10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout Results
Scores: Women Judges

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

Gloria Ferrer 2008 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $22.00

14433 cases produced
(95) Magenta
Female: Sweet and pretty raspberry jam, milk chocolate, herbs, and cherry aromas please the nose. Elegant and pure with layers of cranberry, red cherry, anise, and a touch of cola. Very racy raspberry, milk chocolate and malt on the finish. A perfect food pairing wine!
Louis Roederer 2006 Brut Rose Champagne
Champagne, $70.00

cases produced
(95)
Female: A beautiful wine that touches all of your senses. Hazelnut and fresh black cherry aromas lead to complex and elegant flavors of red fruit, citrus and a touch of baking spice. The finish is very crisp and memorable. Beautiful!
Gosset Grand Reserve Brut Rose
Champagne, $75.00

(94)
Female: A beautiful rose that combines all the attributes of a wonderful sparkling wine. The aromatics of spiced cherry and hazelnut lead to a rich palate that shows toasty notes, red raspberry and light black cherry. The finish is elegant finish.
RN ESTATE 2009 Kruse Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $48.00

125 cases produced
(94) Pumpkin
Female: Bright garnet color in the glass. Violets, roses, and dark cherry aromas that open to cherry cola with a hint of oak peeking through. Complex and lovely ripe fruit on the palate. good tannins and acidity. A real crowd pleaser.
Schramsberg 2008 Blanc de Noirs
North Coast, $38.00

12,750 cases produced
(94)
Female: A beautifully crafted sparkling wine with a true sense of style. The lighter cherry and spiced strawberry tones in the nose lead to a complex range of flavors of cherry and fresh apple surrounded by a fine yeasty component all in a creamy framework. “Love this!”
Sea Fog 2007 Blanc de Noirs
Sonoma Coast, $32.00

cases produced
(94)
Female: A very fine bead delivers up aromas of strawberry and Meyer lemon. The palate is sleek and defined with layers of red fruit comprised of fresh strawberry and a spiced honey touch to the Bing cherry flavors. Lovely acidity and a very long finish.
Barbed Oak Vineyard 2009 ZARA’S BLOCK Barbed Oak Vineyard Pinot Noir
Bennett Valley, $29.00

246 cases produced
(93) Brown
Female: The color is like a dark and clear like a midnight sky. The nose is fruity displaying dried cherry that replicates on the palate. Intense flavors. Great aging potential.
Domaine Carneros 2008 Brut Rose
Carneros, $36.00

(93)
Female: A delicate salmon color with lively fruit and floral notes, Very balanced between the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir side of this wine.
Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir Rose
North Coast, $30.00

(93)
Female: A distinctive rich salmon color with spiced strawberry flavors and a bright, crisp finish that shows off nicely the depth of fruit.
En Garde 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $48.00

80 cases produced
(93) Dark Blue
Female: Herbaceousness aromas blend seamlessly with bright red cherry fruit…”Enticing!” Beautiful purity. A touch of florality layers nicely with raspberry and cherry fruit, spice and earth notes.
Gloria Ferrer 2007 Brut Rose
Carneros, $42.00

2470 cases produced
(93)
Female: Beautifully styled sparkling that offers complex red fruit with a touch of Meyer lemon. The palate has a richly formed fruit forward creamy texture with a lovely mineral character on the crisp finish.
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2008 Enz Vineyard Pinot Noir
Lime Kiln Valley, $60.00

159 cases produced
(93) Green
Female: Earthy aromas lead to dense black cherry flavors. A hint of coffee beans and mushroom notes add complexity. Dense powerful fruit holds firm through the pleasing finish.
Alysian 2008 Allen-Rochioli Blocks Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $65.00

159 cases produced
(92) Blue
Female: Powerful aromatics and entry. Full-bodied dense cherry and herbs on the palate. Earth notes on the finish. Smooth texture, huge acid but all is in balance. Beautiful integration of oak. This will live a long time. Lay this baby down but if you can’t wait watch it open as you enjoy a long romantic dinner.
Alysian 2008 River Block Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River, $65.00

233 cases produced
(92)
Female: Lovely mineral notes enhance the red fruit, lavender, and smoky nose. On the palate, the red fruit is accented with light toasty spices. Great balance!
Archery Summit 2009 Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $48

560 cases produced
(92)
Female: Ruby in color. The nose is subtle – black cherries and floral note whispers. The palate displays bold spice and tight tannins. Black pepper and brooding dark plums mid through the finish. “I want beef!”
Bonneau 2009 Sangiacomo Vineyards Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $34.00

300 cases produced
(92) Light Blue
Female: Blueberry and plum on the nose. In fact, blueberry pancake aromas with even a touch of maple syrup…very inviting. Full fruity flavor with a nice full mouth feel. Silky and creamy on the palate. The finish is long and lovely.
Brassfield Estate Winery 2010 Estate Bottled High Serenity Ranch Pinot Noir
High Valley, $22.00

4116 cases produced
(92)
Female: Nice barnyard notes on this very classic Pinot Noir nose. Elegant entry showing red cherry, cranberry and herbs de Provence. Balanced and pure. Expressive front to back. “Wow! What a memorable finish to the 32 wines I judged today.”
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Soul Patch Pinot Noir
Russian River, $42.00

525 cases produced
(92) Aqua Marine
Female: Strawberry jam with enticing pomegranate, blackberry, lavender, and meaty notes in the nose. An elegant wine showing cool climate influences. Raspberry and cranberry flavors with a touch of earthiness mid-palate. Very nicely balanced. “Will be exceedingly excellent given time.”
Dunstan Wines 2009 Estate Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $50.00

229 cases produced
(92) Turquoise
Female: Dark rich black cherry color. Very opaque. The nose shows currants and peppermint with cherry back notes. Flavors of cherry cola. Nice body with smooth tannins.
Estancia Estates 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $30.99

5000 cases produced
(92) Burgundy
Female: “Smells utterly amazing!” The nose is filled with zippy raspberry, menthol, cedar, cola and dried cherries. “This just screams Pinot!” Layers of dried cherry, anise, red currants, and spice broaden expansively on the palate. Gutsy and full flavored from first sip to long lasting finish.
Fess Parker 2009 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $55.00

200 cases produced
(92) Khaki
Female: A hearty ruby color in the glass. This is a boisterous wine with a black cherry punch in the nose that is enhanced with sweet baking spices wafting from the glass. The flavors are intense showing blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, and dark spices. “Like a puppy in its exuberance…be ready to experience this wine or it might bowl you over.”
Freixenet Elyssia Brut Pinot Noir
Cava, Spain, $18.00

2480 cases produced
(92)
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
Carneros, $20.00

(92)
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

(92)
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.
Laetitia 2009 Brut De Noirs
Arroyo Grande Valley, $28.00

230 cases produced
(92)
Female: Light cherry with citrus aromas lead to a great palate of spiced strawberry with back notes of apple and peach. Very well balanced with a richness on the palate from the lees development. The lively acidity in the finish is perfect.
Lazy Creek Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $42.00

800 cases produced
(92) White
Female: “Ah, Mature women… interesting, subtle, well-spoken.” The nose opens with baked strawberries and inches into earthy notes showing mushroom, earth, leather, Coca-Cola, and spice. On the palate, cooked fruit with notes of caramel, roses, and a hint of clove.
Leucadia Red 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $25.00

