Some Pinots from different California regions. Most under $30. The notes reflect my impressions.
- 2010 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
Everyone thought this was tart, but i thought it surprisingly lush, with sous-bois, raspberry jam and strawberry notes. Pretty clean, acid a bit muted. Overall quite lovely, but not quite worth the $30. At $25, maybe. (89 pts.)
- 2010 Vivier Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
My favorite wine of the tasting. Some found this nose a bit off-putting, but I loved it. Reminded me of a Loire Valley wine, with green pepper and fresh, crunchy tart berries. It tastes like a Cali wine, though, lovely fresh fruit accompanying the briary characteristics. Glad to see this kind of wine being made in these parts--and at $27. Bravo! (92 pts.)
- 2010 Vaughn Duffy Pinot Noir - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Very RRV nose of blood orange, christmas spice and dark cherry. Someone picked up cherry cola as well as a "dark room" smell (this blew off on day 2). Nice and lush. Once can tell this is well made but it needs some time to come together. (90 pts.)
- 2011 Alfaro Family Pinot Noir 'A' Estate - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Yum! Fresh raspberry and strawberry combine with leafiness on the nose. Showing good "lift." Everyone likes the nose on this. Very fresh in the mouth despite not bursting with acidity. Reminds me of a more modern-styled Bourgogne Rouge. Very bright and spicy rather than lush or velevty. Well-balanced and a great deal at $21. (91 pts.)
- 2010 Alta Maria Pinot Noir - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
Quite powerful. Sweet strawberry and plum paired, tobacco. A bit goopy and brooding, reminding me of a 2007 CdR, but one feels that it just requires time. Tannins are a bit bitter--almost licorice-like. I liked this, but it's not overly pleasant. At $23, this is a lot of wine. (88 pts.)
We were all fairly pleased with this tasting. The Alfaro was a surprise hit that I will definitely buy more of. The Vivier was my wine of the night. I very lovely and interesting wine for the price.