10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit Wrap Up

by barbara on March 6, 2012

Complete Results of the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit here

Pinot Noir, the most exciting, confounding, and challenging wine there is has been the focus of the Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit for 10 years. We never tire of tasting these wines, enjoying old friends and discovering new ones.

In this, the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout, the Affairs of the Vine professional judging panel tasted 460 Pinot Noirs from all over the globe. Many of the wines we taste continue to delight and fascinate us. Every year we find outstanding examples of Pinot Noir from wineries that we know and we’re often pleasantly surprised by wines submitted from producers new to us.

The Pinot Noir Shootout is the most comprehensive and focused tasting of Pinot Noir in the U.S. The judging panel, an incredibly diverse panel of 47 wine professionals, tasted 460 wines over a three-month period. Just 32 wines are tasted by the experts per day, allowing the judges to be completely immersed, focused and fair to the wines. Palate fatigue is not a factor in our tastings. The wines are tasted completely blind without reference to appellation, vintage or price. Each wine submitted to the Pinot Noir Shootout was tasted a minimum of twice. The top rated wines were then tasted by our panel of experts at the Pinot Noir Shootout Finals on December 10, 2011. Again, each judge was responsible for tasting, scoring, and analyzing only 32 wines.

Detailed notes accompany the scores of each judge. Gender counts…scores and comments are recorded separately and posted on the Affairs of the Vine website.

The Pinot Noir Shootout is the only wine competition in which the judges’ conclusions are put to the test by a large unbiased group of wine lovers. 42 of the top-rated wines were featured at The 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit on February 25, 2012 at the Hilton San Francisco.

At the Summit, over 350 adventurous Pinot Noir lovers, seeking true splendor in the glass, experienced and evaluated the 42 luscious Pinot Noirs in a blind tasting at the Pinot Noir Summit. The 42 wines represented some of the best wines from this year’s Pinot Noir Shootout.

In a distinctly different format and atmosphere from other wine-tasting events, the attendees blind tasted the wines and pitted their palates against the expert judging panel. The wines were divided into 2 groups of 21 wines each (the White Group and the Purple Group). The wines were wrapped individually and identified by a random color. The male and female votes were tallied separately.

The beautiful  wine glasses we used were provided by Debbie Douglas Designs. She selected the 24 ounce Prestige Reserve Burgundy glass.  The shape of the glass enhanced the aromas and flavors of the fabulous wines.

After tasting the wines blind, the Wine Lovers at The Pinot Summit were given 5 chips (red for the women and blue for the men) to cast their votes for their favorite wines. They could vote for as many as 5 wines or as few as one, indicating their passion for each wine by the number of chips they dropped in the “ballot box.”

The Pinot Noir lovers spoke out loud and clear at the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit. In an unmistakable statement of preference, they embraced wines of elegance and varietal authenticity rather than burly Syrah-like Pinots, the muscular Pinot Noirs made popular by a few influential reviewers and their publications.

The Pinot Noir delegates agreed with the panel…the wines tasted were fantastic! The Summit delegates however, did not rank the wines in the same order.

Here are the results as announced by Master of Ceremonies, Spencer Christian of KGO/ABC on Saturday night, February 25th.

Female Wine Lovers

3rd Place ~ Purple ~ Grey Stack 2009 The Fisherman Four Brothers Pinot Noir, Bennett Valley

2nd Place ~ Turquoise ~ Dunstan Wines 2009 Estate Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

1st Place ~ Dark Green ~ Sharp Cellars 2009 Keenan’s Cove Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Female Judges

3rd Place ~ Green ~ Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2008 Enz Vineyard Pinot Noir, Lime Kiln Valley

2nd Place ~ Pumpkin ~ RN Estate 2009 Estate Kruse Vineyard Pinot Noir, Paso Robles

1st Place ~ Magenta ~ Gloria Ferrer 2008 Pinot Noir, Carneros

Male Wine Lovers

3rd Place ~ Hot Pink ~ Coghlan Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills

