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Pinot Days Taste Live! Notes and Recommendations

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Associated with the Pinot Days live wine tasting event in San Francisco, Taste Live! offered up a online virtual tasting event that was unfortunately overshadowed by the passing of Michael Jackson. RIP, King of Pop. The tasting went off informally Thursday and Friday night on Twitter and since all of the TasteLive! participants weren't on at the same time I thought I'd post a blog entry on the wines, what I thought of them, and some recommendations for your consideration.

Here's what I'm looking for in Pinot Noir:

  • Stawberries and/or cherries on the nose
  • Earthy aromas
  • Spice
  • Silky tannins
  • Lingering finish
2006 Buena Vista Pinot Noir Carneros

The 2005 vintage of this wine was one of my favorite sub-$20 supermarket Pinot Noirs. I rated it 89 points and gave it high marks for displaying classic Pinot Noir characteristics at an affordable price point (and wide availability, nice combo).

Some research into this wine yielded a couple of curious inconsistencies. Having a look at the winery's page for this wine, it appears that the winery made the decision to go with all screw caps for their wines in this line. However, my bottle had a cork in it. The site also advised that Wine Spectator rated the 2006 88 points, however when I checked the Wine Spectator database I didn't show a rating for the wine yet. It's quite possible that they got advanced notice of the rating -and/or- the rating has yet to be included in the Spectator database.

My impression of the 2006 vintage was that it was quite similar to the 2005, but with less earthy aromas. I thought this wine was rounder and warmer than the other wines in the lineup, but this wine didn't taste as "serious" as the others. Depending on your mood this may or may not be a good thing. Would still buy this one without hesitation.

Per Buena Vista, Wine Spectator rated this wine 88 points.

Price: Around $15-$20
Production: Around 25,000 cases.
Where to find it: Supermarkets everywhere.
Recommendation: Re-iterate my buy recommendation if you enjoy a soft, easy drinking Pinot Noir. Especially when you can find it for close to $15.
87 Points/WWP

2007 Landmark Pinot Noir "Grand Detour"

For me, this was a quirky wine. Limited aromatically, but I got a little red ruby grapefruit on the nose [which is quite unusual for a red wine]. A little cloudy- perhaps unfiltered? On the palate, raspberries and cherries- quite delicious. The finish was smooth, but short.

Wine Spectator rated this wine 88 points.

Price: Around $40
Production: Around 2,500 cases.
Where to find it: Specialty wine shops.
Recommendation: Not recommended.
84 Points/WWP

2007 Siduri Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

I was looking foward to trying this wine after enjoying their less expensive (~$20) appellation designated wines, and I was excited to see what a higher price point/single vineyard wine would offer.

This wine was multi-faceted. Every time I took another look at it, it was something else. On the nose, it was aromatically intense, offering classic cherry aromas. On the palate, it was a laser beam of intense sour cherry flavors that zapped my mouth as if I was receiving a Novocaine shot at the dentist [but in a good way if that makes sense]. It was full of flavor, and I love that. The finish was by far the longest of the bunch- this wine stays with you.

Wine Spectator rated this wine 93 points.

Price: Around $50
Production: 730 cases.
Where to find it: Specialty wine shops.
Recommendation: An oustanding wine at a tough price point.
91 Points/WWP

Further Reading:
Question of the Day: Have you tried any of these wines? If so, what did you think of them? If not, what are some of your favorite Pinot Noirs?

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