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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tasting a Few Small Producer Pinot Noirs

Four small wineries poured at the Wine Spectrum wine bar in Santa Rosa Tuesday evening.  Each poured two Pinots.

COHO

2008 Russian River Valley - From two vineyards in the Green Valley and Sebastopol areas.  This wine seemed a little "murky" tasting and a little hot.  My least favorite of the eight we tasted.

2007 Carneros Stanly Ranch - Cherry cola and a typical Carneros earthiness. Bit of a chemically finish.

Notes:  Coho is a "side job" for the head wine maker for Sattui.

KELLER

2007 Sonoma Coast La Cruz Vineyard - Fruity and a decent balance though just a little short on backbone.  Very drinkable.

2007 Sonoma Coast El Coro Vineyard - Very similar to the previous but a bit rounder.

Notes:  Keller is located in an area called the Petaluma Gap at the southernmost end of the Sonoma Coast appellation where most of the growing season is windy and chilly.  Both Pinots were quite similar. Though fruity they showed a restraint probably from the very cool growing area.

KENDRIC

2006 Marin County - Earthy and acidic.  Not the most pleasant sipping wine, but would be a good food wine.  More Old World than California in style.

2007 Marin County - More concentrated, richer and rounder than the 2006.  A bit of a coffee liquor nose, cigar box flavor.  Very nice.

Notes:  Marin County is just south of Sonoma.  Kendric is a very small one-man operation.  His Pinots retail in the mid-30s--a great price for the quality.

RUSSIAN HILL

2007 Estate - Very nice acid / fruit balance.  This would be a great food wine. And it's a good deal at $36. I can almost taste the salmon fillet coming off the grill ...

2007 Tara Vineyards - Fruit, acid, balance, structure, elegant.  What can I say?  There aren't many better.

Notes:   The largest of these four producers.  They are open to the public for tasting.  I have been a fan of Russian Hill's Pinots and Syrahs for several years as they are some of the best bang-for-the-buck premium wines around.


Rating the wineries from my favorite to least:  Russian Hill, Kendric, Keller, Coho.

The Wine Spectrum will be hosting another Pinot Noir tasting in a couple weeks.  Hopefully, I'll get to that one also.