10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout Results

We’re Passionate About Pinot Noir!

The Pinot Noir Shootout is simply the most comprehensive Pinot Noir tasting in the world, exploring and assessing different styles of Pinot Noir.

Over 460 wines were entered in this, the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout.

A color after the price indicates that the wine was included in the Blind Tasting at the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit on February 25, 2012 in San Francisco, California.

10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout Results
Scores: Women Judges
Scores: Women Judges Bang for Your Buck
Scores: Men Judges
Scores: Men Judges Bang for Your Buck
Blanc de Noirs and Brut Rosés

Acrobat 2010 Pinot Noir
Oregon, $20.00

31000 cases produced
Female: Floral notes on the nose. Light raspberry flavors with nice acidity. 87
Male: Plum and truffle aromatics. Light tannin, tart cranberry flavors on the palate. Warm finish. 87
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2009 Estate Wetzel Family Estate Pinot Noir
Alexander Valley, $27.00

1779 cases produced
Female: Cherry cola on the nose and in the mouth. Supple and lovely. Nice acids complete the package. 90
Male: Cherry nose. Subtle mineral notes on the palate with the addition of interesting cinnamon notes. Silky texture, earthy on the long and elegant finish. 90
Alysian 2008 Allen-Rochioli Blocks Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $65.00 Blue

159 cases produced
Female: Powerful aromatics and entry. Full-bodied dense cherry and herbs on the palate. Earth notes on the finish. Smooth texture, huge acid but all is in balance. Beautiful integration of oak. This will live a long time. Lay this baby down but if you can’t wait watch it open as you enjoy a long romantic dinner. 92
Male: Boysenberry, rhubarb pie, rose petals, vanilla, cherries, strawberries, cola, and white pepper… a very complex nose. Raspberry, cinnamon, cedar, smoky strawberry compote…and that just begins to define the palate. Excellent mouth feel. Long, long finish. Would love to pair this with a myriad of foods. Incredible aging potential. This is a baby just starting to show it’s stuff. 95
Alysian 2008 West Block Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $55.00

201 cases produced
Female: Floral, lovely cherry and strawberry aromas are replicated on the palate. Rhubarb and orange peel kick in on the mouth watering finish. 91
Male: Cherry aromas. Soft red berry flavors expand in the mouth. Lasting finish with beautiful acid. 90
Alysian 2008 Crossroads Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $55.00

160 cases produced
Female: Light strawberry aromas at first and then opens to deeper red fruit with vanilla notes. Touch of spices, strawberry and cherry on the palate. Beautifully balanced. 91
Male: Vanilla, red plum and strawberry on the nose. Excellent mouth feel. Cherry and hints of orange zest throughout. Light tannin balanced with lovely acid on the finish. Good food wine. 91
Alysian 2008 River Block Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River, $65.00

233 cases produced
Female: Lovely mineral notes enhance the red fruit, lavender, and smoky nose. On the palate, the red fruit is accented with light toasty spices. Great balance! 92
Male: The dark purple garnet color is very youthful. Plum, raspberry, jam, and forest herbs arise from the glass. A very young wine with a firm structure. There is a great deal of fruit bundled up here but it emerges on the finish which also shows good acid and tannin. Great balance. 92
Amity Vineyards 2009 Amity Estate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $35.00

241 cases produced
Female: Dark brooding black fruit aromas with earthy back notes. “New World wine that shouts ‘Willamette Valley’.” Nice complex and long lasting finish. 89
Male: Ripe black fruit aromas on opening joined by mushroom notes. The palate is consistent and complex. Smoky notes and lovely spice on the finish. 90
Ampelos Cellars 2007 Barrel Select Ampelos Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $45.00

450 cases produced
Female: Spicy and floral aromas open to red fruit garden. Lovely dark and sour fruits. Nice oak elements. Nice acid. Good balance with a long and lovely palate. 90
Male: Strawberry jam, black cherry, root beer float, and cedar aromatics. Very expensive mouth feel propelling excellent length. Palate is pleasing with big finish. 90
Ampelos Cellars 2008 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $35.00

220 cases produced
Female: Beautiful ruby at the core with a youthful rim. Sour cherries, rhubarb and leather aromas jump out of the glass. Vibrant acidity. Pleasant sweet red berry fruit. A bold and aggressive wine with sweet tannins. A nice finish that doesn’t walk away quietly. “Not Pinot for the faint of heart…He’d be the ‘way too young guy” that I chat up in a bar all night long.” 91
Male: Vanilla bean, violets, beautiful cherry, and a hint of cola on the nose. Dark cherry with hints of fennel, toasted nuts and bread in the mouth. Nicely balanced wine. Hints of mineral and mushroom on the defined finish. Will age well. 90
Anderson Oaks 2009 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $30.00

160 cases produced
Female: Sweet ripe strawberries and raspberries aromas are replicated on the palate. The flavors flesh out and display sweet red fruit then darker cherry and Kirsch. Nice barrel regimen. 90
Male: Lovely aromas of cherry, strawberry jam and a hint of rose. Sweet cherry jam with hints of vanilla and black tea on the palate. Nice finish. 89
Anderson Oaks Vineyard 2007 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $30.00

162 cases produced
Female: Forest floor and cherry notes fill the senses and expand on the palate. Gorgeous texture and balance. Orange zest and dried herbs add to the complexity. “Wow!” 91
Male: Cherries, cola, cedar, and lavender aromas … “Pretty!” Flavors of raspberry, cherries and cinnamon expand from front to back. Great balance. Great finish. 91
Angeline 2010 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $16.00 Pink

6000 cases produced
Female: Rich black cherry and strawberry nose. Jammy in the mouth with charcuterie undertones mid to late. Pleasant finish. 90
Male: Beautiful oak and floral character on the nose with cherry and cola coming in as the wine opens. Strawberry, rhubarb, pomegranate, and bacon on the palate. Crisp acid. Soft tannins. Well-balanced. Great finish. 91
Angeline 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir
Sonoma-Mendocino-Santa Barbara Counties, $16.00

45000 cases produced
Female: The nose shows toasted herbs with a low note of cherry then opens to black cherry with sour cherry back notes. Silky tannins and nice oak integration glide across the palate. An elegant and classy Pinot Noir. 90
Male: Muted cherry nose with a rich velvety mouth showing nice elegant cherry fruit. The wine is silky smooth with light earth tones that show through on the finish. 90
Anglim 2009 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $48.00

194 cases produced
Female: Dark and rich aromas of black cherry and black raspberry, The fruit aromas are replicated on the palate with lovely barrel notes kicking in mid-palate through the long finish. 89
Male: Black fruit aromas with floral back notes. Big and dark fruit on the palate. Nice spice elements of the finish. 88
Annapolis Winery 2007 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $45.00

750 cases produced
Female: Coffee and dark red fruit aromas are replicated on the palate opening. Lots of barrel notes and heavy tannins mask a good amount of the fruit at present. This baby needs time. 87
Male: Cherry cola, plum and licorice aromas lead to a palate of concentrated dark fruit with spice and smoke joining mid through the long finish. 88
Archery Summit 2009 Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $48

560 cases produced
Female: Ruby in color. The nose is subtle – black cherries and floral note whispers. The palate displays bold spice and tight tannins. Black pepper and brooding dark plums mid through the finish. “I want beef!” 92
Male: “A very classy wine.” Deep rich cherry on the nose accented with a kick of orange peel and Asian spices. Intense style of concentrated fruit – both sweet and sour cherry flavors, big tannins, and nicely integrated oak. A bit of leather on the well-defined lingering finish. Should age nicely. 92
B.R. Cohn 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40.00

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

130 cases produced
Female: Strawberry jam, cranberry, rose perfume, and a touch of forest floor in the nose. Red and black fruit on the slightly angular opening. Evolves to a complex palate and a long smooth finish. 89
Male: Sapphire in color. Dark black fruit, Bing cherry and licorice aromas are replicated on the lush and opulent palate. Good acidity in the middle. Nice attack, good grip and a lingering finish. 91
Barbed Oak Vineyard 2009 ZARA’S BLOCK Barbed Oak Vineyard Pinot Noir
Bennett Valley, $29.00 Brown

246 cases produced
Female: The color is like a dark and clear like a midnight sky. The nose is fruity displaying dried cherry that replicates on the palate. Intense flavors. Great aging potential. 93
Male: Lots of fruit, cola, and dark berry aromas. Toasty notes accent the beautiful cherry core. The finish is long…”This 2009 Odyssey takes you for a long ride.” Big jammy fruit that never seems to end. “This is what New World Pinot should be.” 94
Barefoot Cellars Pinot Noir
California, $6.99

700000 cases produced
Female: Floral and strawberry on the nose. The palate follows perfectly. Simple and easy to drink. 88
Male: Blueberry, rhubarb, beets, plums, and cola aromas. The palate is soft and ripe with a nice oaky element. Nice wine. 88
Bargetto 2009 Reserve Regan Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $40.00 Deep Purple

184 cases produced
Female: Raspberry jam with a dash of herbs on the nose. Pretty entry full of cherry, raspberry and brown spices. Bright and fresh. Dances on the palate. 91
Male: Exotic aromas and flavors. Red cherry aromas accented by marshmallow, pine forest, and vanilla notes. The flavors replicate on entry broadening to include a strawberry cream note and pink peppercorn accents. Well-balanced. Good concentration. A good example of delicacy in wine making. 91
Bargetto 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $25.00

408 cases produced
Female: Dark garnet in color. Mint and spearmint accent the sour red cherry aromas. Soft and round mid-palate. Red currants and mint accents on the palate from opening to the finish. 90
Male: Aromas show nice oak with jammy currants, ncedar and vanilla back notes. Super mouth feel and finish. Great flavors. 90
Barney & Kel 2007 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $28.00

50 cases produced
Female: Leather and forest floor aromas remain consistent on the palate. Cherry, black raspberry and herbal notes add complexity. Nicely balanced with a persistent finish. 89
Male: The nose is pretty showing cherry, herbs, mushrooms, earth, and a hint of eucalyptus. Juicy rhubarb and cola flavors. Very smooth and full in the mouth. Silky tannins on the spicy cola finish. 90
Beauregard Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Ben Lomond, $40.00

390 cases produced
Female: Floral forest, sour cherries, and some smoke (a fireplace with crackling wood) on the nose. Juicy fruit…cherry and red currant pop on the palate. Well balanced with good acidity through the finish. 90
Male: Nice cherry and black cherry nose with a background of cinnamon and clove. Silky texture. A small hollow spot on the mid-palate but comes on strong through the finish which is long and spicy. 89
Beauregard Vineyards 2010 Estate Beauregard Ranch Pinot Noir
Ben Lomond, $50.00

100 cases produced
Female: Roasted coffee, cherries, cream, and gingerbread aromas. An enhanced but classic Pinot Noir nose. Pretty entry with focused herbs, spice and cherry pie notes. Bright and lively with a touch of forest floor. Nicely balanced and textured. “Oh, so pleasing!” Pheasant and wild rice the perfect complement. 91
Male: Nose of sweet red fruits, mainly raspberry and cherry with rose petal accents. Lighter style with raspberry flavors accented with a hint of spice. Easy quaffer. 88
Big Vine Wines 2009 Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande, $14.00

2300 cases produced
Female: Barnyard, strawberry, sour cherry with smoke, and dark coffee notes on the nose and entry. Ripe fruit mid-palate. Tannins and acid are balanced. 87
Male: Leather, Bing cherry, cola, and tea leaf aromas. The mid-palate is delicious and finessed. 88
Block Nine 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $12.00

10000 cases produced
Female: Cola on the nose leads to strawberry flavors which open to pleasant cherry on the finish. Nice acid. 87
Male: The nose shows beautiful floral notes. In the mouth, the wine is smooth with cherry flavors on entry. Lemon on the bright and slightly edgy finish. 88
Bogle 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $11.00

75000 cases produced
Female: This wine nicely defines Pinot Noir in simple terms. Warm fruit and spice with a nice graham cracker crust aromatic. Dark cherry leading to sour cherry flavors on the palate. 88
Male: Nice rose petals on the nose. The palate is juicy with lovely red fruit flavors. 86
Bohemian Vineyard 2009 Estate Bohemian Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley/Freestone, $45.00

300 cases produced
Female: Fresh strawberry and raspberry layered with aromas of mushrooms and earth. Bright fruit on the palate with sour strawberry on the finish. Nice acid with barrel showing through. 90
Male: Very pretty and complex nose of dried berries, tea, rose petals, tobacco, wild game, and mushrooms. The palate is layered. Good length and nice acids. Really well balanced. 91
Bonneau 2009 Sangiacomo Vineyards Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $34.00 Light Blue

