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Posts from the ‘Pinot Noir’ Category

2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Twenty years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

Sourced from a dozen different Russian River Valley vineyards including Giusti, Kanzler, Keefer and Koplen.

Light red in color. 14.6% ABV. Sensational nose of red fruits, cinnamon, cloves and earth. Medium body with just the right amount of acidity. Plush and supple with great mouth feel. Cherries, cranberries, blood orange and baking spices on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Stunning appellation wine that only bodes well for the single vineyard designates from this vintage. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2016 version was recently released at a price of $68. I’m a buyer. Past vintages of this wine frequently show up on WineBid for at or near the original release cost.

As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2008 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – Bottle Notes

Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981, and in less than two decades they created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the forefront of the best Pinot Noir regions in the world.

Today, John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, work with winemaker Jeff Mangahas to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise. Other varieties bottled at Williams Selyem include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc.

Light red in color. Almost translucent. 14% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, cloves and baking spices. Light to medium body with exquisite acidity. Lithe and delicate with the fruit starting to fade ever so slightly on the palate. Flavors of bing cherries, cranberries, earth and pine needles. Medium length on the finish. I’m not sure Williams Selyem intends for their appellation wines to be aged for 10 years but this wine has stood the test of time. Best over the next year or so.

My rating: 91 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended.

I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2002 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Old Vine Reserve – Bottle Notes

Dehlinger Winery is located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County and was founded in 1975 by Tom and Carole Dehlinger. Eva Dehlinger took over winemaking duties in 2007. Known for their Pinot Noir, Dehlinger also makes Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.

Dehlinger Pinot Noirs are sourced from the estate vineyards on Vine Hill Road.

Light red in color. 14.7% ABV. Spellbinding nose of red fruits, forest floor, cloves and mint. Light to medium body with exquisite acidity. Classically built with tremendous mouth feel and almost a sappy sensation on the palate. Flavors of bing cherry, strawberry, earth and mushrooms. Medium length on the finish. Current versions of Dehlinger are more fruit forward and delicious in their own right but I do have an affinity for Dehlinger Pinots from the late 90’s and early 00’s. Best over the next year or so.

My rating: 94 points.

Dehlinger Winery has a great reputation among wine connoisseurs. Wine writers have consistently given strong reviews while praising the winery for its uniqueness, quality, consistency and value. About 75% of their wine is sold via the mailing list. Amazing wines that are well worth the search.

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2004 J. Rochioli Pinot Noir West Block Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Rochioli is one of the true pioneers in Russian River Valley, with a winemaking history dating back to the the late 1950′s. In 1987 Rochioli released their first estate wine, the 1985 Rochioli Pinot Noir. Although best known for their world class Pinot Noir, Rochioli also produces remarkable Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The West Block Vineyard grapes come from a 1.5 acre parcel of Rochioli Vineyard that was planted in 1969.

The winery recently published a detailed map of the Estate Vineyard that is required viewing for fans of the winery.

Light crimson in color. 14.2% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, cloves and wet forest floor. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Light and ethereal. Bing cherries, cranberries and sassafras on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Extremely well made Pinot Noir that clearly outperforms most of the Russian River Valley Pinots from this somewhat disappointing vintage. Year in and year out this is one my favorite Rochioli SVD’s and the ’04 is no exception. Drink over the next year or so.

My rating: 93 points.

The single vineyard designate Pinots are released each Fall and are only available to long time mailing list members.

At present time (and for the foreseeable future) buying from Rochioli via the mailing list is not an option. The Estate wines do show up at retail periodically, and the winery’s Russian River Valley tasting room is still open for public tasting. They may only be pouring a couple of wines, but it’s a great opportunity to buy a bottle for a picnic on their lovely patio and a few more to bring home for the cellar.

I’ve blogged about Rochioli previously in the The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Twenty years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

Sourced from Gap’s Crown, Griffin’s Lair, Terra de Promissio and Walala Vineyards.

Light red in color. 14.5% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, cloves, baking spices and damp forest floor. Medium body with ample acidity. Decadent and fruit forward. Exceptional balance. Cranberry, bing cherry, strawberry and pomegranate on the palate. The finish is long and silky. Simply delicious, well made Pinot Noir. Another home run from Kosta Browne that only bodes well for the single vineyard wines from this vintage. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 93 points.

