12th Pinot Noir Shootout Results

12th 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
Sparkling Wines

GOLD MEDAL = 90 TO 100


A Blooming Hill Vineyard 2011 Estate Pinot Noir
Chehalem Mountains AVA, $20.00
360 cases produced
Female: Red fruit with spring garden notes on the nose. Nice flood of warm and sour red fruit on entry. Vanilla notes join mid. Tannins are quite present. 87
Male: Strawberry and earth notes on the nose. Some nice red fruit on the palate. Fairly aggressive tannins. 86
Abiouness 2009 Stanly Ranch Pommard Clone Pinot Noir
Carneros, $42.00
47 cases produced
Female: Sweet, strawberry and blackberry fruit aromas with orange zest and spice back notes. Dusty fruit flavors lead the palate which is soft, balanced and tasty! 90
Male: Ripe raspberry and forest floor with some light mocha elements...Love that nose! Medium bodied, full of soft, slightly sweet, black cherry fruit that is contained and supported by delicious acidity and great balance. A wonderful wine! 92
Abiouness 2009 Silacci Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia, $45.00
70 cases produced
Female: Layered aromatics - cherry cider, cola, root beer, black cherry, lavender, dried sage, and black pepper. A nice mushroom component is added on the palate with lovely cassis on the finish. 90
Male: Cherry, ginger, green hay, and a touch of mint in the glass. Nice palate that reflects the nose with the addition of fresh strawberries. A balanced and subtle wine. 88
Alderbrook Vineyards 2011 Single Vineyard Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River, $45.00
178 cases produced
Female: Cherry with light spice aromas. Cherry on entry moves to sour cherry mid through the finish when black pepper notes kick in. 87
Male: Aromatics are hard to pinpoint but upon aeration, open to light cherry, black cherry and light spice. These repeat and are nicely layered on the palate with dusty tannins on the finish. 90
Alderbrook Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $32.00
2000 cases produced
Female: Deep, exotic, Burgundian aromatics...fine leather, light toast and dried roses. A mouthful of wonderful and elegant flavors. Long, silken and tangy finish. 90
Male: Cherry, cola, vanilla, and spice aromas. Delicious layers of cherry and orange dance on the tongue. Elegant but powerful. 90
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2012 Estate Pinot Noir
Alexander Valley, $28.00 LIGHT PINK
3765 cases produced
Female: Spiced cherry, plum pudding, cranberry, baking spices, with a touch of vanilla and cola on the nose and the palate. Rich and supple with a creaminess on the long finish then nice acid. Lovely silken texture. 90
Male: Light tone in the glass. The nose shows a touch of smokiness with firm red fruit. Solid, defined red fruit flavors with racy acidity. Balanced finish with camomile tea notes. 90
Ampelos Cellars 2009 Ampelos Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $35.00
900 cases produced
Female: Touch of lavender and cherry under tones on the nose. Cherry, strawberry and cola flavors. Elegant and yummy. 90
Male: Light cherry aromas. Bright cherry and baked cherry flavors fill the palate through the nice finish. 87
Ampelos Cellars 2012 Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $25.00 DARK GREEN
900 cases produced
Female: "Love the aroma!" Great texture - soft and silky with a nice acid balance. Cherry, vanilla, cinnamon, and cola flavors. Complex and elegant. 91
Male: Roasted meat aroma with anise, mineral and potpourri notes. Excellent acidity with deep layers of lush black and red fruits wrapped in Christmas spices. 91
Anderson Oaks Vineyard 2011 Estate Jamboree Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $30.00 MAGENTA
211 cases produced
Female: Lovely cinnamon, Red Hots, Asian spice, orange zest, tart cherry, and pomegranate aromas and flavors. Plush on the palate with juicy acidity and white pepper on the long finish. 94
Male: Gunflint, lavender, cranberry, and Bing cherry aromas are replicated on the palate. Lush mid-palate with nice acidity on the lingering finish. Very good overall structure. 90
Angels Landing 2012 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $25.00
3000 cases produced
Female: Forest floor and mushroom aromas. Pretty cherry and berry fruit with tea spice back notes. Full flavored and beautifully balanced. Nicely crafted, good length. 90
Male: Ripe and fruity aromas - strawberry and cherry with tea spice. A mouthful of ripe black cherry and a touch of oak on the backside. Simple and easy to drink. 88
Asuncion Ridge Vineyards 2010 Estate Pinot Noir
Central Coast, $38.00 SALMON
250 cases produced
Female: Garnet in color. Beautiful nose of dusty rose, strawberry and mushroom. Soft and delicate. Light bodied with medium acidity. Strawberry and tart rhubarb carry through on the palate and onto the long and lovely finish where they are joined by savory spice. 91
Male: Very light in color. Strawberries and forest floor aromas with light soy notes. Pretty darned elegant! Medium weight. Nicely balanced acids and soft tannins. Supple and enjoyable with soft and sweet fruit on the finish. 92
Asuncion Ridge Vineyards 2010 Barrel Select Pinot Noir
Central Coast, $58.00
75 cases produced
Female: Cherry cola, violets and orange rind notes. The palate is lovely and delicate. Nice acid and long finish. A very feminine wine. 89
Male: Sandalwood, violets and cherry pie aromas and flavors. Medium bodied. Fine structure and balance. Good varietal character with earthy notes surfacing at the finish. 90
Atascadero Creek 2009 Rioual Vineyards Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $32.00
75 cases produced
Female: Strawberries and herbs on the nose. The herbs carry through onto the palate with soft, light red fruit at the core. A soft and smooth wine. 86
Male: Very developed black fruit, lavender and mushroom aromas. Fruit forward and smooth on the palate. Some lingering tannins and good acidity on the finish. 87
Balverne 2012 Estate grown, produced, and bottled Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $30.00
302 cases produced
Female: Cherry and black cherry aromas are replicated on the palate. Nice toasty finish with great acid. 89
Male: Tart and sweet aromas of blackberry and cherry that carry through the entry. The mid-palate is jammy but balanced with the addition of floral notes and some nutty flavors. Pomegranate on the finish. 88
Balverne 2012 Reserve 2012
Russian River Valley, $50.00 RED
245 cases produced
Female: Super pale but deceptively powerful. The nose screams "Pinot!" Sweet red cherry, tart cranberry with earthy mushrooms mid. Soft and supple yet the palate is weighty with dusty red fruit. Good acidity. Nice on its own or with food. 89
Male: Very lovely nose! Exquisite fruit says "Drink me!" Very cool entry, just a bit edgy. Great balance and forwardness. Good depth and breadth and marvelous finesse. Harmonious to a T. 90
Barbed Oak Vineyard 2011 Zara's Block Estate Grown Pinot Noir
Bennett Valley, $34.00 DENIM
252 cases produced
Female: Cardamom spice and sautéed mushrooms rise from the glass. Hints of leather join dried cherry and tight tobacco nuances mid-palate. Smooth texture and lifted finish. 92
Male: Deep and dark...raspberry to scarlet in color. Blackberry and woodsy character showing on the nose. A mouthful of black raspberries on opening, then restraint kicks in. Harmonious and appealing. 90
Baus Family Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir
Sonoma County, $20.00
3000 cases produced
Female: Hints of tobacco and black tea on the nose. Elegant structure. Cherry, cranberry and earthy elements are balanced with bright acidity. 90
Male: Tart cherry aromas and flavors. Nicely formed. 87
Beauregard Vineyards 2012 Estate Coast Grade Vineyard Pinot Noir
Ben Lomond Mountain, $45.00
450 cases produced
Female: Cherry aromas with a floral complement. The palate leads with tart red fruit with white pepper notes. Smoky and tart simultaneously - a very interesting combo. 88
Male: Very pretty layers of fruit and flower aromas. Palate of violets and grapefruit accented by cranberry. Lovely throughout. 90
Beauregard Vineyards 2011 Byington Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $40.00
525 cases produced
Female: Fresh ripe cherry juice aroma. Ripe cherry and black cherry mouth filling flavors. Nice wine. 90
Male: Soft spice notes and light strawberry on the nose. The palate is consistent. Easy to drink. 87
Beauregard Vineyards 2012 Estate Beauregard Ranch Pinot Noir
Ben Lomond Mountain, $50.00
264 cases produced
Female: Zesty hibiscus aroma. Cranberry, juicy pomegranate and raspberry flavors. Bright acidity. 86
Male: Sweet rhubarb and roasted tomato scents. Good fruit in the background but acidity overshadows it. Tart finish. 85
Beauregard Vineyards 2012 Estate Bald Mountain Pinot Noir
Ben Lomond Mountain, $45.00
336 cases produced
Female: Really balanced well knit wine. Tart cherry and fresh spring breeze on the nose. Dark cherry and chocolate notes on the palate through the long finish. 89
Male: Potpourri of floral and savory scents at first opening to plums, blackberry and fresh fennel. Big fruit on the palate both black and red well integrated with spice. Rich, lush and full. Great balance with good acidity on the lingering finish. 90
Black Pine 2012 Pinot Noir
California, $26.00 BLUE GREEN
4720 cases produced
Female: Cherry, black cherry and dark chocolate on the nose continues onto the palate. Ripe and juicy in the mouth. The flavors are joined by mocha notes mid-palate and bright citrus on the finish. 90
Male: Rose petals, rhubarb and vanilla on the nose. Seamless palate of black cherry, vanilla, tea, cedar, and cola with a consistent finish. Well structured - rich and brooding. "Tastes expensive." 91
Blair Estate 2010 Delfina's Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $35.00
253 cases produced
Female: Brown sugar coated cherries and notes of warm fig bars are complemented on the nose by rose petals. Cherry and ripe just picked strawberry define the flavors and are accented with white pepper and anise. There's nice minerality working with the acids on the finish. 90
Male: Truffles, chocolate, and black cherry combine with vanilla and sandalwood to form an attractive aromatic profile. Flavors of dramatic strawberry and bing cherry are followed by toast and barrel elements. Soft tannins and lean acidity on the finish. 88
Blason de Bourgogne Cremant de Bourgogne
Burgundy, $18.00
Female: Pink in color with a small to medium bead. Strawberry aromas carry through onto the palate. Unsweetened cola notes on the finish. Nice acid too. 89
Male: Honey, cherry, lees, and toasted notes on the nose. Delicious sweet cherry mid-palate. Wow! 89