300 cases produced
Female: Blueberry and plum on the nose. In fact, blueberry pancake aromas with even a touch of maple syrup…very inviting. Full fruity flavor with a nice full mouth feel. Silky and creamy on the palate. The finish is long and lovely. 92
Male: The wine is vibrant in the glass. Dark garnet purple in color. Baking spices, red and black cherry, dried herbs, and rhubarb on the nose. Definitely California-style Pinot Noir. Big fruit showing red and black plum, cherry, and baking spices through the mid-palate into a complex finish of herb, strong fruit, crisp acidity, and oak. 92
Bouchaine Vineyards 2008 Carneros Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $35

8704 cases produced
Female: In the glass, the wine is bright, clear, and inviting. Cranberry, sour red cherries, tea tannins, and orange peel from start to finish. Varietally correct and a great example of fruit accentuated Pinot Noir. Solid. 91
Male: Nice cherry, cola, lavender, and smoke notes in the glass. As it opens, there are hints of fig, forest floor, cigar box, and slate. Tasty. Excellent acidity. Good texture. Balanced and complex. 92
Bouchaine Vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $50

487 cases produced
Female: Classic cola, black cherry and menthol with toasted herbs on the nose. A hint of cured meat there too. Nice tannins. Great acid. A baby but this is going to be a beauty. 89
Male: Black raspberry and black licorice aromas replicate on the palate. Bracing acids on the finish. 87
Bouchaine Vineyards 2009 Reserve, Paul Gee Vineyards, Dry Farmed Estate Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $60

165 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry, sweet red cherry then a few rhubarb notes. Nicely balanced. Very nice. 90
Male: Oak and berry nose. Sour cherry, oak, tea, and tar on palate. Fun finish. “Big wine, a showoff! Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a bottle.” 90
Bouchaine Vineyards 2009 Estate, Reserve Pinot Meunier
Los Carneros, $40

190 cases produced
Female: Cherry pie aromas lead to a juicy rich cherry fruit palate. Cranberry and pomegranate notes meld with baking pie spices. Beautiful acidity, depth and balance. 91
Male: Pretty plum color that moves to a pink rim. Black tea, rhubarb pie and orange peel on the nose lead to a beautiful soft palate with solid tannins. 90
Brassfield Estate Winery 2010 Estate Bottled High Serenity Ranch Pinot Noir
High Valley, $22.00

4116 cases produced
Female: Nice barnyard notes on this very classic Pinot Noir nose. Elegant entry showing red cherry, cranberry and herbs de Provence. Balanced and pure. Expressive front to back. “Wow! What a memorable finish to the 32 wines I judged today.” 92
Male: Leather and spice aromas lead to a tart cherry opening that broadens to Bing cherry and is accented by cinnamon and baking spices. Soft texture with floral notes kicking in through the finish. 91
Burning Bench 2006 Moon Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
Marin County, $45.00

90 cases produced
Female: Strawberry jam and a touch of dark cherry on the nose. Dark tea and espresso are intense and mask the fruit at present. Not sure if the fruit will outlive the oak treatment. 80
Male: Smoky with a hint of spice on the nose. Black tea, smoke with just a hint of strawberry fruit on the backside. 80
Canihan 2009 Estate Canihan Family Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Carneros, $49.99

550 cases produced
Female: Green olive and bell pepper aromas with fresh mint and red cherry on the palate. Interesting. 88
Male: Sweet oak over cherry and coffee in the nose. Very rich and complex adding licorice, spice and clove to the expected cherry and coffee flavors. Balanced finish. 91
Cape Lookout 2009 Russell-Grooters Vineyard Pinot Noir
Yamhill-Carlton, $30.00

768 cases produced
Female: Pretty red and blue fruit. Surprising for Pinot but an attractive nose. Dark cherry surrounded by a layer of coffee and toasted spices. Big! It’s all there. Needs time. 91
Male: Dark fruit, plum, currant, cherry, wood spice, and baking spices on the nose. Nice entry of plum and currant. Dusty with herb accents mid-palate. Gentle spice and oak show through and enhance the tannin on the finish. 90
Castello di Amorosa 2010 Pinot Nero
Santa Lucia Highlands, $36.00

1151 cases produced
Female: Very appealing nose of blackberry bushes and melted chocolate leads to a palate with a myriad of berries framed to make a lovely compote with back notes of peppercorns and capers. Good texture. Nice finish. Lovely with a pepper tinged terrine of rabbit. 91
Male: Blueberry, chocolate, rosemary, and boysenberry jam on the nose. The palate reflects the aromas with the addition of cedar, leather and vanilla notes. Velvety. Great mouthfeel. Well-balanced. 91
Castoro Cellars 2009 Estate Blind Faith Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $22.95

1193 cases produced
Female: Black and red fruit on the nose with an intriguing smoky note. The palate is a perfect mirror image of the aromas. Nice long finish. 89
Male: Intense black cherry and black berry aromas with a toasty back note. The palate reflects the nose with black cherry flavors enhanced with a lovely smokiness. I’m thinking grilled salmon here. 90
Castoro Cellars 2010 Estate Blind Faith Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $22.95

1005 cases produced
Female: The nose is big showing dark fruit of the berry and stone varieties. There is a smoky edge to the palate that meshes nicely with the fruit. Still very youthful. Needs time to evolve. 89
Male: Smoky notes envelope the dark and red fruit aromas. The palate is consistent. Very young showing lots of grape and oak tannins. Lay this baby down for 6-12 months and you will be rewarded. 89
Ceja Vineyards 2007 Estate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $50.00

250 cases produced
Female: Pretty and delicate red fruit aromas with floral notes and fennel seed back notes. The palate is pretty on opening with the oak elements melding nicely at present. I would like to revisit this wine in 6 months or so. 89
Male: There is a hint of licorice in the glass and then raspberries, tea, strawberry, rose petals, and earth. The aromas are replicated on the palate. Unusual but very pleasant. 88
Ceja Vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

1000 cases produced
Female: The nose is delicate and complex. The palate is interesting, displaying red fruit with licorice and shaved dark chocolate mid through the finish. Well integrated. 89
Male: This very youthful wine has a shy nose. Cherry, plum, cherry, and strawberry begin to show with aeration. The palate displays red fruit with cocoa and root beer peeping through on the finish. 89
Claiborne & Churchill 2009 Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $26.00

2462 cases produced
Female: Beautiful aromas of sweet violets, roses, raspberry jam, and forest floor. In the mouth dark coffee notes accent the beautiful dark red fruit. Sour cherry compote on the long finish. Nicely balanced wine. 90
Male: Garnet color in the glass. Sweet Bing cherry, vanilla and a touch of bubblegum in the nose. The opening is light, almost Beaujolais-like. Good acidity. Great structure. Good depth. Lingering finish. 90
Claiborne & Churchill 2009 Twin Creeks Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $36.00

248 cases produced
Female: Cranberry aromas with a hint of green beans and cured meats. Same on entry with sour rhubarb notes mid to late. Oregano notes on the finish. 87
Male: Toasted marshmallow, black pepper and sweet rhubarb aromas replicate on the palate with pillowy tannins and a hint of strawberry on the end. 89
Cline Cellars 2009 Cool Climate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $17.99

5329 cases produced
Female: Inviting aromas of strawberries and baking spices are replicated on the palate. An earthy edge joins late and hangs in through the finish. 88
Male: The nose is tight at first opening to red berries with vanilla and baking spice. The palate opens slowly too revealing red fruit enhanced with earth notes. A lovely mineral edge creeps in on the finish. 89
Coghlan Vineyard 2009 La Encantada Pinot Noir
Santa Rita Hills, $54.00

138 cases produced
Female: Blueberry aromas with a touch of baking spice and forest floor on the nose. Nice lively plum flavors with ginger and chocolate notes. Hints of toffee and coffee kick in late. This has character. Big tannins howling now. Needs time. Plenty of fruit to carry. 89
Male: Dark color in the glass. Aromas of cherry with a hint of cola and rose petals too. There are some earth and smoke notes mid-palate with acid kicking in on the finish. 88
Coghlan Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Rita Hills, $47.00 Hot Pink

316 cases produced
Female: Toasted cinnamon and light red berries on the nose. Light cranberry on the palate with well integrated oak elements. Light and easy to drink. Nice fine tannins. 90
Male: Pretty blackberry and violets on the nose. Sweet oak and cedar notes on the palate. Friendly with a great mouth feel. Extracted. Very nice. 90
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Pinot Noir
American, $37.99

504 cases produced
Female: Candied fruit on the nose with underlying baking spice. The nose is replicated on the palate. Nice balance of fruit and acidity. 89
Male: Simple and straight forward cherry fruit with cinnamon back notes. Good structure. On the palate there is cherry, cola, cinnamon, and other baking spices. A really powerful wine. 89
Coquelicot 2009 Kick On Ranch Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $29.00

400 cases produced
Female: Wild forest on the nose…intriguing! Toasted graham cracker and dark jelly are underlying. Wild red fruit, wild spices and apricot flavors. Complex and balanced with a good mixture of red and black fruit. Balanced. Easy to quaff. 90
Male: The slightly muted nose displays raspberry, cherry, cedar, and pencil box notes. Dark intense black and red fruit flavors are accented by black pepper and anise. Good acidity. Balanced and friendly. 89
Cottonwood Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
Colorado, $17.00

178 cases produced
Female: Orange peel and dried cherry aromas are accented with a little toast and spice. Cherry cola flavors. Lush fruit mid-palate with a touch of smoke on the finish. Interesting wine. This is a nice representation of full profile well made Pinot. 89
Male: Cherry, dried cherry, and spice on the nose. Ripe dark cherry flavors with cola kicking in mid to late. Soft tannins and well-placed acid. 87
Craigie Knowe Vineyards 2010 Cranbrook Cricket Pitch Pinot Noir
East Coast, Tasmania, $65.00

2000 cases produced
Female: Very light color in the glass, Burgundian-style. Aromatics of cola, quinine and a touch of smoke. Bold red fruit mid-palate Accented bright orange peel and cranberry notes on the warm finish. 91
Male: Bright and vibrant aromas displaying fresh cherry, clove, cola, and forest floor. Fruity strawberry and rhubarb flavors on the palate. Very even and balanced. 91
Cubanisimo Vineyards 2009 Rumba Pinot Noir Cuvee
Amity – Eola Hills, Willamette Valley, $21.00

600 cases produced
Female: Like a bright spring day… hints of Alpine strawberries and tangerine. “Reminds me a bit of Fendi perfume.” Earthy dried cherry and tea spice on the palate. Plenty of acidity throughout. Light and breezy. Finish is clean. Delicate with big acidity. 90
Male: Rose petal, strawberry, cherry, cigar box, and watermelon aromas repeat on entry, opening to bright plum with integrated minerality. Hints of licorice and lavender enhance the experience. Complex and balanced. 90
Cubanisimo Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Amity – Eola Hills, Willamette Valley, $30.00

500 cases produced
Female: The nose is delightful fruity – light strawberry, ripe pears, and red delicious apples, skin and all. Fresh strawberry flavors. Light and delicate. Some nice tannins on the finish. Nicely integrated oak elements. A savory wine. 91
Male: Cherry, cedar, hints of rhubarb, and rosehips aromatics. Fruity on opening with cherry cola kicking in late. Gentle tannins. 89
Cubanisimo Vineyards 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir
Amity – Eola Hills, Willamette Valley, $42.00

79 cases produced
Female: Herbal and tree bark aromas lead to an entry of herbal essence wrapped around dried cherry. Nice acidity. Tannins are in balance. 90
Male: Subtle understated aromatics are very inviting. Cherry pie and a vibrant, minerality defines the overall wine finishing with light chalky tannins. 91
D & L Carinalli Vineyards 2009 Estate Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

398 cases produced
Female: Light in color. Raspberry, cherry, and sweet strawberry aromas. Ripe strawberry, sweet cherry, and an unusual hint of white chocolateon the finish. Yummy! 90
Male: The floral nose leads to flavors of cherry, rhubarb, leather, and oak flavors through the finish. 90
D & L Carinalli Vineyards 2008 Estate Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

700 cases produced
Female: Pale classic nose and good fruit. Tart cherry on the nose and in the mouth. Good mid-palate. Light finish. Very enjoyable, easy. 90
Male: Lush and velvety. Cherry and baking spices from start to finish. Perfect structure, texture and intensity. 90
Dancing Coyote Wines 2010 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
Clarksburg, California, $12.99

