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In Pursuit of Balance NYC February 4, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In Pursuit of Balance is a movement championed by Rajat Parr, Jasmine Hirsch, and others seeking to build momentum behind the idea that the best California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can deliver balance between fruit, acidity, structure and alcohol.

It started in 2011 featuring a tasting of like-minded wineries in San Francisco. This year, a tasting is being held in New York City on February 4th, 2014.

The 32+ member wineries listed below give you a good idea of the type of producers we're talking about. The tasting sounds like a great way to quickly build up familiarity with producers of this appealing style.

Here are my thoughts on each of the member wineries:

Anthill Farms Winery
A promising producer but I haven't quite found a groove with them yet. Some bottles have been great, others not so great. You seem to get what you pay for with them.

Au Bon Climat Winery
Their $20 bottling is a solid 88 point offering. Haven't explored much being that.

Bluxome Street Winery
No familiarity.

Calera Wine Company

I'm actually surprised they're in this group. I thought their 2009 Central Coast bottling was a fruit bomb.

Ceritas
No personal experience but tons of positive chatter. Would love to try.

Chanin Wine Company
No familiarity.

Cobb Wines
One of the standards amongst terroir-driven CA Pinot producers. Pricey but a great one to taste at an event like this.

Copain Wine Cellars
I've only had their low-end bottlings but they've got quite a following.

Domaine de la Cote
No familiarity.

Drew Family Cellars
I've only tasted one bottle. I liked it, but thought it was fairly ripe

Failla
Really nice producer. I wish their appellation bottling were a little more remarkable because their single vineyard Pinots are oustanding.

Flowers Vineyard and Winery
I really like what I've tasted from Flowers. If there was such thing as a steakhouse Pinot it would Flowers. That being the case I'm surprised to see them in this group.

Hanzell Vineyards
I've heard the name for sure but haven't tasted.

Hirsch Vineyards
I've tried many times but don't buy often. Has a hard time supporting the price point of their higher end bottlings for my taste.

Knez Winery
No familiarity.

Kutch Wines
I think there's great value in the Kutch appellation bottlings (Sonoma Coast). The Savoy Vineyard bottling has been an utter disappointment when tasted both blind and non-blind.

LaRue Wines
No familiarity.

LIOCO
Gorgeous bottles. Haven't taseted their Pinot but liked their Chardonnay.

Liquid Farm
No familiarity.

Littorai Wines
Probably the definitive winery in this category. Great visit, great wines. Read more...

Matthiasson Family Vineyards
Have never tasted.

Mount Eden Vineyards

Native9 Wines
Related to Alta Maria (which I'm a huge fan of) but I've never tasted.

Peay Vineyards
Tasted at Cochon 555 but haven't shelled out the $ for at retail yet. Well regarded.

Red Car
Lots of experience here. Their '07 Heaven & Earth bottling was one of the best Pinot Noirs I've ever tasted but it's riper than most of their offerings. Visited with Paul Sequeria when he was with them. And recently visited their tasting room (fun, no appointment needed).

Sandhi Wines
Rajat Parr's winery. I didn't like what I've taseted.

Soliste Cellars
No familiarity.

Ojai Vineyard
I've heard of them but haven't tasted.

Twomey Cellars
Surprised they're on this list because aren't they Silver Oak's Pinot arm? And isn't Silver Oak known for being, well, oaky? I've only tasted Twomey once and wasn't overly impressed.

Tyler Winery
I like what I've tasted from Tyler Pinots a lot. 92 points on a couple bottles including an affordable appellation bottling. Check 'em out.

Varner
No familiarity.

Wind Gap Wines
I like what I've tasted but frequently seems to fall in that 89 point range.

For event tickets: Go here

Further Reading:
Question of the Day: What producers would you most recommend seeking out at this tasting?

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