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Posts tagged ‘Pinot Noir’

2011 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, Walala and Terra de Promissio vineyards.

Light crimson in color. 14.4% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, cloves, baking spices and forest floor. Light to medium body with refreshing acidity. Loads of upfront fruit but plenty of structure and balance. Cherries, cranberries, pomegranate and cinnamon on the palate. There are still some tannins on a glorious finish. The wine bodes well for the 2011 Kosta Browne single vineyard wines. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2016 version will be released next Spring and will likely cost around $70. 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 last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2013 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Golden Mean Wayfarer Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Wayfarer Vineyard, located on the remote Sonoma Coast, was planted by David Abreu in 2002. In 2005, Jayson Pahlymeyer started blending Wayfarer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with fruit from Russian River Vineyards and bottling it under the Pahlmeyer label. By 2012, the vineyard’s exceptional fruit presented an irrefutable case for a namesake label. Jayson’s daughter, Cleo Pahlmeyer, runs the estate and Bibiana González Rave is in charge of winemaking.

Crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, roses and damp forest floor. Medium body with perfect acidity. Silky and sophisticated on the palate. Flavors of black cherry, cranberry, cola and cloves. The finish is exceptionally long. This is a Pinot Noir of grace and finesse. Absolutely gorgeous. Sonoma Coast at it’s best. Drink over the next 5-8 years.

My rating: 95 points

There is much to like here. Great people, exceptional wines and an impeccable vineyard. I’ll be looking to add future vintages of Wayfarer to my wine cellar. The 2014 Golden Mean will be released later this year.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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2008 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.

Interestingly enough this appellation wine is sourced entirely from Vista Verde Vineyard, located a couple miles southeast of Hollister, California, near the small town of Tres Pinos in San Benito County.

Light red in color. 14% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, cloves, earth and mushrooms. Light to medium body with acidity in spades. Elegant and lithe on the palate. Flavors of black cherry, strawberry, sassafras and spice. The finish is splendid. Holding up really well for an 8 year old appellation wine from an underwhelming vintage. Drink over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 91 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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2010 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. Fifteen 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 2010 Russian River Valley was sourced from 10 separate vineyards including Kanzler, Koplen and Amber Ridge.

Crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. Spectacular nose cherries, cloves and nutmeg. Medium to full body with plenty of acidity. Plush and exotic. Cranberries, cherry cola and baking spices on the palate. The finish is long and silky. Everything I look for in a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Kosta Browne in particular. Absolutely delicious. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2015 version will be released next Spring. 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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