No 26 on WS's Top 100: 2011 Emeritus Hallberg Ranch Pinot Noir

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Landing at Number 26 on Wine Spectator's recently released Top 100 list is the 2011 Emeritus Hallberg Ranch Pinot Noir.

The wine immediately jumped out at me not only for its favorable metrics (93 WS/$42/11,100 cases produced) but for the Hallberg Vineyard fruit source.

The first time I tasted a wine with the Hallberg name on the label was at this Gary Farrell wine dinner at Blue Ginger in Wellesley. I tasted a bunch of great wines that night but the Gary Farrell Hallberg Pinot blew me away.

A few months later while on vacation in Michigan my cousin brought along a bottle to share at our family cottage. Wouldn't you know it was again a Gary Farrell Hallberg Pinot and it was once again absolutely spectacular.

Then earlier this year I was tasting at Radio-Coteau. I first discovered the greatness of Radio-Coteau's Pinot Noirs in the form of the 2006 Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir. That wine was so amazingly pure and clear of any off notes I was astounded. I've enjoyed many subsequent vintages of RC La Neblina since but it wasn't until talking with winemaker Eric Sussman that I discovered the fruit source for the wine: Hallberg Ranch.

So when I spotted the 2011 Emeritus Hallberg Pinot on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list I did some searching and found this awesome vintage Wine Library TV appearance from Emeritus founder Brice Jones where we come to find out he was behind Sonoma-Cutrer before launching Emeritus.

I found the 2011 Emeritus Hallberg Pinot at a local retailer via Wine-Searcher and placed an order, picked it up today, and cracked it open tonight.

2011 Emeritus Hallberg Ranch Pinot Noir
11,100 Cases Produce
13.8% Alcohol

Textbook California Pinot Noir with layers of classic aromatics and complexity. Baked cranberries, strawberries, orange oil, and brambly fruit. Silky complexion. Wonderfully pure.

92/100 WWP: Oustanding

I'd highly recommend tracking some of this down if you an find it and I'd have little hesitation accepting vintage substitution. I've got a feeling these guys know what they're doing.

I'm adding Emeritus to my list of producers to visit. Brice seems like an amazing personality and the wines speak volumes for themselves.

Find it on Wine-Searcher
Follow @EmeritusWines on Twitter

Question of the Day: Have you had Emeritus Pinot Noir before/ If so, what did you think? If not, how about wines sources from Hallberg Ranch?

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