13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit Wrap Up

by barbara on August 29, 2015

13thPNSAtlantis.smaller for webThe 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit was held at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada on July 24th for Wine Trade and July 25th for Wine Lovers. After 12 successful years in San Francisco, it was a gamble and a lot of work to take this event to a new location. It was a gamble that paid off BIG TIME!

If you can’t wait to view the scores and medals and just have to see them NOW, go ahead. You can read the rest of the blog later.

The team at the Atlantis were absolutely amazing! I have done events all over the world and have never met a more professional or more willing group of people, even when I asked a pretty difficult change at the last minute, the response was we can and will do this. If you are looking for a Five Star Experience for holding an event or just a fabulous place to stay, you absolutely won’t find a better place than the Atlantis Casino.

SAVE THESE DATES:
WE ARE RETURNING TO RENO AND THE ATLANTIS CASINO RESORT SPA FOR 2 EVENTS IN 2016

10th Annual Cabernet Shootout Challenge
Sunday, March 13th 2016 for Wine Lover’s
Monday, March 14th 2016 for Qualified Wine Trade
Tickets go on sale November 15th, 2015

14th Annual Pinot Noir Summit
Sunday, July 17th 2016 for Wine Lover’s
Monday, July 18th 2016 for Qualified Wine Trade
Tickets go on sale April 5th, 2016

Buy your tickets early, we sell out every year.

The 13th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout was the the most exciting Shootout ever because the competition was so fierce. So many amazing wines were submitted…our judging panel tasted 497 Pinots. WOW! A daunting task in itself, but we taste only 32 wines be day and we taste each wine twice before we determine which wines will move to our finals. The wines the judges tasted that delighted and fascinated them will be noted here. Every year we find outstanding examples of Pinot Noir from wineries that we know and we’re always pleasantly surprised by wines submitted from producers new to us.

JudgingPNS_PinotSummit_32The 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. 46 of the top-rated wines were featured at The 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit for wine lovers on July 25th at the Atlantis Casino.

At the Summit, over 225 adventurous Pinot Noir lovers, seeking true splendor in the glass, experienced and evaluated the 46 luscious Pinot Noirs in a blind tasting. The 46 wines represented some of the best wines from this year’s Pinot Noir Shootout. An additional 250 people joined the festivities for the Grand Tasting & Awards Gala on Saturday evening. 100+ Wine Industry folks joined us on Friday for the Special Trade Session, blind tasting wines, attending a seminar, and tasting wines with winemakers and winery owners.

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 23 wines each (the Black Group and the Silver Group). The wines were dressed in Vino Sleeves and identified by a random color. The male and female votes were tallied separately.

PNS.BlindTasting2

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) and were invited to cast their votes for their favorite wines with the chips provided. 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 13th 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 Pinot Noir Summit delegates however, did not rank the wines in the same order. Here are the winners as announced by Master of Ceremonies ~ Dave Preston, Nevada’s Guru of the Good Life at the Grand Tasting & Awards Gala.

13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit Results:

Women at the 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit:
Female Wine Lovers: First Place
Balverne 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $40.00
LILAC
Female Wine Lovers: Second Place
Bucher2013 Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $40.00 HOT PINK
Female Wine Lovers: Third Place
J.Lohr 2012 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands $35.00 CORAL

Men at the 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit:
Male Wine Lovers: First Place
Graton Ridge Cellars 2012 Paul Family Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $55.00
DARK GREEN

Male Wine Lovers: Second Place
Comanche Cellars 2012 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands $34.00 TEAL
Male Wine Lovers: Third Place
TR Elliott 2013 O’Connell Vineyard Burgonet Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $47.00 PEACH

Shootout Panel Results:
Female Judges: First Place
Graton Ridge Cellars 2012 Paul Family Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $55.00
DARK GREEN

Female Judges: Second Place
Schug 2013 Pinot Noir, Carneros $30.00 LIME GREEN
Women Judges: Third Place
Wrights Station Vineyard 2012 Estate Far Away Block Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains $44.00 BRONZE

