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_234270Bottle Size: 750MLJulia's Vineyard, named for Julia Jackson in 1988, consists of ancient soils with fossilized seashells, shale, limestone and sand, with fog-swept vines that have endured since the 1970s. This unique piece of land thrives in the cool, maritime influences that funnel in from the Pacific Ocean, allowing for the longest growing season in the state.
Winemaker's Notes: "Ripe blackberry and blueberry flavors are followed by notes of cranberry, cherry and pomegranate. With a balance of earth and baking spice, this wine offers firm tannins and a long finish."
- Item #: i_216060Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now contains 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. The nearby Pacific ocean creates a long temperate growing season for exceptional hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
The Morrito bottling is a barrel selection of the best Pinot Noir at Chamisal. Harvested in the early morning from Morrito Hill, these small lots are fermented separately in small open-top fermenters. A pre-fermentation cold soak of three days was used to increase color and density. Fermentation was achieved using a combination of both native and cultured yeasts with low fermentation temperatures, giving soft phenolics and fresh aromatics. Minimal pump-overs prevent extracting harsh tannins and bitterness from what Chamisal considers some of the most concentrated fruit on their ranch.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Morrito conjures notions of ripe red cherries, warm cranberries and red currants with touches of underbrush, lavender, garrigue and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, with a great core of intense red berry and earth layers, it has a firm, chewy tannic backbone and long, lively finish laced with mineral accents."
- Item #: i_210780Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "(50% new French oak) Vivid red. Primary red and blue fruit scents, along with hints of cola, vanilla and smoky Indian spices. Fleshy and appealingly sweet, offering intense black raspberry and boysenberry flavors underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. A sexy floral note emerges on the strikingly long, energetic finish, which features rounded tannins and lingering five-spice powder and candied rose notes."
- Item #: i_212280Bottle Size: 750MLPinot Noir was first planted at Stanly Ranch in the 1940s, when a clonal trial proved the ranch's well-drained day-loam soils and rolling hills ideal for growing the finicky varietal. The vineyard has been significantly refined over the years, and Stanly Ranch is now one of the most sought-after vineyards for Pinot Noir in California.
Winery's Tasting Notes: "Pristine growing conditions in the Carneros wine region resulted in another beautiful representation of Stanly Ranch in 2015. Acidity and brightness are the building blocks of this wine, with aromas of tart cherry and cranberry revealing dried rose petal and forest floor notes. Fine-grained tannins, rich texture and spirited acidity poise the wine around a core of bright red fruit. The finish lingers with the lavender and rose petal notes quintessential to Carneros Pinot Noir."
- Item #: i_218760Bottle Size: 750MLDid you catch that?...Pinot Noir from Rutherford? In a part of the valley that is world-renowned for Cabernet Sauvignon, Reg Oliver found a spot that was a bit cooler that it's surroundings, and thought Pinot Noir would be the ticket… and right he was! Planted using old-school cuttings from DRC, Swan and Calera, as well as a few new Dijon clones, this is has become one of our favorite Pinot Noirs from California!
Red cherry and raspberry dominate the aromatics of this 2015 Pinot Noir, showcasing classic baking spices, truggle, and orange rind with mineral notes in the background. The palate is fresh but powerful from ripe tannins and lovely acid balance. The combination of the excellent structure and rich, plush mouthfeel promises a wine of great longevity, if you can bring yourself to tuck a few bottles away.
- Item #: i_218960Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Italian immigrant Antonio Romanini planted this vineyard, his first in Sonoma Valley, in 1954. Since then, the alluvial soils have yielded grapes for perfect Pinot Noir: vines with compact clusters and smaller yields. The vineyard comprises mostly Pommard and Calera Clones on 101-14 rootstock. The fruit intensity from this site is influenced by the nearby Carneros climate and the growing season’s cool nights and warm days. Adding to the provenance is the fact that this vineyard is farmed by the "grandfather" of organic and biodynamic vineyard farming in California, Phil Coturri, and his team at Enterprise Vineyards.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Romanini Vineyard "The Engineer" is pale ruby-purple colored and intensely scented of crushed cranberries, wild strawberries and pomegranate with touches of rhubarb, tilled soil and truffles. Light-bodied with incredible intensity and perfume, it features very soft, fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and minerally. 195 cases were made."
- Item #: i_228630Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2015 Pinot Noir is deep ruby in color, with a hint of purple. The nose is loaded with aromas of fresh flowers, cranberry, raspberry, and mineral. The palate echoes the light fruit flavors, with fresh citrus and a hint of clove. What stands out most about the wine is the integration of the tannin, which makes the wine both structured and velvety at the same time, and gives remarkable length on the finish.