700 cases produced
(92) Gold
Female: Smells like Pinot! Forest floor, chocolate, berry, cherry, and a lovely smoky note on the nose. Good full flavors on the palate. Jammy and lush red fruit in the mouth. Easy tannins and a medium finish.
Lucienne 2009 Doctor’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $49.99

647 cases produced
(92)
Female: The color in the glass is red with a slight purple hue. Raspberry, strawberry and cherry aromas are replicated on entry and open to broader red stone fruit. Earth notes kick-in mid and last through the long finish. An elegant wine.
Petite Abeille 2009 Petite Abeille Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $35.00

235 cases produced
(92) Salmon
Female: Very light in appearance with a touch of garnet. The nose displays cherry, light toast, and root beer giving way to some herbal notes.… “Interesting! I want to have a conversation with this one.” Nice minerality, lingering finish. Balanced and well constructed. Substantial wine great depth.
Roederer Estate Brut Rose
Anderson Valley, $30.00

(92)
Female: Light cherry and hazelnut aromas lead to a palate that displays lighter red fruit and apple through the crisp and lively finish. This wine nicely shows the Pinot Noir side of the process and has well placed notes of the Chardonnay side
SCV 2009 Freestone Hills Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $45.00

650 cases produced
(92)
Female: Dark in color. Aromatics of black cherry, light toast, orange peel, and violets with a hint of Worcestershire sauce. Bright and lush red and black fruit on the palate. Masterful integration of oak. Well constructed and balanced. Pleasant acidity. The finish keeps on giving.
Sharp Cellars 2009 Keenan’s Cove Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $48.00

75 cases produced
(92) Dark Green
Female: Spunky raspberry and strawberry jam, dried cherry, and forest floor notes on the nose with rhubarb and spice back notes. The wine is just as lively in the mouth with strawberry, rhubarb, licorice, and black currant. A touch of black pepper and crumb cake notes kick in mid-palate. Clean and balanced. A terrific food pairing wine.
Alysian 2008 West Block Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $55.00

201 cases produced
(91)
Female: Floral, lovely cherry and strawberry aromas are replicated on the palate. Rhubarb and orange peel kick in on the mouth watering finish.
Alysian 2008 Crossroads Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $55.00

160 cases produced
(91)
Female: Light strawberry aromas at first and then opens to deeper red fruit with vanilla notes. Touch of spices, strawberry and cherry on the palate. Beautifully balanced.
Ampelos Cellars 2008 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $35.00

220 cases produced
(91)
Female: Beautiful ruby at the core with a youthful rim. Sour cherries, rhubarb and leather aromas jump out of the glass. Vibrant acidity. Pleasant sweet red berry fruit. A bold and aggressive wine with sweet tannins. A nice finish that doesn’t walk away quietly. “Not Pinot for the faint of heart…He’d be the ‘way too young guy” that I chat up in a bar all night long.”
Anderson Oaks Vineyard 2007 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $30.00

162 cases produced
(91)
Female: Forest floor and cherry notes fill the senses and expand on the palate. Gorgeous texture and balance. Orange zest and dried herbs add to the complexity. “Wow!”
Bargetto 2009 Reserve Regan Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $40.00

184 cases produced
(91) Deep Purple
Female: Raspberry jam with a dash of herbs on the nose. Pretty entry full of cherry, raspberry and brown spices. Bright and fresh. Dances on the palate.
Beauregard Vineyards 2010 Estate Beauregard Ranch Pinot Noir
Ben Lomond, $50.00

100 cases produced
(91)
Female: Roasted coffee, cherries, cream, and gingerbread aromas. An enhanced but classic Pinot Noir nose. Pretty entry with focused herbs, spice and cherry pie notes. Bright and lively with a touch of forest floor. Nicely balanced and textured. “Oh, so pleasing!” Pheasant and wild rice the perfect complement.
Bouchaine Vineyards 2008 Carneros Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $35

8704 cases produced
(91)
Female: In the glass, the wine is bright, clear, and inviting. Cranberry, sour red cherries, tea tannins, and orange peel from start to finish. Varietally correct and a great example of fruit accentuated Pinot Noir. Solid.
Bouchaine Vineyards 2009 Estate, Reserve Pinot Meunier
Los Carneros, $40

190 cases produced
(91)
Female: Cherry pie aromas lead to a juicy rich cherry fruit palate. Cranberry and pomegranate notes meld with baking pie spices. Beautiful acidity, depth and balance.
Cape Lookout 2009 Russell-Grooters Vineyard Pinot Noir
Yamhill-Carlton, $30.00

768 cases produced
(91)
Female: Pretty red and blue fruit. Surprising for Pinot but an attractive nose. Dark cherry surrounded by a layer of coffee and toasted spices. Big! It’s all there. Needs time.
Castello di Amorosa 2010 Pinot Nero
Santa Lucia Highlands, $36.00

1151 cases produced
(91)
Female: Very appealing nose of blackberry bushes and melted chocolate leads to a palate with a myriad of berries framed to make a lovely compote with back notes of peppercorns and capers. Good texture. Nice finish. Lovely with a pepper tinged terrine of rabbit.
Craigie Knowe Vineyards 2010 Cranbrook Cricket Pitch Pinot Noir
East Coast, Tasmania, $65.00

2000 cases produced
(91)
Female: Very light color in the glass, Burgundian-style. Aromatics of cola, quinine and a touch of smoke. Bold red fruit mid-palate Accented bright orange peel and cranberry notes on the warm finish.
Cubanisimo Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Amity – Eola Hills, Willamette Valley, $30.00

500 cases produced
(91)
Female: The nose is delightful fruity – light strawberry, ripe pears, and red delicious apples, skin and all. Fresh strawberry flavors. Light and delicate. Some nice tannins on the finish. Nicely integrated oak elements. A savory wine.
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Starr Ridge Pinot Noir
Russian River, $42.00

225 cases produced
(91) Red
Female: Dark bright garnet in color. Smoky cherry and perfume (lilac, violets, and lavender) aromas. Lush and ripe cherry flavors move to sour cherry mid to late. Great balance. Great acidity.
Erath 2009 Prince Hill Pinot Noir
Dundee Hills, $45.00

542 cases produced
(91) Coral
Female: Bright and clear in the glass. A gorgeous appearance! Aromatics of smoke, Coca-Cola, black cherry, and cooked strawberry. Candied apples, sweet ripe strawberry and tart cranberry sauce flavors. A very youthful wine with potential for aging.
Gioia 2009 Los Alamos Vineyard & Garey Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $38.00

75 cases produced
(91)
Female: Mushroom aromas at first then forest floor and light strawberry come forward. The flavors are fresh and clean. Tart red fruit, pomegranate and dried cherry, is accented by fresh herbs and pine notes. Good acidity. This is a baby.
Graton Ridge Cellars 2009 Estate Paul Family Vineyards Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $50.00

144 cases produced
(91)
Female: Deep and dark aromas waft from the glass – inviting espresso and cherry pie meld together to draw you in. The palate is consistent with the nose – deep and rich. The deft oak treatment caresses the wine, doesn’t punch it. Nice!
Graton Ridge Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

313 cases produced
(91)
Female: The nose is lovely, an inviting combination of red fruit, vanilla and mushrooms. “I’m thinking Mushroom Risotto here.” The palate doesn’t disappoint – ripe and juicy cherry flavors are countered with deft oak integration and lovely acid.
Grey Stack Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
Bennett Valley, $30.00

