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Here From the Very Start




Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

WTN: Some Calif PinotNoirs...(long/boring)

by TomHill » Wed May 29, 2013 2:03 pm

We tasted last night (3/13/13) Some Calif PinotNoirs:
1. Harrington PinotNoir WildHorseVlly/Napa (14.4%) Berkeley 2006: Med.light color; light/elegant bright/cherry/
PN light earthy/spicy some pencilly/oak bit meaty/herbal some complex quite pretty nose; slightly tart bit
meaty/herbal light cherry/PN/earthy light pencilly/oak some complex flavor w/ little tannins; med.long
light/delicate slight meaty/earthy light/cherry/PN light pencilly/oak some complex finish w/ very light tannins;
starting to show some complex/aged character but still very much alive; a quiet/gentle little ole lady of a
Pinot who's fading into her twilight yrs; quite interesting and lovely drinking. $nc (BH)
2. Harrington PinotNoir WileyVnyd/AndersonVlly (14.1%) 2009: Light color; light earthy/dusty/walnutty some bright/
cherry/cherry pie/spicy light toasty/oak rather fragrant nose; quite tart some bright/cherry/cherry pie/PN/spicy
light toasty/oak rather restrained/delicate flavor w/ light tannins; med.long fairly tart bright/cherry/cherry
pie/PN /spicy light pencilly/oak delicate/balanced finish w/ light tannins; a quite attractive bright/cherry
classic AndersonVlly Pinot. $nc (BH)
3. Harrington Terrane PinotNoir Mendocino (Dry farmed vnyd planted in 1968; Martini heritage clone; 14.1%;
no Sulfites added; 2010
: Med.light color; beautiful perfumed/floral/violets/lilacs
bright cherry/PN/spicy light earthy/dusty light pencilly/oak slight sweet pickle relish very aromatic nose;
bit tart very bright/cherry/PN/floral/violets/lilacs/cherry blossom quite spicy light pencilly/oak bright/
vibrant/zippy flavor w/ light tannins; very long tart bright/cherry/PN/floral/violets balanced/bright/laser-
sharp light pencilly/oak finish w/ light tannins; can use a few yrs yet; a bright cherry PN w/ amazing
aromatics. $nc (BH)
4. Drew PinotNoir TheGatekeeperBlend/MendocinoRidge (60% PerliVnyd/40% ManchesterRidge; 456 cs; 14.2%)
: Med.color; somewhat bigger/riper some earthy/dusty bit black cherry/PN some toasty/oak somewhat clunky
but attractive nose; slightly tart bit earthy/dusty some black cherry/black cherry cola/PN some toasty/oak
flavor w/ light tannins; med.long black cherry/black cherry cola some toasty/oak finish w/ light tannins;
a bit on the earthy/clunky side but a totally pleasant Pinot, just that. $28.00
5. Drew PinotNoir Gatekeeper/AndersonVlly (13.7%; WileyVnyd/PommardClone/OwnRoots/30 yr old;
AkinVnyd/3 DijonClones; 242 cs) 2010
: Light color; somewhat corked/musty/TCA very light cherry/earthy nose;
fairly tart slight black cherry/PN/earthy rather subdued flavor; pretty compromised by TCA. $28.00
6. Drew PinotNoir Gatekeepers/AndersonVlly (12.3%) 2011: Med.light color; some black cherry/black cherry cola/
PN/spicy some toasty/oak attractive nose; somewhat softer simple attractive black cherry/cola/PN light toasty/
oak flavor w/ modest tannins; med. softer simple/black cherry/cola/PN light toasty/oak finish w/ light tannins;
a pleasant if somewhat simple PN; undistinguished. $28.00
7. Drew PinotNoir ValentiVnyd/MendocinoRidge (12.1%) 2011: Med.color; strong black cherry/PN light earthy/dusty
slight herbal/ashtray/mushroomy light pencilly/oak attractive nose; fairly tart pleasant black cherry/PN bit
herbal/earthy/pungent light toasty/oak flavor w/ light tannins; med.long rather PN/black cherry/cola light
earthy/herbal/mushroomy finish w/ light tannins; less bright & more earthy in character; an attractive PN
if a bit on the pricey side. $40.00
8. Drew PinotNoir MorningDewVnyd/AndersonVlly (12.6%) 2011: Med.light color; slight pungent/reduced/ozone some
ruhbarb/black cherry/PN rather lightweight light toasty/oak nose; tarter more bright/cherry/black cherry/PN
bit earthy/mushroomy light toasty/oak flavor w/ light tannins; long bright cherry/PN/black cherry/bright
slight earthy/mushroomy light toasty/charred/oak finish w/ light tannins; my favorite of the Drews; a
rather attractive Pinot but a bit on the pricey side for what it is. $50.00
9. OjaiVnyd PinotNoir ClosPepeVnyd/StaRitaHills (14.0%) 2008: Med.color; strong black cherry/PN/blackberry
some dusty/earthy rather toasty/oak rather spicy/perfumed quite nice nose; rich/lush black cherry/blackberry/
PN some dusty/earthy fairly toasty/oak rather burly flavor w/ some tannins; long strong toasty/oak rather
black cherry/PN/blackberry slight earthy/dusty finish w/ some tannins; my least favorite of the Ojais but
pretty classic Ojai Pinot. $34.00
10. OjaiVnyd PinotNoir FeCiegaVnyd/StaRitaHills (14.0%) 2008: Med.dark color; bigger/richer strong black
cherry/black cherry cola/PN some smokey/toasty/oak light earthy quite fragrant nose; tart strong black cherry/
black cherry cola light earthy some toasty/smokey/oak flavor w/ modest tannins; very long fairly big/rich/
lush black cherry/black cherry cola/PN rather spicy/rosemary some toasty/charred/oak finish w/ fair tannins;
still needs several yrs; quite a good/classic Ojai PN. $42.00
11. OjaiVnyd PinotNoir PresidioVnyd/SBC (SpecBttlg; 4 brls; 14.0%) 2007: Med.drak color; strong black cherry/