1274 cases produced
Female: Light strawberry and rhubarb aroma. Nice acid. Pleasant barrel elements on finish. 87
Male: Raspberry and vanilla notes on the nose lead to spice, vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry flavors. Nice oak integration. Very interesting. 89
Davis Bynum 2009 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $35.00

5000 cases produced
Female: Dark fruit on the nose is delivered onto the palate. Lots of oak surrounds the fruit. A big wine now will soften in time. 87
Male: Tea, dried fruit and strawberry aromas are replicated on entry. Deeper dark cherry enters mid-palate with measured oak on the finish. Pretty. 88
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $40.00

740 cases produced
Female: Bright red fruit on the nose and in the mouth. Lovely oak integration. Nice acid. Really very pretty. 89
Male: Cherry, strawberry, vanilla, and cola throughout. Nice wine! 88
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Horseshoe Bend Pinot Noir
Russian River, $42.00

225 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry, vanilla, pipe tobacco, smoky wood, and dark caramel aromas. Big and I like it a lot! Dark red fruit flavors layered with spice and finishing with dark chocolate brownies accents. 90
Male: Red currant, cherry and plums with a velvet mouth feel. Nice wine! 90
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Soul Patch Pinot Noir
Russian River, $42.00 Aqua Marine

525 cases produced
Female: Strawberry jam with enticing pomegranate, blackberry, lavender, and meaty notes in the nose. An elegant wine showing cool climate influences. Raspberry and cranberry flavors with a touch of earthiness mid-palate. Very nicely balanced. “Will be exceedingly excellent given time.” 92
Male: Great color gradation in the glass. The classic and layered Pinot Noir nose shows bright strawberry, cola, plum, cinnamon, other brown baking spices, cedar, vanilla, violets, and crazy as it sounds, a touch of pumpkin. Layered and complex on the palate. Bright refreshing red fruit, black cherry, earthiness, herbs, and cola. Great acidity.Long finish. Perfect pH. Pretty. Should age well. 94
Davis Family Vineyards 2009 Starr Ridge Pinot Noir
Russian River, $42.00 Red

225 cases produced
Female: Dark bright garnet in color. Smoky cherry and perfume (lilac, violets, and lavender) aromas. Lush and ripe cherry flavors move to sour cherry mid to late. Great balance. Great acidity. 91
Male: The pretty cherry and blackberry nose lead to a jammy focused palate with a great mouth feel and finish. Very youthful wine. I look for this to be a stunner in the future. 91
Domaine 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
Domaine 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
Domaine 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
Domenico 2007 Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $35.00

457 cases produced
Female: Plum and spice aromas. The palate is consistent with the nose. Tea accents on the finish. 86
Male: An intriguing and appealing nose with pretty, perfume, rose petals, orange rind, sweet herbs, and green tea. All plums and spice flavors. 88
Domenico 2008 Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $35.00

331 cases produced
Female: Pretty, bright and attractive. Cherry, caramel, black cherry, and mushrooms. The palate shows bright acid and secondary notes of earth, leather and mushrooms. “I like it! Not just one-dimensional. Curious to see how it will develop in the glass and over time.” 89
Male: Vanilla over rhubarb aromas. Soft and silky on the palate. Plum and orange peel on the mid-palate. Vibrant, well structured with a long finish. A real star! 90
Double Bond 2009 Wolff Vineyards Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $48.00 Lilac

375 cases produced
Female: The wine suggests some age color wise. The nose seems to confirm the age showing some tertiary aromas of dried fruit, leather and wet earth. The palate displays dried sour cherries, fresh leather, mushroom, and damp earth. Balanced. “Yummy! A wine for non-fruit bomb folks.” 90
Male: Very ripe cherry and tobacco aromas up front with spicy notes of cardamom and ginger. The aromas replicate on the palate. Soft tannins with a hint of cola, mushroom and soy on the warm spicy finish. 90
Double Bond 2008 Wolff Pinot Noir
Edna Valley, $48.00

370 cases produced
Female: Fresh cherry with nutmeg on the nose. Cherry flavors with forest floor accents. Silky texture with a spicy elegant finish. 89
Male: Strawberry, clove, green herb, cherry liqueur, and baking spice on the nose. Nice balanced entry of intense strawberry, cherry and dried meadow herbs. Fruity finish. Pleasant. 89
Dunstan Wines 2009 Estate Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $50.00 Turquoise

229 cases produced
Female: Dark rich black cherry color. Very opaque. The nose shows currants and peppermint with cherry back notes. Flavors of cherry cola. Nice body with smooth tannins. 92
Male: Sapphire in color with a nose of bright cherry and leather. Lush and savory with a clean middle. Excellent balance and good attack on the palate. Clean finish. 91
Elkhorn Peak 2008 Elkhorn Peak Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, $34.00 Lime Green

500 cases produced
Female: Cherry and vanilla aromas define the nose. Soft and round. Easy to quaff. Juicy and clean with a nice lift on the finish. 90
Male: Spicy berry, vanilla, oak, and cherry aromas. Dark strawberry and mushroom flavors accented with earthiness. Elegant. Serve this with roasted duck breast. 92
Emerson Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $18.00

2352 cases produced
Female: Light red strawberry and rhubarb aromas. The tannins are in balance for the light fruit. Some acid on the finish. 83
Male: The nose is earthy with mushroom, tea, and mint notes. The palate is dusty with medium tannins. 80
En Garde 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $48.00 Dark Blue

80 cases produced
Female: Herbaceousness aromas blend seamlessly with bright red cherry fruit…”Enticing!” Beautiful purity. A touch of florality layers nicely with raspberry and cherry fruit, spice and earth notes. 93
Male: Cherry and sweet spice aromas open to plum, anise and cranberry flavors. The lovely fruit and spice is accented by toasty notes. Juicy on the finish with some lovely violet notes. 92
Erath 2009 Estate Selection Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $34.00

6300 cases produced
Female: Cherry and black cherry aromas and flavors. Dark and lush mouthwatering fruit. Balanced acidity. There is a toasted marshmallow quality throughout. Intriguing. “I like.” 90
Male: Dried fruit and herbs on the nose. Hints of vanilla and earth with sweet fruit flavors. Nice mouthfeel with pleasant tannins. 89
Erath 2009 Leland Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $50.00

210 cases produced
Female: Ripe cherry and black cherry aromas and flavors. Rhubarb and thyme notes mid to late. Nice acid that floods the mouth. Interesting turkey day wine. 89
Male: Inviting, sweet berry nose. Sarsaparilla and roses on the palate with strawberry and watermelon Jolly Rancher candy flavors. Medium finish. 87
Erath 2009 Prince Hill Pinot Noir
Dundee Hills, $45.00 Coral

542 cases produced
Female: Bright and clear in the glass. A gorgeous appearance! Aromatics of smoke, Coca-Cola, black cherry, and cooked strawberry. Candied apples, sweet ripe strawberry and tart cranberry sauce flavors. A very youthful wine with potential for aging. 91
Male: Aromas are a blend of red fruit and spiced peaches. Classic structure. Light tannins. Sandalwood, cinnamon and lavender undertones on the long finish. 90
Estancia Estates 2010 Pinot Noir
Monterey County, $15.99

47415 cases produced
Female: Forest floor and earth aromas. Lush dark fruit flavors with yummy cola notes. Nice acid. Well balanced. Easy to enjoy. Very light on the palate. 89
Male: The nose is tight. Dark fruit flavors accented with toasty oak. Nicely balanced. 88
Estancia Estates 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $30.99 Burgundy

5000 cases produced
Female: “Smells utterly amazing!” The nose is filled with zippy raspberry, menthol, cedar, cola and dried cherries. “This just screams Pinot!” Layers of dried cherry, anise, red currants, and spice broaden expansively on the palate. Gutsy and full flavored from first sip to long lasting finish. 92
Male: Dark cherry, cigar box, leather, green tea, dark earth, strawberry, vanilla, and cherry aromas. “Wow!” Dusty and earthy with red fruit and cola opening. Very smooth on the palate. Ripe red and black fruit but not too ripe. Silky tannins. Finishes with rhubarb and cola. “This will age beautifully” 92
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery 2009 Sky High Ranch Pinot Noir Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $46.00

1147 cases produced
Female: The nose is restrained. The entry is quiet with earth and dried cherry notes. Cedar and raspberry join mid-palate. Lots of acid here. A great food wine. 90
Male: Light cinnamon, raspberry, mint, and violet aromas. Raspberry and black cherry flavors. The palate is velvety. Great acid. Well-balanced. 90
Fess Parker 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $25.00

11439 cases produced
Female: Fresh strawberry aromas. Lush ripe red fruit flavors turning pleasantly sour mid-palate. Nice acids which are complemented by well-managed oak elements. 89
Male: The nose is tight showing light oak toast and earthiness. Strawberry jam flavors with oak, toasted almond and cinnamon back notes. 88
Fess Parker 2009 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $55.00 Khaki

200 cases produced
Female: A hearty ruby color in the glass. This is a boisterous wine with a black cherry punch in the nose that is enhanced with sweet baking spices wafting from the glass. The flavors are intense showing blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, and dark spices. “Like a puppy in its exuberance…be ready to experience this wine or it might bowl you over.” 92
Male: Dark and rich looking in the glass. Low pitched cherry nose accented with smoke and cherry cola. Lush cherry fruit over the mid-palate with a bold zesty finish. Silky mouth feel. 91
Fess Parker 2009 Ashleys Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $50.00

1257 cases produced
Female: Dark raspberry aromas moving to raspberry jam. Repeats on the palate and finishes with rich and balanced oak accents. 90
Male: Aromatics are rich and layered showing ripe, dark fruit, cherry, vanilla bean, cookie dough, and tea. The palate is broad and fruity with cherry, cola, and tea broadening to encompass blueberry flavors. Rich mouth. Nice! 90
Fontes & Phillips Wines 2008 La Encantada Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $52.00

250 cases produced
Female: Intriguing aromas – florals (violets and roses), tart cherry, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, and beautiful cinnamon woven in. Long complex finish. 90
Male: Nose of smoke, cherry, black tea, lavender, pepper, and cedar. The palate shows black cherry, cinnamon, violets, and cedar. Fruity with pleasant tannins and good acid. Well balanced. 90
Fontes & Phillips Wines 2009 La Encantada Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $52.00

260 cases produced
Female: Very inviting. Baking spice, floral, lavender, and touch of grandma’s perfume in the nose. Red fruit with cola notes in the mouth. 88
Male: Rhubarb, red berry, and vanilla aromas and flavors. Well balanced. 87
Fore Front 2010 Pinot Noir
California ~ 63% Edna Valley, 34% Santa Barbara, 3% Sonoma, $24

1500 cases produced
Female: Dark and inviting (spooky Halloween wine?). Raspberry perfume and shortbread cookie aromas. Black cherry flavors with sour cherry back notes. Some nice spice elements too. Nice acid. Great texture. It’s got it all! 89
Male: Plum and red currant aromatics. Broad and complex, the palate displays black cherry, leather, cedar, orange peel, and cinnamon. The finish is elegant. 89
Forest Glen 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $10.99

5200 cases produced
Female: Easy to drink. Bright red and black fruits. Nice acid. A crowd pleaser. 87
Male: Unusual nose of olive and strawberry jam with a forest floor quality. Strawberry jam flavors with hints of cola. Soft, pleasant taste and texture. 86
Fortunati Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast (Petaluma Gap), $36.00

270 cases produced
Female: Cherry, red currant, rose petals, and vanilla on the nose. The red fruit flavors are enhanced with green tea, sweet tea, and a touch of almonds on the finish. 89
Male: An intriguing wine. Layered aromas of plum, potpourri, Bing cherry, and fennel pollen.The palate is full displaying rich Bing cherry flavors enhanced with baking spices and a touch of sassafras. 89
Freixenet 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
Gauthier Select Vineyards 2009 Rockin’ H Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $35.00

1090 cases produced
Female: Sourdough rising. Dark black fruit with lots of herbs. Campfire notes on the finish. 85
Male: Unique nose – dried meadow and mulberry aromatics. More plum than cherry on the palate. A dry finish with a nice balance of acid, tannin, oak, and fruit. 85
Gauthier Select Vineyards 2009 Richmond Vineyards Pinot Noir
Napa Valley Carneros, $30.00