175 cases produced
(91) Beige
Female: This is a classic solid Pinot Noir. Dark and inviting aromas of fall and winter…cedar chest, cinnamon spice, black cherry, and fresh earth. Concentrated cherry and plum fruit flavors with a good level of acidity balancing the intense fruit. Leather and spice kick in mid-palate. Well-balanced and very appealing.
Hahn SLH Estate 2010 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $35.00

5000 cases produced
(91)
Female: Fresh red berry aromatics with just a light touch of earthiness. The palate is loaded with fresh and ripe berries and yet is complex showing floral notes, oak elements, subtle spices, herb, and earth notes. “Yum! Masterful winemaking here.”
HKG 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

860 cases produced
(91)
Female: Earthy mushroom aromas make way for bright floral accented cherry and cranberry fruit with tea spice and licorice. Elegant and lasting finish.
HKG 2009 Estate Bridge Selection Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

450 cases produced
(91) Dark Red
Female: Light ruby color with a velvety appearance. The shy nose gives way to muted cherry and a potpourri of tea leaves and simmering baking spice. Medium bodied with lively acid. Comes alive and speaks loudly, but consistently from the nose through the finish. Black cherries, dried flowers and wet leaves on the palate. Balanced with a moderate finish.
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Garey Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00

116 cases produced
(91) Periwinkle
Female: Vanilla, dried cherries, and lightly toasted cedar on the nose. Lovely red fruit accented with clove and minerals on the palate. Good finish.
Laetitia 2009 Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $40.00

1200 cases produced
(91) Black
Female: The color is really deep purple. Chocolate, black cherry, earth, and fresh herb aromas waft from the glass. The entry is bright, full of raspberry and red cherry flavors with tea spice back notes. Elegant with stunning purity.
Laetitia 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $25.00

20000 cases produced
(91)
Female: Hmm…the nose is pretty with violets and ripe red fruit notes. There are some lovely spice and smoke notes too. In the mouth the flavors are as predicated by the nose. Ripe and lush cherry and darker stone fruit is embraced by the deft oak treatment and lovely acidity. This is a keeper. Enjoy now or for years to come.
Lucas & Lewellen 2009 Goodchild High 9 Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $30.00

504 cases produced
(91)
Female: Bright and beautiful ruby appearance. Aromatics of Bing cherry, tomato leaf, and ripe tangerine. Cherry compote accented by roasted tomato flavors. A simply well-made wine. Great wine for food pairing. “I want grilled salmon and a spinach salad with crumbled bacon!”
Mahoney Vineyards 2008 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros, $35.00

200 cases produced
(91)
Female: Warm strawberry jam nose with warm foresty notes open to strawberry and cherry flavors that are nicely layered with oak elements. Nicely balance.
Morris Ranch 2009 Middle Block Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $48.00

266 cases produced
(91) Dusty Rose
Female: A medley of mushroom and red currant aromas greet you. Cherry, cranberry and spice are showcased on the satisfying palate. There is a touch of oak and beautiful acidity on the lingering finish. Nicely balanced, charming acidity and texture.
Mumm Napa Brut Rose
Napa Valley, $24.00

(91)
Female: A lovely and well crafted wine that captures the essence of Pinot Noir. Aromas of light raspberry and Bing cherry lead to richer flavors of ripe strawberry with subtle spice notes. The finish is bright and crisp.
Orsi Papale 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $35.00

250 cases produced
(91) Smoke
Female: Baked cherry pie, dried cherries, cola, lavender, and sweet barnyard with light smoke on the nose. A blast of berries on the palate – blueberry, raspberry, and cherry with coffee and black tea accents. Balanced wine. Pleasant and very enjoyable.
Per Bacco Cellars 2007 Laetitia Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $30.00

470 cases produced
(91) Blue Green
Female: Huge dark blackberries and plum pudding on the nose. Repeats on entry with dense dark chocolate ganache covered brownies enhancing mid-palate through the finish. “Not a baby. Not shy of acid or oak, this wine has it all. My mouth waters at the thought of drinking this wine with rosemary grilled ribs and roasted red peppers on the side.”
Portalupi 2009 il Meglio Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $46.00

250 cases produced
(91) Brick
Female: Aromas of cherry with camp fire and roasted marshmallow back notes. A woodsy but delicate nose. Cherry, plum, vanilla, and black licorice flavors. Nice acid on the wonderful long finish.
RN ESTATE 2010 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $49.00

240 cases produced
(91)
Female: “The nose is seductive inviting me in.” Subtle perfume of dried flowers, dried red fruit, and Chinese Five Spice. The palate doesn’t disappoint. Dark red and black fruit with a lovely smoky quality. Well crafted!
Rosehall Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
VQA Prince Edward County, $39.00

280 cases produced
(91)
Female: Orange peel, bacon, lavender, smoke, tar, tobacco, … the list goes on. Great complexity in this one! Wow! This wine is delish! Lovely complexity and balance. Good uniformity of flavors. So savory!
Scharffenberger Brut Rose
California, $24.00

(91)
Female: A lovely pale salmon color with strawberry and lighter cherry notes on the nose. The flavors replicate the fruit character of the aromatics. Bright and refreshing with a firm crispness on the finish.
Sequana Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

2350 cases produced
(91)
Female: Dark ruby in color. The nose is subtle at first but opens to black currant, coffee and mushrooms. Red cherry flavors on entry are joined by lush dark cherry, raspberry and chocolate. Orange peel notes too. Then black tea on the finish. The mouth is robust. Nice acid. Nicely balanced.
Solomon Hills 2008 Solomon Hills Vineyards Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $57.00

150 cases produced
(91) Orchid
Female: The lovely nose of forest floor with floral notes and dark fruit leads to a dark intense black fruit palate. Herbal notes on the finish. Fine grained tannins with nice acidity.
Stephen’s 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
York Mountain, $38.00

150 cases produced
(91) Gray
Female: Attractive ruby color in the glass. Simmering spices, dried flowers, dried mushrooms, coffee, and cocoa… Nice nose! A bit of funk (in a good way)… Earth, mushroom, boot leather (“I like boots”) and cocoa accentuate the red fruit. Balanced and evocative.”I like the almost sweet finish.”
Styring 2008 Estate Estate Pinot Noir
Ribbon Ridge, Oregon, $35.00

240 cases produced
(91) Gunmetal
Female: Coffee bean aromas join with dried cherry and herbs on the palate. Elegant and expressive throughout. Nicely weighted and varietally right on. “Delicious!”
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.
TR Elliott 2008 Three Plumes Hallberg Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $42.00

139 cases produced
(91) Wedgewood
Female: The nose is closed at first and then opens to cherry and coffee notes. The palate is complex and evolves in the mouth getting stronger on the fruit side then spice notes on the lovely finish. Soft tannins.
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.
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2009 Estate Wetzel Family Estate Pinot Noir
Alexander Valley, $27.00

1779 cases produced
(90)
Female: Cherry cola on the nose and in the mouth. Supple and lovely. Nice acids complete the package.
Ampelos Cellars 2007 Barrel Select Ampelos Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $45.00

450 cases produced
(90)
Female: Spicy and floral aromas open to red fruit garden. Lovely dark and sour fruits. Nice oak elements. Nice acid. Good balance with a long and lovely palate.
Anderson Oaks 2009 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $30.00

