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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some New Pinot Noirs - October 4, 2006

We tasted last week (10/04/06) Some New Pinots:

  1. Amici Mendocino PinotNoir (14.2%; www.AmiciCellars.com; 64% pommard, 30% #115,
    6% #777 clones; 500 cs) 2003
    : Light color; lovely spicy/cherry light earthy slight toasty/oak bit herbal nose; some tart some earthy/dusty light/toasty/oak very attractive cherry/PN flavor; med.long slightly tart earthy/cherry light toasty/oak finish; a very attractive/ drinkable Pinot but a bit pricy at $32.00

  2. ScherrerWnry RussianRvrVlly PinotNoir (14.5%) 2002: Med.light color; very attractive/lovely lush/bright/spicy/cherry/PN vibrant/aromatic/perfumed nose; tart very bright/cherry/spicy/cherry soda elegant/vibrant flavor; very long bright/vibrant spicy/cherry little oak finish w/ slight tannins; terrific bright/vibrant Pinot. $35.00

  3. Solena PinotNoir GrandCuvee WilammetteVlly (13.8%) LaurentMontalieu/DanielleAndrus
    Montalieu/Carleton/OR 2004
    : Med.dark color; very dusty/walnutty slight herbal some toasty/oak little fruit nose; tart/lean rather walnutty/very dusty little fruit slight smokey/toasty/oak flavor; med. short bit tannic herbal/walnutty/dusty finish; interesting but pretty slim on the fruit. Pricey at $27.00

  4. Solena PinotNoir SheaVnyd/WilammetteVlly (14.3%) 2004: Med.dark color; somewhat toasty/
    smokey/oak some blackcherry/PN bit earthy/dusty nose; tart light black cherry/PN earthy/dusty rather toasty/oak flavor; med. bit tannic/hard slight black cherry/PN dusty finish; bit more fruit & bit more oak but still lacking in fruit. Way pricey at $38.00 )

  5. J.AlbinWnry LaurelVnyd PinotNoir WillametteVlly/OR (13%) 2002: Med.light color; some dusty/ earthy light toasty very light black cherry simple nose; tart/lean/thin light dusty light black cherry bit green/underripe simple flavor; med.short light dusty slight cherry finish; rather dull/simple/boring and overpriced. $28.00

  6. ThomasFogarty SantaCruzMtn PinotNoir (EG; 14.5%; Sky and RapleyTrail vnyds; www.ThomasFogartyWinery.com) 2003: Med.dark color; rather dusty/earthy/loamy autum leaf
    pile bit chalky/minerally deep black cherry/cola slight charred/smokey/oak nose; tart bit rustic some earthy/minerally/chalky light black cherry/PN/cola some tannic flavor;med.long tart bit hard/lean/ tannic some herbal/black cherry/cola minerally/chalky finish;rather rouch/rustic SCM Pinot that needs some age but a gamble. Bit pricey at $45.00

  7. JackCreekCllrs KruseVnyds/YorkMtn PinotNoir (14.5%; www.JackCreekCellars.com) Doug&
    Sabrina Kruse/Templeton/PasoRobles 2004
    : Dark color; rich/lush perfumed/tomatoey/jammy
    slight herbal somewhat plummy/black cherry light oak nose; soft/lush ripe/chocolaty/plummy/black cherry/jammy bit earthy/peppery loads of plummy fruit bit tannic flavor; long soft/lush ripe/plummy/ black cherry/jammy finish w/ light tannins; an unusual and delish Pinot from a region not known for its Pinots. $32.00

  8. Summerland PinotNoir FiddlestixVnyd/SantaRitaHills (#969; 14.1%; www.SummerlandWine.com; 425 cs) 2004: Med.color; attractive dusty/SRH/spicy rather
    cherry/PN/bright slight herbal light toasty/oak nose; tart bit thin/lean/light some dusty/black
    cherry/PN/spicy light toasty/oak flavor; med.short light/washed out light dusty/cherry/PN light toasty/oak finish w/ light tannins; rather innocuous wine and way overpriced at $40.00

  9. Dierberg PinotNoir SantaMariaVlly (14.9%; www.DierbergVineyard.com) 2004: Dark color;
    intense black cherry/PN plummy/tomatoey/herbal bit earthy lovely toasty/oak nose; soft/rich/ extracted bit toasty/oak light tannic lush/black cherry/PN flavor; long soft/plummy/black cherry/ ripe/PN light toasty/oak finish w/ light tannins; very attractive PN at a very fair price; best Dierberg I've yet had. $34.00