Male Judges: First Place
TR Elliott 2013 O’Connell Vineyard Burgonet Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $47.00 PEACH

Male Judges: Second Place
Handley Cellars 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley $52.00 PUMPKIN
Male Judges: Third Place
Double Bond 2011 Wolff Vineyard Pinot Noir, Edna Valley $48.00 RED

The Male Wine Lovers did not select the same as the Male Judging panel. The Female Wine Lovers and Female Judges had only one wine in common in their top three. What does that prove? Who’s right? Who wins? Everybody!

The wines worthy of note are reviewed here. Each wine is awarded a numerical scores by the male and female panels and are awarded medals as indicated.

Complete Results of the 13th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit here

The Pinot Noir Summit and Cabernet Shootout Challenge are productions of Affairs of the Vine

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We’re celebrating 13 Years of Great Wines, Food, Fun, and Philanthropy this year at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa from July 24-25. Join us for The 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit. Wine lovers will Experience, Explore & Learn with Winemakers.

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When do you wear footie pajamas?

When it’s cold.

When do you wear footie pajamas during the summer months?

When you live on The Extreme Sonoma Coast where some of the best Pinot Noir in California (and perhaps the world) are grown.

It’s raining and it’s July! That just doesn’t happen here in Northern California. Looking at the unseasonable rain storm and the very cool daytime temperatures for the last couple of days prompted my dragging out this blog, dusting it off and updating it. It is just as relevant today as it was 5 years ago.

When I was growing up, I loved difficult math problems, working on giant jigsaw puzzles, playing word games, and tough physical contests. I’ve always been a multi-tasker, taking what could be an easy task and complicating it. It seems to make things more satisfying in the end.

Knowing that I thrive on challenges, it shouldn’t surprise you that my wine of choice is Pinot Noir and that I live on the far left edge…on The Extreme Sonoma Coast.

Hawk Hill Vineyard

The nights here during the summer months are foggy and quite cold, getting down to the mid to low 40s many nights.

Officially our address is Sebastopol, California but we live closer to the town of Freestone and less than five miles from the Pacific Ocean.

We live in what I call “Pinot Noir Heaven” or as many wine writers have called it, The Extreme Sonoma Coast. Here a few vineyard owners (some call them crazy) passionately tend vines to produce tiny clusters of exceptional Pinot Noir grapes. The wines made from these grapes exhibit unique characteristics, showing concentrated fruit in the mid-palate without the heavy alcohol or extraction that is often found in warmer climate wines.

Study The Extreme Sonoma Coast and you have the iconic definition of Cold Climate Viticulture.

  • Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, perhaps some Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. No Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel – they just wouldn’t ripen.
  • Harvest falls typically between mid October to Early November
  • Climate is driven by a phenomenon known as up-welling: On shore winds in the Summer and Fall are accelerated by the heated interior land mass which draws deep cold water currents to the surface and moves them closer to the coast.
  • Cool days in the 70 degrees Farenheit
  • Cold Nights 40 degrees Farenheit
  • Fruit matures slowly over an extended time frame with NO HEAT SPIKES. The benefit is full Phenolic Development at lower ripeness levels.
  • Heavy Fog at night drenches the vineyards. The breezes dry off fruit by late morning.

And the most amazing phenomenon to me…

Mother Nature’s Solution to protect against mildew and rot: THICKER SKINS. Producing wines of intense flavor and color. More…

These grapes have the potential to be made into some of the best wines in the world. Some of the wines being made here are exquisite. Some of my favorites Pinots from this area are Anderson Oaks Vineyard 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast; Halleck Vineyard 2013 Clone 828 Pinot Noir and Portalupi Winery 2013 Pinot Noir. All of these wines will age gracefully. Be patient and you will be rewarded.

Come taste these and other gorgeous Pinot Noirs at The 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit at the beautiful Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada on July 24th and 25th.

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