The 2016 version was recently released at a price of $68. I’m a buyer. Past vintages of this wine frequently show up on WineBid for at or near the original release cost.

As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981, and in less than two decades they created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the forefront of the best Pinot Noir regions in the world.

Today, John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, work with winemaker Jeff Mangahas to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise. Other varieties bottled at Williams Selyem include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc.

Hirsch Vineyard was planted in 1980 and is perched on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Fort Ross

Dark red in color. 14.1% ABV. Ripe nose of red fruits, roses and baking spices. Medium body with ample acidity. Big and powerful with a sense of elegance. Bing cherries, mushrooms, cola and spearmint on the palate. The finish is very long. Solid Pinot Noir but the ripe characteristic that I think defines the ’04 vintage is slightly off putting. Drink over the next year or so.

My rating: 90 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended.

I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2004 J. Rochioli Pinot Noir Little Hill Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Rochioli is one of the true pioneers in Russian River Valley, with a winemaking history dating back to the the late 1950′s. In 1987 Rochioli released their first estate wine, the 1985 Rochioli Pinot Noir. Although best known for their world class Pinot Noir, Rochioli also produces remarkable Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Little Hill Vineyard is a small 2.8 acre parcel of Rochioli Vineyard planted in 1993 planted from West Block Vineyard cuttings. The winery recently published a detailed map of the Estate Vineyard that is required viewing for fans of the winery.

Light red in color. 14.2% ABV. Big nose of ripe red fruits, sassafras and cloves. Medium to full bodies with tons of acidity. Any expectations of a delicate, elegant wine were dashed by this rich, vibrant Pinot Noir. Cherries, rhubarb and baking spices on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Delicious but falls short of what I expect from a Rochioli SVD. Solidifies my lack of appreciation for Pinots from the Russian River Valley in the ’04 vintage. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 91 points.

The single vineyard designate Pinots are released each Fall and are only available to long time mailing list members.

At present time (and for the foreseeable future) buying from Rochioli via the mailing list is not an option. The Estate wines do show up at retail periodically, and the winery’s Russian River Valley tasting room is still open for public tasting. They may only be pouring a couple of wines, but it’s a great opportunity to buy a bottle for a picnic on their lovely patio and a few more to bring home for the cellar.

I’ve blogged about Rochioli previously in the The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2008 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Kanzler Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Twenty years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

Kanzler Vineyard is located in western Sonoma County, just south of Bodega Highway on Sander’s Road and was planted in 1996.

Crimson in color. 14.7% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, cloves, sarsaparilla and wet forest floor. Silky and plush with an abundance of fruit. Like tasting liquid velvet. Cherries, strawberries, black tea and minerals on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Kosta Browne at it’s best. Powerful yet elegant and polished. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 94 points.

The 2016 version will be released next Spring and will likely cost close to $100. I’ll be a buyer. Past vintages of this wine frequently show up on WineBid for at or near the original release cost.

As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2012 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Gioia Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. In addition to the line up of Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs, Rivers-Marie also makes a few single vineyard Cabernets and Chardonnay. Thomas is in high demand and serves as a consultant for a number of wineries including Schrader and Outpost.

Gioia is a 2-acre vineyard just west of Occidental on Joy Road, about a mile from Summa Vineyard.

Maroon in color. 14.1% ABV. Splendid nose of red fruits, pine needle, cloves and baking spices. Brooding, dense and sappy. Medium to full bodied with ample acidity. Black cherry, anise, cranberry and rhubarb on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Delicious Pinot Noir with a long live ahead of it. Best over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 92 points.

Rivers-Marie wines are only available via their mailing list. The 2016 version of this wine will be released early next year. Sign up for the mailing list if you have not done so already

I’ve blogged about Rivers-Marie previously in the 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2009 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Central Coast – Bottle Notes

Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981, and in less than two decades they created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the forefront of the best Pinot Noir regions in the world.

Today, John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, work with winemaker Jeff Mangahas to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise. Other varieties bottled at Williams Selyem include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc.

Magenta in color. 14.1% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, cloves, rhubarb and cola. Light to medium body with medium acidity. Bright and elegant. Cherries, cranberries, strawberries and baking spices on the palate. The wine finishes strong. Best over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 90 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended.

I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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