10th Pinot Noir Shootout Results
Scores: Women Judges Bang for your Buck
= Love at First Sip = Gold Medal
- Freixenet Elyssia Brut Pinot Noir
Cava, Spain, $18.00
- 2480 cases produced
Female: Rich strawberry and light cherry aromas arise from the glass with focused red fruit and spiced cherry flavors. Think grilled seafood and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
- Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs
Female: An inviting nose of fresh strawberry and cherry lead you to a lovely balance of richly layered red fruit with some lighter citrus notes. A long and lively finish that brings you back for more!
- Gruet Rose Brut
Lower Rio Grande Valley, $13.75
Female: Lovely aromatics of yeast and toast with a hint of spiced cherry. The elegant palate features riper strawberry framed by a hint of citrus.
- Tondre 2009 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands
- ??? cases produced
- (91) Yellow
Female: Delightful forest floor aromas. The wine opens expansively to dried cherry, floral, and spiciness on the palate. Pleasing flavors. Complex and balanced. Pure through the persistent finish.
- Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir
Central Coast, $19.99
- 26000 cases produced
- (91) Tan
Female: Jammy raspberry nose. Juicy flavors of cherry and blueberry. Soft finish. Nice balance. Beautiful wine.
- Angeline 2010 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $16.00
- 6000 cases produced
- (90) Pink
Female: Rich black cherry and strawberry nose. Jammy in the mouth with charcuterie undertones mid to late. Pleasant finish.
- Angeline 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir
Sonoma-Mendocino-Santa Barbara Counties, $16.00
- 45000 cases produced
Female: The nose shows toasted herbs with a low note of cherry then opens to black cherry with sour cherry back notes. Silky tannins and nice oak integration glide across the palate. An elegant and classy Pinot Noir.
- Gruet 2009 Pinot Noir
Lower Rio Grande Valley, $18.00
Female: Cranberry and rhubarb in the glass. The light red fruit repeats on entry and then opens to broader and riper berries and cherries. Mushroom notes add interest. Lots of acid on the finish. Would be terrific with grilled salmon.
- Hahn Winery 2010 Pinot Noir
- 50000 cases produced
Female: The bright red raspberry nose is nicely accented with toasty spices. “The aromas make me want to grill some salmon with a honey, teriyaki, cardamom, and ginger glaze.” The lush red fruit comes through on the palate flavors entwined beautifully with the spices. Yummy!
- Harlow Ridge 2010 Pinot Noir
- 12500 cases produced
- (90) Orange
Female: Fresh mint and wild berries on the nose. Plum pudding and vanilla spice richly fill the palate. Provocative and complex with a lingering finish.
- Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
- 13000 cases produced
Female: Deep ruby/garnet in color. The aromas of red cherry, Santa Rosa plum and a lovely smokiness lead to the lush and complex palate. The red fruit expands and is embraced by earthy and spice notes. Lovely!
- Laurier 2007 Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $19.99
- 1500 cases produced
- (90) Mint Green
Female: Pretty ruby to garnet hue. There is an appropriate quietness on the nose at first then cherries, cinnamon, orange, and soft oak notes begin to appear – then “Super Nose! appears. Leaves me curious as to what to expect on the palate.” Delicious tangerine and tea accents the red fruit. Pencil shavings, vanilla, and caramel on the finish.
- Leonard Kreusch 2009 Pinot Noir (Spatburgunder)
- 2800 cases produced
Female: Sarsaparilla and cola in the nose. Light strawberry and rhubarb. Nice acid. Some bitter notes on the finish but those add to the complexity.
- Leucadia Red 2009 Pinot Noir
Sonoma County, $20.00
- 700 cases produced
Female: Strawberry high note with a low note of riper cherry. Bright fruit on the palate with nice baking spice and leather accents on the finish. Nice acid. “I like the finish a lot.”
- Lucas & Lewellen 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $20.00
- 3986 cases produced
Female: A very youthful wine. The nose shows baking spices and red fruit. Red fruit on entry through mid when lots of spice and oak elements show. Needs time. Will evolve.
- Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $15.00
- 5600 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry aromas with hints of nutmeg. Cherry and dark cherry flavors with toasted herb accents. Nice texture. Nice mouth feel. Oak and acid on in balance.
- Picket Fence 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $17.99
- 12000 cases produced
Female: The nose shows black cherry and blackberries with citrus back notes. Yummy lush red fruit on the palate with a touch of beautiful green tea on the finish. Smooth mouth feel. Nice tannins. Very flavorful.
- Segura Viudas Aria Brut Pinot Noir
Cava, Spain, $12.00
- 850 cases produced
Female: Aromatics of fresh strawberry and cherry with a touch of citrus. Beautiful color. Raspberry flavors combine with a hint of toast and vanilla. Finishes clean with citrus notes. Very nice!
- Seven Devils 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $20.00
- 1440 cases produced
Female: Earthy with dark coffee accents on the bold fruit. Nice acid. Big style with a sweet mid-palate of ripe strawberry with nice earthy notes. Spicy pepper and Chinese five spice on the finish.
- Turning Leaf 2009 Pinot Noir
- 100000 cases produced
Female: Dark fruit aromas. On the palate mocha surrounds lush red and black fruit. Great acidity.