80 cases produced
Female: Cherry jam, rhubarb and eucalyptus aromas. Light red fruit on opening broadening on the palate to encompass darker plum flavors and finishing with black tea. Ripe fruit prevails. 89
Male: Strawberry, black cherry and sweet oak on the nose. Cherry and sour cherry with oak accents on the palate. A rustic style. 88
Gioia 2009 Los Alamos Vineyard & Garey Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $38.00

75 cases produced
Female: Mushroom aromas at first then forest floor and light strawberry come forward. The flavors are fresh and clean. Tart red fruit, pomegranate and dried cherry, is accented by fresh herbs and pine notes. Good acidity. This is a baby. 91
Male: Light ruby in color with an orange rim and light medium center. The nose is delicate showing floral notes with strawberry, meadow spices and herbs. Strawberry, cherry, confectionery sugar, and herb flavors on entry through to a balanced lingering finish. 90
Gloria 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
Gloria Ferrer 2008 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $22.00 Magenta

14433 cases produced
Female: Sweet and pretty raspberry jam, milk chocolate, herbs, and cherry aromas please the nose. Elegant and pure with layers of cranberry, red cherry, anise, and a touch of cola. Very racy raspberry, milk chocolate and malt on the finish. A perfect food pairing wine! 95
Male: The classic Carneros nose shows red fruit, earth, mushrooms, and Asian spices. Strawberry jam, black cherries and licorice flavors. Good acidity. Smooth and well-balanced finishing with earthy red fruit notes. 91
Gloria Ferrer 2006 Jose S. Ferrer Pinot Noir
Carneros, $35.00

977 cases produced
Female: Plum and dried herb on nose. Cherry and black cherry on the palate with lots of toasty oak. Sour cherry on finish. The tannins are quite prominent but fruit to carry.
Light but nice. 88

Male: The dusty strawberry nose is slightly smoky. Complex entry of fruit and dried herbs with white spice edges.Tart, warm fruit on the palate. Oak is well integrated. 88
Gloria Ferrer 2006 Gravel Knob Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

319 cases produced
Female: Aromas of mushrooms, soft ripened cheese, dried fruits, and dried leaves. Light red fruit flavors with forest floor accents. Nice acid on the finish. 88
Male: The nose is closed at first but opens to rhubarb jam, red fruit compote and dried raisins. The flavors are reflective of the nose. The mid-palate is soft with some nice acidity on the finish. 89
Gloria 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
Gosset Grand Reserve Brut Rose
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
Graton Ridge Cellars 2009 Estate Paul Family Vineyards Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $50.00

144 cases produced
Female: Deep and dark aromas waft from the glass – inviting espresso and cherry pie meld together to draw you in. The palate is consistent with the nose – deep and rich. The deft oak treatment caresses the wine, doesn’t punch it. Nice! 91
Male: Black cherry, coffee and baking spice aromas. Dark cherry, red plum, blackberry flavors. Coffee, cinnamon and cloves round out the palate finishing with nice acidity. 90
Graton Ridge Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

313 cases produced
Female: The nose is lovely, an inviting combination of red fruit, vanilla and mushrooms. “I’m thinking Mushroom Risotto here.” The palate doesn’t disappoint – ripe and juicy cherry flavors are countered with deft oak integration and lovely acid. 91
Male: Cherry and floral aromas lead to a palate lush with red fruit. Baking spices and vanilla join mid-palate to create a wine of depth and character. 90
Grey Stack Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir
Bennett Valley, $30.00 Beige

175 cases produced
Female: This is a classic solid Pinot Noir. Dark and inviting aromas of fall and winter…cedar chest, cinnamon spice, black cherry, and fresh earth. Concentrated cherry and plum fruit flavors with a good level of acidity balancing the intense fruit. Leather and spice kick in mid-palate. Well-balanced and very appealing. 91
Male: The nose is yummy. Wild strawberry and cola with a lush and juicy marshmallowy palate. Delicious! Great finish! Soft tannins and juicy acidity. “Smokin’!” 92
Grey Stack Cellars 2009 The Fisherman Four Brothers Pinot Noir
Bennett Valley, $39.00 Purple

100 cases produced
Female: Lovely scent of flowers, berries, and herbs. Lively and fruity on the palate. Very bright. Medium tannins. Lush mouth full of rich fruits and spices. “I like!” 90
Male: Deep sapphire color in the glass. Beautiful oak nose with full jammy aromas of cherry and blackberry. Lush, full mouth. Super flavors. Dense and extracted. 90
Gruet 2009 Pinot Noir
Lower Rio Grande Valley, $18.00
Female: Cranberry and rhubarb in the glass. The light red fruit repeats on entry and then opens to broader and riper berries and cherries. Mushroom notes add interest. Lots of acid on the finish. Would be terrific with grilled salmon. 90
Male: Lush fruit flavors of black cherry and blueberry with lovely violet accents. Gorgeous fruit on the mid-palate.The flavors are enhanced by light Earth and truffle accents. Light tannins. Firm acidity. 90
Gruet Rose Brut
Lower Rio Grande Valley, $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
Guglielmo Private Reserve 2009 Private Reserve Pinot Noir
Monterey, $35.00

222 cases produced
Female: Aromatics show light red fruit with floral notes. The red fruit carries onto the palate with darker red fruit at mid-palate and spice notes joining late. Nicely balanced. 90
Male: Dark hued in color. Cooked strawberry and earthy notes in the glass. Light red fruit flavors on opening. Darker red fruit mid and vanilla notes late. Creamy texture. 90
Hahn SLH Estate 2010 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $35.00

5000 cases produced
Female: Fresh red berry aromatics with just a light touch of earthiness. The palate is loaded with fresh and ripe berries and yet is complex showing floral notes, oak elements, subtle spices, herb, and earth notes. “Yum! Masterful winemaking here.” 91
Male: Deep ruby/garnet color in the glass. The nose is pure red fruit, mostly raspberry but also some cherry. The palate is full and ripe with the red raspberry and darker berries. Cola and subtle earth notes embrace the fruit. Silky and lovely with beautiful acids. 91
Hahn Winery 2010 Pinot Noir
Monterey, $12.00

50000 cases produced
Female: The bright red raspberry nose is nicely accented with toasty spices. “The aromas make me want to grill some salmon with a honey, teriyaki, cardamom, and ginger glaze.” The lush red fruit comes through on the palate flavors entwined beautifully with the spices. Yummy! 90
Male: The aromas are ripe and rich showing concentrated red raspberry and black cherry. The fruit is delivered onto the palate where it is joined by a myriad on other red, blue, and black fruit flavors. Exotic spice elements mid and earthy elements late make this a very interesting and desirable wine. Nice acidity completes the package. “Obviously a cool climate wine.” 90
Harlow Ridge 2010 Pinot Noir
Lodi, $10.99 Orange

12500 cases produced
Female: Fresh mint and wild berries on the nose. Plum pudding and vanilla spice richly fill the palate. Provocative and complex with a lingering finish. 90
Male: Blueberry, peppermint, strawberry, caramel, and sandalwood opening through the finish. Good acid. Good weight. 90
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Estate, Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountain, $48.00

307 cases produced
Female: Gingerbread and cooked cranberry with some blueberry notes on the nose. Ripe cherry with baking spice in the mouth. Nice acid. “I LIKE!” A crowd pleaser. 90
Male: Orange peel, tea and nutmeg aromas lead to an intensely focused sweet cherry palate with a faint glow of orange and spice. The front palate’s departure from the nose is what makes this one interesting. 90
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Pommard Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $58.00

40 cases produced
Female: Cool red fruit compote with Santa Rosa plum in the glass. Nice tart cherry fruit on the palate. Oak elements are there and hit high on the palate. Well balanced. 89
Male: Light cherry, citrus, and smoke from start to finish. Nice texture. 87
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Triple Seven Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $52.00

40 cases produced
Female: Intense ruby in color. Aromas of cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, blackberry jam, and herbal accents – more specifically, dried tarragon and a smoky aspect. The palate doesn’t disappoint. Balanced. “Not your run-of-the-mill Pinot Noir.” 90
Male: Very ripe cherry/berry on the nose. Big ripe fruit with hints of coconut in the mouth. Very extracted. “If you like BIG and Pinots, this one’s for you.” 89
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Six Sixty Seven Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $52.00

40 cases produced
Female: Leafy aromas dominate the fruit. Brooding entry with tar notes. Austere on the palate with herbal notes alongside dried cherry. Plenty of acidity. 87
Male: Aromas of plum jam, cherry, strawberry, baking spices, and smoky cedar. The palate confirms the nose with attractive lavender, and herbs de Provence to wrap up the package. Rich mouth feel. Silky. Solid tannins. 90
Heart O’ The Mountain 2008 Eight Two Eight Clone, Single Vineyard, Estate Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $52.00

40 cases produced
Female: Deep, deep color in the glass and the aromas are deep and big too – coffee, dark cherry, and spice. The palate is loaded with bright fruit – red and black cherries and berries, some smoke, and toasty oak on the finish. Don’t wait, drink this baby in the next few years. 90
Male: Big fruit in the nose and in the mouth. Rich and ripe with lots of oak to balance. 89
Hearthstone 2009 Estate Hearthstone Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $38.00

100 cases produced
Female: Roses, red currants and clove aromas. Well executed intense style of Pinot Noir with firm red raspberry and cola flavors. Toasted pecans with hints of cassis and chocolate brownies on the finish. Good texture. 90
Male: Caramel, raspberry, cola, cherry cola, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and earth notes arise from the glass. The palate is soft and creamy with red fruit jam and green tea accents. The lingering finish is enhanced by herbs de Provence and anise back notes. 91
Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2008 Estate Hearthstone Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $42.00

100 cases produced
Female: Mushroom notes in the glass opening to light red fruit with aeration. The palate mirrors the nose with cola mid to late. Nice mouthfeel. 88
Male: Strawberry with nice floral notes that morph into forest floor. Cherry on the palate with truffle overtones, a touch of cola. Silky smooth yet with a spice and crisp acid edge. 89
Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
Mendocino County, $16.99

4700 cases produced
Female: Enticing aromas of forest floor, cherry and vanilla delivers the same flavors onto the palate on entry then floral notes and tea spice join in. Elevated acidity gains momentum on the palate and lingers on the finish. 89
Male: Cherry and spice aromas. The palate is light with earthy notes to the modest fruit. The finish is complex but has a touch of heat. 87
Heron Wines 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $13.99

13000 cases produced
Female: Deep ruby/garnet in color. The aromas of red cherry, Santa Rosa plum and a lovely smokiness lead to the lush and complex palate. The red fruit expands and is embraced by earthy and spice notes. Lovely! 90
Male: The aromas and flavors are in perfect balance showing ripe strawberries, red raspberries and black cherry balanced with nice spice elements and earth notes. Well crafted. 90
HKG 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

860 cases produced
Female: Earthy mushroom aromas make way for bright floral accented cherry and cranberry fruit with tea spice and licorice. Elegant and lasting finish. 91
Male: There is a pleasant cinnamon overtone on nose and all the way through to the finish. Bright cherry and strawberry aromas beneath the cinnamon. Sweet cherry and strawberry with some toasty notes. A seamless wine. Dialed in acid and nice mouth feel make this a winner. 91
HKG 2009 Estate Bridge Selection Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00 Dark Red

450 cases produced
Female: Light ruby color with a velvety appearance. The shy nose gives way to muted cherry and a potpourri of tea leaves and simmering baking spice. Medium bodied with lively acid. Comes alive and speaks loudly, but consistently from the nose through the finish. Black cherries, dried flowers and wet leaves on the palate. Balanced with a moderate finish. 91
Male: Black cherry, ginger and pronounced lovely floral aromatics. Strawberry on entry with tart cherry notes mid-palate. Crisp finish with a hint of sweet spices. 91
HobNob 2010 Pinot Noir
Vin de Pays d’oc, $10.99

80000 cases produced
Female: Very fruity nose showing black and red fruits. Cassis, cherry cola and red licorice too. Soft texture with a medium body. Nice underlying minerality but shows lots of oak. 87
Male: Aromatics of strawberry with a hint of toast. Flavors of cherry, strawberry, toast, mocha, and a hint of cinnamon. Good acidity. 88
Huber Cellars 2009 Estate Norman and Traudl Huber Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $42.00

457 cases produced
Female: Herb garden and spice. Lots of complex notes. Tart cherries, graham crackers soaked in rum and cocoa powder flavors. Interesting and enjoyable wine. 88
Male: Red currant, hint of tea and lavender aromatics. Opens to a full fruit flavors showing Bing cherry and strawberry jam with black pepper back notes. Tasty mid-palate. 88
Imbimbo Family Winery 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00

