2011 Wind Gap Wines Pinot Noir

Community Tasting Notes

Community Tasting Notes (34) Avg Score: 90.8 points

  • Consumed in a flight along with a Patricia Green 07 reserve. Slightly fruitier, with a citrus/orange rind and pine needle note. Soft mouth feel but adequate acidity. As far as California Pinot's go, this is nicely restrained. My last bottle, but it would be fun to try this in 5 - 7 years.

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  • Some orange rind and pine needle on the nose. I am struggling to identify anything in particular on the palate, but I am enjoying the wine. There is plenty of fruit here, but it's not too big or ripe. Not much tannin, but enough acidity that this should continue to drink well for a while. I am finding that I like the 2011 vintage. We won't rush to drink our last bottle.

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  • In a good place right now. Not overly complex, but solid effort. Near term drinker.

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  • Pop n' pour. Full, perfumed nose is savory with a bouquet of dried herbs and spices (seemingly stem driven) with dried cherry and cranberry in the background. The palate is light-to-mid weight with generous juicy acidity. Fresh red fruit profile with intense herb. Plenty of life in this appellation Pinot -- should go another 5+ years.

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  • Light red fruit. Spicy qualities. Zesty finish.

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  • Nose: Intially quite funky with a strong barnyard (reductive) that eventually gives way to crisp red raspberry notes. I think I'm picking up a slight floral component as well.  

    Palate: Bright with crunchy red fruit. It's slightly angular and tart with strong cherry/strawberry flavors.

    Finish: There is a spicy, savory aspect at the end that adds contrast to the slightly candied fruit.

    Thoughts: Lean, sharp and evolving. Not much I can say beyond it's a great wine.

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  • Beauty. Lithe, pure red fruit...just beginning to develop. 2011 coolness... I wish all vintages were like this in CA.

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  • Relatively fruity, and all red fruit (mostly raspberry and strawberry), however, a few notes of pine came through. Notable acidity.

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  • Full, complex aroma is herb and spice driven with red raspberry and cherry consistently in the background. There's a pronounced anise kick on the back end of the nose. Palate is mid-weight with bright, fresh acid leading the way. Red fruited profile with less flavor complexity on the palate when compared to the nose. Medium, fresh finish. In a good spot now, but I suspect this may develop favorably with more time.

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  • A little more than a year since my last note on this wine - and it's done the bottle good. Some of the fruit has pulled back a bit, giving the savory structure more room to shine. Really shows its Sonoma Coast breeding with the crunchy fruits and the zippy minerality. This is the first Pinot from Pax that hits the same sweet spot that his Syrahs regularly do for me. Yum and classy.

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  • cloudy appearance, fragrant with a bouquet of red and blue fruit, light but energizing, lively and refreshing, intense upfront with bright cherry tones, follows with cranberry and minerals, well made and drinkable by all means alone or with a good meal, the acid shows well at a cooler temperature and the fruits shine as it warms, a beauty, long finish

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  • My 4th bottle. It struck me this time, looking at this bottle and the alc level and how that # creates dialogue, energy in conversations about wine. Early on, I was taken to the idea of the #, that it meant something could appear under the cork: perhaps less weight, the color of the fruit impression and perhaps a vote in favor of wines that were moving things back in another tasting direction. Along the way, I stopped being passionate about the # for the sake of it, instead seeing the # as simply a style and/or vintage output, but as I age, also a wine that would be a little less harder on my body. In general, I seemed to have really just fallen into the lower alc side of the spectrum, I guess for all these named reasons and I really like the wines at these alc levels. Opening this wine last night, I am reminded of the 12.4 number, yet the way the wine drinks, it's full of terrific texture, depth of spicy strawberry, raspberry and something 'other', like soil and a cool tartness, things that make the wine seem alive to me. Not barnyard this time, thankfully too. Even some cracked spice, like a pepper on the aromatic. Super wine for my palate, another that works well for those like me who enjoy the cooler, leaner aspects of the '11 vintage and also the style that Pax sought here. Drink window? Lots of time left here, as the acidity is ample. Another 5 years? Probably.

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  • Tart red and blue fruits, pine, and sous bois on the nose. Very earthy palate with tart cherry and mineral flavors. Good acidity.

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  • Aspen après ski

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  • Polaner: Ripe with a touch of oak. Round. Hint of pickle on the nose with is actually nice. Palate is more forward. Hard to see anything "pinoter" here.
    I much prefer their very good syrah to this pinot.

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  • Red fruit; strawberries, sour cherry. Herbal notes and something a bit funky. Flowery perfume and simply beautiful. Pinot the way it should be. Viva the Californian revolution!

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  • Second bottle of two. Unlike the first, this one has a distracting element of barnyard. Don't mind a touch of this in my chinon and burgundies. In the context of a CA pinot, though, I find it jarring and quite at odds with the subtly sweet fruit flavors.

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  • Brief note. Lovely; the stem inclusion adds a nice level of herbal interest, though perhaps its a bit early yet for full integration. A bit weightier than I was expecting at 12.4%, but that's not a complaint, just an observation. This ought to be better with some more time.

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  • Family dinner with Le Francophile (Stockholm): Unfiltered looks, and hands-off nose. Perfumed, dark-berried pinot with notes of hiprose, rhubarb, liquorice, and ginger, besides a veritable abundance of undergrowth and fresh herbs. Silky smooth on the palate, with a really soft and user-friendly balance. Rich in flavours, low in alcohol (12,4%), acidity not higher than medium. Our only objections would be a slight lack of midpalate focus, a slightly soft-cooked quality to the fruit, and a hint of soapiness to the mouthfeel. But that's just minor complaints to a highly drinkable wine in a sympathetic and interesting style. By what we hear, the winemaker Pax Mahle uses at least 35% stems, and sometimes up to a 100%.