160 cases produced
(90)
Female: Sweet ripe strawberries and raspberries aromas are replicated on the palate. The flavors flesh out and display sweet red fruit then darker cherry and Kirsch. Nice barrel regimen.
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
(90)
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.
Bargetto 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $25.00

408 cases produced
(90)
Female: Dark garnet in color. Mint and spearmint accent the sour red cherry aromas. Soft and round mid-palate. Red currants and mint accents on the palate from opening to the finish.
Beauregard Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Ben Lomond, $40.00

390 cases produced
(90)
Female: Floral forest, sour cherries, and some smoke (a fireplace with crackling wood) on the nose. Juicy fruit…cherry and red currant pop on the palate. Well balanced with good acidity through the finish.
Bohemian Vineyard 2009 Estate Bohemian Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley/Freestone, $45.00

300 cases produced
(90)
Female: Fresh strawberry and raspberry layered with aromas of mushrooms and earth. Bright fruit on the palate with sour strawberry on the finish. Nice acid with barrel showing through.
Bouchaine Vineyards 2009 Reserve, Paul Gee Vineyards, Dry Farmed Estate Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $60

165 cases produced
(90)
Female: Dark cherry, sweet red cherry then a few rhubarb notes. Nicely balanced. Very nice.
Claiborne & Churchill 2009 Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $26.00

2462 cases produced
(90)
Female: Beautiful aromas of sweet violets, roses, raspberry jam, and forest floor. In the mouth dark coffee notes accent the beautiful dark red fruit. Sour cherry compote on the long finish. Nicely balanced wine.
Coghlan Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Rita Hills, $47.00

316 cases produced
(90) Hot Pink
Female: Toasted cinnamon and light red berries on the nose. Light cranberry on the palate with well integrated oak elements. Light and easy to drink. Nice fine tannins.
Coquelicot 2009 Kick On Ranch Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $29.00

400 cases produced
(90)
Female: Wild forest on the nose…intriguing! Toasted graham cracker and dark jelly are underlying. Wild red fruit, wild spices and apricot flavors. Complex and balanced with a good mixture of red and black fruit. Balanced. Easy to quaff.
Cubanisimo Vineyards 2009 Rumba Pinot Noir Cuvee
Amity – Eola Hills, Willamette Valley, $21.00

600 cases produced
(90)
Female: Like a bright spring day… hints of Alpine strawberries and tangerine. “Reminds me a bit of Fendi perfume.” Earthy dried cherry and tea spice on the palate. Plenty of acidity throughout. Light and breezy. Finish is clean. Delicate with big acidity.
Cubanisimo Vineyards 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir
Amity – Eola Hills, Willamette Valley, $42.00

79 cases produced
(90)
Female: Herbal and tree bark aromas lead to an entry of herbal essence wrapped around dried cherry. Nice acidity. Tannins are in balance.
D & L Carinalli Vineyards 2009 Estate Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

398 cases produced
(90)
Female: Light in color. Raspberry, cherry, and sweet strawberry aromas. Ripe strawberry, sweet cherry, and an unusual hint of white chocolateon the finish. Yummy!
D & L Carinalli Vineyards 2008 Estate Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

700 cases produced
(90)
Female: Pale classic nose and good fruit. Tart cherry on the nose and in the mouth. Good mid-palate. Light finish. Very enjoyable, easy.
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Horseshoe Bend Pinot Noir
Russian River, $42.00

225 cases produced
(90)
Female: Dark cherry, vanilla, pipe tobacco, smoky wood, and dark caramel aromas. Big and I like it a lot! Dark red fruit flavors layered with spice and finishing with dark chocolate brownies accents.
Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs
California, $22.00

(90)
Female: Its pale salmon color shows the character of the Pinot Noir and my guess is, this also has Pinot Meunier. Well developed strawberry flavors with a crisp yet broad finish.
Double Bond 2009 Wolff Vineyards Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $48.00

375 cases produced
(90) Lilac
Female: The wine suggests some age color wise. The nose seems to confirm the age showing some tertiary aromas of dried fruit, leather and wet earth. The palate displays dried sour cherries, fresh leather, mushroom, and damp earth. Balanced. “Yummy! A wine for non-fruit bomb folks.”
Elkhorn Peak 2008 Elkhorn Peak Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, $34.00

500 cases produced
(90) Lime Green
Female: Cherry and vanilla aromas define the nose. Soft and round. Easy to quaff. Juicy and clean with a nice lift on the finish.
Erath 2009 Estate Selection Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $34.00

6300 cases produced
(90)
Female: Cherry and black cherry aromas and flavors. Dark and lush mouthwatering fruit. Balanced acidity. There is a toasted marshmallow quality throughout. Intriguing. “I like.”
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery 2009 Sky High Ranch Pinot Noir Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $46.00

1147 cases produced
(90)
Female: The nose is restrained. The entry is quiet with earth and dried cherry notes. Cedar and raspberry join mid-palate. Lots of acid here. A great food wine.
Fess Parker 2009 Ashleys Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $50.00

1257 cases produced
(90)
Female: Dark raspberry aromas moving to raspberry jam. Repeats on the palate and finishes with rich and balanced oak accents.
Fontes & Phillips Wines 2008 La Encantada Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $52.00

250 cases produced
(90)
Female: Intriguing aromas – florals (violets and roses), tart cherry, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, and beautiful cinnamon woven in. Long complex finish.
Grey Stack Cellars 2009 The Fisherman Four Brothers Pinot Noir
Bennett Valley, $39.00

100 cases produced
(90) Purple
Female: Lovely scent of flowers, berries, and herbs. Lively and fruity on the palate. Very bright. Medium tannins. Lush mouth full of rich fruits and spices. “I like!”
Gruet 2009 Pinot Noir
Lower Rio Grande Valley, $18.00

(90)
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.
Guglielmo Private Reserve 2009 Private Reserve Pinot Noir
Monterey, $35.00

222 cases produced
(90)
Female: Aromatics show light red fruit with floral notes. The red fruit carries onto the palate with darker red fruit at mid-palate and spice notes joining late. Nicely balanced.
Hahn Winery 2010 Pinot Noir
Monterey, $12.00

50000 cases produced
(90)
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
Lodi, $10.99

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.
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Estate, Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountain, $48.00

307 cases produced
(90)
Female: Gingerbread and cooked cranberry with some blueberry notes on the nose. Ripe cherry with baking spice in the mouth. Nice acid. “I LIKE!” A crowd pleaser.
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Triple Seven Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $52.00

40 cases produced
(90)
Female: Intense ruby in color. Aromas of cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, blackberry jam, and herbal accents – more specifically, dried tarragon and a smoky aspect. The palate doesn’t disappoint. Balanced. “Not your run-of-the-mill Pinot Noir.”
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Eight Two Eight Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $52.00

40 cases produced
(90)
Female: Deep, deep color in the glass and the aromas are deep and big too – coffee, dark cherry, and spice. The palate is loaded with bright fruit – red and black cherries and berries, some smoke, and toasty oak on the finish. Don’t wait, drink this baby in the next few years.
Hearthstone 2009 Estate Hearthstone Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $38.00

100 cases produced
(90)
Female: Roses, red currants and clove aromas. Well executed intense style of Pinot Noir with firm red raspberry and cola flavors. Toasted pecans with hints of cassis and chocolate brownies on the finish. Good texture.
Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $13.99

13000 cases produced
(90)
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!
Kendric Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir
Marin County, $35.00