120 cases produced
Female: The aromas are not ones I associate with Pinot Noir…gingerbread, persimmon, tobacco, and leather aromas. The palate is pleasant but again, not consistent with Pinot. 80
Male: Amber tint in the glass. The nose shows plum, rose, clove, and smoke. The palate is not consistent. Some tannins on the finish. 80
J Storey 2009 Encell Vineyard Pinot Noir
San Luis Obispo, $40.00

252 cases produced
Female: Cranberry, strawberry, cocoa, and a touch of clove in the nose. Ripe and dried fruit flavors…strawberry, strawberry jam, dried fig, and dried cranberry. Simply easy to enjoy. 88
Male: The nose shows cherry, cola, black tea, cedar, oak, and earth. Ripe and sweet red fruit with black tea showing mid through the finish. Pleasant. 88
James Family Cellars 2009 Estate Stony Point Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $35.00

450 cases produced
Female: Herbal aromas. Quite nice cherry, and black cherry flavors are framed by nice herbal notes. Light acid but it works. 89
Male: Well-defined and balanced. Aromas of fruit, spice, and earth. Spice and cherry combine with young tannins that soften on finish. 90
Karah Estate and Windy Hill 2008 Karah Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $24.95

2000 cases produced
Female: Sweet in the nose and in the mouth. 80
Male: Violets on the nose, cherry pie on the palate, velvety, with earthy notes popping out on the finish. Long, complex finish. 84
Kendric Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir
Marin County, $35.00

360 cases produced
Female: Truffles and fresh earth fill the senses. Dried cherry, herbs de Provence and impressive oak integration really shine through. Elegant with silky tannins and the perfect level of acidity. “Wow!” 90
Male: Very Burgundian in appearance, light in color with beautiful clarity. The nose is many layered showing citrus blossom, blueberry jam, herbs de Provence, and white pepper. The palate reflects the aromas with the addition of red cherry, red currant, and orange peel. Nice! 90
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2008 Santa Maria Cuvee Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $28.00
Female: Pomegranate, smoked meats and mushroom on the nose. Elevated aromatic leads to a dense palate of black fruit, spice with mocha, black pepper, and cola on the finish. “I like the acid and earthy notes.” Very approachable. 90
Male: Nose of plums and mint. Palate shows dark fruit with black pepper and mocha accents. Good grip. High acid and youthful tannins. 90
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Santa Maria Cuvee Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $28.00

2199 cases produced
Female: Cherry and dark cherry aromas and flavors with lots of mouth watering acid. Cola notes and tea spice with orange zest adds depth and interest. Balanced, elegant. 89
Male: Nice cherry cola on nose. Rich and complex palate of black cherry, cinnamon, spice, and coffee.Decent acid. Well balanced with cola on the finish. 89
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2008 Enz Vineyard Pinot Noir
Lime Kiln Valley, $60.00 Green

159 cases produced
Female: Earthy aromas lead to dense black cherry flavors. A hint of coffee beans and mushroom notes add complexity. Dense powerful fruit holds firm through the pleasing finish. 93
Male: Plum, bright cherry, strawberry, mint, and vanilla aromas. Sweet and tart cherry, raspberry jam, black cherries, and strawberry with some nice toast notes. Dense fruit on the palate. Good finish. 91
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00

314 cases produced
Female: Cherry and herbs de Provence. Replicates on entry. Sour cherry, mouthwatering acid on mid. Herbal notes on finish. Nice! 90
Male: Cherry, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, light rhubarb, plum and strawberry. The palate shows lots of red fruit. Character is added from the oak. Slight bitterness on the finish. 89
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Sierra Madre Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00

116 cases produced
Female: Lovely, bright fruit aromas. Rounded and mouth filling. Tart cherry, pomegranate, tart plum, smooth vanilla, pastry, soy, and light mushroom flavors – many layered. Beautifully balanced Pinot Noir. 89
Male: The nose shows bright cherry and cranberry with grapefruit back notes. The flavors are consistent with lovely baking spice and forest notes. 88
Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2009 Garey Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00 Periwinkle

116 cases produced
Female: Vanilla, dried cherries, and lightly toasted cedar on the nose. Lovely red fruit accented with clove and minerals on the palate. Good finish. 91
Male: A vibrant wine. The intense strawberry nose follows through onto the palate with a bit of whole berry character. Soft tannins. Firm structure with a long finish. The oak notes are subtle and well integrated. 91
Ketcham Estate 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

901 cases produced
Female: Leather on the nose with a hint of cocoa and coffee. Easy to drink. Screams Pinot Noir aromatically! Cranberry, cherry, cola, notes start to finish. Balanced. 89
Male: Strawberry jam aromas. Soft tannins, great flavors on the mid-palate. Light spice and crisp acidity. Nicely structured. 89
Ketcham Estate 2009 Ketcham Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $48.00

189 cases produced
Female: “Wow! Aromas of gingerbread cookies with berry back notes.” Sour cherry flavors on the palate accented by spice. Good acidity with soft tannins. 90
Male: Strawberry, cherry, dark plum, oak with a touch of nuttiness, mushroom, and light earth on the nose. The aromas replicate nicely on the palate with clove, spice, strawberry, chocolate, mushroom, and a dusty character mid-palate into the finish which shows nice acid, chocolate, and oak. 90
King Estate 2010 Signature Pinot Noir
Oregon, $27.00

25000 cases produced
Female: Herbal and floral notes in the glass open to dark cherry with espresso notes upon aeration. Dark fruit flavors with lots of oak accents. Should live a long life. 90
Male: Aromas of oak and dark berries. Sour cherry, earth and oak on the palate. Rustic tasting. 88
KristiLynn 2008 Sebastian Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $45.00

80 cases produced
Female: Smells like Pinot! Pure strawberry aromas. The palate has a great rush of strawberry, red currant, clove, and cinnamon. There is quite a bit of wood here and yet the mouthwatering acid provides a lovely counter point. 89
Male: Pleasant oak and dried cherry on the nose. Cherry, oak, earth, and cola on the refined palate through the long finish. 88
Kristilynn 2008 Phoenix Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $48.00

70 cases produced
Female: Dark and serious in the glass in both appearance and aromas. Cherries Jubilee and forest floor flavors combine. Intense. Not a ballerina, more like a Harley rider! 89
Male: The nose is layered with cherry, lavender, a hint of cedar, light toasted oak, and rhubarb. The flavors are fruit driven and full. Cherry and black tea show on the soft mid-palate. Metered tannins on the long finish. 88
Laetitia 2007 La Colline Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $60.00

250 cases produced
Female: Lots of big fruit aromas with cola and mineral notes on the nose. Smooth across the palate showing lots of lush fruit. Nice finish. 88
Male: Classic fruit forward Pinot Noir nose. Nice clean fruit. Great oak intensity and smooth tannins. Very quaffable. Not extremely complex but excellently crafted with hints of violets and nutmeg. 89
Laetitia 2009 Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $40.00 Black

1200 cases produced
Female: The color is really deep purple. Chocolate, black cherry, earth, and fresh herb aromas waft from the glass. The entry is bright, full of raspberry and red cherry flavors with tea spice back notes. Elegant with stunning purity. 91
Male: Sweet red fruit on the nose showing cherry, strawberry, and rhubarb notes. Cherry, black tea, and pastry with a touch, smoke, mid-palate. Long finish showing balanced acidity and toast. 91
Laetitia 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $25.00

20000 cases produced
Female: Hmm…the nose is pretty with violets and ripe red fruit notes. There are some lovely spice and smoke notes too. In the mouth the flavors are as predicated by the nose. Ripe and lush cherry and darker stone fruit is embraced by the deft oak treatment and lovely acidity. This is a keeper. Enjoy now or for years to come. 91
Male: The nose is very appealing with raspberry and cranberry at first opening to black cherry and some lovely spice notes. The palate follows the nose perfectly with some floral notes creeping in mid and a touch of sour cherry late. Smooth and delightful with nice acid on the finish. 90
Laetitia 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
Laetitia 2007 Les Galets Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $60.00

250 cases produced
Female: Eucalyptus aromas opening to dark red fruit and forest elements. Bright and lush black cherry flavors with a hint of mint on entry then broadening to a myriad of flavors. Nicely balanced. 90
Male: Lots of forest, blackberries, hints of tar, olives, and mushrooms in the glass. Dried cranberries, lavender, cherries, and tea leaves upon opening. Intriguing. The palate is many layered with orange peel as an added bonus. Good tannins and acidity. 91
Lake Chelan Winery 2009 Pinot Noir
Columbia Valley, $32.00

498 cases produced
Female: Minerally nose with red fruit underlying. Cherry at the mid-core is surrounded by sour cherry and lovely spice. Like the acid. Nice! 89
Male: Faint nose. Rich flavors of black cherry, cola, cedar, herbs, and leather on the palate with a firm finish. 87
Laurier 2007 Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $19.99 Mint Green

1500 cases produced
Female: Pretty ruby to garnet hue. There is an appropriate quietness on the nose at first then cherries, cinnamon, orange, and soft oak notes begin to appear – then “Super Nose! appears. Leaves me curious as to what to expect on the palate.” Delicious tangerine and tea accents the red fruit. Pencil shavings, vanilla, and caramel on the finish. 90
Male: Really nice rich nose! Fascinating variety of aromas and flavors…strawberry, rhubarb, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, bubblegum, and a touch of earth. Vibrant acidity. “It comes at you like a pointillist painting, but the whole is pleasing.” 90
Lazy Creek Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, $42.00 White

800 cases produced
Female: “Ah, Mature women… interesting, subtle, well-spoken.” The nose opens with baked strawberries and inches into earthy notes showing mushroom, earth, leather, Coca-Cola, and spice. On the palate, cooked fruit with notes of caramel, roses, and a hint of clove. 92
Male: Well defined fruit in the glass…cherry, strawberry, cola, and hints of lavender and earth. Classic structure. The wine is consistent from the nose through the finish. Subtle mineral spice notes enhance the lovely red fruit flavors. The finish is long and complex. Great integration of fruit and oak. 91
Lennox Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $27.00

120 cases produced
Female: The flavors and aromas are consistent – red and black berries deepen to plum flavors touched with mushroom and earth elements. 87
Male: Cherry, black cherry and earth notes in the glass. Darker fruit flavors in the mouth. There is a nice smokiness late through the finish. 87
Leonard Kreusch 2009 Pinot Noir (Spatburgunder)
Rheingau, $16.99

2800 cases produced
Female: Sarsaparilla and cola in the nose. Light strawberry and rhubarb. Nice acid. Some bitter notes on the finish but those add to the complexity. 90
Male: Floral nose. Sour cherry, licorice and earth on palate. Simple finish. 88
Leucadia Red 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $25.00 Gold

700 cases produced
Female: Smells like Pinot! Forest floor, chocolate, berry, cherry, and a lovely smoky note on the nose. Good full flavors on the palate. Jammy and lush red fruit in the mouth. Easy tannins and a medium finish. 92
Male: Aromas of sugar cookies, cherry and cranberry replicate on the palate. Nice firm structure with moderate oak. Great flavors. Surprisingly well-balanced. 92
Leucadia Red 2009 Pinot Noir
Sonoma County, $20.00

700 cases produced
Female: Strawberry high note with a low note of riper cherry. Bright fruit on the palate with nice baking spice and leather accents on the finish. Nice acid. “I like the finish a lot.” 90
Male: Straightforward. Good cherry and sugar cookies in the nose and in the mouth. “A bargain if it’s under $25.00” 90
Llai Llai 2010 Pinot Noir
Bio Bio Valley, $12.99

40000 cases produced
Female: Barnyard and earthy with some nice light in dark fruit from start to finish. Simple. If it’s under $15, I’m in! 84
Male: Earthy cherry nose. Sour cherry, cedar, smoke on the palate. Rustic mid-palate of black cherry and orange. Tart finish. 84
Louis Roederer 2006 Brut Rose Champagne
Champagne, $70.00

cases produced
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
Lucas & Lewellen 2009 Goodchild High 9 Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $30.00

504 cases produced
Female: Bright and beautiful ruby appearance. Aromatics of Bing cherry, tomato leaf, and ripe tangerine. Cherry compote accented by roasted tomato flavors. A simply well-made wine. Great wine for food pairing. “I want grilled salmon and a spinach salad with crumbled bacon!” 91
Male: Lots of vanilla on the nose. Ripe and extracted cherry and cola flavors. Silky texture. Soft tannins. Crisp finish. Easy to drink. 90
Lucas & Lewellen 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $20.00

