Pinot Noir Shootout & Summit Process…Distinctly Different

The Pinot Noir Shootout is an incredibly comprehensive and focused tasting of Pinot Noir, utilizing a diverse tasting panel comprised of wine industry professionals from varying disciplines including restaurant and retail trade, winemakers, wine writers, wine bloggers, wine educators, and viticulturalists.

Our judges utilize their experience and expertise in tasting and evaluating the wines. We provide them with Aromatic Descriptors for Pinot Noir created by Affairs of the Vine and two wonderful new additions to our repertoire provided to us by Walter Vornbrock III. His amazing Aromatic Wine Quadrant and Organoleptic Wine Quadrant are invaluable (Organoleptic refers to sensory properties).

The process and manner utilized by Affairs of the Vine for assessing and judging entries is unique within competitions in that it employs the following procedures:

All wines are tasted blind. (How could you ever do it differently?)

All wines are tasted without reference to producer, appellation or price.

Each wine is judged and reviewed on its own merit.

All wines are tasted by at least two tasting panels before the finals.

A maximum of 32 wines is tasted per day – four flights of eight wines each. We have arrived at this formula and find that in this format, each wine can be tasted with clarity and concentration without palate fatigue.

The wines are rated using a 100 point scale. Copious notes are required. The notes and the ratings must have continuity or the scores are not recorded.

Although we would prefer not to use a point system to rate the wines, we have not come up with an alternative method that allows us to select the top wines that are tasted by our final panel and those tasted at the Pinot Noir Summit.

For the Pinot Noir Shootout Finals, the wines were placed into flights and evaluated by teams of judges over a period of six weeks. The top 96 wines selected were submitted to three final tasting panels for review. Each panel tasted only 32 wines.

Top wines selected by the professional judging panel were presented at The Pinot Noir Summit, a blind tasting by a group of wine loving consumers held in San Francisco on February 26, 2011. The wine lovers selected their favorites. Results will be posted on the Affairs of the Vine website following the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Summit.

All wines reviewed indicate a numerical score and are recommended “from the heart” with the additional reference of heart‘s designating the following:

heartheartheartheart = Love at First Sip
heartheartheart = An Affair to Remember
heartheart = Will Provide Fond Memories

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