360 cases produced
(90)
Female: Truffles and fresh earth fill the senses. Dried cherry, herbs de Provence and impressive oak integration really shine through. Elegant with silky tannins and the perfect level of acidity. “Wow!”
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2008 Santa Maria Cuvee Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $28.00

(90)
Female: Pomegranate, smoked meats and mushroom on the nose. Elevated aromatic leads to a dense palate of black fruit, spice with mocha, black pepper, and cola on the finish. “I like the acid and earthy notes.” Very approachable.
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00

314 cases produced
(90)
Female: Cherry and herbs de Provence. Replicates on entry. Sour cherry, mouthwatering acid on mid. Herbal notes on finish. Nice!
Ketcham Estate 2009 Ketcham Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $48.00

189 cases produced
(90)
Female: “Wow! Aromas of gingerbread cookies with berry back notes.” Sour cherry flavors on the palate accented by spice. Good acidity with soft tannins.
King Estate 2010 Signature Pinot Noir
Oregon, $27.00

25000 cases produced
(90)
Female: Herbal and floral notes in the glass open to dark cherry with espresso notes upon aeration. Dark fruit flavors with lots of oak accents. Should live a long life.
Laetitia 2007 Les Galets Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $60.00

250 cases produced
(90)
Female: Eucalyptus aromas opening to dark red fruit and forest elements. Bright and lush black cherry flavors with a hint of mint on entry then broadening to a myriad of flavors. Nicely balanced.
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)
Rheingau, $16.99

2800 cases produced
(90)
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
(90)
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
(90)
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.
Mahoney Vineyards 2009 Mahoney Ranch Pinot Noir
Carneros, $35.00

275 cases produced
(90)
Female: Mineral notes join black cherry fruit on the nose. The round and supple palate shows layers of black cherry, anise, and a touch of soy. Nicely balanced. Long finish.
Mahoney Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $25.00

1500 cases produced
(90)
Female: Pretty ruby to garnet in appearance. Moderately intense nose displaying cola, simmering rhubarb, and a hint of truffles. Cherries, mixed berries, cocoa, cola, and earth throughout. The lingering minerality adds to the enjoyment of this wine.
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $15.00

5600 cases produced
(90)
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.
Martin Ray Winery 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $40.00

1500 cases produced
(90)
Female: Looks youthful in the glass…sparkly garnet in color. Lavender, cherry, clove, and violet aromas. The palate shows soft cranberry, dried cherries and sarsaparilla with lovely spice notes. Nice acid on the long finish.
Orentano 2006 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00

1500 cases produced
(90) Light Yellow
Female: Beautiful garnet at the core fading to a pale garnet rim. Caramelized fruit aromas – cranberry, cherries, and orange peel. The nose is reminiscent of a fortified wine. The palate is even more demonstrative. Simmering orange peel, cranberry, potpourri, lavender, and underneath it all, some leather. There is a suggestion here of sherry notes. “What fun!”
Pacific Coast Vineyards 2008 Babcock Vineyards Pinot Noir
STA. Rita Hills, $50.00

200 cases produced
(90)
Female: Forest floor aromas with a touch of barnyard. Cherry and sour cherry flavors. Nice acid. The tannins are well-balanced too. A very well-made wine.
Phantom Rivers Wine 2009 Estate Mar Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $35.00

44 cases produced
(90) Bronze
Female: There is some leather here with cherry and cola notes on the nose and in the mouth. Tart cherry with cola notes on the finish. This wine will create great memories. Serve this with grilled pork loin finished with a reduced cola glaze.
Picket Fence 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $17.99

12000 cases produced
(90)
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.
Reynolds Family Winery 2008 Corotto Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $45.00

1001 cases produced
(90)
Female: Red fruit…raspberry, strawberry, and cherry aromas are lovely, delicate and inviting. In the mouth the wine is lively with light baking spice joining mid and a touch of pomegranate through the long and crisp finish.
RN ESTATE 2009 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $49.00

270 cases produced
(90)
Female: Deep purple leaning toward ruby in color. The aromatics display cherry with smoky and earthy accents… attractive and genuine. Brighter fruit on the palate showing fresh Bing cherries, orange peel, cranberry, and strong tea. Bright acid, balanced alcohol, and lingering tannins. A well-made wine.
Roads End 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $45.00

288 cases produced
(90)
Female: Medium garnet in color. Strawberry, strawberry jam and baking spice aromas. Yummy strawberry on entry then cranberry mid-to-late. Great acid. Nice!
Rodney Strong Vineyards 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40.00

2611 cases produced
(90)
Female: Grapefruit, mocha, dark cherry. Repeats on the palate with dark cherry, mocha and grapefruit. Nice acid. A bit of the grapefruit on the finish.
Schug 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

228 cases produced
(90)
Female: Very aromatic. Layers of floral notes, smoke, cherry, and a touch of appealing barnyard. Yummy bright cherry flavors with citrus notes. “Love this!”
Segura Viudas Aria Brut Pinot Noir
Cava, Spain, $12.00

850 cases produced
(90)
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!
Sequana Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $32.00

6202 cases produced
(90)
Female: Very complex nose displaying roasted or dried tomato, dark purple and red fruits. Cassis, blackberry and bing cherries flavors. Beautiful soft texture on the palate. Dried leaves and forest floor notes late on the palate. Deftly integrated oak. This will get better and better with time.
Seven Devils 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $20.00

1440 cases produced
(90)
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.
Spy Valley 2010 Marlborough Pinot Noir
Waihopai Valley, $26.99

13000 cases produced
(90) Peach
Female: Big and deep ruby in color with beautiful floral notes accented by Coca-Cola, smoke, plum, orange, and cloves on the nose. Citrus and spice flavors accent the red fruit. Soft and very drinkable. Great food wine. Perfect balance of acid and tannins.
Turning Leaf 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $8.00

100000 cases produced
(90)
Female: Dark fruit aromas. On the palate mocha surrounds lush red and black fruit. Great acidity.
Villa Mt Eden 2009 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $23.00

3500 cases produced
(90)
Female: Strawberry, rose, cranberry and a bit of petrol and tar on the very inviting nose. Light and fresh red berry flavors – cranberry and pomegranate. Great acid. A delightful and delicate wine.
Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery 2001 Blanc de Noirs
Southeastern New England, $30.00

245 cases produced
(90)
Female: A very interesting wine showing slightly oxidized characteristics that translate into a honeyed and caramelized nutty character. The toast character on the palate combines with some lighter cherry and strawberry notes. Finishes bright and fresh.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 O’Brien Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $100.00

92 cases produced
(90)
Female: Strawberry leading to strawberry jam. Light strawberry on the palate. Sour cherry with lovely spices on the finish.
Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2009 Tall Poppy Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir
McMinnville, $65.00

386 cases produced
(90)
Female: Sediment in the glass. But the wine above is clear and bright. Nice fruit and earth balance. Cranberry, Mount Rainier cherry, earth notes, porcini mushroom in the nose and in the mouth. Lovely and nuanced. Balanced. “Please, yes!”.

heartheartheart = An Affair to Remember = Silver Medal

Amity Vineyards 2009 Amity Estate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $35.00

241 cases produced
(89)
Female: Dark brooding black fruit aromas with earthy back notes. “New World wine that shouts ‘Willamette Valley’.” Nice complex and long lasting finish.
Anglim 2009 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $48.00

194 cases produced
(89)
Female: Dark and rich aromas of black cherry and black raspberry, The fruit aromas are replicated on the palate with lovely barrel notes kicking in mid-palate through the long finish.
B.R. Cohn 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40.00