Block Nine 2012 pinot noir
California, $13.00
45000 cases produced
Female: The nose shows sweet black cherry and rhubarb with loads of black pepper. Medium bodied palate with black cherry and plum flavors. Plucky tannins. Big black pepper on the finish. 88
Male: Touch of barnyard, smoky notes, cola, cedar, eucalyptus, and cherry on the nose. Lush red fruit flavors with hints of tangerine and coffee beans. Peppermint joins in for the finish. 87
Bohemian Vineyard 2012 Estate Pinot Noir
Freestone/Russian River Valley, $45
100 cases produced
Female: Pure sweet candy aromas - raspberry and chocolate bark with oak notes in the background. Good fruit flavors with a core of meatiness. Nice acid on the long finish. 90
Male: Lovely spice, dark red cherry and cherry aromas. Oak kissed juicy cherry flavors at the core. Supple tannins on the finish. 89
Bonneau 2011 Sangiacomo Vineyards Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $34.00
620 cases produced
Female: Red fruit with Spring garden notes and warm vanilla on the nose. The tannins are quite aggressive at the opening but are countered with a nice flood of warm sweet and sour red fruit from mid through the finish. Will age well. 88
Male: Garnet in color. Red and black cherry aromas repeat on the palate joined by cranberry, pomegranate and spicy oak notes. 88
Bonterra 2012 Pinot Noir
Mendocino, $15.99
7015 cases produced
Female: The spicy cherry nose leads to flavors of blackberry and cherry compote. Firmly structured and balanced with vanilla bean notes permeating throughout. 91
Male: Nice aromas! Bright red fruit with sarsaparilla, dried citrus peel and high toned herbal notes. Creamy attack showing complex and focused flavors of cherry, raspberry and brown baking spices. Very viscous. 90
Bouchaine 2010 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $35.00
9800 cases produced
Female: Red cherry and mushroom with hints of tea leaf on the nose. Sweet red fruit, black pepper and a lovely minerality in the mouth. Good acidity on the pleasant lingering finish. 89
Male: Black cherries and coffee, ripe berries and lots of sweet cherries. The nose and palate are consistent. Bright acidity with some light tannins around the edges. Clean and well made. Not overwhelming, not showy but shows well. 90
Bouchaine 2011 Estate Terraces Pinot Noir
Napa Valley - Carneros, $60.00 TURQUOISE
245 cases produced
Female: Juicy ripe dark plum, grilled meats and black pepper aromas. Tart cherry, dark plum, toast, and vanilla flavors. Very fruit forward with a lingering finish. 90
Male: Deep, dark red in color. Intriguing aromas of dark red fruit, roasting meat, earth, spice, and violets. Velvety smooth on the palate showing rhubarb and pine notes on the finish. Great balance. Firm tannins with bright acidity. Superb wine. 96
Bouchaine 2012 Estate Vineyard Pinot Meunier
Napa Valley - Carneros, $40.00
860 cases produced
Female: Forest floor nuances on the nose. Gorgeous silky mouthfeel. Dried cherry with precisely balanced fruit, tannins and acidity. Cranberry, exotics spice, cherry, and earthy notes persist through the lingering finish. 92
Male: Nice aromas of strawberries, caramel and chocolate. Medium dark in color. Pretty and restrained on the palate with black cherry and a light touch of orange peel. Well-balanced and elegant. 90
Bouchaine 2012 Rockin' H Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $40.00 DUSTY ROSE
270 cases produced
Female: Aromas of rose petals and strawberry jam with lighter tones of cranberry and spice notes. Raspberry and cherry with hints of clove and brown spice on the palate. Well placed tannins and enough acidity carry the finish very nicely. 90
Male: Spiced cranberry with light toast and lovely earth and mushroom define the nose. Mid-palate shows a melange of pomegranate, dried cherries, and a touch of blueberry that is nicely accented by well developed tannins and bright, fresh acidity on the finish. 88
Breathless Brut Rose
Sonoma County, $30.00
Bridlewood Estate 2011 Pinot Noir
Monterey County, $20.00
13600 cases produced
Female: Aromatics show wet leaves entwined with fresh raspberries on the vine at first and then open to strawberry, cherry, cinnamon, and bark. Cherry pie and brambly notes on the palate. Smooth and rich. A crowd pleaser. 87
Male: Warm gingerbread aromas greet you. Lovely cherry and sour cherry flavors on the palate. Generous acid. 88
Cakebread Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $50.00 GREEN
2000 cases produced
Female: Tangerine and cherry with baking spices and toast create an alluring aromatic profile. Palate is generous with its combination of black and red cherry fruit balanced nicely by evolving tannins and lively acids. An attractive offering and solid statement of Anderson Valley. 90
Male: Earth, blackfruit and hint of appealing nuttiness accent lovely varietal nose. A lush palate of ripe blackfruit and spice lead to a finish of young tannins and nicely highlighted acidity. This offering should develop in bottle nicely. 87
Canihan 2010 Estate Canihan Family Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $50.00
308 cases produced
Female: Ripe plum and cherry along with cherry cola with toasty undertones create an attractive and inviting aromatic. Cherry pie filling carries the midplate with dark black fruit and blood orange following. Cracked pepper and allspice linger on the finish. A crowd pleaser. 90
Male: Fully ripened black cherry and plums combine with lighter notes of watermelon and a hint of red grapefruit on the nose. Palate is well formed in a restrained style showing layers of black fruit and ripe cherry and finishing alive and fresh with generous acidity. 88
Canihan 2012 Canihan Family Vineyard Rose of Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $20.00
Female: Floral nose. Nicely dry and lean cherry and raspberry. Nice purity. 90
Male: Cherry aromas. Ripe and sour cherry flavors. Some tannins come in 3/4 back on palate. Clean raspberry finish. 89
Carlton Cellars Roads End 2010 Estate Pinot Noir
Yamhill-Carlton, $45.00
288 cases produced
Female: Smoky red cherry, chocolate and black pepper with mineral notes on the nose. The palate is medium weight, balanced. The red plum, cherry, pomegranate, and dark fruit flavors are well supported by acidity, spice and oak notes. Vanilla notes highlight the finish. 90
Male: Black cherry and light mint aromas. Medium dark in color. Fresh red berries with blackberries joining mid-palate and brown baking spices kicking in at the end through the medium-plus finish. 89
Carol Shelton Wines 2012 Larson Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros / Sonoma County, $38.00
250 cases produced
Female: Vanilla bean aromas, soft, round and easy to quaff. Cherry, black cherry, cola, and vanilla flavors from start to finish. Full mouth feel showing well integrated tannins. 88
Male: Cherry, pomegranate, and cola on the nose. Supple and soft on the palate with strawberry jam. Good acids and tannins. Spice and woodland notes on the finish. Well balanced. Nice! 89
Cartograph 2011 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40
220 cases produced
Female: Dark and smoky aromas open to rich molasses and black cherry flavors accented by bacon fat notes and coffee and cranberry on the juicy finish. 90
Male: Elegant in appearance with aromas of rhubarb, cranberry, cherry, and floral notes. Complex palate of cherry, oak, leather, and coffee. Nice long and smooth finish. 90
Chandon Blanc de Noirs
California, $22.00
Female: Yeasty and lime peel aromas. Tiny bead. Red delicious apples and hints of cinnamon spice on entry. High toned mid-palate, Toasted nuts and pineapple on the finish. Nicely structured. 90
Male: Great complex definition of Blanc de Noirs - Chardonnay enhanced Pinot Noir. Beautiful nose of spice, lees and cherry from entry through the long finish. 92
Chloe Creek 2011 Leras Family Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40.00 RED ORANGE
180 cases produced
Female: Exotic nose of leather, spice, earth, smoked meats, and cherries. Fleshy ripe plum on entry with lingering tart cherry on the long finish. 90
Male: Cherry and Bing cherry aromas jump from the glass. An action packed wine with a yummy core of lively red cherry and black fruit. 90
Cipes Rose Pinot Noir
Okanagan Valley BC VQA, $26.95
Female: Deep pink in color with small bubbles. The nose is elusive at first and then opens to cherry/strawberry soda aromas with hints of herbs and lemon verbena. The palate is round and fruit focused. Easy to enjoy! 89
Male: Honeyed apple, lees, light cherry, and black cherry. Full of fruit and charm! 88
Cline 2012 Cool Climate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $14.99 PUMPKIN
15000 cases produced
Female: Burgundian style aromas of barnyard lead to a bright cherry,, pomegranate blast of fruit accented with fresh herbs. Evocative wine with beautiful complexity and finely grained tannins. 92
Male: The nose is a warmish impression of graham crackers, beets, muted cherries, and cola. Very structured in the mouth, more assertive than the nose. Nicely resolved tannins. The fruit is subtle. 89
Cloak & Dagger 2010 Pseudonym Coeur Du Val Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $59.00
75 cases produced
Female: Rose petals and black cherry aromas lead to black cherry and rhubarb on the palate. Clove and nice acid on the finish. 89
Male: Raspberry, clove and gun flint on the nose. Deeply layered and complex with dark chocolate, red fruit, spice, and well integrated oak. 90
Columbine Reserve 2011 Pinot Noir
Casablanca Valley, Chile, $16.00
3000 cases produced
Female: Cranberry aromas with sweet strawberry and tart cranberry flavors. Very light and easy to drink. A great sipper or picnic wine. 87
Male: Modest nose that opens a bit with air showing cherry-berry red fruit with crisp acidity, light chalky tannins and scintillating spice that carries the finish. Delicate but spirited, 87
Comanche Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $34.00
150 cases produced
Female: Dark and dense prune and cola aromas. Blackberry, plum and black cherry fruit flavors with sandalwood back notes. Dark fruit and coffee on the fairly truncated finish. 87
Male: Lots of new oak here. Dark and intense black fruit at the core. The finish is a bit short. 86
Comanche Cellars 2011 CharEva Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $30.00 LIGHT YELLOW
50 cases produced
Female: A slightly shy but perfumed nose with hints of plum sauce and petrol. Winter fruits on the palate showing plum pudding, black figs, raisins, brown sugar, and molasses. Nicely balanced with good acid, tannin and texture. Lovely satiny finish. 91