3986 cases produced
Female: A very youthful wine. The nose shows baking spices and red fruit. Red fruit on entry through mid when lots of spice and oak elements show. Needs time. Will evolve. 90
Male: Intense layers of candied cherry, rhubarb, cocoa powder, mulberry, and dried spices on nose. Strawberry, cherry, rhubarb, mushroom, and meadow herbs show on the complex palate with a smooth complex finish. 90
Lucienne 2009 Doctor’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $49.99

647 cases produced
Female: The color in the glass is red with a slight purple hue. Raspberry, strawberry and cherry aromas are replicated on entry and open to broader red stone fruit. Earth notes kick-in mid and last through the long finish. An elegant wine. 92
Male: Ripe cherry and raspberry aromas. Beautiful flavors of red cherry, Santa Rosa plums, vanilla, and light baking spice elements. Deft wine making pulls together this lovely, balanced wine. 91
Mahoney Vineyards 2008 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros, $35.00

200 cases produced
Female: Warm strawberry jam nose with warm foresty notes open to strawberry and cherry flavors that are nicely layered with oak elements. Nicely balance. 91
Male: Roasted coffee, toasty oak – these two aromas and flavors are fairly strong. The light and dark fruit is in the background but that’s okay because it is such an interesting wine. 90
Mahoney Vineyards 2009 Mahoney Ranch Pinot Noir
Carneros, $35.00

275 cases produced
Female: Mineral notes join black cherry fruit on the nose. The round and supple palate shows layers of black cherry, anise, and a touch of soy. Nicely balanced. Long finish. 90
Male: Aromas of cool and ripe black and red fruit with toasty notes, black cherry, and savory herbs. Chocolate cherries, cola, and raspberry jam flavors. Big mouth feel. Balanced tannins. Long and lingering finish. 91
Mahoney Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $25.00

1500 cases produced
Female: Pretty ruby to garnet in appearance. Moderately intense nose displaying cola, simmering rhubarb, and a hint of truffles. Cherries, mixed berries, cocoa, cola, and earth throughout. The lingering minerality adds to the enjoyment of this wine. 90
Male: Nice, but muted cherry with some dusty notes at first. The nose opens to cherry, cola and berry aromas that repeat on the palate. Rich and lush fruit with subtle oak. Hints of soft leather, cigar box and blueberry enter mid-palate. Nice lingering finish with touches of chocolate and truffle. 91
Manzoni 2009 Home Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $26.00

371 cases produced
Female: Warm cherry compote aromas and flavors. Lemon and orange peel on the finish. Excellent acidity. 89
Male: Cherry, vanilla, smoke, and oak consistent from start to the long finish. Nice acidity. 88
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $12.00

250000 cases produced
Female: Aromatics of red raspberry, cherry, vanilla, and baking spices lead to a juicy palate showing cherry pie and cola accents. Easy to enjoy. 89
Male: Bright red fruit aromas with caramelly back notes. Ripe red cherry and baked cherry flavors. Cola and baking spices kick in mid to late. Nice! 88
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $15.00

5600 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry aromas with hints of nutmeg. Cherry and dark cherry flavors with toasted herb accents. Nice texture. Nice mouth feel. Oak and acid on in balance. 90
Male: Nose of cherry pie, vanilla, cola, and light toast. Subtle lively palate of stone fruit, cherry and spice. Gets spicier and opens up as the wine opens. Lovely mouth feel. Much more than the nose hinted. Well integrated acids. Silky texture. Cherry vanilla finish. Very nice structure. 91
Mark West 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

4100 cases produced
Female: Aromas of black cherry and brown baking spices. Quite tasty with nice spice elements and very pleasant acid. 89
Male: Aromas of cherry, cola, strawberry, pomegranate, cranberry, and a touch oak. Very soft fruit flavors with a delicate touch of clove and spice. Nicely balanced. Pleasant. 90
Martin Ray Winery 2010 2010 Martin Ray Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $25.00

2500 cases produced
Female: Red currant, red licorice, and limestone in the glass. Alcohol pops here too. Sour mouthwatering cherry flavors with green tea notes. Pleasant texture. 89
Male: The nose is tight nose but then opens to cherry, black tea and rose petal aromas. The palate flavors are cherry, cola, vanilla, and some lovely toast elements. Nice texture. 90
Martin Ray Winery 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains, $40.00

1500 cases produced
Female: Looks youthful in the glass…sparkly garnet in color. Lavender, cherry, clove, and violet aromas. The palate shows soft cranberry, dried cherries and sarsaparilla with lovely spice notes. Nice acid on the long finish. 90
Male: Chinese incense and sweet cherry greet you. Sweet and sour cherry flavors explode on your palate. Intense and focused. Young, but with out the flaws of youth. Good length. A crowd pleaser. 91
McIntyre Vineyards 2009 Estate Block 3 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $46.00

87 cases produced
Female: Cherry aromas lead to fresh ripe cherry and black cherry on the palate with oak accents. Nice acid. 89
Male: Aromas of dark plum and currants, earthy dried herbs, and a light twang on the edge of the nose. Modern style with deep plum and currant flavors. Nice herbal notes on the finish. “I love the structure and mouthfeel.” 90
McIntyre Vineyards 2009 Estate SLH Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $36.00

196 cases produced
Female: Aromatics cherry blossom, ripe cherries, strawberries, orange peel, orange marmalade, and new toasted oak. Ripe red fruit on entry. Alcohol seems a little high mid-palate but within the range of what is correct for the style. 89
Male: Nose of cherry and cola. The palate reflects the aromas with the interesting addition of cedar notes. The tannins kick in mid to late. Pleasant acidity. 90
MontPellier 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $9.99

20000 cases produced
Female: Violets and strawberry aromas lead to layers of cherry, sour cherry, and black raspberry favors. Pleasant cocoa shows through the tannins on the finish. 84
Male: A very aromatic wine showing rose petals, violets, apples, strawberries, and lavender. The palate shows strawberries and ripe raspberries. A bit tart on the finish. 83
Morris Ranch 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $48.00

240 cases produced
Female: Smoky, toasted oak, cherry jam, cinnamon, nutmeg, and licorice aromas. Red fruit with lots of licorice on the palate. 89
Male: Raspberry, orange peel and a pine cone forest aromas. Cranberry and raspberry, dried cherries, and cinnamon stick flavors. Tastes like fall. 90
Morris Ranch 2009 Middle Block Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $48.00 Dusty Rose

266 cases produced
Female: A medley of mushroom and red currant aromas greet you. Cherry, cranberry and spice are showcased on the satisfying palate. There is a touch of oak and beautiful acidity on the lingering finish. Nicely balanced, charming acidity and texture. 91
Male: Aromas of toasty oak, red fruit and vanilla are nicely balanced with a pleasant earthiness. Red, blue and black fruit is beautifully integrated with oak and cola on the palate. Silky with a remarkable elegance. 91
Motos Liberty 2010 Pinot Noir
California, $11.99

2500 cases produced
Female: Cherry vanilla aromas lead to juicy cherry flavors with a touch of spice. Soft and round. “Spice rack in a glass – nice!” 87
Male: Cherry, vanilla and menthol notes on the nose. Rhubarb and cherry flavors. Nice balance. 87
Mumm 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
Napa Ridge 2009 Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, $15.99

1500 cases produced
Female: Light medium color with a touch of blue. Exotic and understated aromas include violet, wild strawberry, strawberry candy, root beer, lavender, and rose perfume. Fruity on the palate with a short but pleasant finish. 86
Male: A hint of smoke, vanilla and lavender on the nose. Flavors of dried cherry, black tea, strawberry jam, pepper, and rhubarb. Some tannins and acid. Easy to drink. 86
Oak Summit 2009 Estate Bottled n/a Pinot Noir
Hudson River, $29.95

100 cases produced
Female: The color is brickish with a slight orange tint to the rim. “Could be an older wine.” The nose is more vibrant with dark red fruit and smoky campfire notes. Cherry then sour cherry flavors with toasted herbs and spices mid to late. Slightly rustic but enjoyable. 87
Male: Black licorice on the nose with blueberry and black tea notes. Red fruit flavors on entry with smoky oak joining mid through the finish. “New World but can’t pinpoint it’s origin.” 87
Orentano 2006 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00 Light Yellow

1500 cases produced
Female: Beautiful garnet at the core fading to a pale garnet rim. Caramelized fruit aromas – cranberry, cherries, and orange peel. The nose is reminiscent of a fortified wine. The palate is even more demonstrative. Simmering orange peel, cranberry, potpourri, lavender, and underneath it all, some leather. There is a suggestion here of sherry notes. “What fun!” 90
Male: Light in color. Dried cherry and sandalwood aromas deliver dried cherry flavors at the core surrounded with oak elements. The finish is good and long. “Obviously a wine with some age but it’s still holding up well. It’s delicious!” 90
Orentano 2007 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00

400 cases produced
Female: Perfume of violets, rose, and lavender arise from the glass. Soft and fresh. Creamy mouth feel. Nice acid balance. 89
Male: In the glass, the wine is ruby in color with an orange rim and a light center. Confectionery sugar, cherry, strawberry, and soft herbs and spices on the nose. Nice balance. Elegant strawberry and clove flavors. Smooth and viscous with an airy middle that moves into a balanced and smooth finish. 89
Orentano 2008 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $36.00

400 cases produced
Female: Black cherry, mushrooms, and toasted walnuts on the nose. Intense in the mouth. Dark cherries on opening turning to sour cherries mid. There is a unique maple fudge quality that shows through the oak on the finish. Well built. 89
Male: The nose is tight, opening on aeration to reveal mushrooms, blackberries and leather. The palate is expansive and vibrant showing red and black fruit with minor notes of spices. The tannins are well integrated. cherry. Well made. 90
Orsi Papale 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River, $35.00 Smoke

250 cases produced
Female: Baked cherry pie, dried cherries, cola, lavender, and sweet barnyard with light smoke on the nose. A blast of berries on the palate – blueberry, raspberry, and cherry with coffee and black tea accents. Balanced wine. Pleasant and very enjoyable. 91
Male: Rich fresh cherry on the nose laced with lavender, cedar, mint, milk chocolate, and wet soil – “very heady stuff. Complex aromatics-you could smell this all day and, with new descriptors popping up.” Seamless oak notes. Velvety texture. Superb length. 91
Pacific Coast Vineyards 2008 Babcock Vineyards Pinot Noir
STA. Rita Hills, $50.00

200 cases produced
Female: Forest floor aromas with a touch of barnyard. Cherry and sour cherry flavors. Nice acid. The tannins are well-balanced too. A very well-made wine. 90
Male: Clove, strawberry, oak, and spice on the nose. Cherry, strawberry, clove, chocolate, and oak show through in this nicely moderated modern style with a lovely smooth finish. 90
Pacific Ridge Vineyards 2009 Huber Pinot Noir
Sta. Rita Hills, $44.00

77 cases produced
Female: Spicy plum on the nose. Sweet dark fruit. Light on the acid. On the big side of Pinot. A crowd pleaser. 87
Male: Aromas of strawberry, blueberry, oak, and a hint of earth. Rich cherry cola with underlying caramel in the mouth. Luxurious. “Would like more acid but it’s nice.” 87
Per Bacco Cellars 2007 Laetitia Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $30.00 Blue Green

470 cases produced
Female: Huge dark blackberries and plum pudding on the nose. Repeats on entry with dense dark chocolate ganache covered brownies enhancing mid-palate through the finish. “Not a baby. Not shy of acid or oak, this wine has it all. My mouth waters at the thought of drinking this wine with rosemary grilled ribs and roasted red peppers on the side.” 91
Male: The color is big and powerful showing deep extraction. Aromatics are layered with boysenberry pie, blackberry, raspberry, red currant, and some smoky notes with oak and vanilla back notes. Ripe blackberry ripe fruit flavors with toast and interesting citrus notes. Juicy fruit with mocha notes showing through on the earthy finish. 91
Per Bacco Cellars 2007 Dionysus – Barrel Select Laetitia Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $55.00

88 cases produced
Female: Floral and anise aromas. Dark cherry and dark spices on the palate. Lots of oak here. The finish is long with lovely mouth filling acids. Nice structure. 89
Male: The floral nose leads to a layered palate of black cherry, tea, cola, mushrooms, spice, and herbs. The palate is very pretty and approachable showing both complexity and delicacy.The long and firm finish is consistent with the palate. “Pinot with multiple personalities… in a good way!” 89
Petite Abeille 2009 Petite Abeille Vineyard Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $35.00 Salmon

