Santa Rosa Fine Wine

California Pinot Noir Wine Tasting Notes

1945 Beaulieu Vineyards Beaumont Pinot Noir -The wine of the night, was absolutely surprised by the 45 BV Beaumont Pinot. Expected this to be a wildcard wine, probably dry leather, light mineral, and light fruit or perhaps just oxidized and long past maturity, it tasted youthful, structured, full bodied and highly complex, with earth, minerals and an abundance of well integrated dark fruits. Jul 2011

1978 Louis Martini Special Selection Pinot Noir -An awesome wine! Served this blind to the group, most thought it was a Burgundy. Game meats, exotic minerality, earth and redwood, clearly had age, but amazing structure. A complete lucious wine that I could still taste the following day, it was that good. Had a very good condition cork, and high fill level, but the cork was very short with a plastic capsule. Buy this wine with care. May 2012

1982 Chalone Pinot - Have had the pleasure of drinking this wine several times in the past, and this bottle did not disappoint. Showed far more youthful than the 90 Burgundy with good minerality and delightful blue and red fruits. Balanced and complex, preferred it strongly over the Burgundy. Aug 2013

1987 Calera Jensen Pinot Noir - The 1987 Calera Pinot was easily my wine of the night. A perfectly aged, perfectly balanced wine. Nuanced raspberry and underbrush, it showed surprisingly youthful. Have had numerous Calera Jensen over the years, and the style is highly consistent. Had this been served blind, would never have guessed 1987! Nov 2011

1997 Joseph Swan Trenton Estate Pentagon Reserve - Picked up more cherry fruit in this wine, more concentrated and ripe than the Corton Renards, also, more notable funk. This was a very interesting wine, and enjoyed it a great deal. Oct 2011

2001 Rochioli West Block Pinot - At first, thought the wine was lean and charmless. With time in the glass, far more interesting and expressive. Think it was just shutdown and needed more time to come around. Tight and compact, would definitely benefit with more cellar aging. It was challenging to access after the Aubert. Aug 2013

2003 Kistler Vineyard Pinot - Bright candied red fruits, front and mid palate strength, not much on the finish. It was a good wine from a great California Pinot vintage, easily identified as California by nearly everyone. Apr 2012

2003 Kistler Cuvee Catherine - Initially, it was very primary and youthful, it quickly came together. Dry raspberry fruit, in time becoming lightly candied, it kept putting on weight over time. The mouthfeel was full and coating, without being excessive. Overall, it was a highly age worthy and highly complex, the top wine of the flight. Oct 2011

2004 Rhys Family Farms Pinot - With stemy blue fruits, initially thought it was a Burgundy, but after a little time in the glass, the wine lacked complexity, showing more simple dried cherry plum notes. Correctly guessed the wine as a Rhys! The wine had good weight, but overall was not a great showing. May 2012

2005 Marcassin Blue Slide Pinot - Ripe, raspberry, plums, prunes, sweet palate, dense but unresolved and spritzy, thought it might be a young Aubert Pinot. On reveal, was surprised it was a Marcassin Blue Slide. This wine needs to be aged for many more years before enjoying. The wine also did not show well. May 2012

2005 Rochioli West Block Pinot - Big ripe wine, was easy to guess as California. Bright strawberry and cranberry notes, thought it might be from the Russian River. Thought the wine was not particularly complex, more one dimensional, and was surprised on reveal is was a single vineyard designate Rochioli. Dec 2012

2006 Marcassin Blue Slide Pinot - Blue fruits, barrel sample like, too young and unresolved. Difficult to tell where this wine is going in the long term, not particularly expressive or dense right now, a good wine to revisit with age. Apr 2012

2006 Rhys Alpine Pinot Noir - A disappointing wine. The more Rhys we taste, the more disappointed we have become in their Pinot Noir. Barrel sample like with plum, raisin, some blue fruits, but overall disjointed and simple. Like the Marcassin, distinctly Californian in style. Revisited a few times during the evening, and found nothing particularly appealing. Aug 2012

2006 Rhys Alpine Hillside Pinot - Quickly identified by everyone as distinctly California Pinot Noir, it was not a strong showing. Youthful and barrel sample like, clean and bright fruit, did not find anything particularly appealing about the wine, nor did the rest of the group. It did not show well. Apr 2012