwood Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
Colorado, $17.00

178 cases produced
Male: Cherry, dried cherry, and spice on the nose. Ripe dark cherry flavors with cola kicking in mid to late. Soft tannins and well-placed acid.
Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
Mendocino County, $16.99

4700 cases produced
Male: Cherry and spice aromas. The palate is light with earthy notes to the modest fruit. The finish is complex but has a touch of heat.
Motos Liberty 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $11.99

2500 cases produced
Male: Cherry, vanilla and menthol notes on the nose. Rhubarb and cherry flavors. Nice balance.
Three Brothers 2008 Estate Three Brothers Vineyard Pinot Noir
SW Washington, $20.00

Male: Pleasant cherry and ripe tropical fruit nose. Slightly sour cherry up front but mellows on finish. Nice balance.
Bogle 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $11.00

75000 cases produced
Male: Nice rose petals on the nose. The palate is juicy with lovely red fruit flavors.
Forest Glen 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $10.99

5200 cases produced
Male: Unusual nose of olive and strawberry jam with a forest floor quality. Strawberry jam flavors with hints of cola. Soft, pleasant taste and texture.
Napa Ridge 2009 Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, $15.99

1500 cases produced
Male: A hint of smoke, vanilla and lavender on the nose. Flavors of dried cherry, black tea, strawberry jam, pepper, and rhubarb. Some tannins and acid. Easy to drink.
Redwood Creek 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $8.00

580000 cases produced
Male: The color is quite purple. The nose shows lavender, bright red fruit and grapefruit. Cherry and strawberry flavors. Medium tannin. Good finish.

heartheart = Will Provide Fond Memories = Honorable Mention

Llai Llai 2010 Pinot Noir
Bio Bio Valley, $12.99

40000 cases produced
Male: Earthy cherry nose. Sour cherry, cedar, smoke on the palate. Rustic mid-palate of black cherry and orange. Tart finish.
The Crossings 2009 Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $18.99

40000 cases produced
Male: Bottle bouquet…plums, tomatoes, and bark. A little Calera-like. Red and black fruit flavors. Lots of tannins here.
MontPellier 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $9.99

20000 cases produced
Male: A very aromatic wine showing rose petals, violets, apples, strawberries, and lavender. The palate shows strawberries and ripe raspberries. A bit tart on the finish.
Windy Hill 2004 Karah Estate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $15.00

2000 cases produced
Male: Spice, red fruit, leather, cinnamon, and sweet red jam in the nose and in the mouth.
Emerson Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $18.00

2352 cases produced
Male: The nose is earthy with mushroom, tea, and mint notes. The palate is dusty with medium tannins.
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