Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir


Tasted February 2, 2019 by 3daywinereview.com with 91 views


Fun event and interesting how the flights ended up tying but the two favorite wines were both Oregon the St. Innocent and J Christopher.

Flight 1 - Chardonnay Flight (2 notes)

4 votes for the Talley and 3 for the Drouhin. My preference was the Drouhin as I like the lighter style but it still had complexity.
California 1 vote.

2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
92 points
Day 1: Super clear in color but fabulous on the nose and palate. Lemon, spice, apricot, and picks up an orange peel note on the finish. Medium but not over the top by any means. Good acidity. Drink now to 2020. 92 points
Day 2: A lot of lemon on day 2. As this warms up gets better featuring stone fruits, Carmel, dried apricots and orange peel. Medium finish. Still liked this better on day 1. 89 points
Day 3: Better on day 3 than the Talley. Carmel, lemon, lime, orange peel and chalk. Stood up over 3 days so I am optimistic that this has 4 more years of life. 90 points
Recommendation: Drink on a pop and pour. Probably has 3 more years of enjoyment.
2013 Talley Vineyards Chardonnay Rincon Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Grande Valley
90 points
Day 1: Solid but not as good as the Drouhin. Oak, carmel, apple, spices and mild oak. As noted on the last bottle this got good on day 3 so we will see with this one. Medium finish. 90 points
Day 2: Good and very similar to day 1. Picks up more Carmel on day 2 and features oak, vanilla, spices and pear. Medium finish. 89 points
Day 3: Definitely faded on day 3. Just does not have much going on. No score.
Recommendation: Based on the decline on day 3 I would say drink these up in the next few years. Drink by 2020.

Flight 2 - Pinot Noir Flight 2 (2 notes)

St. Innocent got 5 votes while the Thomas Fogarty got 2 votes. I like the St. Innocent and it was co wine of the night amongst the guests.
Oregon 1 vote. Tie.

2010 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Temperance Hill USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
95 points
Day 1: Wow! Amazing complexity and vibrant nose. The favorite wine of the group. Cranberry, spice, rose petals and earth. Medium plus finish and good acidity. This wine has many years ahead based on where it is now. Drink now to 2024. 94 points
Day 2: Amazing. I highly recommend experiencing this wine on day 2. Wonderful nose of cranberry, forest floor, rose petals, spices and wafer. Medium plus finish and acidity balances out this amazing wine. Could be the best Pinot from Oregon for me since the epic 2007 White Rose. 95 points
Day 3: Still amazing. This wine has a long life ahead.
Recommendation: Drink now to 2024. This is one of the best Pinots I have ever tasted from Oregon!!!
2012 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Rapley Trail Vineyard USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
92 points
Day 1: Dust, underbrush, strawberries, floral and cherry notes. Medium finish. This wine was a little tight and will see improvements probably on day 2. 90 points
Day 2: Day 2 has improved the performance from day 1. Strawberry, earth, mint, underbrush and beef. Much more concentrated and medium plus finish. Similar to other reviews of this wine. Solid. 92 points
Day 3: More impressive on day 3. Spices, floral, underbrush, roasted meats and herbs. Not as much fruit but love the style. Big and long finish. This is a young wine and should have a long life ahead. 92+ points
Recommendation: Hold 2 plus years and enjoy.

Flight 3 - Pinot Noir Flight 3 (2 notes)

J Christopher 6 votes while the Martinelli got 1 vote. Not even close. Amazing how J Christopher was the wine of the night with St. Innocent yet is the cheapest wine at the event. $18 on closeout.
Oregon 2 to California 1.

2012 J. Christopher Pinot Noir Lumière USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
93 points
Day 1: Favorite wine of the night along with the St. Innocent. Bright fruit, good acidity and features underbrush, floral and minerals on the palate. Medium plus finish and the most Burgundian wine of the six. Excellent! 93 points
Day 2: Wonderful again. Strawberry, floral, minerals, wood and earth. Medium plus finish and balanced. This is an outstanding wine and consistent with previous notes. Should have another 5 years of drinking enjoyment. 93 points
Recommendation: You can drink this now on a pop and pour or cellar up to five years. Wonderful wine.
2013 Martinelli Pinot Noir Moonshine Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Day 1: Big but not alcoholic like some over the top Cali Pinots. Floral, sweet fruits, brown sugar, bacon fat and raspberries. Medium plus finish. Hope this settles down on day 2/3 as this could round into an excellent wine. 90 plus.
Day 2: Still big and powerful. Roasted meats, sweet fruits, brown sugar, bacon fat and floral notes. Not for the faint at heart. Don't hate this style but I could see many who would not. I can't say it has moved beyond a 90. Should be interesting if this is as concentrated on day 3. BIG! 90 points
Day 3: Holding strong. Certainly not as good as the St. Innocent Temperance but totally different style. 90 points
Recommendation: Bigger style Pinot and could age this for at least five plus years.

Flight 4 - Pinot Noir Flight 4 (2 notes)

Peake Ranch 5 votes while top ten of the year Wine Spectator got only 2 votes.
Oregon 2 and California 2.

2015 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Dopp Creek USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
92 points
Day 1: Very good showing. Minerals, earth, raspberries, spice. Multilayered finish and complex overall. This should age nicely and should really improve over time. Great score now but could improve on day 2/3. 92 points
Day 2: Not as good as day 1 with earth, licorice, ripe strawberries, spice and cedar. Medium finish. Certainly not worried about drinking these right now but it was better on a pop and pour. 89 points
Day 3: Underbrush, earth, coffee grounds and violets. Medium finish. More concentrated than day 2 and a bit better. 90 points
Recommendation: Drink this over the next 5 to 7 years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
2015 Peake Ranch Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
93 points
Day 1: Cranberry, spice, wafer and earth. Powerful wine but balanced overall. Medium to long finish. Good acidity and would pair nicely with a variety of dishes. Drink now to 2022. 93 points
Day 2: Cola, cranberry, spice, water chestnuts and stone. Medium plus finish and good acidity. A really solid Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Highly recommend this. 93 points
Day 3: Cola, subtle cranberries, stone, rose petals and earth. Medium plus finish. Holding strong on day 3. This is one to age. 93 points
Recommendation: If you only have one of these pop it in 2020 or later. If you have a six pack drink one over the next six years and see its evolution. Outstanding wine!


While it was 2 to 2 on the flights the overall votes stand as:
Oregon: 16 votes
California: 12 votes
Fun event!

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