1300 cases produced
(89)
Female: Strawberry, raspberry, and cherry in the glass. The wine opens with aeration to darker fruit showing a creamy caramel aroma. Dark and ripe fruit in the mouth with spice notes on the long finish.
Baldassari Family Wines 2009 Pinot Noir
Yorkville Highlands, $30.00

130 cases produced
(89)
Female: Strawberry jam, cranberry, rose perfume, and a touch of forest floor in the nose. Red and black fruit on the slightly angular opening. Evolves to a complex palate and a long smooth finish.
Barney & Kel 2007 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $28.00

50 cases produced
(89)
Female: Leather and forest floor aromas remain consistent on the palate. Cherry, black raspberry and herbal notes add complexity. Nicely balanced with a persistent finish.
Bouchaine Vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $50

487 cases produced
(89)
Female: Classic cola, black cherry and menthol with toasted herbs on the nose. A hint of cured meat there too. Nice tannins. Great acid. A baby but this is going to be a beauty.
Castoro Cellars 2009 Estate Blind Faith Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $22.95

1193 cases produced
(89)
Female: Black and red fruit on the nose with an intriguing smoky note. The palate is a perfect mirror image of the aromas. Nice long finish.
Castoro Cellars 2010 Estate Blind Faith Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $22.95

1005 cases produced
(89)
Female: The nose is big showing dark fruit of the berry and stone varieties. There is a smoky edge to the palate that meshes nicely with the fruit. Still very youthful. Needs time to evolve.
Ceja Vineyards 2007 Estate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $50.00

250 cases produced
(89)
Female: Pretty and delicate red fruit aromas with floral notes and fennel seed back notes. The palate is pretty on opening with the oak elements melding nicely at present. I would like to revisit this wine in 6 months or so.
Ceja Vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

1000 cases produced
(89)
Female: The nose is delicate and complex. The palate is interesting, displaying red fruit with licorice and shaved dark chocolate mid through the finish. Well integrated.
Coghlan Vineyard 2009 La Encantada Pinot Noir
Santa Rita Hills, $54.00

138 cases produced
(89)
Female: Blueberry aromas with a touch of baking spice and forest floor on the nose. Nice lively plum flavors with ginger and chocolate notes. Hints of toffee and coffee kick in late. This has character. Big tannins howling now. Needs time. Plenty of fruit to carry.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Pinot Noir
American, $37.99

504 cases produced
(89)
Female: Candied fruit on the nose with underlying baking spice. The nose is replicated on the palate. Nice balance of fruit and acidity.
Cottonwood Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
Colorado, $17.00

178 cases produced
(89)
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.
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $40.00

740 cases produced
(89)
Female: Bright red fruit on the nose and in the mouth. Lovely oak integration. Nice acid. Really very pretty.
Domenico 2008 Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $35.00

331 cases produced
(89)
Female: Pretty, bright and attractive. Cherry, caramel, black cherry, and mushrooms. The palate shows bright acid and secondary notes of earth, leather and mushrooms. “I like it! Not just one-dimensional. Curious to see how it will develop in the glass and over time.”
Double Bond 2008 Wolff Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $48.00

370 cases produced
(89)
Female: Fresh cherry with nutmeg on the nose. Cherry flavors with forest floor accents. Silky texture with a spicy elegant finish.
Erath 2009 Leland Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $50.00

210 cases produced
(89)
Female: Ripe cherry and black cherry aromas and flavors. Rhubarb and thyme notes mid to late. Nice acid that floods the mouth. Interesting turkey day wine.
Estancia Estates 2010 Pinot Noir
Monterey County, $15.99

47415 cases produced
(89)
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.
Fess Parker 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $25.00

11439 cases produced
(89)
Female: Fresh strawberry aromas. Lush ripe red fruit flavors turning pleasantly sour mid-palate. Nice acids which are complemented by well-managed oak elements.
Fore Front 2010 Pinot Noir
California ~ 63% Edna Valley, 34% Santa Barbara, 3% Sonoma, $24

1500 cases produced
(89)
Female: Dark and inviting (spooky Halloween wine?). Raspberry perfume and shortbread cookie aromas. Black cherry flavors with sour cherry back notes. Some nice spice elements too. Nice acid. Great texture. It’s got it all!
Fortunati Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast (Petaluma Gap), $36.00

270 cases produced
(89)
Female: Cherry, red currant, rose petals, and vanilla on the nose. The red fruit flavors are enhanced with green tea, sweet tea, and a touch of almonds on the finish.
Gauthier Select Vineyards 2009 Richmond Vineyards Pinot Noir
Napa Valley Carneros, $30.00

80 cases produced
(89)
Female: Cherry jam, rhubarb and eucalyptus aromas. Light red fruit on opening broadening on the palate to encompass darker plum flavors and finishing with black tea. Ripe fruit prevails.
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Pommard Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $58.00

40 cases produced
(89)
Female: Cool red fruit compote with Santa Rosa plum in the glass. Nice tart cherry fruit on the palate. Oak elements are there and hit high on the palate. Well balanced.
Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
Mendocino County, $16.99

4700 cases produced
(89)
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.
James Family Cellars 2009 Estate Stony Point Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $35.00

450 cases produced
(89)
Female: Herbal aromas. Quite nice cherry, and black cherry flavors are framed by nice herbal notes. Light acid but it works.
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Santa Maria Cuvee Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $28.00

2199 cases produced
(89)
Female: Cherry and dark cherry aromas and flavors with lots of mouth watering acid. Cola notes and tea spice with orange zest adds depth and interest. Balanced, elegant.
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Sierra Madre Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00

116 cases produced
(89)
Female: Lovely, bright fruit aromas. Rounded and mouth filling. Tart cherry, pomegranate, tart plum, smooth vanilla, pastry, soy, and light mushroom flavors – many layered. Beautifully balanced Pinot Noir.
Ketcham Estate 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

901 cases produced
(89)
Female: Leather on the nose with a hint of cocoa and coffee. Easy to drink. Screams Pinot Noir aromatically! Cranberry, cherry, cola, notes start to finish. Balanced.
KristiLynn 2008 Sebastian Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $45.00

80 cases produced
(89)
Female: Smells like Pinot! Pure strawberry aromas. The palate has a great rush of strawberry, red currant, clove, and cinnamon. There is quite a bit of wood here and yet the mouthwatering acid provides a lovely counter point.
Kristilynn 2008 Phoenix Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00

70 cases produced
(89)
Female: Dark and serious in the glass in both appearance and aromas. Cherries Jubilee and forest floor flavors combine. Intense. Not a ballerina, more like a Harley rider!
Lake Chelan Winery 2009 Pinot Noir
Columbia Valley, $32.00

498 cases produced
(89)
Female: Minerally nose with red fruit underlying. Cherry at the mid-core is surrounded by sour cherry and lovely spice. Like the acid. Nice!
Manzoni 2009 Home Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $26.00

371 cases produced
(89)
Female: Warm cherry compote aromas and flavors. Lemon and orange peel on the finish. Excellent acidity.
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $12.00

250000 cases produced
(89)
Female: Aromatics of red raspberry, cherry, vanilla, and baking spices lead to a juicy palate showing cherry pie and cola accents. Easy to enjoy.
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

4100 cases produced
(89)
Female: Aromas of black cherry and brown baking spices. Quite tasty with nice spice elements and very pleasant acid.
Martin Ray Winery 2010 2010 Martin Ray Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