235 cases produced
Female: Very light in appearance with a touch of garnet. The nose displays cherry, light toast, and root beer giving way to some herbal notes.… “Interesting! I want to have a conversation with this one.” Nice minerality, lingering finish. Balanced and well constructed. Substantial wine great depth. 92
Male: Cherry, soy, strawberry, cola, and forest floor in the nose. Strawberry jam cinnamon spice that lingers on the palate. Very nice! Complex and layered. 91
Phantom Rivers Wine 2009 Estate Mar Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Grande Valley, $35.00 Bronze

44 cases produced
Female: There is some leather here with cherry and cola notes on the nose and in the mouth. Tart cherry with cola notes on the finish. This wine will create great memories. Serve this with grilled pork loin finished with a reduced cola glaze. 90
Male: In the glass, the wine shows a light medium opaque center with a pink ruby rim. The nose is jammy with currant and cherry. There is also moderate oak – young and interesting. Great mouth feel with strong ripe fruit competing well with the big oak. Super flavor profile. Very well-balanced. 91
Picket Fence 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $17.99

12000 cases produced
Female: The nose shows black cherry and blackberries with citrus back notes. Yummy lush red fruit on the palate with a touch of beautiful green tea on the finish. Smooth mouth feel. Nice tannins. Very flavorful. 90
Male: Crimson in color with light ruby orange rim. Herbs, cherry and red plum with clove and white pepper spice back notes on the nose. Good mix of ripe fruit and lush oak from entry into a smooth finish. 90
Portalupi 2009 il Meglio Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $46.00 Brick

250 cases produced
Female: Aromas of cherry with camp fire and roasted marshmallow back notes. A woodsy but delicate nose. Cherry, plum, vanilla, and black licorice flavors. Nice acid on the wonderful long finish. 91
Male: The nose is faint with some cranberry and juniper notes. Simple strawberry and cranberry on the palate, but with excellent length. The wine has nice definition. “Sometimes a light touch is the right touch.” 90
Primarius 2009 Pinot Noir
Oregon, $17.00

21000 cases produced
Female: Cola and strawberry aromas. Cherry cola then lots of oak floods in, then acid to redeem. Heavy toast on the finish. Young. Needs time. 86
Male: Strawberry, cherry, violets, and hints of rose on the nose. Cherry flavors with hint of green tea and eucalyptus. Some earth notes mid-palate. Smooth. 88
pureCru 2010 Giovanni’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros, $32.00

270 cases produced
Female: Floral aromas. Red cherry, and raspberry flavors follow. Good level of acidity on the finish. Easy to quaff. Easy to enjoy. 88
Male: Floral notes on the nose. Opens to boysenberry pie with vanilla extract then fruit compote with French vanilla ice cream, tons of fruit! Jammy like a dessert wine, not sugary but there maybe a touch of residual sugar here. 88
R2 Wine Company 2010 Black Pine Pinot Noir
California, $26.00

1042 cases produced
Female: Cola, dark berry, sour cherry, mushroom, earth, and herb on nose. Simple flavors but nice mushroom notes enhance the cherry flavors. Nice but not complex. 88
Male: Nothing stands out but it’s very elegant. Deep core of cherry fruit, silky, seamless Oak integration. Soft tannins. Firm structure and a long finish. 89
Redwood Creek 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $8.00

580000 cases produced
Female: Very purple – inky and opaque. “Smells like Syrah.” Ripe strawberry, cherry and black cherry fruit flavors flood your palate. 86
Male: The color is quite purple. The nose shows lavender, bright red fruit and grapefruit. Cherry and strawberry flavors. Medium tannin. Good finish. 86
Reynolds Family Winery 2008 Corotto Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, $45.00

1001 cases produced
Female: Red fruit…raspberry, strawberry, and cherry aromas are lovely, delicate and inviting. In the mouth the wine is lively with light baking spice joining mid and a touch of pomegranate through the long and crisp finish. 90
Male: Lighter style of Pinot Noir. “Carneros?” Fresh strawberry and raspberry aromas touched with cinnamon in the glass. The palate is consistent with vanilla notes on the long finish. Bright and crisp acid make this a lovely wine to complement grilled chicken or salmon. 90
RN ESTATE 2009 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $49.00

270 cases produced
Female: Deep purple leaning toward ruby in color. The aromatics display cherry with smoky and earthy accents… attractive and genuine. Brighter fruit on the palate showing fresh Bing cherries, orange peel, cranberry, and strong tea. Bright acid, balanced alcohol, and lingering tannins. A well-made wine. 90
Male: Beautiful cherry-cola flavors and aromas with great acid balance. Some pleasant sweet tart and forest floor character on the palate. Burgundian in style. 90
RN ESTATE 2010 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
Sta Rita Hills, $49.00

240 cases produced
Female: “The nose is seductive inviting me in.” Subtle perfume of dried flowers, dried red fruit, and Chinese Five Spice. The palate doesn’t disappoint. Dark red and black fruit with a lovely smoky quality. Well crafted! 91
Male: Aromas of cherries enhanced with floral accents. The palate is elegant showing dark cherries with spice notes through the long finish. 90
RN ESTATE 2009 Kruse Vineyard Pinot Noir
Paso Robles, $48.00 Pumpkin

125 cases produced
Female: Bright garnet color in the glass. Violets, roses, and dark cherry aromas that open to cherry cola with a hint of oak peeking through. Complex and lovely ripe fruit on the palate. good tannins and acidity. A real crowd pleaser. 94
Male: Dried cherry, cranberry, and violets in the nose. Nice package! Great flavors, mouth feel, and finish. Well-balanced. Very alive with a great expression of spice. 92
Roads End 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $45.00

288 cases produced
Female: Medium garnet in color. Strawberry, strawberry jam and baking spice aromas. Yummy strawberry on entry then cranberry mid-to-late. Great acid. Nice! 90
Male: The nose immediately hints of Burgundy (Beaune). Wet stone and violets. Smells like whole cluster fermentation. Tart, then sweet red fruit, then tart again, then a long finish melding those two elements. Palate says” Burgundy” too. Very food friendly. 90
Rodney Strong Vineyards 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $40.00

2611 cases produced
Female: Grapefruit, mocha, dark cherry. Repeats on the palate with dark cherry, mocha and grapefruit. Nice acid. A bit of the grapefruit on the finish. 90
Male: Currant aromas open to full and juicy cherry flavors with black tea mid to late. 88
Roederer 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
Rosehall Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
VQA Prince Edward County, $39.00

280 cases produced
Female: Orange peel, bacon, lavender, smoke, tar, tobacco, … the list goes on. Great complexity in this one! Wow! This wine is delish! Lovely complexity and balance. Good uniformity of flavors. So savory! 91
Male: Dry maple leaves on the nose with a faint hint of smoke. Pure elegance on the palate. Beautiful finish. 91
Scharffenberger 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
Schramsberg 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
Schug 2009 Pinot Noir
Carneros, $28.00

7633 cases produced
Female: Light fresh strawberry aromas. Strawberry soda on entry with cola notes on the finish. Pomegranate, cranberry and Earl Grey tea add to the palate mid. “I really like the texture and lively nature of this wine.” 89
Male: Wild cherry, vanilla, spice, and cherry candy aromas. Strawberry flavors are enhanced with subtle notes of sandalwood, spice, earth, and forest floor. On the edge of being over subtle but good. Pleasant. 87
Schug 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

228 cases produced
Female: Very aromatic. Layers of floral notes, smoke, cherry, and a touch of appealing barnyard. Yummy bright cherry flavors with citrus notes. “Love this!” 90
Male: Initial nose is a bit dirty. That blows off to reveal forest floor and cherry. The palate shows well integrated oak on the silky textured palate. Mouthwatering finish. 90
Schug 2008 Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir
Carneros, $40.00

773 cases produced
Female: Smoky campfire aromas. Pretty smoke on the palate too. 87
Male: The nose has a hint of toast, ocean, herbs, lavender, violet, black tea, and spice rack. The palate shws dark red fruit accented with licorice, mint, wet leaves, and mocha. 89
SCV 2009 Freestone Hills Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $45.00

650 cases produced
Female: Dark in color. Aromatics of black cherry, light toast, orange peel, and violets with a hint of Worcestershire sauce. Bright and lush red and black fruit on the palate. Masterful integration of oak. Well constructed and balanced. Pleasant acidity. The finish keeps on giving. 92
Male: Cigar aromatics – cedar and tobacco with a rich and dense core of plummy fruit. Bright cherry flavors on entry moving to a pleasant tart red fruit finish with nice acidity. Velvety texture. A lush and fruity style wine with balance. 91
Sea Fog 2007 Blanc de Noirs
Sonoma Coast, $32.00

cases produced
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. 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
Segura 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
Sequana Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $32.00

6202 cases produced
Female: Very complex nose displaying roasted or dried tomato, dark purple and red fruits. Cassis, blackberry and bing cherries flavors. Beautiful soft texture on the palate. Dried leaves and forest floor notes late on the palate. Deftly integrated oak. This will get better and better with time. 90
Male: Tight nose with some berries, rose hips, dry fruits. The mid-palate dominated by toast and hints of black tea. Needs time. 89
Sequana Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $38.00

2350 cases produced
Female: Dark ruby in color. The nose is subtle at first but opens to black currant, coffee and mushrooms. Red cherry flavors on entry are joined by lush dark cherry, raspberry and chocolate. Orange peel notes too. Then black tea on the finish. The mouth is robust. Nice acid. Nicely balanced. 91
Male: Interesting nose. One of our judges found “mashed potato” as the first note, then cranberry, cherry, forest floor, and lovely oak aromas. Nice entry with smooth oak and good cherry highlighted by dried herbs. A very refined finish. Balanced. 90
Seven Devils 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $20.00

1440 cases produced
Female: Earthy with dark coffee accents on the bold fruit. Nice acid. Big style with a sweet mid-palate of ripe strawberry with nice earthy notes. Spicy pepper and Chinese five spice on the finish. 90
Male: Nice aromatics of red plums, cherries, and cinnamon. Cherries and blackberry on the palate. Medium tannins. Good balance. 90
Sharp Cellars 2009 Keenan’s Cove Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $48.00 Dark Green

75 cases produced
Female: Spunky raspberry and strawberry jam, dried cherry, and forest floor notes on the nose with rhubarb and spice back notes. The wine is just as lively in the mouth with strawberry, rhubarb, licorice, and black currant. A touch of black pepper and crumb cake notes kick in mid-palate. Clean and balanced. A terrific food pairing wine. 92
Male: A classic Sonoma Coast nose showing forest floor, raspberries and vanilla. The palate is silky smooth displaying raspberry, fig and gingerbread notes. Great mouth feel. Wonderful finish with light spice. 91
Silver 2008 Coteau Palmer (Palmer Hillside) Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, $45.00

245 cases produced
Female: Aromatics of dark red stone, eucalyptus and toasted fennel seeds. Minty black fruit flavors on entry with lots of toasted herbs and spices mid to late. A very youthful wine but should evolve nicely. 89
Male: Licorice and dark plum aromas. Big style wine. Deep, dark red and black fruit with lots of eucalyptus, spearmint and creme de menthe. Good texture. New oak shows through. Enough fruit to age gracefully. 88
Solomon Hills 2008 Solomon Hills Vineyards Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley, $57.00 Orchid

150 cases produced
Female: The lovely nose of forest floor with floral notes and dark fruit leads to a dark intense black fruit palate. Herbal notes on the finish. Fine grained tannins with nice acidity. 91
Male: Sweet cinnamon, baking spices, violets, and red fruit in the glass. Cinnamon and red raspberry are pervasive on the palate. Expanding and then expanding some more yet the wine retains its fine grained femininity. 91
Spoiled Dog Winery 2010 Private Reserve Momtazi Pinot Noir
McMinneville, $29.99

150 cases produced
Female: Sour cherry aromas. Inviting. The flavors are consistent. Simple, straightforward. 86
Male: Deep ripe cherry and strawberry nose. The palate shows narrower red fruit…cranberry and rhubarb fruit with sour cherry through the finish. 85
Spy Valley 2010 Marlborough Pinot Noir
Waihopai Valley, $26.99 Peach

13000 cases produced
Female: Big and deep ruby in color with beautiful floral notes accented by Coca-Cola, smoke, plum, orange, and cloves on the nose. Citrus and spice flavors accent the red fruit. Soft and very drinkable. Great food wine. Perfect balance of acid and tannins. 90
Male: Reserved nose of dried cranberry, mushroom, soy, and dark herbs. Expansive palate of sweet cherry, tart cranberry and cinnamon. Oak enters mid-palate and enhances the full flavor through the lengthy finish. 90
St. Joseph Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir
Grand River Valley, $19.99