= An Affair to Remember = Silver Medal
- Cottonwood Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
- 178 cases produced
Female: Orange peel and dried cherry aromas are accented with a little toast and spice. Cherry cola flavors. Lush fruit mid-palate with a touch of smoke on the finish. Interesting wine. This is a nice representation of full profile well made Pinot.
- Estancia Estates 2010 Pinot Noir
Monterey County, $15.99
- 47415 cases produced
Female: Forest floor and earth aromas. Lush dark fruit flavors with yummy cola notes. Nice acid. Well balanced. Easy to enjoy. Very light on the palate.
- Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
Mendocino County, $16.99
- 4700 cases produced
Female: Enticing aromas of forest floor, cherry and vanilla delivers the same flavors onto the palate on entry then floral notes and tea spice join in. Elevated acidity gains momentum on the palate and lingers on the finish.
- Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
- 250000 cases produced
Female: Aromatics of red raspberry, cherry, vanilla, and baking spices lead to a juicy palate showing cherry pie and cola accents. Easy to enjoy.
- Villa Maria Estate 2010 Private Bin Pinot Noir
- 4000 cases produced
Female: In the glass, the wine appears youthful with purple tones. The nose is difficult to assess. The palate shows sour cherry, a touch of bramble and some herbs. Solid tannins. Will age well. The perfect complement for roasted lamb with rosemary.
- Barefoot Cellars Pinot Noir
- 700000 cases produced
Female: Floral and strawberry on the nose. The palate follows perfectly. Simple and easy to drink.
- Bogle 2009 Pinot Noir
- 75000 cases produced
Female: This wine nicely defines Pinot Noir in simple terms. Warm fruit and spice with a nice graham cracker crust aromatic. Dark cherry leading to sour cherry flavors on the palate.
- Cline Cellars 2009 Cool Climate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $17.99
- 5329 cases produced
Female: Inviting aromas of strawberries and baking spices are replicated on the palate. An earthy edge joins late and hangs in through the finish.
- William Cole 2010 Columbine Reserve Pinot Noir
Casablanca Valley, $15.00
- 5000 cases produced
Female: Black cherry and violet aromas. Rather explosive in both the nose and on the palate. Silky. Emphatically varietal.
- Acrobat 2010 Pinot Noir
- 31000 cases produced
Female: Floral notes on the nose. Light raspberry flavors with nice acidity.
- Big Vine Wines 2009 Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande, $14.00
- 2300 cases produced
Female: Barnyard, strawberry, sour cherry with smoke, and dark coffee notes on the nose and entry. Ripe fruit mid-palate. Tannins and acid are balanced.
- Block Nine 2010 Pinot Noir
- 10000 cases produced
Female: Cola on the nose leads to strawberry flavors which open to pleasant cherry on the finish. Nice acid.
- Dancing Coyote Wines 2010 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
Clarksburg, California, $12.99
- 1274 cases produced
Female: Light strawberry and rhubarb aroma. Nice acid. Pleasant barrel elements on finish.
- Forest Glen 2009 Pinot Noir
- 5200 cases produced
Female: Easy to drink. Bright red and black fruits. Nice acid. A crowd pleaser.
- HobNob 2010 Pinot Noir
Vin de Pays d’oc, $10.99
- 80000 cases produced
Female: Very fruity nose showing black and red fruits. Cassis, cherry cola and red licorice too. Soft texture with a medium body. Nice underlying minerality but shows lots of oak.
- Motos Liberty 2010 Pinot Noir
- 2500 cases produced
Female: Cherry vanilla aromas lead to juicy cherry flavors with a touch of spice. Soft and round. “Spice rack in a glass – nice!”
- Three Brothers 2008 Estate Three Brothers Vineyard Pinot Noir
SW Washington, $20.00
Female: Floral notes with a touch of menthol. Nice! Red fruit. Great acid. Nice Oak and acid elements. “I LIKE!” Very enjoyable, easy.
- Napa Ridge 2009 Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, $15.99
- 1500 cases produced
Female: Light medium color with a touch of blue. Exotic and understated aromas include violet, wild strawberry, strawberry candy, root beer, lavender, and rose perfume. Fruity on the palate with a short but pleasant finish.
- Primarius 2009 Pinot Noir
- 21000 cases produced
Female: Cola and strawberry aromas. Cherry cola then lots of oak floods in, then acid to redeem. Heavy toast on the finish. Young. Needs time.
- Redwood Creek 2009 Pinot Noir
- 580000 cases produced
Female: Very purple – inky and opaque. “Smells like Syrah.” Ripe strawberry, cherry and black cherry fruit flavors flood your palate.
- St. Joseph Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir
Grand River Valley, $19.99
- 300 cases produced
Female: Touch of barnyard, rose petals, and dried earth. Dark cherry and coffee flavors. The oak is quite intense but should soften with time.
- Three Brothers 2009 Estate Three Brothers Vineyard Pinot Noir
SW Washington, $20.00
Female: Floral notes enhance the red fruit in the nose opening to Autumn scents as the wine opens. All carry through onto the palate. Herbal and toasty spices jump in mid-palate and ride through the finish.