Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Other regions that have gained a reputation for Pinot Noir include the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Carneros, Central Coast and Russian River AVAs of California, the Walker Bay wine region of South Africa, Tasmania and Yarra Valley in Australia and the Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough wine regions of New Zealand. Pinot Noir is also a primary variety used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape's tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. The thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lends Pinot to producing mostly lightly colored, medium bodied low tannin wines that can often go through dumb phases with uneven and unpredictable aging. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wines age, Pinots have the potential to develop vegetal and "barnyard" aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine.
- Item #: i_201680Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "(50% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Brilliant red. Powerful smoke- and spice-accented red berry liqueur, mocha and floral pastille scents show excellent clarity and pick up notes of licorice and cola with air. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry cola, lavender and spicecake flavors that become livelier on the back half. This weighty yet lithe Pinot finishes smooth and very long, featuring slow-building tannins and resonating florality."
- Item #: i_277650Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91Vinous Media: 90ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Three Vineyard is pale to medium ruby-purple in color with wild blackberries and black cherries over wonderful nuances of undergrowth, wet leaves, floral perfume and just the slightest touch of pleasant stemmy character. Medium-bodied, it has warm black and red fruit preserves flavors in the mouth, framed by grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long with plenty of perfumed earth notes. 3,974 cases produced."
- Item #: i_215515Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsDierberg has been on a roll the past few years! Other wineries have sourced fruit from this prominent vineyard and received high scores for their superbly crafted wines. Dierberg still sells much of their fruit, but they have begun to keep some of the better sections for themselves. That being said, their own label hasn't skipped a beat, and is receiving the same high scores as their customers!
Located 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean in one of the coolest wine-growing corners of California's Central Coast, Dierberg Vineyard is on the western edge of Santa Barbara County's Santa Maria Valley appellation, which is world-renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their vineyard is planted to newer "Dijon" clones, as well as other "heritage clones"; heritage clones whose roots go back to the Burgundy area of France, offering a clonal diversity unlike almost any other Pinot vineyard in California.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard is a real standout. Plush, dark and expressive, the Dierberg is an explosive wine that shows this Santa Maria site off at its best. Floral and spiced notes wrap around a core of intense inky blue/purplish fruit. Time in the glass brings out a more delicate side. There is just so much to admire in the 2015."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard comes from the estate vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and was aged 14 months in 25% new French oak. Medium ruby-colored, with notes of cherries, mulberries, forest floor, and spice, it's silky, lightly textured, and elegant on the palate, with the charming nature of the vintage balanced nicely by plenty of tannins and acidity."
- Item #: i_228860Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsA few months ago, we e-mailed out Hartford Family's 94-point Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. This wine ended up being one of our more successful offerings this year, and we didn't think there was a way that Hartford could top that wine. Well, we might just be proven wrong with their latest offering!
The 2017 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir comes from a collection of small vineyards located throughout the Russian River Valley AVA, including Hartford Estate, Fog Dance, Hailey's Block, Jennifer's, MacLean's Block and Arrendell. Hartford makes single-vineyard bottlings from all of these, and those wines sell for $60 and above, yet the Hartford family utilizes these vineyards for this amazing 95-point Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and this one sells for less than $30!!
The Russian River Valley is one of THE best places in the world for growing Pinot Noir. The cooling winds from the Pacific Ocean spread throughout the area, and help to moderate the temperatures throughout the day, whereas vineyards just to the east are exceptionally warmer. Also, the soils are a mix of sand, clay, and silt. The clay brings richness to a wine, while the sand brings more flowered aromatics and brightness in the wine. If you ask us, this sounds like the recipe for Pinot Noir perfection!
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "A crazy good value, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is the appellation release from this team, and it comes from all of the estate vineyards across the Green Valley, Laguna Ridge, and Sebastopol regions. Complex notes of strawberries, cranberries, violets, pine forest, and flowers all flow to a medium-bodied Pinot Noir that has a kiss of salinity and marine notes, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This beautiful wine competes with wines costing 2-3 times the price."
- Item #: i_230990Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92The actions of the San Andreas and the heavy rains and high winds, assisted by the chainsaws of man and sharp hooves of sheep, have created the current landscape on which the Hirsch Vineyards are planted. Gone are the deep soils and compost of the rain forest, all washed away into the creeks, leaving thin soils over sandstone based assemblage of intermixed heavy clays, sandy loams, and clay loams. Blended into this mix in random ratios is a mélange of rocks varying in origins and type from igneous to metamorphic to sedimentary shale so degraded it can be crushed by hand.
The diversity of this vineyard, emphasized and cared-for by David Hirsch, have made this property a beacon for wineries searching out the best Pinot Noir fruit in Sonoma, including the likes of Williams & Selyem, Failla, Lioco, and Siduri.
