Falltacular 2013

FMIII in the OC
Tasted Sunday, February 17, 2013 by brigcampbell with 524 views

Introduction

You couldn't beat the weather for this years event and thankfully I had a day and a half of recovery from a nasty cold or mutant flu bug which put me out of commission earlier in the week. Falltacular is about wine, and lots of it. But at the end of the day it's really about supporting Laura's House and this Sonia, a graduate of Laura's House, gave a very elegant speech detailing her the abuse that drove her to seek shelter. A devastating story that results in personal triumph and reaffirms to all in attendance they the contributions made here are supporting a more than worthy cause.

As usual for me, I spent way more time with Pinot Noir in my glass than anything else and typically would take a break by visiting the whites or scurrying upstairs for the reds. I worked the main table again for my shift which worked out well since I had a chance to taste through most of the wine right before and had some idea in case people were looking for recommendations or had questions. Bonus points were the number of winemakers in attendance who were interested in tasting the wines that others liked so I shared with them that feedback as well as comments regarding their wines.

Flight 1 - Pinot, Pinot, and more Pinot (22 Notes)

  • 2011 Sojourn Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast 91 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Nose of muddled strawberry. Palate showed strawberry and then tart cranberry with nice acid followed with ash. Medium finish. Great juice.

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  • 2011 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast 90 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Seems lighter in color than the sangiacomo and definitely more reserved nose. Mild strawberry and cherry with earth and mushroom flavors. Longest finish of the family, really appealing.

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  • 2011 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard 92 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Color seems to be slightly lighter than the previous vintage but I quickly realized with such small pours and the lighting made it difficult to really assess accurately. The aromas of this wine were terrific with a mixture of lightly candied and dried fruits with toast. Palate is tart strawberry and nimble mouthfeel. The finish was graceful but slightly clipped. This was my favorite Sojourn PN, top 5 for the tasting, and glad I purchased again this year

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  • 2010 Rhys Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard

    USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley

    Quick sip: wasn't expecting the full flavor profile of tart raspberry and cranberry. Just OK for me.

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  • 2010 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

    USA, California, San Francisco Bay, San Mateo County

    Dark red and black fruit flavors and some stem aromas. What really jumped out at me was the way the wine developed with a very mild fruit attack, instantly I wondered "wow, not much here at all" but wait my friends it starts building momentum and really culminates with and explosion at the finish. Nicely done.

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  • 2011 Saxon-Brown Pinot Noir Glass House Sonoma Coast

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    I stared at the glass... Looks brown around the edges with a deep core, so I took it into better light and sure enough, brown edges around the rim. Could it be bottle shock? This was probably recently bottled and sent to Frank's for the tasting. I couldn't even find any information on SB's website regarding this vintage or vineyard so this wine hasn't been official revealed to the world yet. Good for us!

    We have a winner here, top 10 of the event for me. Aromatics are outstanding with perfume and sweet red fruit. Flavors are superbly balanced with the acid, round chewy tannins, and probably one of the longest finishes of the evening. Excellent.

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  • 2011 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard

    USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley

    Nose is sweet red fruit as you'd expect from this vineyard which transitions directly to the palate. The finish is tangy and Wine has notes of sandlewood. Very good.

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  • 2011 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

    Sandler does the best Keefer, I've tasted quite a few producers over the years and I've always preferred Sandler. I'm not alone in that opinion as a few winemakers felt the same way. There is lots of spicy raspberry on what would be described as fruit forward but there is excellent balance and a monster finish. Top 10 of the evening for me.

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  • 2011 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard 93 Points

    USA, California, Central Coast, Chalone

    No other '11 PN taste like this wine. How's that for a statement? And this would satisfy the domestic requirements of a serious burg head. Right after opening, the nose was expressive mushroom, red fruit, and black olive tapenade. Seriously, it was very surprising. It was engaging. The palate showed a bit of earth with the fruit and acid. Superb balance. The finish was medium plus and there was a dusty whiff. Standout wine and WOTN for me.

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  • 2011 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch Vineyard

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Didn't just like this wine because I share the name of the vineyard but its the strawberry and rhubarb notes and the nimbleness of the wine across the palate.