Male: Cherry and peat mulch aromas. Wow! Great cherry on entry. Amazing fruit presence mid palate. Long finish showing spice and everything nice. 94
Costa de Oro Winery 2011 Estate Gold Coast Vyd Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $35.00
1000 cases produced
Female: Aromas of lavender with cherry undertones. Cherry and strawberry flavors are accented with cola notes. Elegant and yummy! 89
Male: Light cherry on the nose opening to bright cherry and baked cherry flavors fill the palate. Soft and subtle finish. 87
Costa de Oro Winery 2011 Reserva Oro Rojo Gold Coast Vyd Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $50.00
250 cases produced
Female: Medium garnet in color. Ripe raspberry, clove and spice aromas. Sour cherry on entry with earth notes on the finish of this well balanced wine. 87
Male: Love the cedar, potpourri, cinnamon, and plum aromas that are replicated on the palate. Delish! Excellent layers of fruit flavors evolve into a long, lip smacking finish. Classic. 90
D & L Carinalli Vineyards 2011 Estate D & L Carinalli Vineyards Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00
307 cases produced
Female: The nose is elusive at first but opens to light and sour cherry aromas and flavors. Youthful tannins and some nice acid here. 86
Male: Subtle aromatics if light cherry, fresh strawberry and hay. Well formed core of cherry with spice and young tannin structure. 87
d'Art Wines 2011 Pinot Noir
Lodi, $28.00
100 cases produced
Female: Sweet caramelized red fruit aromas with dusty spice notes in the background. Fresh but light cherry in the mouth. Heavy spices and hints of smokiness on the finish. 87
Male: The Vanilla-caramel nose with a touch of strawberry jam continues onto the palate. Excellent length with a strong caramel finish. 88
David Bruce Winery 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $55.00
692 cases produced
Female: Forest floor, a touch barnyard and dark cherry aromas. Pomegranate on opening with sour cherry coming through mid to late. Barrel notes are well integrated. Beautifully made. 91
Male: An ethereal Pinot lovers dream on the nose. Earth, mushroom, grilled meat, and black fruit. The palate is surprisingly rich and complex but beautifully balanced. 91
David Bruce Winery 2011 Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $55.00
283 cases produced
Female: Elegant nose and palate. Sour cherry and pomegranate aromas with a touch of lavender. The palate is consistent on opening through mid with black tea on the finish. It's just baby! 90
Male: Black cherry and orange peel with light toast and spice on the nose. Bright cherry and light, black fruit flavors are nicely woven with spice. Nice acid. 90
David Bruce Winery 2011 Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $35.00 GRAY
2000 cases produced
Female: A beautiful nose of rose petals and black cherry that lures you in. The palate has lush cherry, black cherry and baking spice. Awesome acidity. Beautifully balanced. 92
Male: Nicely elevated complex aromatics of red cherry and black cherry with bright spice tones. The mouth explodes with flavor. This wine walks the line perfectly between lushness and restraint. 93
Davis Bynum 2011 Jane's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40.00
7800 cases produced
Female: Cherry, oak and pine pitch on the nose. Cherry, cedar and coffee on the palate. The finish is consistent with light acidity. 86
Male: Pretty ruby color. Smoky nose. Nice cherry pie flavors on entry with cedar and leather joining in mid palate. Nice finish showing red currant notes. 87
Dawn's Dream 2011 Rachael Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $30.00
250 cases produced
Female: Light strawberry, orange rind and sea breeze aromas. Darker in the mouth with black cherry flavors moving to cranberry with lovely acid on the finish. 90
Male: Floral, cranberry, wild cherry, and spice scented nose. Full palate of lively black fruit finishing with spiced cherry notes. 88
Dawn's Dream 2011 Alyssa Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $30.00
250 cases produced
Female: Aromas of warm toasted cherry pop tarts with plum and raspberry jam. The ripe cherry core is accented by the black olive and nutmeg. There's a nice minerality that combines with bright acidity to provide a fresh finish. 90
Male: Black cherry with an earthy flora combine with coffee and cooked cherries on the nose. Palate shows nice layering of ripe black fruit and baked cherry compote with a presence of clove on the long finish. 88
Dawn's Dream 2011 Nicole Pinot Noir
Monterey, $30.00 PINK
500 cases produced
Female: Earthy, dried cherry, barnyard, and mushroom aromas. High acidity and gorgeous fruit on entry. Flavors of cherry, roasted tomato and mushroom develop mid- through the long finish. This is terrific and well-made. Very ageable. 91
Male: Aromas of strawberry jam and mint. Round and ripe showing black cherry and plum with great acidity. Excellent texture. Exquisitely balanced. 90
Dawn's Dream 2010 Pinot Noir
Carmel Valley, $30.00
250 cases produced
Female: Black cherry and a touch of vegetal character on the nose. Black cherry on entry. Tart cherry on the finish. Needs time to meld together. 87
Male: Smoky strawberry and light floral nose. Nicely formed complex palate with lots of potential. Lay this baby down and enjoy in 9-12 months. 90
Dawn's Dream 2009 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $30.00
300 cases produced
Female: Warm spiced black cherry and cherry cobbler aromatics. The palate mirrors the nose. Long and rich finish. Well made. 90
Male: Sarsaparilla, vanilla, cinnamon, black cherry, and cardamom on the nose. The flavors are seamlessly melded...tart raspberry, oak notes and chocolate. Excellent barrel selection. "I want more after each sip." 91
De Novo Wines 2011 Cuvee Aanya Frattey Shams Vineyard Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $36.00
150 cases produced
Female: Tangy cherry, white pepper and a touch of cinnamon on the nose. Tart plum and sweet cherry in the mouth. Nicely balanced. 88
Male: Soft and delicate in appearance. Light cherry, earth, minerals, and morning flowers on the nose. Plum and cherry flavors. Dark earth notes on the finish. Seamless. 90
Domaine Berrien Cellars 2010 Estate Pinot Noir
Lake Michigan Shore AVA, $15.50
244 cases produced
Female: Cherry cola nose. Tart cherry fruit on the palate. Nice acid on the finish. Definitely a food wine. Try it with grilled salmon. 86
Male: Soft red fruit on the nose and palate. Bracing acidity on the finish. 83
Domaine Carneros 2009 Brut
Carneros, $28.00
Female: "Wow the zesty aromas drive me into the glass!" Tiny bubbles, pure citrus and apple notes fill the palate. There is a touch of dried pineapple on the long finish. gorgeous acidity, 93
Male: There is beautiful bright green and red apple, orange peel and nice minerality on the nose. Stunning effervescence and rich mousse. Tangy spiced apple flavors and grapefruit on the finish. 91
Double Bond Winery 2009 Wolff Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $48.00
375 cases produced
Female: Sweet cherry cider, raspberry jam and Satsuma aromas. Nice weight on the palate, Soft tannins on the pleasant lingering finish. 88
Male: Ripe plum and black cherry nose with light toast and spice notes. Pleasing, well developed palate of fruit and spice. 88
Double Bond Winery 2010 Wolff Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $48.00
320 cases produced
Female: Many layered nose of deli meats, light strawberry, black cherry, coffee, and spice. The palate is many layered too - cherry, rhubarb, clove, cinnamon, and smoky back notes consistent through the finish. 90
Male: Earth, plum, black cherry, and oak driven spice aromas and flavors. Chewy finish with spice and licorice. 87
En Garde 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $58.00 TEAL
50 cases produced
Female: Cola, chocolate and strawberry soda and jam on the nose. The palate shows white pepper, vanilla, cherry jam, and dried cherry. Long finish. Elegant! 91
Male: Dark color in the glass, very "New World." Spicy, beautiful aromas with earth and herbal back notes. Excellent lip smacking acidity on the lingering finish. Balanced - great structure. "Love the fruit!" 91
En Garde 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $58.00
100 cases produced
Female: Classic ripe cherry and complex black fruit combine in this elevated and perfumed aromatic with a lovely sweet cigar box with nutmeg on the back end. Palate is loaded with lots of black cherry and black raspberry flavors that are nicely accented by an additional layer of cranberry and blood orange. The long, delicious finish is nicely accented by bright acidity that makes this work so nicely. A special rendition of this varietal that will age gracefully and grow. 91
Male: Beautifully developed aromas of generous spice and dramatic black cherry and red fruit. Palate continues to impress combining the same generous elements of spice and complex black fruit with dramatic ripe red cherry and lush plum flavors. Fruit and spice are beautifully layered in this complex and satisfying wine. The long dramatic finish is almost seamless and graciously invites you back for another taste. A charming example of exceptional New World Pinot Noir. 92
En Garde 2012 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $48.00
175 cases produced
Female: Slightly smoky with a dusty rose note on the nose. "Really nice acid. Sour cherry with white pepper flavors makes me want more. " stated one of our judges. "Excellent food pairing wine given its acidity and balance of sour cherry and herbs on the long finish." 90
Male: Plum/garnet in color. The nose is inviting, fairly forward with some soy sauce, spice, nice berry, and earth tones. Very cool on the palate with well behaved tannins and good acid snap. Good texture. 89
Exuberance by Canihan 2010 Reserve & Estate Canihan Family Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $65.00 LILAC
74 cases produced
Female: Rose petals and black cherry on the nose. Rhubarb on entry opening to broad cherry and black cherry flavors. Oak deftly surrounds the fruit and thee wine finishes with lovely acidity. 90
Male: Heavily extracted ripe fruit aromatic but it still says "Pinot Noir." Rich fruit filled core with spice that carries through the finish. Would be terrific with grilled pork loin. 90
Field Stone Winery 2012 Hopkins River Ranch Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $30.00 LIME GREEN
425 cases produced
Female: Dense aromas showing smoky cherry, black pepper and woodsy notes. Ripe cherry, herbs and spice develop nicely on the textured palate. Good acidity. Nicely balanced. 90