  10. Foley SantaRitaHills PinotNoir DijonClone 667 RanchoSantaRosaVnyd (14.5%;
    www.FoleyWines.com) 2004
    : Dark color; deep/complex/dusty/herbal some Burgundian/toasty/oak
    light plummy/PN nose; tart very spicy/dusty/herbal rather Burgundian/smokey/toasty/oak complex/ spicy light black cherry/PN flavor; long dusty toasty/Burgundian/oak light black cherry finish w/ fair tannins; needs several yrs; not a lot of bright fruit but quite an interesting Pinot; pretty overpriced at $70.00

  11. PapapietroPerry PinotNoir LerasFamilyVnyd/RussianRvrVlly (14.5%) 2004: Med.color; rather toasty/charred/oak some black cherry/PN bit earthy/mushroomy bit herbal nose; soft toasty/
    Burgundian/oak black cherry/blackberry/jammy/ripe/PN lush/ripe flavor; med.long soft/lush black cherry/cola/PN finish w/ light tannins; attractive Pinot but just that. $45.00

  12. PapapietroPerry PinotNoir PetersVnyd/SonomaCoast (14.5%; U/U) 2003:
    Med.dark color; very strong black cherry/plummy/PN/RC cola quite toasty/oak rather unusual smokey nose; prickly unusual RC cola/black cherry/PN some toasty/charred/oak slight earthy flavor; med.short bit hot/volatile very RC cola some black cherry/PN toasty/charred/burnt/oak bit coffe finish w/ some tannins; interesting but a bit bizarre Pinot. $45.00

  13. Flowers SonomaCoast PinotNoir (14.2%) 2004: Dark color; lovely spicy/floral/perfumed black cherry/Pinot complex bit toasty/oak nose; tart very spicy/perfumed bright/black cherry/PN light toasty/oak slight earthy/peppery very balanced flavor; long perfumed/very spicy ripe/black cherry light toasty/oak slight earthy finish w/light tannins; can use several yrs; a very attractive Pinot at a fair price. $46.00

  14. Flowers PinotNoir SonomaCoast Andreen-Gale Cuvee (14.5%; www.FlowersWinery.com) 2003: Med.dark color; complex/licorice very spicy/peppery/black cherry/cola quite perfumed/spicy/
    aromatic light toasty/oak rather complex nose; tart very strong very spicy/black cherry/PN/ cola/ peppery complex light toasty/oak flavor w/ some tannins; very long/perfumed quite spicy very strong black cherry/cola/PN very spicy bit peppery finish w/ some tannins; needs 2-5 yrs; a beautiful rich very spicy Pinot. Worth the xtra $4. $50.00

  15. Weingut Zum Sternen Kloster Sion PinotNoir Klingnau AOC Reserve Barrique (14.5%) Andreas
    Meier & Co/Wurenlingen/Suisse 2003
    : Med.dark color; ripe earthy/black cherry/PN some herbal/
    earthy slight oak nose; soft light/elegant/earthy slight bitey/lean light buttery/cherry bit dusty flavor; med.short tight/thin/lean rather earthy/dusty little fruit finish; fair amount of earthy character and little fruit. Salman's mystery wine.

  16. Siduri HirschVnyd/SonomaCoast PinotNoir (14.7%) 2001: Very dark color; very perfumed/
    fragrant/aromatic classic Siduri/pencilly/smokey/oak tomato sauce/black cherry/cola/PN very spicy complex nose; soft/lush/spicy black cherry cola/PN bit herbal/earthy fragrant/pencilly/oak bit BarBQue sauce/tomatoey/spicy complex flavor; very long rather pencilly/oak perfumed black cherry/cola/PN complex finish w/ light tannins; a really lovely complex mature Pinot that has come together very/very well. Larry's mystery wine.

And from the BloodyPulpit:
    1. Scherrer: I've had plenty of Fred Scherrer's Zins over the yrs; which I describe as bright and very spicy Zins; in the Nalle style. But I've never had his Pinot before. I was quite struck by this wine. It had a bright/vibrant/electrifying Pinot character. That hot pink or neon green color comes to mind. Terrific Pinot.
    2. J.Albin: Don't know much about this winery and haven't been able to find much on the Web. I must admit I bought it because of the name, being as I've followed John Alban from the very start.
    3. Flowers: I'd never seen any of the Flowers Pinots out on the free range but have always heard lots of good things about them. So these were my first try with them. I really liked the wines quite a lot and thought they were pretty reasonably priced for their quality.
    4. Zum Sternen: This was one of the better more serious Swiss red wines I've had. That being
    said, it was no great shakes as far as red wine goes. Are there any GREAT Swiss reds??


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