Thanks to WetRock for again being our scribe. I have included a link to WineBerserkers for more thoughts.
The theme was Pinot from anywhere blind. We did all the reveals at the end. Not a lot to love on this day but there were some surprises from areas unknown to us for Pinot Noir. Humbodlt and Finger Lakes had the most notable wines on the day for me. I think the Finger Lakes wine was probably the consensus winner though we didn't really vote.
- 2004 Varner Pinot Noir Spring Ridge Vineyard Hidden Block - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Served blind. Baked, cooked, stewed sweet fruits on the nose with some seaweed paper notes. Rich and juicy palate with strong length. An example of an overdone Cali Pinot.
- 2008 Briceland Pinot Noir Phelps Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Humboldt County
Served blind. Restrained earthy nose. Very tight and tannic palate with notes of earth and strong acidity. I thought this might be a young Burgundy. In need of some time but nicely structured. Another interesting Humboldt entry.
- 2005 Black Ridge Pinot Noir - New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
Served blind. The nose is dominated by strong black pepper notes. Juicy and darkly fruited with biting acids. This really sticks to the mouth rather than lingering. I thought this might be a Rhone ringer with all that pepper and it didn't taste distinctly like Pinot either.
- 1998 Nicolas Potel Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
Served blind. Clearly an aged, older wine the nose also shows some heat. Showing some tea and leather type aged notes on the palate also but it is still very rich and VERY tannic. I thought it might be an aged Petit Sirah. This does get a couple ticks better with some sweet fruit coming out with air but it still wasn't very interesting.
- 2007 Heart & Hands Wine Company Pinot Noir Barrel Reserve - USA, New York, Finger Lakes
Served blind. Rusty snuck in a nice surprise. Sweet fruited pretty nose though there is a touch of heat. Clean and pretty with a juicy finish and some tannin. There is some bite to this and there isn't much concentration to speak of so I would say this is a drink today wine. I don't think I've had a Finger Lakes Pinot before and this was pretty good. It garnered plenty of comments from the group and was probably the wine of the tasting.
- 2005 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Chileno Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Served blind. Decanted about 3 hours prior to consumption. The nose and palate are full of stemmy notes. Sweet black cherry underneath that is clean tight and concentrated. When decanted this was more like a disjointed big RRV Pinot. By the time we got to the tasting it was much different.
Tracked the last quarter of a bottle over two more days and the stems were even stronger but there is elegant fruit underneath. Will it ever integrate enough for the fruit to express itself?
- 2003 Tandem Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Served blind. Hot and juicy with some tannin. This is what gives Cali Pinot a bad name.
- N.V. Lakeridge Reserve Cuvée Noir - USA, Florida
Served blind. I snuck this in for laughs though there was something other than laughter when this came around the table. Weird overall with a soft round character. Big and juicy but not identifiable as anything nor very inviting. Bleh.
- 2008 Briceland Pinot Noir Elk Prairie - USA, California, North Coast, Humboldt County
Served blind. Reticent nose with some sweetness of fruit. The palate is also on the tight side but there is something pretty in it with some balance and tannin. Its a bit weak at the finish but there is some juicy fruit in here. I guessed a restrained style Cali Pinot. Another nice one from Humboldt.
- 1998 Joseph Drouhin Aloxe-Corton - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Aloxe-Corton
Served blind. Showing plenty of aged and some stewed fruits. Not much character here with dried out fruits that are very aged and weak at this point. Plenty of tannin left though. Hard to identify as Pinot.
- 2008 Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate Grown - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Served blind. Stanky reduction aromas. Tight lean and juicy with strong length. There are some earthy notes and late tartness. I guessed Oregon. This needs some time but a nice basic Pinot is in here.
- 2007 Lula Pinot Noir - USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
Served blind. Big sweet nose with some chalk and heat. Soft black cherry palate that is very sweet and a bit hot.
I guess the wine maker dropped by to give this one 100 in another note. lol!