Male: Lovely nose, warm and spicy showing cloves and black berries. Pretty ruby in color. Round and generous on the palate with sweet strawberries and roses. Supple and plush mouth feel. Fleshy yet balanced. 92
Fleur de California 2012 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $18.00
11000 cases produced
Female: Strawberry and cola in the nose is replicated on the palate. The palate is juicy with nice acid on the finish. 87
Male: Soft strawberries with hints of oak on the nose and mouth. Cola notes on the finish. 87
Fortunati Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $36.00
220 cases produced
Female: A touch of lovely barnyard on the nose. Ripe sweet and sour cherries at the core with cocoa and dark espresso notes mid through the finish. 89
Male: Light cherry and strawberry aromas. Spiced black fruit on the palate. Well structured with a layered depth of fruit and a nice finish. 90
Frei Brothers Reserve 2011 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $27.00 WEDGEWOOD
18600 cases produced
Female: The black cherry flavors are ripe and delicious. Nicely balanced with sour cherry on the finish. A friendly wine for any occasion. 89
Male: Savory notes enhance the blackberry jam aromas and flavors. Creamy in the mouth with sweet spice notes on the finish. Nicely balanced. 90
Galante Vineyards 2012 Estate Pinot Noir
Almond Flat, $30.00
250 cases produced
Female: Cherry, black cherry, barnyard, and damp earth aromas are mirrored on the palate where they meet lovely acid and are nicely integrated. 89
Male: Very layered aromas...plum, blackberry, currant, rhubarb, mushroom, and dried herbs. Black cherry flavor with a good tannic backbone. A bruiser that aims to please and does. 90
Gallegos 2011 Boekenoogen Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $38.00 WHITE
89 cases produced
Female: Raspberry and cherry combine with spice and toast creating a unique baked fruit pie character on the nose. Strawberry and rich plum define the fruit profile in the mouth. Balances beautifully with the right amount of structure. An engaging wine that drinks well now and should evolve even further. 90
Male: A very inviting and elevated aromatic of freshly picked ripe strawberries. Secondary notes of plum and cherry take the aromatics even further. Palate is as enticing as the nose with a fully developed black and red fruit character surrounded by spicy candied plum. Juicy and delicious in a finessed and restrained style. Nicely done. 92
Gallo Signature Series 2011 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia, $35.00 SEA GREEN
2400 cases produced
Female: Subtle aromatics - leather, baking spice and dark cherry. Rich round ripe cherry flavors. Velvety tannins. Beautifully balanced and complex. 90
Male: Rich and robust dark fruit, grapefruit and pine aromas. Soft and gentle raspberry flavors and sweet tobacco leaf on the palate. Quinine on the dry finish. 89
Gary Farrell Winery 2011 Russian River Selection Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $45.00
6062 cases produced
Female: Densely fruited nose. Vanilla bean, dark cherry compote and a trace of herbs fills the palate. Lively acidity balances the juicy fruit. Dances through the finish with charm! 90
Male: Pale garnet in color. Cherries, chocolate, spices, and earth notes on the nose. Strong impression on the palate...deep fruit, anchoring tannins and spiciness. Well-balanced. Good finish. Nice complexity. Yum! 92
Gary Farrell Winery 2011 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $55.00
602 cases produced
Female: Classic New World aromatic profile of raspberry, ripe cherry and a touch of orange peel. Mouth is generous and offers a cranberry and cherry core with well placed tannins and overall nice structure. Eminently enjoyable! 90
Male: Dramatic blackberry, red plum and hints of clove and a touch of black licorice on the nose. Palate is supple and tasty with dried cherry and hints of black fruit. Finish is a well defined combination of nicely evolved fruit and wood tannins with a touch of minerality. Works nicely. 89
Girasole Vineyards 2011 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
Mendocino, $16.00
6357 cases produced
Female: Sweet plum and cherry aromas replicate on the palate. Soft and very enjoyable. 87
Male: Caramel corn and black fruit aromas open to big fruit and the core surrounded by lively spice. Great finish. 89
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs
Carneros, $22.00 PERIWINKLE
25000 cases produced
Female: Brioche-style yeasty nose. Lean and bright cherry and raspberry flavors with racy acidity. Persistent tiny bead. Beautifully structured. Vibrant. Long finish. 94
Male: Lovely salmon color with strawberry, orange peel and cherry blossom aromas. Rounded light strawberry and cherry flavors from front to back. Nice long finish. 90
Gloria Ferrer 2008 Brut Rose
Carneros, $45.00
5000 cases produced
Female: Hugely expressive aromas. Creamy texture. Leesy notes and bright acidity. Cherry and cranberry flavors with precise balance. Nice tangy undertones show through on the good length of the finish. 94
Male: Beautifully elevated and complex lees accent the cherry fruit. The finish is long and satisfying. 92
Gloria Ferrer Pinot Noir
Carneros, $28.00
12500 cases produced
Female: Barnyard aromas intrigue the nose showing dried cherry and blackberry. The aromatics are mirrored on the palate with plum notes converging on the mid-palate and then enhanced with savory spice on the finish. Precisely balanced with racy acidity. 93
Male: The nose is bright and compelling with an underpinning of grated orange rind and spices topped by ripe fruit. Plum and biscuit notes on opening. Cool and smooth on the palate, fairly rounded, meaty and dense. Lovely now but complexity will develop over time. Nice finish. 91
Grady Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2012 Pinot Noir
Lodi, $25.00
140 cases produced
Female: Beautiful Alpine strawberry aromas and flavors. Rush of bright and fresh lemon notes mid to late. Well made! Smoked salmon anyone? 88
Male: Clear and clean ruby color. Very subtle nose. Clove and dried cherry on entry with cassis and leather notes joining in mid-palate. Nice mouth feel. 86
Graham Beck Brut
South Africa, $15.00
Female: Wet stone minerality opens to citrus enhanced tropical fruit. Streamlined and well balanced. Builds on the palate. Nice lift on the finish. 90
Male: Medium size bead. Rich sur lees carries early mid-palate. Bright and alive with a back note of Old World minerality. 88
Graton Ridge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $45.00 GUNMETAL
420 cases produced
Female: Lovely ripe, freshly picked strawberries with baking spice and light white pepper define the nose. An inviting and silky mouthfeel of freshly squeazed cherries and orange blossoms with a finish that lingers and then finishes alive and fresh. 89
Male: Black cherry and mocha notes combine with an inviting cookie dough aroma to create an inviting nose. Palate shows nicely formed elements of red cherry and black raspberry with lingering notes of candied cherries. Enough structure to carry the depth of fruit. 90
Gruet Brut Rose
New Mexico, $17.00
Female: Intense strawberry aroma with pie crust notes that carry onto the palate and are joined by subdued spice and nice acidity. Soft and elegant. Very fruit dominant wine. 90
Male: Refined red cherry and Meyer lemon on nose and entry. Light mid-palate. Pleasing. 90
Guglielmo 2011 Private Reserve Pinot Noir
Monterey, $35.00
242 cases produced
Female: Sassafras, elderberry with red cherry and rhubarb and mince meat define an attractive nose. Palate offers flavors of cooked black fruit and spiced pomegranate with a touch of white pepper lingering on the finish. 90
Male: Red and black cherry combine with pleasing sandalwood and forest floor on the note. Palate is nicely formed with generous black cherry and prominent spice. Finish lingers with cherry and soft tannins before giving way to nicely placed acidity. 88
Hahn SLH Estate 2011 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $35.00 CORAL
6982 cases produced
Female: Aromas remind you of chocolate cherry cake with complementing lighter notes of cedar and ripe raspberry. The lush mouthfeel of rich cherry and bittersweet chocolate accented with dried herbs carries this wine's rich texture all the way to the long and pleasing finish. Tasty! 90
Male: A dramatic nose of black cherries dipped in dark chocolate is both distinctive and very appealing. The palate remains alive and fresh with a solid red cherry core accented with ripe plum, toasty baking spice and dried herbs. The tannins are supporting this wine nicely along with the acidity needed to keep it all honest. Drink now and enjoy. 89
Handley Cellars 2010 Reserve Estate Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $52.00
98 cases produced
Female: Well developed black fruit and spice on the nose is replicated on the palate with intensity. Black pepper on the finish. A BIG style Pinot. 88
Male: Black cherry and cedar aromas. Rich, almost heavy layered palate of cassis, clove, licorice, and mocha. Very interesting wine. Lay this baby down for another year or two for full enjoyment. 90
Handley Cellars 2010 Reserve Estate Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $52.00
98 cases produced
Female: An appealing combination of ripe rhubarb and dried red fruit with a hint of Jolly Rancher strawberry candy. Palate is full and satisfying with cherry pie filling and blackberry preserves. Finish works nicely with good balance and lingering spice flavors. 90
Male: Nicely elevated and well developed black fruit aromatic with secondary notes of raspberry followed by cherry cola tones. Lush and silky on the palate with a nice range of black cherry and rich ripe raspberry with a dusting of cocoa powder. A long satisfying finish with a fun, spicey character. 88
Handley Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $32.00 BRONZE
1292 cases produced
Female: Brooding aromas of black cherry, forest floor, woodsy spice, and licorice and replicated and saturate the palate. Cherry cola flavor adds interest and depth. Lively acidity on the long finish. Well-balanced. Lovely! 95
Male: Purple garnet in color. Cherry, vanilla, lavender, and barnyard on the nose...very appealing. Very vivid in the mouth, well fruited and well-rounded. Long and lovely finish. 89
Handley Cellars 2010 RSM Vineyard Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $52.00 PEACH
293 cases produced
Female: Berry compote aromas arise from the glass. Cherry and dark cherry flavors on entry open to sour cherry and cola notes. Lovely acid on the finish. 90
Male: Dark cherry, cooked cranberries and graham crackers in the nose. Lively palate with some black fruit at the core. Slightly tart on the finish. 90
