March 21, 2012

NYC Wine Tasting Group, Cult Pinot Noirs

2008 Auteur Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Sonoma Stage Vineyard (California)
The 2008 Pinot Noir Sonoma Stage Vineyard, a blend of the well-known Calera and Swan clones, comes from a cool, windy terroir. It exhibits loads of plum, black currant, sweet cherry and raspberry characteristics intermixed with hints of Asian spice, forest floor and soil. The complex aromatics are followed by a full-bodied Pinot with outstanding depth, purity and richness. Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

2008 Penner Ash Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Elevee Vineyard (Oregon)
The 2008 Pinot Noir Elevee Vineyard is medium ruby in color with an ethereal perfume of cherry blossom, Asian spices, incense, underbrush, and an amalgam of red fruits. In the mouth it reveals a velvety texture, elegance, and racy strawberry and cherry flavors. It has enough density and structure to evolve for 1-2 years and will offer pleasurable drinking from 2012 to 2018. Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

2007 Martinelli Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Zio Tony Ranch (California)
Rich, fleshy, full-bodied and expansive, with a mix of savory berry, herb, tea, tobacco and earth. Well-focused and well-proportioned, ending with a long, persistent finish. Rated 92 Wine Spectator

1998 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (California) 
Williams Selyem Winery began as a simple dream of two friends, Ed Selyem and Burt Williams, who pursued weekend winemaking as a hobby in 1979 in a garage in Forestville, California, and made their first commercial vintage in 1981. In less than two decades, Burt and Ed created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Together they set a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking in the United States, aligning Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley in the firmament of the best winegrowing regions of the world. Ripe and complete, with focused black cherry, plum, anise and floral notes framed by light oak. Finishes with a pretty berry and mineral edge. Wine Spectator

2009 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County (California)
A blend of Premiere Coastal Grapes: Los Alamos, Rancho Vinedo, Garey, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat vineyards. This cuvee really reflects the 2009 vintage with balanced fruit flavors, structure, and surprising richness. Like all ABC Pinots in all price ranges there is sophistication to this wine.
This is an amazing wine for the price. With so many Pinots shooting up in price this is still a perfect by-the-glass wine. Drink this with any grilled meat; the smoky flavors really bring out the best in this wine. The structure of this wine will hold together for many years, it is drinking well right now and will improve and evolve for another 3 or 4 years.
This aromatic wine has aromas of clove and coriander, with undertones of strawberries. The oak gives this wine subtle notes of lees and earthiness. The flavors of this full bodied Pinot Noir is predominantly that or wild strawberries and sour cherries. The finish has a wonderful balance of tannin and acid with the fruit flavors. Winery

2009 Luca Pinot Noir G Lot Mendoza (Argentina)
Catena has again hit a home run with her 2009 Pinot Noir G Lot (as she did in 2006, 2007, and 2008). There is very little Pinot Noir in Mendoza (Patagonia is the principal hope for Argentina Pinot Noir) so this streak is particularly impressive. The grapes are sourced from a relatively young vineyard at 4700 feet of elevation. The wine was aged for 12 months in 30% new oak and bottled without fining or filtration. Medium ruby in color, it offers up an alluring bouquet of cherry blossom, strawberry, raspberry, smoke, and incense. Velvety-textured with silky, layered fruit, complex flavors, and a lingering finish, this superb value (for Pinot Noir) will provide pleasure for another 6-8 years if not longer. Rated 93 The Wine Advocate Luca is the personal project of Renaissance woman Laura Catena, M.D.