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  • 2011 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Tina Marie Vineyard

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

    Nose is bright cherry and light brown sugar. The mouthfeel is very feminine and flavor is driven by a slightly ripened raspberry. Excellent balance. Terrific wine all the way around.

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  • 2011 Harrington Pinot Noir Stori Vineyard Russian River Valley

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

    Attractive fruit compote. Palate explodes with sweet red and blackberry. Medium finish. Fun drinking it with winemaker, really nice gentleman.

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  • 2011 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir Vigneron Select

    USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills

    This wine is constant across vintages true to the SRH in its express of cherry and berry flavors. Fruit driven, nice spice, and big mouthfeel. This was Kim's favorite of the evening and since there were three bottles in the auction, I split it with Rob and gave a bottle to Kim. Thanks Rob, made her day. Oh, and I really enjoy it too!

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  • 2010 Black Kite Pinot Noir Redwoods' Edge

    USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley

    All the black kite wines I tasted were fantastic and they were definite the buzz of the tasting just like last year. These are all excellent wines but I thought this stood up just a bit based on the potential. The combination of fruit, gripping tannins, and a whiff of expresso on the finish. Wow, beautiful wine with great future ahead of because it has all the building blocks to really improve with cellar time. And it's already drinking fantastically right now with some air. Scary.

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  • 2010 Black Kite Pinot Noir Stony Terrace

    USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley

    Don't add anymore oak to the program in future vintages. This is right on the boarder, they all are, where there's some coffee and vanilla elements on the nose and finish combined with cherry and strawberry flavors yet its not syrupy or over concentrated. Excellent wine.

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  • 2010 Amelle Pinot Noir La Cruz Vineyard Sonoma Coast

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Eric the winemaker was at my station while I was serving so we chatted quite a bit as he ran through the line up. Based on the wines he enjoyed I figured I'd like his wine and sure enough, very nice work. It was probably the most gentle of the wine in that not until the very end did the tannins show up as a bit drying like you'd see more with a cab. But there is a nice balance to the wine and the classic noir flavor profile.

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  • 2010 Copain Pinot Noir Monument Tree

    USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley

    I didn't buy this vintage, mistake. I need to find it now though. Top 10 for me, really nice. There's coffee, vanilla, and old wine barrel pouring out of the glass. Light cherry and raspberry wrapped in a tangy acid wrapper. Put a bow on it with a medium/+ finish.

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  • 2010 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard

    USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County

    On the riper side of the spectrum and open for business already. Strong dark fruit flavor with a touch of spice.

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  • 2010 Small Vines Wines Pinot Noir Baranoff Vineyard

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

    Had the pleasure of tasting this along with the owners and winemaker, both of them are very personable and are making terrific wine. I tasted this wine first, MK, and the RRV. The flavor profile of the three is very similar. Really nice fruit, great balance, and nice tannins. The only noticeable difference is the reduce level of tannins as you move towards the RRV with the Baranoff showing the most stuff and a medium plus finish. Excellent wines across the board.

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  • 2009 Ladd Cellars Pinot Noir Cuvée Abigail

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    I was standing against a wall tasting this wine and Eric walked by and began chatting. He didn't know what I was drinking so I innocently (or not so) said "what to you think of this wine's aromas?" and handed him my glass. He stuck his nose in there, thought for 10 seconds, and said "this is Abigail". Bingo! I told him I thought that was pretty impressive and said "no not really, I live with that wine everyday of its life". Good point, never really thought about that fact he's surrounded by his wines everyday. He's a very knowledgeable winemaker and interesting to converse with.

    This is my favorite of his wines, really well made with all the facets of California Pinot I like.

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  • 2011 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    On the ripe side as you'd expect and dark berry fruit driven. A whisper of caramel flavors emerge mid palate.

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  • 2010 Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah Peterson Family Vineyard

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    May have been the only petite in the line up, probably best that way because this would have been top dog. It's a monster, no question about it and if you appreciate that for the hedonistic reasons then you'll enjoy the wine. Extremely dark color and staining everything it touches including tables, clothes, and teeth with impunity. Very concentrated and power dark blue fruit combined with the rough tannins you'd expect from a young wine. Fun to taste.

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Flight 2 - It's not all about the Pinot (11 Notes)

Closing

The End until near year.

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