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Posts tagged ‘Pinot Noir’

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.

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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.

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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.

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New Releases from Wonderment Wines

Wonderment Wines was founded in 2011 by Stephanie Cook. The wines are focused on specific terroir where each wine represents the vineyards distinctive style and expression. Stephanie honed her winemaking skills at Robert Biale Vineyards, Spottswoode Estate and Spy Valley in New Zealand before going out on her own.

Stephanie recently sent me her new releases to review.

2015 Wonderment Wines Pinot Noir Dutton-Campbell Vineyard – Light crimson in color. 14.2% ABV. Spellbinding nose of red fruits, forest floor and baking spices. Medium body with ample acidity. Restrained and earthy. Bing cherries, cranberries and earth on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. The wine picks up weight with time in the glass. Well made Pinot Noir. Drink over the next 4-6 years. $44 at the winery and retail. My rating: 93 points.

2015 Wonderment Wines Pinot Noir Dr. Stan’s Vineyard –  Ruby red in color. 14.1% ABV. Great nose of red fruits, pine needle and baking spices. Medium body with medium acidity. Fresh and lighter in style. Cranberries, strawberries and pomegranate on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Delicious Pinot Noir that will be best over the next 2-4 years.  $65 at the winery and retail. My rating: 91 points.

2015 Wonderment Wines Petite Sirah Bacigalupi Vineyard – Opaque purple in color. 14.1% ABV. Huge nose of black fruits, cassis and flowers. Full bodied with loads of acidity. Powerful and immensely concentrated. Blackberries, graphite and pepper on the palate. The finish is long with chalky tannins. A monster of a wine. Drink over the next 5-7 years. $48 at the winery and retail. My rating: 92 points.

2015 Wonderment Wines Sauvignon Blanc Las Trancas Vineyard – Straw colored and 14% ABV. Nice nose of lemons, tropical fruits, grass and wet stones. Medium body with medium acidity. Crisp and fresh. Green apples, lemons and peach on the palate. The finish is long and tangy. Drink over the next several years. $30 at the winery and retail. My rating: 89 points.

2016 Wonderment Wines Sauvignon Blanc Hyde Vineyard – Light straw in color. 14.4% ABV. Delightful nose of stone fruits, lemongrass and minerals. Medium body with bright acidity. Rich and somewhat oily. Pineapple, lemon oil and pears on the palate. The finish lingers. Super Sauvignon Blanc. Drink over the next 2-3 years. $34 at the winery and retail. My rating: 90 points.

I look forward to trying these wines every year and that is clearly reflected in the tasting notes above. Most of us are on too many mailing lists to begin with so I usually hesitate before suggesting you sign yourself up. I’ll make an exception here. I look forward to following the winery in the years to come.

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2010 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills – Bottle Notes

The 2010 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills was the winning bottle in the October Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was opened and served shortly thereafter.

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.

Very light red in color. Almost translucent. 13.1% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, earth, minerals and a little bit of baking spice. Light to medium body with loads of acidity. Very complex. Given the color I anticipated a delicate wine but instead it is surprisingly powerful. Bing cherries, black raspberries, mushrooms and soil on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. If you typically wait for Thomas to reach 10 years of bottle age before pulling a cork, I would suggest opening a bottle sooner rather than later. Entering what should be long drinking window. Best over the next 4-6 years. Oregon Pinot Noir at it’s finest.

My rating: 95 points.

Thomas Pinot Noir makes a brief appearance at Portland-area shops soon after release, and is priced right around $65 per bottle. The 2015 was recently released to members of the mailing list. If you want to put your name on the mailing list you will need track down the winery address and send John a letter. I’ve had the opportunity to taste bottles 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 The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Thomas Winery: The Best Pinot Noir You Have Never Heard Of.

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2011 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.

Ruby red in color. 14.5% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, cola, cloves and nutmeg. Medium body with racy acidity. Silky on the palate with exceptional mouthfeel. Well balanced, plush and hedonistic. Flavors of cherries, cranberries, plums and baking spices. Tremendous length on the finish. Everything I adore about Kosta Browne. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 93 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 The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2008 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma County – 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.

Ruby red in color. 13.8% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, cloves and nutmeg. Light body with medium acidity. Fresh and elegant. Bing cherries, cranberries, blood orange and minerals on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. This bottle got away from me as I tend to drink the appellation wines 5-7 years from vintage. The being said this showed really well. 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 previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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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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