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Jenise

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WTN: California Pinots in California

by Jenise » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:03 pm

From our Los Angeles trip two weeks ago:

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills
Simple and jammy strawberry fruit (made me wonder about carbonic maceration). In style hopelessly American: fleshy and forward, closer to Hawaiian Punch than Burgundy. Currently $13 a bottle at the winery for club members per the friends who poured it, though otherise in the $40's and per the Wine Spectator who inexplicably rated it 92 pts. Not. Even. Close.

2006 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills
Youthful fruit, gorgeous nose, somewhat monotone on the palate; but it suffered for being paired with a brighter, richer and more complex Anthill Comptche.

2006 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge Vineyard Mendocino County

Medium bodied, rich spice, bright, great balance, and welcomely just 13.7% abv. One of the best pinots in a pinot-rich weekend.

2006 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley
Not a great bottle: thick-ish and low acidity. A bit pruney. Other reviews on CT suggest that this bottle may have had provenance issues.

And then a horizontal tasting of three Melville 2005 pinots from their clone series. These wines are fascinating: because the friends we stayed with are or were club members for most of the early 2000's, we've tasted a LOT of Melville pinots over the years. Young, they have always struck me as too sweet with a bit too much new oak, and I would never have pegged them for being long-livers. But in fact, through these friends over and over I've realized they are. These were interesting:

2005 Melville Pinot Noir Estate Clone 828 Sta. Rita Hills
Dark and opaque, heaviest and ripest of the three, most alcoholic too. BUT, it's a chameleon! Over the course of the night it lightened up: color, flavor, everything, and attractively so. Initially our least favorite, but bumped to second place behind the 777 by the end of the night.

2005 Melville Pinot Noir Estate Clone 777 Sta. Rita Hills
Out in front of the others with the best fruit and balance for current drinking and continued aging. Some secondary nuances, too.

2005 Melville Pinot Noir Estate Clone 9 Sta. Rita Hills
Bright raspberry fruit with bay leaves, decent tannins, little to no secondary nuances, Still alluring but it's best days are past.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jason Hagen

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Re: WTN: California Pinots in California

by Jason Hagen » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:16 pm

$13 for a Loring! What is Mateo?

Good to hear about the Anthill Farms. When they burst onto the scene, with raves about their restrained style, I grabbed some bottles. I was pretty disappointed but on recent visits, the wines have developed nicely.

2006 Domain Serene! Sounds like a perfect storm of over the top.

Jason
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: California Pinots in California

by David M. Bueker » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:34 pm

Mateo is a joint venture that Brian is doing with someone else. I do not recall who.
Democracy dies in the darkness
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: California Pinots in California

by Jenise » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:39 pm

Apparently, Brian had a Spanish partner for this wine--hence the name and packaging--and who made certain choices about what the finished wine should taste like, the whole point being to create a premium Loring Wine for European distribution. Considering the way Brian's attempting to clear it out I have to conclude the venture was a flop. By the way, I was served blind, I didn't know who made it or price when I first tasted it. It sure tastes like a $13 wine, though.

Jason, re the Anthill? You also reviewed this wine on CT, so I saw your early thoughts on it. This is the third Anthill I've had; I don't own any but that needs to change.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: California Pinots in California

by Jenise » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:37 pm

From the FWIW department: Hanzell's going to be in town tomorrow showing off their wines. Here are current prices:

2015 Chardonnay "Sebella" $37.99
2015 Pinot Noir "Sebella" $62.99
2014 Chardonnay "Flagship" $68.99
2014 Pinot Noir "Flagship" $102.99
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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