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Posts from the ‘Pinot Noir’ Category

2006 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay 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.

Peay Vineyard is situated near the San Andreas Fault at the Northern edge of the Sonoma Coast AVA.

Light red in color. Almost translucent. 14.2% ABV. Spellbinding nose of red fruits, orange zest and sassafras. Light and airy with striking acidity. Delicate but somewhat racy. Cherries, cola, rhubarb and Asian spices on the palate. The finish lingers. Best over the next several years.

My rating: 91 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. The Peay Vineyard bottling was discontinued after the 2012 vintage.

I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2008 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch 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.

Keefer Ranch is located in the Green Valley appellation in the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley.

Light red in color. 14.7% ABV. Pretty nose of red and black fruits, nutmeg, cloves and cherry cola. Silky, bright and fruit forward with loads of acidity. Black cherry, rhubarb, cranberry and baking spices on the palate. The finish is long and plush. Absolutely stunning Pinot Noir. At or near the pinnacle for this variety in the Russian River Valley. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 95 points.

The 2015 version will be released this Fall and will likely cost around $80. 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 last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2002 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Octagon Vineyard – 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.

The grapes for Dehlinger Wines are largely grown on the Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. The initial vines were planted in 1975 and followed by subsequent plantings through 1989. A special 3.5-acre plot of Pinot Noir was planted in 1982 around the original octagon-shaped house on the top of the property. This site is referred to as Octagon Vineyard. The 900-square-foot eight-sided house was built in 1975-76. The house on Octagon Hill has become a Russian River Valley landmark.

Light red in color. 14.8% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, damp forest floor, cloves and sarsaparilla. Complex and elegant with amazing texture. Light to medium body with perfect acidity. Strawberries, cranberries, baking spices and a touch of fresh mint on the palate. The finish is long and seamless. Gorgeous Pinot Noir. Drink over the next few years.

My rating: 93 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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2003 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.

Garnet in color. 14.2% ABV. Soaring nose of dark fruits, sassafras, cinnamon and forest floor. Big and robust with strong acidity. Black cherry, anise, cherry cola and baking spices on the palate. The finish is long and sappy. At 14 years of age I was expecting a Pinot Noir that was light and elegant. This wine was anything but that. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2015 West Block will be released to the mailing list this Summer and should cost right around $110 per bottle. It will undoubtedly sell out quickly.

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 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists.

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2005 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Ferrington 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.

Ferrington Vineyard is situated in the Anderson Valley and farmed by Kurt Schoeneman has been growing Pinot Noir for Williams Selyem since 1997.

Light red in color. 14.3% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, forest floor and baking spices. Medium body with plenty of acidity. Lush and elegant with layers of rich fruit. Cranberry, cherry cola, rhubarb and minerals on the palate. The finish is very long with sappy fruits and caressing tannins. Absolutely gorgeous Anderson Valley Pinot Noir that is aging ever so gracefully. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

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

I wrote about Williams Selyem recently in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2014 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – 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.

The fruit for the 2014 Sonoma Coast was sourced from Riddle Ranch and Manzanita Vineyards.

Ruby red in color. 14.1% ABV. Brooding nose of dark fruits, pine needle, smoke and forest floor. Medium body and bursting with acidity. Deep, dark and rich. Black cherry, cranberry, sassafras and minerals on the palate. The finish is perfection. This is different than previous versions of this bottling. Dark and more brooding as opposed to light and floral. Irregardless, this wine is exceptional and a great value at $30. Drink 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 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2011 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – 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.

The fruit for the 2011 Santa Lucia Highlands was sourced from Garys’, Pisoni, Rosella’s, Sierra Mar and Soberanes Vineyards.

Light crimson in color. 14.5% AB. Pretty nose of red fruits, baking spice and forest floor. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Light and more earthy than the other Kosta Browne appellation wines. Cherries, cranberries, spice and sarsaparilla on the palate. The finish is long and the earthy tones linger. Slightly less impressive in this vintage than the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 91 points.

The 2015 version was recently released for $68. 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 last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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

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2008 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Estate – 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.

The grapes for Dehlinger Wines are largely grown on the Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. The initial vines were planted in 1975 and followed by subsequent plantings through 1989.

Garnet in color. 14.9% ABV. Showstopping nose of red fruits, cloves, baking spices and pine needle. Medium body with nice acidity and perfect balance. Texture and mouth feel reminiscent of the very best Dehlinger Pinots. Cherries, strawberries, earth and a bit of cola on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. One of the very best Dehlinger Pinot Noirs in recent memory. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 95 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.

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

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2012 Toil Oregon Pinot Noir – Bottle Notes

Toil Oregon was founded in 2012 by Chris Figgins. Chris is the President and Winemaking Director for Figgins Family Wine Estates. At present time this includes Leonetti, Figgins and Toil Oregon. Figgins Family Wine Estates has acquired a 42-acre parcel of extraordinary land in the Chehalem Mountains AVA of Willamette Valley. This will become the Estate Vineyard and future winery home of Toil Oregon.

Garnet in color. 14.1% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, baking spices and and soil. Light to medium body with nice acidity. Complex and elegant. Cherries, earth, mushrooms and cinnamon on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. This Pinot Noir has really come together since I last had a bottle several years ago. It is hard not to be excited about what Chris Figgins might do in years to come with Toil Oregon. Drink over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The mailing list at Toil Oregon is still open and the 2015 Pinot Noir will be released soon. Based on this bottle I look forward to following the winery in the years to come.

I previous wrote The Wines of Chris Figgins.

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2009 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills – Bottle Notes

One of the most collectible Pinot Noirs made in all of Oregon is from a winery you’ve probably never heard of: Thomas Winery. Located in Carlton, Oregon, winemaker John Thomas has been releasing small amounts of wine from the Thomas Vineyard since 1988. I don’t recall ever seeing ratings from the Wine Advocate or the Wine Spectator, and I don’t think Thomas has ever hosted a public event. The winery has achieved cult like status among wine collectors.

Garnet in color. Almost translucent. 13.9% ABV. Red fruits, roses and earth on the nose. Light body with bright, racy acidity. Wow! Complex and sophisticated. Cranberries, rhubarb, smoke, cinnamon and mushrooms on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. This is Oregon Pinot Noir at its very best. Maybe the best wine I have ever had from John Thomas. Stunning now but will drink well for another 4-6 years if not longer.

My rating: 95 points.

Thomas Pinot Noir makes a brief appearance at Portland-area shops soon after release, and is priced right around $55 per bottle. I’ve had the opportunity to taste bottlings going back to the late 90’s, and think the wine shows best 7-10 years past the vintage date.

I’ve blogged about Thomas previously in Thomas Winery: The Best Pinot Noir You Have Never Heard Of.

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