Pinot Noir Paradise!

Jul 10, 2011 by

Pinot Noir Paradise!

If I was stranded on a tropical island and could have only one red wine it’d be Pinot Noir (my island white wine would be a dry Gewürztraminer). I love all wines, but the subtlety, complexity and the silky, sexy mouthfeel of Pinot Noir has this Wine Wench all wrapped around its varietal finger. I’m a sucker for a good Pinot.

I’m very fortunate to be able to taste so many fantastic wines every week. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of the wineries that support me by sending their wines for me to sample (as Yoda would say, “brave, you are!”). I do my best to do justice to all of the wines with my humble and sometimes sassy adjectives.

A little reminder – I do taste several wines in a sitting and not all of them make it to this website. I only write about the wines that I’ve ranked three or more stars, because my mission from Bacchus is to promote wines, not to denigrate them. Also, my mom taught me “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” so that’s how I roll. Snarky? Me? Nah!

Back into the silky, seductive arms of Pinot Noir – I tasted 12 lovely Pinot Noirs from all over California and the following 9 were my favorites:

Five Stars
2008 Peters Vineyard, Sonoma Coast $48

This bad boy of a Pinot Noir made my knees weak. Pinotgasm! Seductive scents of ripe strawberry, cherry, blackberry and gingerbread spice are enhanced by a hint of smoke and warm earth. These aromas continue as flavors in the perfectly balanced, super silky mouth. Can’t think. Must have more…

Five Stars
2009 Grand Detour, Sonoma Coast $40

Wow! What a gorgeous Pinot! Mouthwatering scents of rose petals, strawberry, cherry, cola and vanilla pipe tobacco lure the taster into a luscious mouthful of consistent flavors. Picture a young Sean Connery as James Bond, wearing a satin smoking jacket and a wicked grin, leading you into his sumptuously appointed suite, where a bouquet of red roses and much more await…

Five Stars
2009 Santa Barbara County $17

Clove-studded orange and ruby rose petals, toasty vanilla and lots of gold medals, Pinot so good, that it’s making me sing, these are a few of my favorite things. OK, Julie Andrews I’m not (I’m more like Etta James), but this delicious Pinot is all this and more! And it’s a total steal at $17!

Five Stars
Thumbprint Cellars
2008 Schneider Vineyard, Russian River Valley $49

This is a bright, juicy, sassy Pinot Noir, with abundant cranberry, strawberry, mint and vanilla aromas and flavors, all wrapped up in an oh-so-smooth mouthfeel. Picture singer Katy Perry bounding across the stage, singing “I Kissed a Girl” with a strawberry pie attached to her hat and you’re with me on my happy, wenchy planet.

Five Stars
2009 Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley $25

What a pretty Pinot! Strawberry, cherry vanilla and pumpkin pie spice all play nicely together from the first sniff, through the satiny mouthfeel, and on through the long finish. Think Drew Barrymore, sucking on a cherry lollipop, wearing only a frilly apron and high heels as she bakes you a pumpkin pie and you’re halfway there.

Five Stars
Thumbprint Cellars
2009 Nugent Vineyard, Russian River Valley $54

This is a big, bold, yet elegant Pinot Noir. It’s jam-packed with aromas and flavors of cherry cola, blackberry, rose potpourri and vanilla. The mouthfeel is richly textured and supple. Think Matthew McConoughey (wearing a tux) at your front door with a dozen red roses and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Yum!

Five Stars
Hop Kiln Winery
2009 HKG, Russian River Valley $38

This gorgeous wine is a study in balance and elegance – aromas and flavors of cherry, strawberry, rose petals, mint and vanilla are supported in a perfectly balanced, silky-smooth mouth. Long finish. This wine is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers gliding across the floor together as Fred tucks a rose behind Ginger’s ear.

Four Stars
Isabel Mondavi
2006 Willamette Valley $35

This is a decidedly feminine Pinot, with delicate aromas and flavors of rose petal, cinnamon, wintergreen and red cherry. The mouthfeel is soft and very smooth. Long, lovely finish.

Three Stars
NV California $6.99

Simple, straightforward, loaded with fruit (ripe strawberry, raspberry, cranberry and blueberry) and spice aromas and flavors and very affordably priced. What’s not to love?



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