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  • Inviting raspberry and fresh cut rhubarb aromas. Round entry, semi-sweet and über juicy. Red fruited from entry to end. This is layered with cherry juice, cranberry, with the tartness of the cranberry carrying through to the finish and seeming to wash over an undercurrent of salinity. There is a lingering, tart finish. No hard edges here. I found the mid palate fruit energetic and generous. 91

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  • Opened last night. This bottle lacks the barnyard element of the last bottle's note I wrote a few months back. FWIW, the alcohol is listed ar 12.4%. The fruit here shows a more glossy tone, although the texture fattens up at a warmer temp, which I'd expect. Even in that, it maintains the cranberry acidity. Terrific watermelon, cranberry and lots of strawberry--no blue or black notes here. The fruit has a real nice ripeness, not overdone and yet expressive. Long finish, again from the acidity, along with a cherry hard candy. This is yet another 2011 that reflects both nice acid and bright red fruit. I really enjoy this wine, now my 3rd bottle. Probably should get another 3 bottles of it again and lay a couple down. Excellent......to portray a complete picture, I finished the last glass on Day 3 and the wine plumped up some, adding a black cherry note, so darkening the red fruit but also adding some gamey flavor, maybe from the stems but increasing the complexity. Still has the acid, just a little fuller texture, less delicate.

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  • Wind Gap Tasting with Scott Schultz (Forestville, CA): Pretty and elegant nose full of cranberry and cherry with some interesting herb and stem notes. More red fruit on the palate with a generous earthy undertone of stems and herbs. Plenty of acidic cut and juiciness. Long herb and cranberry finish. Great stuff.

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  • Superior appellation Pinot and a great value.

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  • Nice weighty nose; Excellent depth; Nice inclusion of stems

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  • Dinner with Friends (FMIII in the OC): Served double blind - I wasn't sure which way to go but I knew it was a pinot. Because of the lighter nature I was leaning towards burgundy and a ripe year like 2004. Opps, complete miss.

    A little cloudy and light red color. Slightly reductive nose and small whiff of barnyard. The palate screams muddled strawberry and rhubarb, it's fruit forward no question, but it's a gentle wine. I like strawberries so I really liked this wine.

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  • I have to follow my own guidance as to the last bottle, in terms of waiting on this wine before judging it. I'll probably update this note later but I'll offer now some thoughts, having opened it about 2 hours ago. This bottle shows a hint more stem then the last one. Faint, and but given the wine sees 40% stems, it adds a nice aromatic signature this time. Like the last bottle, full of strawberry and raspberry fruit, and a hint of barnyard. That latter note could fool some into thinking either Beaune or Marsannay perhaps? It simply causes a pause. Good balance, again good acidity and fruit working together....PS--over dinner a few hours later after I wrote the main part of this note, the aromatic does seem to have just that hint of barnyard. While I don't like brett-like nuance in wines I drink, the aspect of it here adds a little something unique.

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  • Excellent lighter style Pinot. Delicate with nice acidity.

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  • I agree largely with smphelps below. This is a good pinot, but it's not spectacular. I suspect some of the gushing by other tasters is by folks who don't often venture north to Oregon, where pinots like this are much more frequent. Nice wine, enjoyable, but nothing particularly outstanding.

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  • Obviously a bit of an outlier here, but the overall inpression was one of a nice non-distinct largely generic Pinot Noir. Pretty ruby, floral nose, murky mid-palalte of predominatly red fruits. 12.4% alcohol. Needed more crispness to achieve a greater degree of finesse and elegance.

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  • If you open this and judge right with the cork out, it is a mistake. It starts a bit prickly and closed but with an hour of air, the aromatics resolve and the fruit fills in. This was listed at 12.4 % and there is no heat interference at all. Lots of raspberry and strawberry, and I can see the cranberry fruit here, too---fruits rouges! Some loam in the wine and good supporting acid in the finish. This is really good, bright, with a fresh fruit core. A wine for the next 2-3 years. I'd be interested in seeing how this competes in the vintage against other 2011s, as this is strong. Beautiful balance and flavor in play together--simply excellent.

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  • Delicious young Pinot Noir. There's lots of raspberry and cranberry fruit, along with a mouth watering acidity. The wine is only medium bodied, so it's quite refreshing, and each sip invites the next. Right now the fruit is so fresh and forward that there's not much else coming out, but who cares!

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  • 12.4% alcohol. Medium dark ruby red. Fairly expressive red fruit aromas. Focused red-fruit on the palate including red cherry, raspberry and a bit of spice. Lingering aftertaste.

    From balance-junky Pax Mahle. I probably did this one a disservice, it will undoubtedly improve with 2-5 years in the bottle. A remarkable CA appellation Pinot. I hope this is a harbinger of things to come from the '11 vintage.

    I call this serendipity. I wanted my one-bottle allocation of the ancient vine Bedrock Mourved and took this on to fill out a half case. Sometimes things work out.

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  • A work colleague popped one open right off the delivery truck. I only tasted a little bit but it is pretty tightly wound, with red fruits and spice. A little lean and young but already tasty. Lots of potential. I'll wait a 12-18 months before opening one of mine.

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