- Item #: i_267960Bottle Size: 750MLTasting notes: A blend of wine from Trenton Estate, Trenton View, Saralee’s, Catie’s Corner, Ritchie, and Great Oak. Brilliant garnet/ruby color. A potpourri of red fruit with a hint of ripe herbal notes on the nose. Although it was aged in approximately 1/3 new oak the oak is not at all apparent. In the mouth it is soft yet softly structured with ample acidity and only the faintest hint of tannin. Pretty red fruits are in evidence in the long finish. Another C 3 we are very proud of!
- Item #: i_241360Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90Vinous Media: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate (Sta. Rita Hills) is laced with sweet floral notes and bright, red-toned fruit. Delicate and medium in body, and made in a decidedly gracious, open-knit style, it is a good choice for drinking now and over the next few years."
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is the largest production cuvee of the estate and it's a year in, year out value. The 2015 (this was also reviewed last year) is a spice-filled, cherry, and forest floor-scented effort that has medium-bodied depth and richness, the focused style of the vintage, and a good finish. It's showing slightly better than this time last year and should age gracefully going forward."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate reveals aromas of red cherry, fresh herbs and strawberry preserve, followed by a supple, medium-bodied, succulent palate with a saline, savory finish. Fermented with some whole bunches and matured in neutral barrels, this is very much in the Melville style to which readers will have become accustomed."
- Item #: i_247640Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsWinemaker Rick Longoria lovingly farms this terrific site and generously allows Ojai to purchase a small portion of his vineyard's production. Rick and Adam Tolmach (owner and winemaker at Ojai) agree that there is only a moment in time when the character of the vineyard fully expresses itself. Picked a couple of days too soon or too late and all is lost. The raw material here at Fe Ciega is so interesting--it has the acidity that is needed for good balance and it possesses a unique vineyard personality that is intriguing. While it is always fruit filled, deeply colored and dense, it is not particularly fruity—this is a wine that speaks of its earthy origins!
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "I always love the tasting with Ojai Vineyard's Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. Consistent with just about every winemaker I spoke to, both commented on the tiny yields of 2015, which Adam attributed to an accumulation of drought and salt buildup as opposed to poor weather in the spring. Over the past decade or so, the style of the wines from this estate has significantly changed with harvest occurring much earlier than in the past. Today, the wines lean heavily towards the racy, lean end of the spectrum, while still offering fruit and texture."
"One of my favorites in the lineup was the 2015 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega, which comes from a terrific site in the Sta. Rita Hills. Offering terrific, fruit forward notes of framboise, ripe cherries, spice and flowers all flow from this classic, elegant Pinot Noir. It has a sappy, grippy style, plenty of salty minerality and fine tannin. Give it a year. "
- Item #: i_251370Bottle Size: 750mlOn the nose this wine offers aromas of cherry cola and freshly picked wild strawberries with a lingering scent of lightly oiled rosewood. On the palate it shows the classic Santa Maria sandalwood spice, mixed with ripe red and black cherry, strawberry and huckleberry.
- Item #: i_251730Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "Aromas of ripe raspberry and black cherry are accentuated by crushed Mediterranean herbs of lavender, sage, rosemary and black tea. On the palate, dusty tannins are woven into hints of roasted coffee. Mouthwatering acidity is balanced by almond sweetness"
- Item #: i_259920Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 92ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "Dark red. A highly complex bouquet displays scents of ripe dark berries, cherry-cola, exotic spices and woodsmoke, along with a suave, building floral nuance. Shapely and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors that turn sweeter on the back half. Finishes spicy, pliant and very long, displaying well-knit tannins and repeating florality."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Plush and structured, with expressive black cherry and toasty spice aromas and focused plum and licorice flavors that pick up speed and precision on the finish. Drink now through 2024. 4,447 cases made."
- Item #: i_222140Bottle Size: 750mlThee Two Sisters wines are named after Bill and Carol Foley's daughters Lindsay and Courtney. The wines come from the best blocks of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Lindsay's and Courtney's vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. These limited-production bottlings feature heritage, heirloom and select clones chosen specifically for their inherent attributes and compatibility with the terroir of each vineyard block.
This limited production Reserve 2015 is an elegant, sophisticated wine for the true Pinot Noir connoisseur. The nose is filled with dark fruit notes of spicy plum, earthy pomegranate and cacao. Intense black pepper and juicy blackberry flavors fill the palate with accents of cured tobacco. The nicely structured mouthfeel is followed by lingering black cherry on the finish.