2nd Place ~ Gray ~ Stephen’s Cellar 2008 Estate Pinot Noir, York Mountain

1st Place ~ Brown ~ Barbed Oak Vineyard 2009 Zara’s Block Pinot Noir, Bennett Valley

Male Judges

3rd Place ~ Pink ~ Angeline 2010 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

2nd Place ~ Aqua Marine ~ Davis Family 2009 Soul Patch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

1st Place ~ Blue ~ Alysian 2008 Allen-Rochioli Blocks Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

The Male Wine Lovers did not select the same as the Male Judging panel. The Female Wine Lovers and Female Judges did not select the same wines either. What does that prove? Who’s right? Who wins? Everybody!

10th Annual Pinot Summit Results:

Men at the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit:

Male Wine Lovers: First Place

Brown Barbed Oak Vineyard 2009 Zara’s Block Pinot Noir, Bennett Valley, $29

Male Wine Lovers: Second Place

Gray Stephen’s Cellar 2008 Estate Pinot Noir, York Mountain, $38

Male Wine Lovers: Third Place

Hot Pink Coghlan Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, $47

Women at the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit:

Female Wine Lovers: First Place

Dark Green Sharp Cellars 2009 Keenan’s Cove Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, $48

Female Wine Lovers: Second Place

Turquoise Dunstan Wines 2009 Estate Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, $50.00

Female Wine Lovers: Third Place

Purple Purple Grey Stack 2009 The Fisherman Four Brothers Pinot Noir, Bennett Vally, $39

Shootout Panel Results:

Male Judges: First Place

Blue ~ Alysian 2008 Allen-Rochioli Blocks Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $65

Male Judges: Second Place

Aqua Marine ~ Davis Family 2009 Soul Patch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $42

Male Judges: Third Place

Pink Angeline 2010 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $16

Female Judges: First Place

Magenta Gloria Ferrer 2008 Pinot Noir, Carneros, $22

Female Judges: Second Place

Pumpkin ~ RN Estate 2009 Estate Kruse Vineyard Pinot Noir, Paso Robles, $48

Women Judges: Third Place

Green ~ Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2008 Enz Vineyard Pinot Noir, Lime Kiln Valley, $60

Blanc de Noirs and Brut Roses
10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout Winners

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotDomaine Carneros 2008 Brut Rose, Carneros, $36.00
Female: A delicate salmon color with lively fruit and floral notes, Very balanced between the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir side of this wine. 93
Male:
A very well made wine showing the grace of apparent longer tirage and highlighted by a spiced strawberry with citrus flavors. 91

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotDomaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs, California, $22.00
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. 90
Male:
Lovely aromas of red fruit and light lees showcase this wines depth of fruit flavors. Very alive on the palate with a nice balance of fruit and acidity. 91

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotDomaine Chandon Pinot Noir Rose, North Coast, $30.00
Female: A distinctive rich salmon color with spiced strawberry flavors and a bright, crisp finish that shows off nicely the depth of fruit. 93
Male:
Longer aging is apparent in the color which shows the well developed red fruit and a lovely ripe strawberry character. 90

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotFreixenet Elyssia Brut Pinot Noir, Cava, Spain, $18.00
2480 cases produced
Female:
Rich strawberry and light cherry aromas arise from the glass with focused red fruit and spiced cherry flavors. Think grilled seafood and strawberry shortcake for dessert. 92
Male:
Riper strawberry notes with lemon peel on the nose are followed by a solid red fruit core which balances nicely with just enough zesty acidity on the finish. 90

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotGloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, Carneros, $20.00
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! 92
Male: An elegant combination of fruit and yeasty lees combine with strawberry and brioche flavors with a touch of orange peel. Finishes with crisp acidity and lingering fruit flavors. 91

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotGloria Ferrer 2007 Brut Rose, Carneros, $42.00
2470 cases produced
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. 93
Male:
Aromatics of baked bread, strawberry jam and a hint of truffle lead you to flavors of strawberry and medium red fruit. There are distinct citrus notes all leading to the well tailored finish that lingers but is very precise with its freshness and balance. 93

