- Item #: i_207250Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard, from own-rooted vines, is one of the more open-knit wines in this range. Soft and gracious, with medium-bodied structure, the 2016 is nicely understated, but it also does not have the layered quality found in so many wines. Overall though, the Mills feels a bit stressed, an impression that is reinforced by the dried fruit, tobacco and licorice flavors. I would prefer to drink it sooner rather than later."
- Item #: i_214060Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94When Tom Dehlinger planted the property’s initial 14 acres in 1975, he was one of the first winemakers to revive western Sonoma County as a winegrowing region after Prohibition. In these pioneering days of Russian River Valley winemaking, fewer people were involved in the industry, and knowledge, resources, facilities, and equipment were primitive or hard to find. But over time, with trial and error, and some blind luck, the Dehlingers and others came to realize the promise of the Russian River Valley climate and the potential of some of its better hillside soils and locations.
The property is comprised of two distinctly different soil types. They have the more common Goldridge soils, but they also have the uniquelyprized Altamont series of soil. Altamont is somewhat shallow (just a few feet deep), and it holds less water than Goldridge, but its higher clay content is conducive to a slow extraction of water over a long period of dry summer growth. This means the vines produce less fruit, yet the grapes have more intense flavors. Dehlinger is one of the blue-chip labels in the Russian River Valley, and they are not easily found. In fact, it has taken us years to be able to secure enough wine to feature them on our list, and this beauty has earned a noteworthy 94-point score from Antonio Galloni!
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Altamont is a dense, beautifully resonant wine. Next to the Goldridge, the Altamont has quite a bit more textural depth and overall intensity. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and blood orange all run through this expressive, pliant Pinot Noir. Today, the 2016 is quite forbidding. I would give it a few years in the cellar to fully come together. The 8% whole clusters add aromatic top notes, but aren't especially noticeable."
- Item #: i_215560Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94+ POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard is a brilliant wine that ranks with the creme de la creme of the vintage. Coming from one of the top sites in the Sta. Rita Hills, 70% destemmed, and aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, it has a vivid purple/plum color as well as captivating notes of black cherries, blackberries, ground herbs, forest floor, and scorched earth. With medium-bodied richness, a tight, vibrant, racy texture, and present tannins, it's another wine from this great estate that's going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age, and it will see its 15th birthday in fine form. It's the real deal."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "An explosion of red and purplish berry fruit makes for a strong opening in the 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. Exuberant, racy and full of flavor, the 2016 offers notable intensity while retaining the mid-weight style that is so typical of the year. This is classic S-and-B Pinot. "
- Item #: i_216310Bottle Size: 750mlMount Eden has a long and glorious history. Originally planted by a man named Martin Ray, many of the original Mount Eden Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are some of the best renditions California has ever produced! Flash-forward to the present, and the wines are just as good as they always were. In addition to their estate wines, they produce a second wine called Domaine Eden. Sourced from a well-maintained vineyard just one mile away from their estate, Mount Eden utilizes the same exacting methods for their estate wines: natural indigenous fermentations (both primary and secondary), French Burgundy barrels, no fining, filtration or any other manipulation. This bottling is bigger and more full-bodied than its more expensive sibling, but is still distinctively Burgundian in its profile.
- Item #: i_216340Bottle Size: 750mlMade from the oldest Pinot Noir vines on their estate, originally planted by Dr. Konstantin Frank in 1957, this is a complex yet delicate red wine with notes of sour cherry and strawberry followed by forest floor, smoke and clove.
- 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_223075Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "Our 2016 Hallberg Ranch Pinot is pure, elegant, layered and complex. Our unique dry-farming methods allow the grapes to develop beautifully full flavors without becoming overripe. This vineyard has been thoughtfully planted with 11 different clones of Pinot Noir which creates a lovely layered complexity to the wine. Our 2016 Hallberg Ranch is reminiscent of a warm black cherry tart dusted with cinnamon. There are hints of caramelized sugar and freshly toasted almonds. The wine is driven by dark spices and earth, with a sturdy frame from fine-grained tannins. All of these elements seamlessly combine to create the distinctive wine that is Hallberg Ranch."
