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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 - June 11, 2008


We tasted last night (6/11/08) some new Pinot Noirs:

  1. DryCreekVnyd PinotNoir DCV10Vnyd/RRV (13.9%; 390 cs) 2005: Med.dark color; attractive
    cherry/black cherry/PN rather toasty/pencilly/oak slight RRV/earthy nose; tart bit sour light black cherry/PN rather toasty/pencilly flavor; med.short light black cherry/PN somewhat toasty/pencilly finish w/ rather raspy/gritty tannins; pleasant enough PN but a bit disappointing for a DCV red. $28.00
  2. Alcina PinotNoir RRV (14.5%; www.AlcinaCellars.com) 2006: Med.light color; attractive
    perfumed cherry/PN light earthy fairly fragrant nose; light bit tannic/hard pretty/cherry/PN slight earthy/mushroomy bit simple flavor; med.short pretty/cherry/PN slight hard/tannic finish; pleasant Pinot but just that; bit undistinguished. $36.00
  3. antica terra WillametteVlly PinotNoir (14.4%) 2006: Med.dark color; lovely toasty/pencilly/
    Burgundian/oak strong black cherry/PB slight earthy/walnutty fairly big/interesting nose; tart some earthy/mushroomy rather Burgundian/toasty/oak strong black cherry/PN fairly tannic/structured flavor; very long some tannic strong black cherry/walnutty/PN rather Burgundian/toasty/oak finish; needs 2-5 yrs of age; a very good/structured Pinot; bit pricey at $49.00
  4. Pey-Marin TroisFilles MarinCnty PinotNoir (Clones 115, 667, 777; 384cs;www.PeyMarin.com;
    14.0%) 2006
    : Light color; slight funky/dishwater strong cherry/Nehi soda pop bit simple/
    tooty-fruity nose; tart simple light/cherry/PN/soda pop some toasty/oak flavor; med.short
    bright/cherry/soda pop light toasty/charred/oak finish w/ light tannins; a bit simple but
    a pleasant cherry sort of Pinot; pricey at $42.00
  5. BlackKite Pinot Noir Redwood'sEdge/AndersonVlly (14.7%; www.BlackKiteCellars.com;
    < 500 cs) 2006
    : Med.color; attractive black cherry/PN bit earthy light toasty/oak nose; tart fairly
    toasty/oak some black cherry/PN flavor; med.long some tannic/raspy/gritty rather toasty/oak light earthy finish; needs several yrs; attractive/pleasant Pinot but just that. $46.00
  6. BlackKite Pinot Noir Kite'sRest/AndersonVlly (14.7%) 2006: Med.color; rather closed/tight
    low fruit rather toasty/charred/oak nose; tart fairly toasty/charred/oak very light black cherrry/PN somewhat raspy/tannic flavor; strong low fruit/black cherry fairly toasty/charred/oak rather hard/tannic finish; seems rather closed & tight but more structured than Redwood'sEdge. $46.00
  7. BlackKite Pinot Noir StonyTerrace/AndersonVlly (14.7%) 2006: Med.color; attractive/fragrat
    black cherry/PN light toasty/oak some earthy/AndrsonVlly nose; tart rather bright/cherry/PN/black cherry pretty light toasty/oak flavor; med.long tart bright/black cherry/cherry/PN finish w/ light tannins; rather forward attractive Pinot. $46.00
  8. BlackKite Pinot Noir RiverTurn/AndersonVlly (14.7%) 2006: Med.dark color; bit closed/tight
    some toasty/oak some black cherry/cherry/bright some earthy/AndVlly nose; tart rather tannic/hard big/structured some black cherry/PN light earthy fair amount of toasty/oak flavor; long hard/tannic/ structured some black cherry/PN finish; much like the Kite'sRest in size & structure but a bit more fruit & perfume. $46.00
  9. Longfellow PinotNoir SonomaCoast Griffin'sLairVnyd/PetalumaGap (374cs; 14.6%;
    www.LongFellowWines.com) CraigWhitney & MarkSmith 2006
    : Med.dark color; strong black
    cherry/PN/boysenberry intense fruit almost Syrah-like some toasty/oak bit complex nose; tannic/structured somewhat toasty/charred/oak strong black cherry/blackberry/PN bit earthy nose; long fairly structured/tannic strong black cherry/blackberry/PN some toasty/charred/oak finish; needs 3-6 yrs; pretty big example of Pinot and almost Syrah-like in character. $38.00
  10. AloisLageder DOC: AltoAdige PinotNoir (12.5%) 2003: Light color; quite earthy/dusty/
    minerally very slight cherry/Pinot very terroir-driven nose; tart very dusty/earthy hardly any Pinot/fruit bit washed-out flavor; med.short quite earthy/dusty/minerally little fruit finish w/ light tannins; all about terroir and only vague hints about fruit; pretty unthrilling unless it's only terroir you want. $25.00
  11. Siduri HirschVnyd/SonomaCoast PinotNoir (14.2%) 2001:Med.dark color w/ slight bricking;
    very strong black cherry/PN slight earthy some vanilla/toasty/smokey/oak some complex/
    mature nose; tart lovely toasty/oak/smokey/pungent strong black cherry/PN smooth/
    polished complex flavor; long black cherry/PN some toasty/smokey/oak smooth some complex
    finish w/ light tannins; a lovely mature Siduri Pinot that should go another few yrs. Larry's mystery wine.
  12. Domaine Fourrier AC: Morey St.Denis ClosSolon VieilleVigne (13%) 2005: Med.dark color;
    rather earthy/dusty somewhat toasty/Burgundian/oak pleasant licorice/black cherry/PN sort of Calif-like nose; tart fairly earthy/dusty pretty toasty/charred/oak light licorice/black cherry/Pinot flavor; med.long toasty/charred/Burgundian/oak light licorice/black cherry/Pinot finish w/ fair tannins; pretty decent RedBurg that needs some age; way too pricey for my blood. $80.00

And the usual stuff from the BloodyPulpit:

1. This was one of the most underwhelming Pinot tastings I've ever had. The only one
that I really liked was the antica terra OR Pinot. Most of these Pinots were relative
unknowns. The BlackKites were decent enough but rather overpriced. None did I actively
dislike but they were all pretty underperforming for the $$. Maybe I better stick to the Siduris??
2. RedBurg: I'd pretty much been priced out of the RedBurg market and haven't bought a
Cru in over 20 yrs. I can live w/o them I think. Because of all the hype over the '05 vintage, I've tried 3-4 village RedBurgs in the $35-$45 range. Been pretty underwhelemed thus far. So I thought I'd see what $80 can buy in a village RedBurg. Served to the group as a mystery wine. Not many guesses it was a $$ RedBurg. I liked the wine and thought it some like the RedBurgs I used to buy back in the '70's. But I think I'll just stick w/ my Siduris and Radio-Coteaus and leave the RedBurg market to those with the $$'s to play that minefield.
3. BlackKite: This was my first experience w/ the BlackKite wines. I was turned onto these
by a friend from Idaho who was visiting SantaFe, so bought the tableau. The wines were
all individual and distinctive and expressive of AndersonVlly Pinot w/ that black cherry fruit and hints of earth and loam. I wasn't blown away by them but thought they were all pretty good, if a bit pricey. The RiverTurn was my favorite for its bigger structure and more interesting character; though the Kite'sRest may eventually be the best of the foursome.


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