2500 cases produced
(89)
Female: Red currant, red licorice, and limestone in the glass. Alcohol pops here too. Sour mouthwatering cherry flavors with green tea notes. Pleasant texture.
McIntyre Vineyards 2009 Estate Block 3 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $46.00

87 cases produced
(89)
Female: Cherry aromas lead to fresh ripe cherry and black cherry on the palate with oak accents. Nice acid.
McIntyre Vineyards 2009 Estate SLH Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $36.00

196 cases produced
(89)
Female: Aromatics cherry blossom, ripe cherries, strawberries, orange peel, orange marmalade, and new toasted oak. Ripe red fruit on entry. Alcohol seems a little high mid-palate but within the range of what is correct for the style.
Morris Ranch 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $48.00

240 cases produced
(89)
Female: Smoky, toasted oak, cherry jam, cinnamon, nutmeg, and licorice aromas. Red fruit with lots of licorice on the palate.
Orentano 2007 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00

400 cases produced
(89)
Female: Perfume of violets, rose, and lavender arise from the glass. Soft and fresh. Creamy mouth feel. Nice acid balance.
Orentano 2008 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00

400 cases produced
(89)
Female: Black cherry, mushrooms, and toasted walnuts on the nose. Intense in the mouth. Dark cherries on opening turning to sour cherries mid. There is a unique maple fudge quality that shows through the oak on the finish. Well built.
Per Bacco Cellars 2007 Dionysus – Barrel Select Laetitia Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $55.00

88 cases produced
(89)
Female: Floral and anise aromas. Dark cherry and dark spices on the palate. Lots of oak here. The finish is long with lovely mouth filling acids. Nice structure.
Schug 2009 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $28.00

7633 cases produced
(89)
Female: Light fresh strawberry aromas. Strawberry soda on entry with cola notes on the finish. Pomegranate, cranberry and Earl Grey tea add to the palate mid. “I really like the texture and lively nature of this wine.”
Silver 2008 Coteau Palmer (Palmer Hillside) Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $45.00

245 cases produced
(89)
Female: Aromatics of dark red stone, eucalyptus and toasted fennel seeds. Minty black fruit flavors on entry with lots of toasted herbs and spices mid to late. A very youthful wine but should evolve nicely.
Stephen’s 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
York Mountain, $38.00

180 cases produced
(89)
Female: Oregano and thyme in the glass. With aeration, the wine opens to strawberries and ripe cherries. The palate is consistent with layers of red fruit and nice oak elements. Nice integration. Nice acid.
The Four Graces 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $29.00

8500 cases produced
(89)
Female: Sweet strawberry aromas. Sweet and sour fruits mix on the palate with spice and black tea through the long finish.
The Four Graces 2009 Black Family Estate Black Family Estate Pinot Noir
Dundee Hills, $75.00

190 cases produced
(89)
Female: Earthy aromas. Mouthful of red and black fruit. Nice layers. Nicely balanced. Nice wine!
TR Elliott 2008 Queste Hallberg & O’Connell Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $42.00

385 cases produced
(89)
Female: Yeasty low notes. Cooked red fruit compote. Sweet fruit on entry accented with dark roasted cumin, cinnamon, a bit of toffee, and Asian spices. Very interesting. Oak hangs in there. Great acid.
Venteux Vineyards 2010 Circle S Pinot Noir
San Benito, $40.00

70 cases produced
(89)
Female: Cherry and barnyard aromas with dark and tart cherry flavors. Yummy! Great tannin and acid.
Villa Maria Estate 2010 Private Bin Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $20.00

4000 cases produced
(89)
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.
Villa Maria Estate 2009 Cellar Selection Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $30.00

585 cases produced
(89)
Female: Forest floor and mushrooms in the glass. Dark red fruit, raspberry, black raspberry, and black cherry join the earthiness to complete this interesting wine. Nice acid on the finish. Pretty wine!
Woodworth Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Temecula Valley, $33.00

150 cases produced
(89)
Female: The sour cherry nose leads to dark cherry flavors on the palate. Nice acid. Some tannins that need to settle in but they will. This will be a nice wine in six months or so.
Yamhill Valley VIneyards 2009 Estate Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir
McMinnville, $25.00

4493 cases produced
(89)
Female: Great rush of red currant, clove, and cinnamon aromas lead to pure strawberry flavors. Mouthwatering acidity.
Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2009 Reserve Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir
McMinnville, $35.00

1582 cases produced
(89)
Female: Black cherry aromas lead to lush dark fruit with sweet cherry elements. Nice barrel notes. Nice acidity. Yummy!
Barefoot Cellars Pinot Noir
California, $6.99

700000 cases produced
(88)
Female: Floral and strawberry on the nose. The palate follows perfectly. Simple and easy to drink.
Bogle 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $11.00

75000 cases produced
(88)
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.
Canihan 2009 Estate Canihan Family Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Carneros, $49.99

550 cases produced
(88)
Female: Green olive and bell pepper aromas with fresh mint and red cherry on the palate. Interesting.
Cline Cellars 2009 Cool Climate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $17.99

5329 cases produced
(88)
Female: Inviting aromas of strawberries and baking spices are replicated on the palate. An earthy edge joins late and hangs in through the finish.
Fontes & Phillips Wines 2009 La Encantada Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $52.00

260 cases produced
(88)
Female: Very inviting. Baking spice, floral, lavender, and touch of grandma’s perfume in the nose. Red fruit with cola notes in the mouth.
Gloria Ferrer 2006 Jose S. Ferrer Pinot Noir
Carneros, $35.00

977 cases produced
(88)
Female: Plum and dried herb on nose. Cherry and black cherry on the palate with lots of toasty oak. Sour cherry on finish. The tannins are quite prominent but fruit to carry.
Light but nice.
Gloria Ferrer 2006 Gravel Knob Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

319 cases produced
(88)
Female: Aromas of mushrooms, soft ripened cheese, dried fruits, and dried leaves. Light red fruit flavors with forest floor accents. Nice acid on the finish.
Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2008 Estate Hearthstone Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $42.00

100 cases produced
(88)
Female: Mushroom notes in the glass opening to light red fruit with aeration. The palate mirrors the nose with cola mid to late. Nice mouthfeel.
Huber Cellars 2009 Estate Norman and Traudl Huber Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $42.00

457 cases produced
(88)
Female: Herb garden and spice. Lots of complex notes. Tart cherries, graham crackers soaked in rum and cocoa powder flavors. Interesting and enjoyable wine.
J Storey 2009 Encell Vineyard Pinot Noir
San Luis Obispo, $40.00

252 cases produced
(88)
Female: Cranberry, strawberry, cocoa, and a touch of clove in the nose. Ripe and dried fruit flavors…strawberry, strawberry jam, dried fig, and dried cranberry. Simply easy to enjoy.
Laetitia 2007 La Colline Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $60.00

250 cases produced
(88)
Female: Lots of big fruit aromas with cola and mineral notes on the nose. Smooth across the palate showing lots of lush fruit. Nice finish.
pureCru 2010 Giovanni’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros, $32.00

270 cases produced
(88)
Female: Floral aromas. Red cherry, and raspberry flavors follow. Good level of acidity on the finish. Easy to quaff. Easy to enjoy.
R2 Wine Company 2010 Black Pine Pinot Noir
California, $26.00