black cherry cola/PN/licorice some smokey/toasty/oak rather herbal/ruhbarb/cold-climate/DrPepper/mineral
quite interesting atypical SRH Pinot nose; rather tart complex machine oil/pungent/hot metal/herbal/
tarragon/ruhbarb/cold-climate some black cherry/black cherry cola some toasty/charred/oak bit hard/tannic
flavor; very long somewhat herbal/tarragon/ruhbarb/DrPepper some black cherry/PN/black cherry cola some
tasty/oak complex mineral/pungent/hot metal finish w/ ample tannins; quite an exotic PN and atypical of
most SRH Pinots; needs 3-6 yrs of age; my favorite of the Ojais because of the exotic/bizarre character.
12. OjaiVnyd PinotNoir PresidioVnyd/SantaBarbaraCnty (13.5%) 2008: Med.dark color; more earthy/dusty stronger
fruit/black cherry/PN/black cherry cola some toasty/oak less pungent/exotic slight earthy/herbal/tarragon
quite interesting nose; fairly rich/big strong black cherry/black cherry cola/PN some toasty/charred/oak
bit herbal/tarragon flavor w/ fair tannins; very long some toasty/oak slight herbal/tarragon strong
black cherry/black cherry cola/PN some toasty/oak finish w/ some tannins; more lush fruit and less exotic
than the '07; needs 3-5 yrs of age; quite an interesting PN. $42.00
13. Radio-Coteau PinotNoir TerraNeumaVnyd/SonomaCoast (13.8%; U/U; 146 cs; Certified BioDynamic) 2009: Med.
color w/ slight bricking; lovely fragrant/perfumed very bright/spicy/cherry/PN/cherry pie light pencilly/
oak very spicy/aromatic nose; fairly tart bright cherry/PN/cherry pie/very spicy light pencilly/oak some
complex falvor w/ modest tannins; very long tart bright/cherry/PN/cherry pie/very spicy light pencilly/
oak fairly complex finish w/ light tannins; a lovely balanced developed PN. $45.00
And more nonsense from the BloodyPulpit:
1. Harrington: Since I liked the previous Pinots of Bryan's so much, he sent us these three to try as well when
he was replacing a corked Teroldego. The Terrane was a huge hit because of its terrific aromatics. It was bottled
w/ no SO2 additions, though don't know if that was responsible for the amazing aromatics or not. It spoke
a lot of AndersonVlly Pinot, though it only sports a Mendocino appellation. Hard to believe that it came from
down in the UkiahVlly.
We've had a number of Harrington Pinots now and I'm quite taken by them. They have a brightness, an elegance,
a delicacy that stands out in a crowd of Pinots. These are Pinots that would put to shame many of the InPursuit
of Balance Pinots, despite their 14% alcohol levels.
2. Drew: I have, of course, followed the work of Jason & Molly Drew from the very start. He worked w/ BrianBabcock
at one time early on, before striking out on his own there in SantaBarbara. I was first attracted to his Syrahs,
which were pretty big/bombastic SBC Syrahs. He then moved back to his roots up in MendoCnty. Since then, he's
tweaked his style quite a bit. He's now solidly in the InPursuit of Balance crowd. I've nevre been really
taken by his Pinots. They're solid & well-made, but maybe a bit undistinguished. But I still like his Syrahs,
even though the style is quite different from his early ones that first attracted me.
Though I liked all of these Pinots, I thought they were not all that distinctive
3. Ojai: I have, of course, followed AdamTolmach from the very start...that terrific '83 BienNacido Syrah.
His Pinots tend to be fairly big, w/ a fair amount of oak; but seem to age better than most. Some of
my consistent favorites.
4. Calif PinotNoir: I have followed Calif PinotNoir from the very start...more or less. I, of course, cut
my Pinot teeth on RedBurgs and pretty much dismissed Calif Pinots. Then I started finding a few that
really grabbed my attention...DavidBruce and CarnerosCreek, Hanzell, and Ken Burnap's SantaCruzMtn,
in particular. Those early ones struggled mightly to replicate RedBurg...lots of toasty new oak. To
have your Pinot characterized as "Burgundian" was the highest accolade. Those were exciting times.
Then, in the mid-late '80's, the Calif Pinot-makers stopped trying to replicate RedBurg and sorta
let PinotNoir be Calif PinotNoir. And consumers quit insisting that they taste like RedBurg, but just
accept them for what they are...Calif's unique rendition of PinotNoir. And the quality racheted up
dramatically in quality. There are, of course, a lot of people that don't accept Calif Pinots because
they don't taste like RedBurg. Fair enough.
Another big factor was the planting of Pinot in a diversity of areas. SantaRitaHills/SantaLucia
Highlands/AndersonVlly/far SonomaCoast/PetalumaGap. Back in the mid-'70's, Carneros was the hot thing
when it came to Pinot. These days, I don't find a lot of exciting Pinots coming out of Carneros. Maybe
the region is a has-been?? Don't know.
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Brian K Miller


Passionate Arboisphile




Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:05 am


Northern California

Re: WTN: Some Calif PinotNoirs...(long/boring)

by Brian K Miller » Wed May 29, 2013 5:02 pm

In my very limited experience, I think Clos Du Val makes nice Pinots from Carneros, Tom. As does Robert Sinskey and Signorello.
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach

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