Harmonique 2007 Delicace Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $44.00
422 cases produced
Female: Barnyard and black cherry aromas lead to a palate that shows black cherry with cola notes with orange peel on the finish. Beautiful acid on the long finish. 90
Male: Floral and dried cherry aromatics repeat on the lush and lively palate with the addition of baking spices. Nice wine! 89
Harmonique 2007 The Noble One Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $39.00
434 cases produced
Female: Sauteed mushrooms, fig, plum, and a hint of balsamic on the nose. Dark red fruit with floral and herb accents. A lovely and subtle wine. 90
Male: A delicate wine with strawberry flavors and cranberry notes on the tart finish. 88
Harmonique 2007 Elegance Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $36.00 GOLDENROD
247 cases produced
Female: The nose is shy opening slowly to cola, cinnamon, clove and light cherry. Delicate on the palate with cinnamon, milk chocolate and dried cherry. Easy to enjoy with lighter foods. 88
Male: Brilliant red brick in color. Subtle nose of cherry, cedar, sun-dried tomato, and flowers. The complex palate adds cinnamon, earth and quinine to the nose notes. Lovely balanced finish. 90
Holman Ranch Vineyards and Winery 2010 Estate Blend Pinot Noir
Carmel Valley, $33.00
500 cases produced
Female: The color is garnet at the core. The nose shows meaty notes, black cherry, orange zest, smoke and cedar. Orange zest on the palate, dark fruit with hints of fennel. Plum with nice acidity on the finish. 89
Male: Freshly baked bread, smoke, dark cherry, orange peel, cinnamon, clove, potpourri, anise, spearmint, and cardamom - Wow! The palate is multi-layered. An unusual but intriguing Pinot Noir. 90
Holman Ranch Vineyards and Winery 2011 Heather's Hill Pinot Noir
Carmel Valley, $37.00
444 cases produced
Female: Juicy raspberry, Bergamot and dried herb aromas. Black cherry at the core on the palate. Strong tannins. Highly enjoyable. 88
Male: Spicy raspberry. black pepper and earthy notes. Juicy mouth feel. 86
Holman Ranch Vineyards and Winery 2010 Hunter's Cuvee Pinot Noir
Carmel Valley, $40.00 AQUA
452 cases produced
Female: Earthy deep dark fruit aromas. Vibrant entry of cherry and fresh herbs. Lively acidity dazzles the senses. Beautifully balanced and bright. 90
Male: Dark in color-plum/purple. Blackberries and baking spices on the nose. Big mouthful of sweet cherries with light tannins showing but they just add a character, they don't detract. Very nice in the mouth: a complete impression. Dense with complexity developing. 95
J Cuvee 20 Brut
Sonoma County, $28.00
Female: Small bead in the glass. Lemon grass aromas. Lots of Granny Smith and honey crisp apple flavors. Pleasant but reasonably short finish. 89
Male: Richness of sur lees on the palate. Honeyed apple, tangerine and grapefruit flavors that linger. "Looking for a bit more on the finish." 92
James Family Cellars 2011 Estate Stony Point Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $36.00
270 cases produced
Female: Light in color. Earthy notes on the nose. The palate is light and elegant showing light cherry fruit with sour cherry notes on the finish. 90
Male: Nice cola and cherry nose. The palate shows cherry and clove throughout. Very pleasant mouth feel. 88
Jekel 2011 Pinot Noir
Monterey, $18.99
6599 cases produced
Female: Plum pudding, coffee and hints of tar on the nose. Strawberry jam and fresh raspberry fruit on the palate with leather and quince on the finish. Good balance and texture. 90
Male: Beautifully integrated nose of chocolate and wonderful cherries and raspberries. Wow! Soft in the mouth. Cherry, berry entry, tea and herbs mid-palate into a viscous sweet oak and fruit finish. 89
Judds Hill Winery 2010 Estate Estate Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, $34.00
380 cases produced
Female: Woodsy aroma joins anise and black cherry flavors on entry. Layers of black cherry, cherry and savory spice swirl deliciously on the palate. Elegant and immensely flavorful with a persistent finish. 92
Male: Blackberry cola (Dr. Pepper?), loads of sweet cherry and light spice flavors. Nicely balanced. Seamless! Lovely medium-bodied Pinot with fewer fruit, clean acids and nice cherry-ish finish. 92
Ketcham Estate 2011 Ketcham Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $48.00
250 cases produced
Female: Barnyard and cherry aromas. Dusty red fruit on entry through the mid-palate with earth and cinnamon on the finish. 87
Male: Aromas of baking cherry pie with a touch of mint. Ripe cherry on the palate with a touch of coffee on the finish. 86
Ketcham Estate 2011 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00
350 cases produced
Female: Well made. Pure cherry aromas with a touch of lavender. The cherry repeats on the palate with lovely acid and light coffee notes on the finish. 88
Male: Bright cherry with floral and baking spice aromatics. Nicely developed palate combines red fruit balanced by bright acidity. 88
Korbel Brut Rose
California, $12.00
Female: Small bead. Very light yellow gold/salmon in color. Creamy palate showing strawberry on entry with ripe tangerine mid. Finishes with nice acid on the long finish. Yummy sparkling for date night. 90
Male: Bright and alive with cherry soda and lees on the nose. Fresh and bright. Lovely! 90
LaMontagne Winery 2011 Theron Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $55.00
150 cases produced
Female: Earthy and ethereal. Full bodied. Lovely citrus flavors with subtle herbs. Fresh and clean. 90
Male: Lovely citrus, honeyed apple, red apple, vanilla, and grass notes on the nose and mouth. Lush acid on the finish. 90
LaMontagne Winery 2011 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
Santa Maria, $48.00 HOT PINK
175 cases produced
Female: Earth, sweet mushroom, and strawberry jam with light white pepper create an inviting aromatic. Ripe strawberry is followed by ruby red grapefruit bringing a pleasing fresh citrus component to the flavor spectrum. The finish is kept bright and alive by this wine's nice acidity. 90
Male: Cranberry and black cherry combine with dried red cherry and a hint of forest floor on the nose. The palate is nicely layered with spiced fresh cherry and a finishing touch of jolly rancher cherry candy. A pleasing combination and easy to drink. 88
Lazy Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011 2011 Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $42.00 KHAKI
499 cases produced
Female: Earthy notes on the nose with cherry, cranberry and red raspberry joining upon aeration. The palate mirrors the nose. A very harmonious wine with great balance. 90
Male: Potpourri, white pepper, red cherry, and lead pencil aromas. Red plum, cinnamon, wild strawberry, and blood orange flavors with lovely spice notes on the finish. Velvety mouth feel with great acidity. 91
Lennox Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $24.00
110 cases produced
Female: Red fruit and earth notes on the nose. Ripe black cherry, cola and spice flavors. Coffee notes on the finish. 86
Male: Very ripe cherry notes define the nose. The palate shows lush black fruit. Drink now. 86
Lennox Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $24.00
80 cases produced
Female: Black cherry and strawberry, vanilla, toffee, and smoke aromas. Tart cherries with milk chocolate notes and baking spices on the finish. Elegant, silky mouth feel. 88
Male: Aromas are muted but open to orange peel and violets with cherry back notes. Nicely built palate of driven by red fruit and finishing with spice. 88
Lennox Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $24.00
170 cases produced
Female: Earthy with tart cherry. The oak is prominent now but there is fruit beneath. This is just a baby. Needs time. 88
Male: Dark fruit aromatics with toast and a hint of caramel. The palate is consistent. This is just a baby in the early stages of developing. Would like to re-taste in 8-10 months. 90
Lightheart Cellars 2011 Thomson Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros, $45.00
50 cases produced
Female: Beautiful color in the glass. Fresh cherry and cooked cherry on the nose and in the mouth. Pleasant finish. 85
Male: Nicely proportioned ripe cherry and heirloom tomato aromas. Palate of young cherry and orange peel. Bright finish. 87
Lobo 2010 100% Estate grown Wulff Vineyards Pinot Noir
Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, $42.00
175 cases produced
Female: Lots of bold plum and black fruit on the nose combines nicely with leather and hints of scented pipe tobacco. Palate is big and bold with black cherry fruit and mandarin orange with spiced cinnamon and white pepper. The depth of fruit and good acidity should allow the prominent oak to integrate over time. 88
Male: Generous baking spice and warm cinnamon combine with black cherry and rose petals in the nose. Palate is rich and well developed and replicates the black cherry profile found in the aromas with a pleasing and interesting finish of baking spice and raspberry kir. 90
Lucas & Lewellen 2011 Estate Vineyards Goodchild High 9 Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $30.00
820 cases produced
Female: Dark red fruit on the nose and palate. A touch of acid and toasted herb notes on the finish. 86
Male: Ripe and concentrated fruit on the nose is delivered onto the palate that is juicy and silky. Sour berry and well integrated oak on the slightly chewy finish. 88
Lucas & Lewellen 2012 Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $20.00
4034 cases produced
Female: Lavender and rhubarb aromas. Cranberry, light strawberry and rhubarb at the core of BIG tannins. This is a baby but will round out. There is enough fruit to carry the tannins. 87
Male: Light, yet well defined strawberry aroma with cola back notes. The palate mimics the nose. A nicely restrained wine with excellent balance. 90
Lucienne 2011 Estate Smith Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $50.00 BRICK
877 cases produced
Female: Cherry and vanilla aromas open to a juicy, fruit focused palate.. Lush and round. Pretty and clean finish with a touch of herbs. 89
Male: Deep ruby in color. Very aromatic with baking spices and ripe blackberries showing. Very appealing. Very nice in the mouth. Sweet black cherry and rhubarb flavors. Great balance! Silky mouthfeel. Mouthwatering and delightful! 91
MacMurray Ranch 2011 Winemaker's Block Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $60.00
700 cases produced
Female: Fruit compote cooking on the stove emanates from the glass. Black raspberries, fresh strawberry, a touch of greenery, and ripe cherry then sour cherry meld on the palate with orange peel and nice acid on the long finish. 91