The San Andreas Fault is Hirsch Vineyards' signature Pinot Noir and is crafted to give the drinker a complete picture of this complex vineyard. The 2016 San Andreas Fault has fruit from 27 distinct farming blocks within Hirsch Vineyards, more than any wine produced from this site. It is named for the fault-line which marks the meeting of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, snaking its way up the California coast and passing less than a mile from Hirsch.
- Item #: i_276710Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 90ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 90 POINTS - "Light bright red. Vibrant, smoke-accented red berry scents pick up suggestions of succulent herbs and minerals with air. Juicy, focused and spicy on the palate, offering fresh raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and five-spice powder and smoked meat nuances. Closes long and spicy, displaying resonating red fruit character and smooth tannins."
- Item #: i_229610Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 92JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "These latest releases from Paul Hobbs are pretty much sensational across the board and Hobbs’ finds a rare mix of purity and elegance matched to richness and concentration that hits all my sweet spots. Hobbs commented that 2016 was a perfect vintage where everything came together easily, and the resulting wines have a terrific sense of elegance, purity an balance that make them already irresistible, yet will also allow them to age gracefully. In addition, the lineup is easy to understand; Hobbs makes an appellation blend Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and two single vineyards of each variety."
"Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is a classic wine from this region as well as a great example of the style of this estate. Ripe black cherries, currants, flowers, and earthy notes all flow to a full-bodied, concentrated 2016 that has a beautiful sense of purity and elegance. Drink it anytime over the coming decade."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir reveals pronounced black cherries, wild blueberries, baking spices and dark chocolate notes plus an alluring waft of red roses. Full-bodied, concentrated and plushly textured, it fills the palate with decadent fruit and tons of spicy accents, finishing with fantastic length. 6,944 cases were made."
- Item #: i_268610Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "(aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% of them new) Brilliant red. A suave, expansive bouquet evokes fresh red berries, potpourri, incense and smoky minerals. Sappy, alluringly sweet and light on its feet, offering intense raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors that are braced by a suggestion of bitter blood orange. Plays power off delicacy with a sure hand, showing no excess weight but displaying abundant red fruit character. Fine-grained tannins lend shape to a strikingly long, smooth finish that leaves a sexy rose pastille note behind."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Rosemary's Vineyard is certainly one of the gems in the vintage. Black cherries, underbrush, crushed violets, ample spice and tons of floral qualities all emerge from this beautifully textured, seamless, silky beauty that has building tannin, impressive mid-palate density, integrated acidity and notable length. Aged 18 months in 35% new French oak, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Rosemary's Vineyard offers up expressive black cherries, mulberries and black raspberry notes with suggestions of violets, baking spices, fertile loam and lavender. Medium-bodied, with a firm backbone of fine-grained tannins and well-integrated freshness, it gives plenty of earthy layers and great length."
- Item #: i_268600Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "(5% whole clusters and 30% new French oak) Deep bright-rimmed red. A highly complex, mineral-tinged bouquet evokes candied red fruits, cola, Asian spices, mocha and potpourri. Seamless and sharply delineated on the palate, offering appealingly sweet Chambord, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen on the back half, with no loss of energy. Fine-grained tannins frame a strikingly long, smooth, smoke-accented finish that leaves a juicy raspberry note behind."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "One of the standouts is the 2016 Pinot Noir Rincon Vineyard, which comes from a hillside site in the Arroyo Grande and vines planted in 1982. Aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, it's a powerful, opulent wine (especially when compared to the East Rincon release) and has awesome notes of ripe strawberries, red and black currants, spice, and forest floor. Elegant yet concentrated, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and with fabulous intensity, drink this gorgeous Pinot Noir any time over the coming decade or more."
- Item #: i_268440Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 93For three generations the Talley family has farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County, a tradition that began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. After witnessing the success of winegrowing in the neighboring Edna Valley, Oliver's son, Don Talley, became convinced of the potential for growing high-quality wine grapes on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. He planted a small test plot in 1982 on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard. In 1986 Don made 450 cases of wine, which sold out very quickly. Production increased over the next five years, until 1991, when a new winery was built at the foot of their Rincon Vineyard. Today, Don and Rosemary Talley's son, Brian Talley, runs the business after developing a passion for wine when he worked in a wine shop while attending UC Berkely.
The Talley family has a commitment to high quality and long-term sustainability which are the two principles that guide Talley Vineyards' farming decisions. Their vineyards are SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice) by the Central Coast Vineyard Team. Biologically based farming techniques and integrated pest management practices are employed throughout the vineyards. To improve soil conditions, prevent erosion and provide fertility, cover crops are maintained in all vineyard blocks. No herbicides are used.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "(15% new French oak) Lurid red. Spice-accented raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by hints of cola, candied rose and smoky mineral notes. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering lively red berry flavors and suggestions of floral pastilles and blood orange that emerge with aeration. Nicely concentrated but vibrant and precise in style, delivering solid closing thrust, while smooth tannins lend shape to the long, spice-accented finish. This wine is composed of 65% Rincon and 35% Rosemary's fruit and, like the Chardonnay, it's extremely impressive for what might be called an entry-level bottling."