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotGosset Grand Reserve Brut Rose Champagne, Champagne, $75.00
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. 94
Male:
Rich aromatics of spiced cherry and raspberry. This wine has a gracious texture loaded with complex fruit and spice on the palate and is carried effortlessly through the precise finish. 94

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotGruet Rose Brut, Lower Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico, $13.75
Female: Lovely aromatics of yeast and toast with a hint of spiced cherry. The elegant palate features riper strawberry framed by a hint of citrus. 92
Male:
The inviting aromatics tell me this was crafted and aged over an extended period. The palate is broad showing strawberry and cherry. The finish is crisp and dry. Nice! 91

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotLaetitia 2009 Brut De Noirs, Arroyo Grande Valley, $28.00
230 cases produced
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. 92
Male:
Straw colored with a light salmon hue. Aromas of dried fruit comprised of cherry and apricot with some lovely toasted honeysuckle. Very well proportioned with its crisp finish. 92

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotLouis Roederer 2006 Brut Rose Champagne, Champagne, $70.00
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! 95
Male:
What style and grace! Spiced cherry and apricot aromas are embraced by classic fresh baked bread. “Wow!” Great texture showing complex lighter red fruit and hints of baking spice flavors. Perfectly balanced with a precise finish. 95

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotMumm Napa Brut Rose, Napa Valley, $24.00
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. 91
Male:
This is all about the Pinot Noir side of the equation in both aromas and flavors. Strawberry with lighter black cherry flavors are framed by a nicely balanced finish. 91

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotRoederer Estate Brut Rose, Anderson Valley, $30.00
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. 92
Male:
Light rose in color with a nice floral character to the nose. Strawberry with lighter vanilla notes on the palate. Nicely structured with a lovely, crisp finish. 92

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotScharffenberger Brut Rose, California, $24.00
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. 91
Male:
Spiced cherry aromatics lead to a nice palate of light strawberry and a mineral driven crispness through the finish. 89

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotSchramsberg 2008 Blanc de Noirs, North Coast, $38.00
12,750 cases produced
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!” 94
Male:
Well crafted! Aromas of cherry are surrounded by hints of apple and ripe pear. The palate is packed with delicious fruit and a lees component. The finish is bright and crisp. 94

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotSea Fog 2007 Blanc de Noirs, Sonoma Coast, $32.00
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. Delicious! 94
Male:
A lively nose of fresh strawberry and green apple. Red fruit flavors are surrounded by a generous creamy texture. Well balanced with bright acidity that should allow this to age for years. 92

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotSegura Viudas Aria Brut Pinot Noir, Cava, Spain, $12.00
850 cases produced
Female:
Aromatics of fresh strawberry and cherry with a touch of citrus. Beautiful color. Raspberry flavors combine with a hint of toast and vanilla. Finishes clean with citrus notes. Very nice! 90
Male: A deep rose color with a slight orange tint. Rhubarb and cherry aromas lead to a palate framed by red fruit and slightly sweet cranberry. A well balanced long finish. 90

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/champagne_cork.pngPassionate about PinotWestport Rivers Vineyard and Winery 2001 Blanc de Noirs, Southeastern New England, $30.00
245 cases produced
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. 90
Male:
A rich almost golden hue to the color translates instantly to the advanced development found in the nose. Aromas of caramel and toast combine with lighter red fruit and ripe apple. The bright finish that lingers pleasantly. 90

The wines worthy of note are reviewed here. Each wine is awarded a numerical scores by the male and female panels and are recommended from the heart with the additional reference of hearts designating the following:

Key:

Passionate about Pinot= Love at First Sip

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/3heartsm.jpg= An Affair to Remember

http://affairsofthevine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2heartsm.jpg= Will Provide Fond Memories

Complete scores and comments by gender here

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