Male: Aromas of warm black cherry with back notes of baked sugar cookies. The aromas are replicated on the palate. Wells structured with the early stages of smoothing tannins. Lay this down for 6-18 months and be rewarded, 91
MacMurray Ranch 2011 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $35.00
468 cases produced
Female: Dark garnet color. Rich black cherry, cola, and leather aromas. Rich, dark and substantial wine showing plush cherries and Dr. Pepper flavors. A real crowd pleaser! 90
Male: Light reddish purple in color. Nice dark cherry aroma. Very pleasant flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate and toasty oak. "Love the rich texture." Hedonistic style. 89
Mahoney Vineyards 2011 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros, $38.00
250 cases produced
Female: Strawberry jam, lovely floral notes and a touch of cola on the nose. Earthy tones on the nose and palate. Delicious full fruit palate with strawberry, strawberry jam/strawberry pie at the core layered with dark cherry, mushroom, moist leaves, leather, vanilla, and black pepper. Plum and nice acid on the finish. Very youthful. Will get better with time. 91
Male: Smoke, cinnamon, clove, and strawberry jam on the come hither nose. Beautifully evolved full palate. Nicely rounded, lovely oak and tannin balance with very pleasant Pinot Noir flavors giving way to a defined finish. 90
Mahoney Vineyards 2011 Mahoney Ranch Pinot Noir
Carneros, $38.00 BLUE
250 cases produced
Female: An elegant nose of elderberry, black currant, and fresh black cherry combine with a toasted spice and light mushroom. The nicely layered palate offers up layers of cherry and strawberry with a backdrop of blood orange accented with vanilla and toast. There's a long and easy to like finish comprised of nicely melded tannins and a bright minerality. 91
Male: Freshly baked sugar cookies combine with black raspberry jam creating an alluring aromatic. Secondary notes of forest floor after light rain. Palate is a lively combination of both red and black fruit with softer tannins and nicely integrated barrel notes. There's plenty of acidity to keep this wine fresh on the finish. 88
Mahoney Vineyards 2011 Estate Pinot Noir
Carneros, $28.00 CHARTREUSE
800 cases produced
Female: Dark red in color. Toasty oak a bit of red fruit at first on the nose. Tart entry of cranberry opens to riper and fuller fruit in the middle - cherry comes in too. Good integration of oak. 90
Male: Floral tones on opening move to nicely evolved black fruit and ripe cherry aromas. The beautifully complex palate reflects the aromatics. 90
Masut Vineyard and WInery 2012 Estate Pinot Noir
Mendocino County, $40.00
2500 cases produced
Female: A bit of funk on the nose at first. Upon aeration, the wine opens to saddle leather, earth, mushroom, and smoked meats. On the rich palate dried cherry, toast, tea, and some cocoa. Vanilla and cinnamon on the finish. 90
Male: Smoky, caramel, buttered popcorn, and marshmallow aromas open to cherry, pomegranate and red plum flavors at the core. Silky texure and great balance. Very nice acidity on the long finish. 90
Masut Vineyard and Winery 2012 Block 6 Pinot Noir
Mendocino County, $60.00 TAN
100 cases produced
Female: Coca-Cola, chocolate and raspberry aromas. Beautiful balance and roundness on the palate. Cherry and spice and wet leaves and earth with nice acidity. Well structured wine with a long and lovely finish. 91
Male: Cola and graham crackers rise from the glass with lovely cherry coming in late. Very pleasant on the palate. Nicely balanced and structured. Well-balanced between fruit and spices with a touch gaminess. Very inviting wine on the nose with the palate and aftertaste to match. 90
Mercy 2012 Riverbed Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $30.00
524 cases produced
Female: Tight nose that opens to rose petals and strawberry. Very tart flavors - cranberry and sour cherry. "It's all there - just so young...would like to retaste in 6-8 months." 88
Male: Well restrained aromatic profile with black cherry and traces of milk chocolate and orange peel. Lively palate that is precisely woven. 87
Mercy 2010 Zabala Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $38.00
166 cases produced
Female: Black cherry on the nose with a touch of barnyard repeats on the palate and is joined by roasted meat flavors. Toasty oak balances the ripe fruit. 90
Male: Baked cherry cobbler with a hint of barnyard in the nose. Unique palate of dried black fruit and earth. 88
Mercy 2010 Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $28.00
815 cases produced
Female: Cherry and floral notes on the nose with a hint of baking spice. Cherry flavors with mocha notes. Lovely finish. Nice balance. 90
Male: Elevated rich cherry and blueberry with lavender and spice on the nose. The palate is nicely layered with bright red and blue fruit. Well done! 90
Merriam Vineyards 2012 Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40.00
120 cases produced
Female: Fresh strawberry with soda pop like aromas are replicated on the palate with lots of nice acid on the finish. Judicious use of oak adds interest.
Male: Warm baking spice notes surround soft cherry on the nose. Nicely layered mid-palate. Great acid on the finish. 90
Merriam Vineyards 2012 Cuvee Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $28.00
225 cases produced
Female: The nose is closed at first but opens to black raspberry and fresh strawberries. Lovely and delicate flavors. Nice! 89
Male: Very restrained - in the early stages of development. A+ for potential. Looking forward to tasting this in 6-9 months. 90
Merriam Vineyards 2012 Three Sons Pinot Noir - Still
Russian River Valley, $75.00
45 cases produced
Female: A classic new world aromatic comprised of rich, ripe red cherry touched by baking spice, warm earth, and lighter notes of cocoa. Palate replicates much of what is found in the nose with the addition of cherry pie filling a graham cracker crust. Toasted oak elements will soften in time. 91
Male: A crowd pleasing nose with mocha, sugar cookies, red and black cherry fruit, and ripe plums. Well developed black fruit with mint chocolate, light coffee notes and rich cherry extend a lovely flavor spectrum. Generous use of new oak should integrate with bottle aging. 89
Mirassou Sun 2011 Pinot Noir
California, $12.00
395000 cases produced
Female: Pure cherry aroma replicates on the palate and is joined by cola notes. There is a hint of burnt caramel on the finish. Simple and easy to enjoy. 87
Male: Very black cherry driven on the nose. In the mouth, light cherries and hints of wild game - tangy with some mineral notes. Very young. 86
Mooney Family 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $68.00
265 cases produced
Female: Dense cherry and the suggestion of smoke and bacon on the nose. Full-bodied flavors with rich cherry, wild berry fruit, tobacco spice, and vanilla bean notes filling the mouth. Nicely balanced. Touch of nice mocha through the finish. 90
Male: Warm aromatics of cola and raspberries. Good color. Sweet cherry and tea in the mouth with solid, balanced acidity and a lingering note of sweet cherry in the finish. Nice wine! 91
Mooney Family 2012 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $52.00
312 cases produced
Female: Earth, mushroom, plums, and cherry - intense and bold aromas, joined by leather notes upon aeration. Great in the mouth! Concentrated fruit and spice - BIG! 90
Male: Big and bold nose of cherry, Dr. Pepper and some funky notes. Dark red fruit flavors on entry with plum, blackberry and roasted meats mid. Sweet oak on the finish. 87
Mud House 2012 Estate Claim 431 Pinot Noir
Central Otago, $29.99
Female: Seductive fruit forward nose of blackberry-blueberry pie with hints of minerals. Opens to layers of spice, cranberry, cherry, and black tea nuances. Balanced with a nice level of acidity. Finishes lean and clean. Makes me want another sip. 90
Male: Rich dark plum, cocoa/malted milk balls and cloves on the nose. Dark red fruit on entry. Nice integration of oak shows from mid-palate through the finish. Smooth tannins. High acidity which speaks well for great food pairing. 90
Mud House 2012 Pinot Noir
Central Otago, $16.99
Female: Light garnet in color with a dark rim. Earth and strawberry aromas lead to tart strawberry, pomegranate, cranberry, and a touch of cola flavors. Nice acidity. Lighter style. 89
Male: The nose shows cranberry, cinnamon, violets, and a whiff of pepper. Red cherry, raspberry and a touch of orange rind. Elegant style with good acidity on the lingering finish. 90
Mumm Napa Rose
Napa Valley, $23.00
Female: Heavenly yeasty aroma with mineral notes. Strawberries and cream on entry through the mid-palate. Gorgeous structure. Hint of ginger on the persistent finish. Beautifully balanced. 93
Male: Elevated cherry and spice with warm spiced orange on the nose. Rich red fruit with bright fresh cherry on the finish. Simple yet tasty. 88
336 cases produced
Female: Enticing touch of spearmint enhance the rhubarb aromas. Rhubarb, strawberry and fresh cherry fruit. Lovely acidity. Delicate and well made. 89
Male: Light red fruit aromas lead to cranberry and strawberry in the mouth. Well balanced with nice acid on the finish. 88
254 cases produced
Female: Dark berries in the nose with a touch of cranberry upon aeration. Entry of full dark berries and raspberries that are joined by mocha notes and orange rind mid to late. Lovely acid on the finish. Well balanced. 90
Male: Sea salt and bright black cherry aromas with a hint of cranberry too. Nice entry with fruit and spice. Young tannins are still apparent. Will move forward in the bottle nicely. 89
Orpheus Wines 2012 Bacigalupi Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00
49 cases produced
Female: A pale if not almost translucent color displays candied cherry and distinctive cedar and toast on the nose. The fruit profile of ripe raspberry and cherry is advanced in it's development and the wines bright acidity carries to a pleasing finish. 90
Male: There are some lovely elevated aromatics of light fresh strawberry and hints of clove that intermingle with some slight sherry notes. Palate displays a rich texture and flavors of cooked cherry and black fruit. Drink now. 86
Pedroncelli 2012 Signature Selection Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $20.00
6100 cases produced
Female: Flirty and very pretty wine displaying bright red cherry and strawberry aromas that translate to layered raspberry jam with coffee notes in the mouth. Savory and light at the same time. 91
Male: Baked cherry pie and cinnamon toast on the nose. Deep layers of Bing cherry and blackberry flavors. Balanced and easy to drink. 89