300 cases produced
Female: Touch of barnyard, rose petals, and dried earth. Dark cherry and coffee flavors. The oak is quite intense but should soften with time. 86
Male: Jam with hints of rose hips, rhubarb, and cedar. Sweet front with toasty notes. Cola, cocoa, and cinnamon on the finish. 88
Stephen’s 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
York Mountain, $38.00 Gray

150 cases produced
Female: Attractive ruby color in the glass. Simmering spices, dried flowers, dried mushrooms, coffee, and cocoa… Nice nose! A bit of funk (in a good way)… Earth, mushroom, boot leather (“I like boots”) and cocoa accentuate the red fruit. Balanced and evocative.”I like the almost sweet finish.” 91
Male: The nose is closed at first then opens to lovely complex spices with a slight marzipan aged character peaking through. Opens further to display forest floor notes. Dried cherries, cola, and berry flavors. Very lush and long! 91
Stephen’s 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
York Mountain, $38.00

180 cases produced
Female: Oregano and thyme in the glass. With aeration, the wine opens to strawberries and ripe cherries. The palate is consistent with layers of red fruit and nice oak elements. Nice integration. Nice acid. 89
Male: Cherry jam, eucalyptus, and oak on the nose. Concentrate flavors of dark cherries, spice, jalapeno, and cloves. The oak is a bit overwhelming. 87
Styring 2008 Estate Estate Pinot Noir
Ribbon Ridge, Oregon, $35.00 Gunmetal

240 cases produced
Female: Coffee bean aromas join with dried cherry and herbs on the palate. Elegant and expressive throughout. Nicely weighted and varietally right on. “Delicious!” 91
Male: Light ruby in color with clear edges. The nose is elegant showing bright and tart red fruit, unsweetened cola, light toast, rose hips, and earth. Great mouthfeel with juicy acidity highlighting the black and red fruit. Nice citrus peel and cola in the pretty finish. 91
The Crossings 2009 Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $18.99

40000 cases produced
Female: Barnyard, forest floor, and sour cherry on the nose. Black fruit flavors with toasted herbs and coffee notes. The tannins overpower the pretty fruit. 84
Male: Bottle bouquet…plums, tomatoes, and bark. A little Calera-like. Red and black fruit flavors. Lots of tannins here. 84
The Four Graces 2009 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $29.00

8500 cases produced
Female: Sweet strawberry aromas. Sweet and sour fruits mix on the palate with spice and black tea through the long finish. 89
Male: Black cherry, oak, tart cherry, smoke, cedar, tea, and clove in the glass and on the palate. Layers upon layers. Pleasant finish. 89
The Four Graces 2009 Black Family Estate Black Family Estate Pinot Noir
Dundee Hills, $75.00

190 cases produced
Female: Earthy aromas. Mouthful of red and black fruit. Nice layers. Nicely balanced. Nice wine! 89
Male: Violet, dark cherry, strawberry, tea, and black pepper aromas. Dark in color. Pleasant. Good acidity and tannins. 89
Three Brothers 2009 Estate Three Brothers Vineyard Pinot Noir
SW Washington, $20.00
Female: Floral notes enhance the red fruit in the nose opening to Autumn scents as the wine opens. All carry through onto the palate. Herbal and toasty spices jump in mid-palate and ride through the finish. 86
Male: Cherry, violets and oak on the nose. The flavors show an elegant blend of cherry, cedar, wet leaves, cranberry, and herbs. Lots going on. Consistent finish. 88
Three Brothers 2008 Estate Three Brothers Vineyard Pinot Noir
SW Washington, $20.00
Female: Floral notes with a touch of menthol. Nice! Red fruit. Great acid. Nice Oak and acid elements. “I LIKE!” Very enjoyable, easy. 87
Male: Pleasant cherry and ripe tropical fruit nose. Slightly sour cherry up front but mellows on finish. Nice balance. 87
Tondre 2009 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands Yellow

??? cases produced
Female: Delightful forest floor aromas. The wine opens expansively to dried cherry, floral, and spiciness on the palate. Pleasing flavors. Complex and balanced. Pure through the persistent finish. 91
Male: Dark cherry, chocolate, and raspberry pie with cedar notes on the nose. The palate is complete and pleasing. Delicate and velvety. Great finish. Pork loin with plum sauce the perfect complement. 90
TR Elliott 2008 Three Plumes Hallberg Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $42.00 Wedgewood

139 cases produced
Female: The nose is closed at first and then opens to cherry and coffee notes. The palate is complex and evolves in the mouth getting stronger on the fruit side then spice notes on the lovely finish. Soft tannins. 91
Male: The nose is tight at first but then opens and shows light fruit with tart cranberry and cedar notes. The flavors are restrained. The palate is linear, then an expansion of acid on the palate. Nice focus and structure. Nicely balanced. 90
TR Elliott 2008 Queste Hallberg & O’Connell Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $42.00

385 cases produced
Female: Yeasty low notes. Cooked red fruit compote. Sweet fruit on entry accented with dark roasted cumin, cinnamon, a bit of toffee, and Asian spices. Very interesting. Oak hangs in there. Great acid. 89
Male: The nose displays smoky oak and Bing cherry. Lovely expansive palate and mouthfeel. Cedar and hints of cinnamon mid to late. Good balance and acids. 89
Truckee River Winery 2008 Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir
Santa Lucia Highlands, $45.00

200 cases produced
Female: Cooked plum and cooked cherry aromas. Full-bodied flavors of black plum and oak. 86
Male: Sweet tea, cherry, hints of butterscotch, and mocha aromatics. Dark cherry flavors enhanced with nice oak elements. 87
Turning Leaf 2009 Pinot Noir
California, $8.00

100000 cases produced
Female: Dark fruit aromas. On the palate mocha surrounds lush red and black fruit. Great acidity. 90
Male: Deep blood red in color, almost opaque. The nose is very floral showing distinctive violets. Rich and opulent with very bright fruit. Not a lot of oak showing here. The wine is still very pretty and unusual. 88
Ventana 2009 Ventana Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $29.00

3723 cases produced
Female: Funky earth and mushroom notes on the nose. Cedar and spice notes on the palate. The oak is prominent but should settle down with time. This is a well-made wine. 88
Male: Light red brick in color with almost clear edges. Dried fruit, cola and a touch of interesting driftwood on the savory and earthy nose. Very smooth mouthfeel. Jammy red fruit with vanilla, cocoa, oak, and spice accents on the palate. Very interesting…delicate and developing. 89
Ventana 2008 Mission Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Arroyo Seco, $37.00

200 cases produced
Female: Red and black fruit aromas with a touch of earth lead to the ripe and lush palate. The tannins are well integrated. Well balanced. 88
Male: Cherries and raspberries in the glass. Very soft and lush red fruit accented by cola and dark spices. Easy to enjoy. 89
Venteux Vineyards 2010 Circle S Pinot Noir
San Benito, $40.00

70 cases produced
Female: Cherry and barnyard aromas with dark and tart cherry flavors. Yummy! Great tannin and acid. 89
Male: Sweet and sour cherry on the nose and…”what is that? Rain or fog? Yes!” Pretty and sweet watermelon and cranberry on the front palate. Starts to fade but then comes back to boast a long finish. 89
Villa Maria Estate 2010 Private Bin Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $20.00

4000 cases produced
Female: In the glass, the wine appears youthful with purple tones. The nose is difficult to assess. The palate shows sour cherry, a touch of bramble and some herbs. Solid tannins. Will age well. The perfect complement for roasted lamb with rosemary. 89
Male: The nose is elusive showing a touch of cherry, cola and spice that are replicated on the palate. The oak is subtle but deft showing throughout the long finish. 89
Villa Maria Estate 2009 Cellar Selection Pinot Noir
Marlborough, $30.00

585 cases produced
Female: Forest floor and mushrooms in the glass. Dark red fruit, raspberry, black raspberry, and black cherry join the earthiness to complete this interesting wine. Nice acid on the finish. Pretty wine! 89
Male: Aromas show unusual berry notes with violets and blue fruit. The palate is lovely with spice, plum, cherry, and toast accents. Well balanced with crisp acidity. 89
Villa Mt Eden 2009 Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $23.00

3500 cases produced
Female: Strawberry, rose, cranberry and a bit of petrol and tar on the very inviting nose. Light and fresh red berry flavors – cranberry and pomegranate. Great acid. A delightful and delicate wine. 90
Male: Beautiful clear crimson in the glass. Strawberries, fennel, briar, and tar in the nose. The opening is rich and effusive. Good attack with a definitive profile and purity of fruit. A complex wine with a long and round finish. 91
Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery 2010 Pinot Noir
Southeastern New England, $30.00

600 cases produced
Female: Some interesting aromas. Wild strawberry and raspberry on the palate. Fairly simple but very enjoyable. 88
Male: Currants and strawberries in the glass deliver the same onto the palate with a touch of dry leaves on the finish. 87
Westport 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
Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir
Central Coast, $19.99 Tan

26000 cases produced
Female: Jammy raspberry nose. Juicy flavors of cherry and blueberry. Soft finish. Nice balance. Beautiful wine. 91
Male: Light aromatics of black tea. Cassis and more black tea on the palate. Excellent structure… Expansive and long. 91
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 O’Brien Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $100.00

92 cases produced
Female: Strawberry leading to strawberry jam. Light strawberry on the palate. Sour cherry with lovely spices on the finish. 90
Male: Black cherry and red currant on the initial aromatic. Big juicy core. Complex front and spice finish. 90
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 South Block Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, $45.00

791 cases produced
Female: Earthy and mushroom aromas open to cherry and citrus notes as the wine is aerated. The palate is intense with red and black raspberries and stone fruit flavors. Spice and a burnt caramel note mid to late. The finish is long and complex. Lay this one down. It will get better and better with time. 88
Male: An interesting wine moving from smoky and earthy aromas to dark red fruit, spices, molasses, and a citrus edge on the finish.This is a baby. All will be revealed in a very positive way if you cellar this for a few years. 89
William Cole 2010 Columbine Reserve Pinot Noir
Casablanca Valley, $15.00

5000 cases produced
Female: Black cherry and violet aromas. Rather explosive in both the nose and on the palate. Silky. Emphatically varietal. 88
Male: Cherry and vanilla on the nose. On the palate there are cinnamon candy and orange peel overtones that enhance the cherry, rhubarb and oak flavors. Clove shows through on the balanced finish. 88
Windy Hill 2004 Karah Estate Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, $15.00

2000 cases produced
Female: Dark cherry but not overly prominent on the nose. Dark fruit on the palate. Acid well balanced and pleasant. 84
Male: Spice, red fruit, leather, cinnamon, and sweet red jam in the nose and in the mouth. 82
Woodworth Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Temecula Valley, $33.00

150 cases produced
Female: The sour cherry nose leads to dark cherry flavors on the palate. Nice acid. Some tannins that need to settle in but they will. This will be a nice wine in six months or so. 89
Male: Strawberry, brown spice and dried forest herb on the deep nose. Nice mesh of fruit and herbs on entry. Dried fruit, woodsy herbs, forest floor, and earth with plums on the finish. 89
Yamhill Valley VIneyards 2009 Estate Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir
McMinnville, $25.00

4493 cases produced
Female: Great rush of red currant, clove, and cinnamon aromas lead to pure strawberry flavors. Mouthwatering acidity. 89
Male: Pleasant oak and dried cherry nose. Cherry, oak, earth, and cola on the refined palate and long finish. Interesting and very enjoyable. 89
Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2009 Reserve Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir
McMinnville, $35.00

1582 cases produced
Female: Black cherry aromas lead to lush dark fruit with sweet cherry elements. Nice barrel notes. Nice acidity. Yummy! 89
Male: Light strawberry jam aromas with lavender accents. Ripe strawberry flavors with mint, tea and eucalyptus joining mid to late. Rich and balanced. Lush finish. 89
Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2009 Tall Poppy Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir
McMinnville, $65.00

386 cases produced
Female: Sediment in the glass. But the wine above is clear and bright. Nice fruit and earth balance. Cranberry, Mount Rainier cherry, earth notes, porcini mushroom in the nose and in the mouth. Lovely and nuanced. Balanced. “Please, yes!”. 90
Male: Earth and forest floor aromas. Soft and deft treatment of fruit and oak. Balanced and lovely. 90
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