1042 cases produced
(88)
Female: Cola, dark berry, sour cherry, mushroom, earth, and herb on nose. Simple flavors but nice mushroom notes enhance the cherry flavors. Nice but not complex.
Ventana 2009 Ventana Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $29.00

3723 cases produced
(88)
Female: Funky earth and mushroom notes on the nose. Cedar and spice notes on the palate. The oak is prominent but should settle down with time. This is a well-made wine.
Ventana 2008 Mission Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $37.00

200 cases produced
(88)
Female: Red and black fruit aromas with a touch of earth lead to the ripe and lush palate. The tannins are well integrated. Well balanced.
Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery 2010 Pinot Noir
Southeastern New England, $30.00

600 cases produced
(88)
Female: Some interesting aromas. Wild strawberry and raspberry on the palate. Fairly simple but very enjoyable.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 South Block Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $45.00

791 cases produced
(88)
Female: Earthy and mushroom aromas open to cherry and citrus notes as the wine is aerated. The palate is intense with red and black raspberries and stone fruit flavors. Spice and a burnt caramel note mid to late. The finish is long and complex. Lay this one down. It will get better and better with time.
William Cole 2010 Columbine Reserve Pinot Noir
Casablanca Valley, $15.00

5000 cases produced
(88)
Female: Black cherry and violet aromas. Rather explosive in both the nose and on the palate. Silky. Emphatically varietal.
Acrobat 2010 Pinot Noir
Oregon, $20.00

31000 cases produced
(87)
Female: Floral notes on the nose. Light raspberry flavors with nice acidity.
Annapolis Winery 2007 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $45.00

750 cases produced
(87)
Female: Coffee and dark red fruit aromas are replicated on the palate opening. Lots of barrel notes and heavy tannins mask a good amount of the fruit at present. This baby needs time.
Big Vine Wines 2009 Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande, $14.00

2300 cases produced
(87)
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
California, $12.00

10000 cases produced
(87)
Female: Cola on the nose leads to strawberry flavors which open to pleasant cherry on the finish. Nice acid.
Claiborne & Churchill 2009 Twin Creeks Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $36.00

248 cases produced
(87)
Female: Cranberry aromas with a hint of green beans and cured meats. Same on entry with sour rhubarb notes mid to late. Oregano notes on the finish.
Dancing Coyote Wines 2010 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
Clarksburg, California, $12.99

1274 cases produced
(87)
Female: Light strawberry and rhubarb aroma. Nice acid. Pleasant barrel elements on finish.
Davis Bynum 2009 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $35.00

5000 cases produced
(87)
Female: Dark fruit on the nose is delivered onto the palate. Lots of oak surrounds the fruit. A big wine now will soften in time.
Forest Glen 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $10.99

5200 cases produced
(87)
Female: Easy to drink. Bright red and black fruits. Nice acid. A crowd pleaser.
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Six Sixty Seven Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $52.00

40 cases produced
(87)
Female: Leafy aromas dominate the fruit. Brooding entry with tar notes. Austere on the palate with herbal notes alongside dried cherry. Plenty of acidity.
HobNob 2010 Pinot Noir
Vin de Pays d’oc, $10.99

80000 cases produced
(87)
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.
Lennox Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $27.00

120 cases produced
(87)
Female: The flavors and aromas are consistent – red and black berries deepen to plum flavors touched with mushroom and earth elements.
Motos Liberty 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $11.99

2500 cases produced
(87)
Female: Cherry vanilla aromas lead to juicy cherry flavors with a touch of spice. Soft and round. “Spice rack in a glass – nice!”
Oak Summit 2009 Estate Bottled n/a Pinot Noir
Hudson River, $29.95

100 cases produced
(87)
Female: The color is brickish with a slight orange tint to the rim. “Could be an older wine.” The nose is more vibrant with dark red fruit and smoky campfire notes. Cherry then sour cherry flavors with toasted herbs and spices mid to late. Slightly rustic but enjoyable.
Pacific Ridge Vineyards 2009 Huber Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $44.00

77 cases produced
(87)
Female: Spicy plum on the nose. Sweet dark fruit. Light on the acid. On the big side of Pinot. A crowd pleaser.
Schug 2008 Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

773 cases produced
(87)
Female: Smoky campfire aromas. Pretty smoke on the palate too.
Three Brothers 2008 Estate Three Brothers Vineyard Pinot Noir
SW Washington, $20.00

(87)
Female: Floral notes with a touch of menthol. Nice! Red fruit. Great acid. Nice Oak and acid elements. “I LIKE!” Very enjoyable, easy.
Domenico 2007 Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $35.00

457 cases produced
(86)
Female: Plum and spice aromas. The palate is consistent with the nose. Tea accents on the finish.
Napa Ridge 2009 Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, $15.99

1500 cases produced
(86)
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
Oregon, $17.00

21000 cases produced
(86)
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
California, $8.00

580000 cases produced
(86)
Female: Very purple – inky and opaque. “Smells like Syrah.” Ripe strawberry, cherry and black cherry fruit flavors flood your palate.
Spoiled Dog Winery 2010 Private Reserve Momtazi Pinot Noir
McMinneville, $29.99

150 cases produced
(86)
Female: Sour cherry aromas. Inviting. The flavors are consistent. Simple, straightforward.
St. Joseph Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir
Grand River Valley, $19.99

300 cases produced
(86)
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

(86)
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.
Truckee River Winery 2008 Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $45.00

200 cases produced
(86)
Female: Cooked plum and cooked cherry aromas. Full-bodied flavors of black plum and oak.

heartheart = Will Provide Fond Memories = Honorable Mention

Gauthier Select Vineyards 2009 Rockin’ H Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $35.00

1090 cases produced
(85)
Female: Sourdough rising. Dark black fruit with lots of herbs. Campfire notes on the finish.
Llai Llai 2010 Pinot Noir
Bio Bio Valley, $12.99

40000 cases produced
(84)
Female: Barnyard and earthy with some nice light in dark fruit from start to finish. Simple. If it’s under $15, I’m in!
MontPellier 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $9.99

20000 cases produced
(84)
Female: Violets and strawberry aromas lead to layers of cherry, sour cherry, and black raspberry favors. Pleasant cocoa shows through the tannins on the finish.
The Crossings 2009 Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $18.99

40000 cases produced
(84)
Female: Barnyard, forest floor, and sour cherry on the nose. Black fruit flavors with toasted herbs and coffee notes. The tannins overpower the pretty fruit.
Windy Hill 2004 Karah Estate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $15.00

2000 cases produced
(84)
Female: Dark cherry but not overly prominent on the nose. Dark fruit on the palate. Acid well balanced and pleasant.
Emerson Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $18.00

2352 cases produced
(83)
Female: Light red strawberry and rhubarb aromas. The tannins are in balance for the light fruit. Some acid on the finish.
Burning Bench 2006 Moon Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
Marin County, $45.00

90 cases produced
(80)
Female: Strawberry jam and a touch of dark cherry on the nose. Dark tea and espresso are intense and mask the fruit at present. Not sure if the fruit will outlive the oak treatment.
Imbimbo Family Winery 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00

120 cases produced
(80)
Female: The aromas are not ones I associate with Pinot Noir…gingerbread, persimmon, tobacco, and leather aromas. The palate is pleasant but again, not consistent with Pinot.
Karah Estate and Windy Hill 2008 Karah Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $24.95

2000 cases produced
(80)
Female: Sweet in the nose and in the mouth.
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