Pinot Grande 2011 Reserve, Pinot Grande Pinot Grande, Peak, Estate Pinot Noir
El Dorado, $30.00
391 cases produced
Female: Fresh strawberry and raspberry on the nose and in the mouth with brown spice notes throughout. Black pepper jumps in on the finish. 87
Male: Nice mouth feel. The palate is loaded with young fruit and spice showing black pepper on the finish. 86
Pleasures 2012 Pinot Noir
California, $10.00
6000 cases produced
Female: Cherry, cola and barnyard aroma. Old World style Pinot Noir. Ripe cherry flavor with lifted acidity on the spicy finish. 89
Male: Barnyard aroma. Cherry and pomegranate flavors finishing with an espresso note. Not enough acid here. 86
Portalupi 2012 il Migliore Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $48.00
404 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry, vanilla, cola, and light smoke on the nose. Tangy red fruit flavors. Light and well balanced. 89
Male: Great nose! Cedar, toast and cherries arise from the glass. Red and black cherries, cranberry, orange, and pomegranate flavors. Long finish. Layered with bright acidity and great structure. 90
Portalupi 2012 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $30.00 PURPLE
298 cases produced
Female: Fresh raspberries and earthy aromas lead to an elegant mouthfeel of savory spice, strawberry-rhubarb pie and dried herbs. Elegant and lean with lively acidity. 91
Male: Red cherry, fresh herbs, spices, grenadine, and earth aromas lead to an elegant palate showing richness of fruit with complex spice elements throughout. 90
Prix Vineyards 2011 Reserve Montington Vineyard Pinot Noir
Coombsville, $55.00
130 cases produced
Female: Here's the barnyard! Memories of Burgundy immediately spring to mind. Carnal, earthy and dusty with soft red cherry. Nice structure. Bring on the charcuterie! 89
Male: Barnyard nose with cedar and leather accents. Flavors lean toward earthy notes and wet leaves around the core of dark cherries. Tastes like a young Burgundy. 89
Redwood Creek Pinot Noir
California, $8.00
125000 cases produced
Female: Lighter style showing fresh strawberry, cherry and spice on the nose and palate. Easy to drink. 85
Male: Youthful Beaujolais-style Pinot Noir with elevated length and depth. Lots of spice on the finish. 86
RN Estate 2010 CA Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $55.00
240 cases produced
Female: Earthy inviting aroma opens to juicy red and black cherries with a kick of vanilla upon entry. Fruit dominant mid-palate with gobs of cherry, raspberry, red plums, and tea spice highlights. Juicy and easy to quaff. 90
Male: Notes of earth and soy with subtle black cherry fruit in the nose. Deep in color. Lush flavors loaded with sweet cherry and brown sugar. Notable acidity. Overall a surprising amount of lush fruit. Very textured 90
RN Estate 2011 CA Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $49.00
195 cases produced
Female: Cherry, raspberry, cranberry, and cola aromas replicate on the palate at the core with the addition of clove and nutmeg. An elegant wine. 90
Male: The come hither nose reveals cherry and spice bit by bit, very sexy. Red fruit, soft tannin and appealing finesse on the finish. Seamless. 91
RN Estate 2011 CA Solomon Hills Vineyards Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $55.00
205 cases produced
Female: Cherry pie aromas with a touch of pumpkin pie spice - enticing! The palate is as layered and enticing as the nose with a core of fruit accented with baking spices and herbs. Lovely wine! 90
Male: An elegant wine displaying sweet oak, dried cherry and vanilla on the nose. The palate is complex. The aromas are delivered on entry and are accented by chocolate, coffee and tea. Balanced and consistent finish. 90
Roederer Estate Brut
Anderson Valley, $23.00
Female: Wow! Yeasty and gorgeous pear and apple with spicy accents of butterscotch. Toast notes from mid-palate to finish. Elegant structure and precise balance. 94
Male: Limestone and Gravenstein apple aromas. Lively honeyed apple, Meyer lemon and orange flavors. Long complex finish. 92
Schramsberg 2008 Brut Rose
North Coast, $42.00
Female: Leesy and yeasty with minerality and spice notes. Deeply structured with cherry and raspberry fruit. 89
Male: Advanced sur lees goes towards a cremant-style. Delicious sweet fruit at the core. 92
SCHUG 2011 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $30.00
5245 cases produced
Female: A nicely formed and complex aromatic profile of fresh raspberry and red cherry combined with rhubarb and brown spice with a hint of forest floor and lavendar. Palate is alive with nicely ripened black cherry and loganberry all in the framework of gracing tannins and lovely acidity and minerality. Thoroughly enjoyable. 90
Male: An enticing, inviting nose of bing cherry, sweet earth and cola notes. Palate displays wonderful depth of red cherry and black cherry fruit accented by ripe spiced strawberry and a touch of sweet plum. Palate is nicely formed and finishes with elegant length leaving the palate anxious for the next taste. 91
SCHUG 2009 Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00 BLACK
812 cases produced
Female: Soft and dusty smoked cherry, lavender, strawberry, and rhubarb. aromas lead to a fleshy palate that mirrors the nose. Lovely spice complement joins mid-palate. Great acidity makes for lots of food pairing opportunities. 90
Male: Blackberry and cinnamon aromas. Medium dark in color. Supple, rounded and elegant with black cherry and spice flavors. The acidity is beautiful! Nicely structured and balanced. Pure and clean. 91
SCHUG 2011 Estate Pinot Noir
Carneros, $45.00
317 cases produced
Female: Elusive on the nose but absolutely available on the palate...dark red fruit with plums and blackberries...earthy and spicy and nicely textured with hints of black peppercorns in the background. The palate loses momentum mid-way but finishes with nice fruit. 88
Male: Deep ruby in color. The nose is predominantly cherry with a back note of cola at first and then opens to strawberry, bright raspberry, nice menthol, and cedar. Dark cherry and cola notes in the mouth. Big and pleasing! 90
Schug 2010 Rouge de Noirs
Carneros, $35.00
Female: Baked bread aroma. Light golden peach in color. Lively entry of strawberry with citrus notes and Rainier cherries. Full flavored through the lingering finish. 92
Male: Exotic spice that beautifully complements the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend. Elegant palate. The minerality on the finish holds on forever. 93
SCV 2010 Bodega Ridge Block Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $50.00
184 cases produced
Female: Earthy, dried cherry and cinnamon ...alluring aromas of forest floor with lavendar. Lots of spicey and rich black fruit with a hint of pomegranate juice is framed by silky tannin. Rocking acidity! Herbs and hints of citrus add complexity. Balanced and pure. 92
Male: A bright, deep, ruby color. Warm blackberry and black raspberry combine nicely a unique scent of orange rind and porcini mushrooms. Richly layered with black fruit and ripe cherry accented with a range of spice notes. A long, complex finish that shows excellent acidity. Should evolve much further in bottle. 90
Segura Viudas Aria Brut
CAVA, $19.00
5500 cases produced
Female: Dominant red fruit aroma is mirrored on the ripe and sweet palate with tart berry on the finish. Nicely balanced. 88
Male: Light cherry and subtle lees on the nose. Well developed rich palate of red fruit/Pinot Noir. Nice! 90
Signorello Estate 2011 Las Amigas Pinot Noir
Carneros, $60.00
148 cases produced
Female: Violets, pomegranate and nutmeg aromas. Big fruit flavors with violet back notes balanced with lots of acid on the long finish. 89
Male: Incredible nose! Cola, berry and Christmas spice - "I could just smell this ALL day!" Mouthwatering acidity balanced by layers of black fruits and spicy French oak. The color is amazing too. 90
Six Sigma Ranch and Winery 2011 Kaj's Reserve Pinot Noir
Lake County, $45.00
150 cases produced
Female: Spiced red cherry with barnyard and cedar notes on the nose. Black cherry and sour cherry on entry. Some green notes mid-palate. Espresso and tobacco on the finish. 87
Male: Very dark and brooding aromas. The palate is jammy (almost thick) and smoky. Quite a bit of tannin on the finish. Needs time. 87
Spoto Wines 2012 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $50.00
100 cases produced
Female: A unique combination of sweet raspberry, tart rhubarb and cherry scented cotton candy with a finishing note of graham cracker crust on the nose. Strawberry and light black fruit, watermelon, plus rhubarb with ginger combine on the nicely layered palate. Lovely texture and balance. 91
Male: Restrained and elegant nose of dark cherry, sandalwood, and fresh strawberry with light clove. A rich palate of black fruit and spiced cherry leads to silky tannins that creates nice length that finishes fresh with this wines more than adequate acidity. 91
St. Joseph Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir
Grand River Valley, $14.99
500 cases produced
Female: Light strawberry/cranberry aromas and flavors. Lots of tannin here. Young wine. 85
Male: Stewed cherries and dusty earth on the nose. Black cherry flavors with light acids and prominent tannins. 86
St. Joseph Vineyard 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir
Grand River Valley, $19.99
200 cases produced
Female: Oak at first sniff opens to cherry, raspberry and raisin compote aromas and flavors. Earthy on the finish. 83
Male: Raspberry and lots of spicy oak on the nose. Light strawberry and raspberry with vanilla, earth and cedar back notes. 83
Stephen's 2010 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
York Mountain, $38.00
230 cases produced
Female: Dark aromatics...licorice, toasted wood, barnyard, and smoky notes. Very interesting. Full flavored with red fruit and smoky notes. 87
Male: Cinnamon, spearmint, clove, casaba melon, and plum aromas. Very interesting. Lush fruit...blackberry, black plum and black cherry. Well structured with velvety mouth feel and mouthwatering acidity on the long finish. 90
The Naked Grape Pinot Noir
California, $7.99
Female: Jolly Rancher cherry on the nose. Sweet black cherry on the palate. A party wine. 85
Male: A delightful rendition of a young New World Beaujolais-style Pinot Noir. Jolly Rancher cherry fruit and unique blueberry flavors. Yummy! 87
The Winery San Francisco 2012 Pinot Noir
North Coast, $29.99 COBALT
350 cases produced
Female: Blueberries and raspberries prevail on the unusual but inviting nose. Ripe fruit on the palate with vanilla and spice notes. Lovely texture. 90