- Item #: i_218960Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 91Italian 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 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Romanini Vineyard The Engineer has a very pretty nose of violet and lilac with autumn leaves, dusty earth, fresh tobacco and savory red fruits. Medium-bodied with nuanced red and blue fruits and earthy notions in the mouth, it's softly textured with grainy tannins and finishes minerally. 142 cases produced."
- Item #: i_267960Bottle Size: 750MLThe vineyards for this wine are all located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, approximately 15-18 miles from the Pacific Ocean. They represent a variety of soil types, viticultural practices and clonal selections, but each carries the overiding characteristics of the best of the Russian River Valley. The blend varies from year to year. This year it includes wine from the Trenton Estate Vineyard, Trenton View, Saralee's, Catie's Corner, Ritchie, Solas, DNA, and Great Oak.
Aroma: Spring time in the forest, flowers and new growth along with wild berries. In the mouth, more structure and tannic than previous vintages, but still supple. Flavors of wild dark berries and cardamons. Typical of the 2016 vintage for Russian River Valley pinots noirs, darker fruits with a bit more muscle. Seriously good juice.
- Item #: i_270590Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94Nicolas-Jay is a Pinot Noir winery located in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and renowned music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets Oregonian terroir.
The fruit for this wine is sourced from several distinctive AVA's in the Willamette Valley, ensuring optimal blending potential and representation of the diversity of Pinot Noir in the appellation. Unique sites include vineyards located in the high-elevation Eola-Amity Hills, the foothills of the cool coastal range in the McMinnville AVA, the warm red-soiled vineyards of the Dundee Hills and their expressive Bishop Creek Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. This wine is sourced almost exclusively from biodynamic, organic and LIVE certified vineyards.
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Precise, deeply structured yet graceful, with expressive black cherry, river stone and black tea accents that build richness toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2024. 3,000 cases made."
- Item #: i_251730Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Lithe and delicately expressive, with aromas of fresh violet, cherry and orange peel, opening to sleek and layered flavors that linger on the finish. Drink now through 2027."
- Item #: i_252945Bottle Size: 1.5LRaen is a new project put out by Carlo and Dante Mondavi, grandsons of the famed Robert Mondavi. Carlo and Dante are fourth generation vintners born and raised in Napa Valley who "cut their teeth" working under Tim Mondavi at the Robert Mondavi Winery as well as Opus One. The two brothers credit their dad Tim for the passion they share for Pinot Noir, as Tim is a big Burgundy fan and was a pioneer for California Pinot Noir through the '70s. Raen's Sonoma Coast bottling has been named Royal St. Robert Cuvee, in the honor of Carlo and Dante Mondavi's grandfather (Robert Mondavi) who taught them to be committed to excellence.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert struts a super savory nose of chargrilled meats, yeast extract, wood smoke and forest floor with a core of wild strawberries, raspberry tart and cranberries plus touches of dried Provence herbs and truffles. The medium-bodied palate reveals a chewy frame with seamless acid supporting a great core of expressive, earthy layers culminating in a long, mineral-laced finish."
- Item #: i_261770Bottle Size: 750MLThis vintage of Robert Sinskey Vineyards' Los Carneros Pinot Noir is unmistakably true to variety with an aromatically inviting bouquet and striking complexity. Bright red fruit characteristics of pomegranate, bing cherry, cranberry and raspberry are seamlessly woven together with floral tones of violet and rose, balanced with subtle earthy notes of forest herbs, cinnamon and cardamom. The wine's mouthfeel is generous and well rounded yet focused and fresh with a mouthwatering brightness and a firm back bone you expect to see in a well crafted Pinot Noir. Food pairing possibilities are limitless, or pour and serve on its own to savor its subtleties and evolution in the glass.