Male: Caramel and cherry aromas introduce the delicate pinot noir entry. Velvety texture with tart plums mid. Robust and floral on the finish. Powerful tannins for aging. Lovely and delicate with a classy finish. 90
Thralls 2012 Roma's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $42.00 GOLD
76 cases produced
Female: Thanksgiving spice with bright cherry and light cranberry aromas. Lovely cranberry flavors on entry broadening to cherry and darker fruit mid through the finish which shows green and black tea with lovely acid coming through. Well structured from front to back. 90
Male: Subtle red fruit and earth aromas. Rich palate coating dark fruit that sparkles with bright acidity on the finish. 91
Thralls 2012 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $32.00
144 cases produced
Female: Spiced red cherry and cranberry aromas with a cedar backdrop. The palate is vibrant, spicy and long with sour cherry and currant supported by smoked oak notes ending in a fruity and smoky crescendo. 90
Male: Lovely sense of terroir with truffles and black fruit. Beautiful acidity. Great structure. 90
Three Brothers Winery and Estates 2011 Estate Reserve Three Brothers Winery Pinot Noir
Finger Lakes, $20.00
200 cases produced
Female: Floral aromas - rose petal and orange blossoms. Sweet and sour cherry flavors. Easy to drink 84
Male: Light rose, ruby in color. Orange blossom and light cranberry on the nose. Cranberry and rhubarb flavors with cedar and orange peel back notes. Nice acid mid. The finish is a bit short. 84
Toretti 2011 Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $44.00
250 cases produced
Female: A lovely complex wine showing cherry, raspberry and woodsy aromas. Dark raspberry flavors with mushroom and earth notes. Baking spice and gingerbread on the finish. 90
Male: Cherries, strawberries and prominent vanilla aromas. Strawberry jam on the round and soft palate. Slightly sweet finish. 89
Toretti 2009 Inocencio Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $44.00
520 cases produced
Female: Funky aromas that do not bespeak Pinot Noir. The palate redeems a bit sweet cherry and strawberry flavors with soy sauce and bacon fat back notes moving to earth and cedar notes on the finish. 86
Male: Dark tobacco and earth notes on the nose and palate. Really restrained cherry notes beneath. 82
Torii Mor 2011 Olson Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Dundee Hills, $60.00
200 cases produced
Female: Forest floor aromas lead to a light and slightly closed palate on entry opening to cranberry and light strawberry flavors with orange peel on the finish. 87
Male: Smoke and black fruit aromas with some green notes. The palate is tight revealing light red fruit. Needs time. 85
Torii Mor 2011 Deux Verres Reserve Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $38.00
768 cases produced
Female: Earthy, cigar box, muted cherry, and cola syrup aromas. The palate does not reflect the nose, It is subtle and restrained. 87
Male: Dark red with hints of brick red in the glass. Toasted oak, plum and cherry on the nose. Cranberry, cherry and some oak on the palate which does not match up to the nose. The finish is a bit sharp. 85
Torii Mor 2011 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $24.00 YELLOW
6826 cases produced
Female: Pale and translucent in the glass. The nose is tight, then a whiff of pate and light strawberry. Bing cherry flavor with back notes of coriander. Nice fruit and acid with a dusty finish. 90
Male: Light in color. Light strawberry, clove and white pepper aromas. Traditional style of Pinot showing white pepper, clove, spice and light strawberry. Strawberry/rhubarb pie on the finish. Nice balance of fruit and acid. 89
TR Elliott 2012 Three Plumes Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $46.00
188 cases produced
Female: Dried cherry and mushroom on the nose. Yummy warm red fruit with cola on the palate. Medium bodied with lively acidity. Long finish. Good, solid wine. Versatile with food. 89
Male: Raspberry, cherry, herbs, and a hint of barnyard. The palate is warm and enveloping. Complex and refined. Good structure. Lovely mouthfeel. 90
TR Elliott 2011 Burgonet Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $46.00
160 cases produced
Female: A nicely evolved range of aromatics combining both red and lighter black fruit with plum, forrest floor and dried herbs. Palate is lush and inviting offering up well heeled black fruit and fresh,lively raspberry. A touch of black pepper and spiced tea finish together on the back end. A well crafted wine. 90
Male: Enticing black cherry and spice with notes of mocha and spiced bing cherry for the aromatic. Well developed palate of ripe blackcherry and dark plum with notes of sasparilla and coffee. Finish is fresh and alive. Hard to ignore. 90
TR Elliott 2012 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $44.00 LIGHT BLUE
400 cases produced
Female: Great nose of violets, meat and pomegranate leads to a yummy palate with sour cherry at the core. Lovely spice on the smooth, long finish. 90
Male: Very dark and brooding in the glass. Orange peel, black tea, and pomegranate on the nose. Soft and supple on the palate cherry jam flavors. Spice notes on the powerful finish. 90
TRE 2012 Pinot Noir
Central Coasat, $11.99
830 cases produced
Female: Sweet baking spices, soft cherry and vanilla on the nose. Cherry and cola flavors on entry through mid. Nice acid and roasted tomato on the finish. 87
Male: Cranberry, spice, dry leaves, and sour cherry aromas are replicated on the palate. Mild and earthy in the mouth. Grapefruit notes on the lengthy finish. 86
Trione Winery 2010 River Road Ranch Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $37.00
1365 cases produced
Female: Cherry pie filling with brown spice and corriander and a touch of smoke on the nose. Palate is very generous with a range of ripe red cherry along with black cherry and a range of spices. Enough depth and structure to carry the weight of the fruit. Very tasty. 91
Male: Nicely perfumed aromatics of bing cherry and brown spice with lighter notes of forest floor and strawberry. Palate leans towards rich with dark cherry and a touch of white pepper with clove on the edges. Big but well balanced. 88
Truscott 2012 Pinot Noir
Mendocino County, $14.95
1297 cases produced
Female: Sweet black cherry and Asian spice aromas carry through onto the palate which is lively, weighty and balanced. Cocoa notes emerge mid to late palate. 87
Male: Good aromas of violets and red fruit. Balanced palate with a Burgundian-like finish. 86
Turning Leaf Vineyards Pinot Noir
California, $8.00
70000 cases produced
Female: Cherry bubble gum/cherry soda pop aromas. Sweet strawberry flavors. Very pleasant if not elegant wine. A great party wine. 85
Male: Sweet and ripe strawberries with a hint of rose petals on the nose. Seems like classic Carneros Pinot. Soft and juicy. Fresh and clean. 88
Weibel Family 2010 Pinot Noir
Potter Valley, $16.95
300 cases produced
Female: Cassis and red cherry with hints of forest floor on the nose. The fruits repeat on the palate with some chalky notes. Good acidity. 85
Male: Faint berry nose with traditional and simple Pinot flavors - cherry, plum and oak. Pleasant finish. 86
WildAire Cellars 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $34.00
215 cases produced
Female: Black cherry and cola notes combine with aromas of baked spice cake. There are interesing secondary notes of leather, toasted walnuts and tobacco. Strawberry jam and graham cracker link with hibiscus and raspberry tea on the palate. Bright and lively on the finish. 88
Male: Raspberry jam with orange peel and cinnamon combine nicely with appealing black cherry aromas. The generous palate is nicely balanced with a combination of cherry, plum, and dried herbs. There is more than sufficient acidity to carry this through to a bright finish. 90
Windsor Oaks Vineyards & Winery 2012 Estate grown, produced, and bottled Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $35.00
230 cases produced
Female: Light garnet in color. Earthy nose showing mushroom, damp soil and cherry. "Makes me want to take a sip." Mushrooms, dusty strawberry and herbs on the palate. Plenty of acidity keeps the wine lively. This is a great food wine! 90
Male: Cola and coffee jump out of the glass followed by some soft strawberry fruit on the nose. strawberry and tea in the mouth. Full-bodied with lovely acidity. Structured mouthfeel. 89
Windsor Oaks Vineyards & Winery 2012 Reserve, estate grown, produced, and bottled Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $33.75
280 cases produced
Female: Nicely understated aromatics - cherry and cola that are replicated on the palate. Good mouth feel. Balanced and very young. Needs time. 86
Male: Nice vibrant wine with good varietal character. Cherry and spice aromas and flavors. Silky texture, mouth watering finish. On the delicate side but extremely persistent. 88
Windsor Oaks Vineyards & Winery 2011 Reserve, estate grown, produced, and bottled Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $35.00 ORCHID
175 cases produced
Female: A bouquet of red cherry and lighter notes of black fruit combine with spice and herbs with a touch of smoke in the nose. Savory palate of young cherry with a nice touch of brown spice. 87
Male: Bright red berry with red plum and dried herbs combine with lite cherry in the nose. Nicely textured mid palate of fruit and spice with young tannins and just enough acidity. 90
Woodworth Vineyards 2011 Estate Pinot Noir
Temecula Valley, $33.00 NAVY BLUE
150 cases produced
Female: Rhubarb with baking spice plus fresh raspberry combine nicely with dried cherry and herbs with a touch of spiced pumpkin to form the nose. The palate is a distinctive combination of light bing cherry and blood orange touched by light spice. Finish is pleasing with it's lively acidity and a pleasant lingering finish. 90
Male: A distinctive combination of old world and new world in the nose with lighter strawberry and dried meadow herbs. The wines brick like color is encouraging it to be enjoyed sooner. It's nicely evolved core of bing cherry and young strawberry make this an appealing offering. A nice effort from a region seldom considered or recognized for Pinot Noir. 89
Woodworth Vineyards 2011 Luna de Luz Blanc de Noirs
Temecula Valley, $30.00
100 cases produced
Female: Savory spice notes, cherry and cranberry on the nose replicates on the palate with fruit becoming dominant mid. A subdued but lovely wine. 90
Male: Gorgeous depth of fruit with honeyed cherries and ripe apples. Fine persistent bead with a slight salmon hue. Lemon and quinine define the palate with tart grapefruit on the lovely finish. 91
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