Tasting Report: Pinot Days, June 29, 2008

Epic wine tasting this weekend. Despite a terrible flu, I pushed through the pain and drank up a whole lotta Pinot Noir (more than I’d thought possible) in my quest to find the brightest stars.

2006 was pouring from virtually all of these wineries, though pockets of library vintages could be found and even a few 2007 barrel samples that won’t be released for over a year. Nothing terrible on display, and lots to love.

Some favorites: Black Kite Cellars showed a promising trio of single-vineyard wines, my favorite being the delicate Kite’s Rest.

Eric Kent’s collection of four wines (two ’06, two ’07) were universally good, and I was stunned to see a familiar name — Renee Humphrey — on the nametag of one of the pourers. Turns out Humphrey is indeed the same Renee Humphrey who appeared in films Fun and French Kiss, and recently dropped out of the Hollywood scene to focus on winemaking with her brother. Funny.

Another standout producer was Native9 (named because the winemaker is a ninth generation Californian) which was shown alongside a wine from Alta Maria, both of which are made by the same winemaker, who poured a glass of each for me. I tend to agree with him that the Alta Maria (“my baby”) was the slightest bit better, but both wines were exceptional and proof of talent.

Full report follows. Sorry for any typos; the program did not include the names of the wines being poured (nor prices), only info on each winery and a tiny area for hastily scrawled notes.

Pinot Days 2008 Full Tasting Report

2006 Alma Rosa Winery Pinot Noir Santa Rosa Hills – B
2006 Alma Rosa Winery Pinot Noir La Cantada Vineyard – A-
2006 August West Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard – A-
2006 August West Pinot Noir Graham Family – B+
2006 Black Kite Cellars Pinot Noir River Turn – A-
2006 Black Kite Cellars Pinot Noir Stony Terrace – A-
2006 Black Kite Cellars Pinot Noir Kite’s Rest – A
2006 Calera Wine Company Pinot Noir Mt. Harlan Cuvee – B+
2005 Calera Wine Company Pinot Noir Ryan’s Vineyard – B
2005 Calera Wine Company Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard – A
2002 Calera Wine Company Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard – B+
2006 Clary Ranch Wines Pinot Noir Grower’s Reserve – A-
2004 Clary Ranch Wines Pinot Noir Grower’s Reserve – B
2007 Dain Wines Pinot Noir American Beauty – A
2006 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Windsor Oaks – A
2006 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Stiling – A-
2007 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Stiling – A
2007 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Clary – A
2006 Fort Ross Winery Symposium – B+
2005 Fort Ross Winery Pinot Noir Fort Ross Vineyard – B
2005 Fort Ross Winery Pinot Noir Fort Ross Vineyard Reserve – B+
2005 Fort Ross Winery Pinotage – B+
2006 Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Corby Vineyard – A-
2006 Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Andi Vineyard – B
2006 Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate Grown Paraboll – B+
2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir Bella Vigna – A-
2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch – B
2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir Zio Tony Ranch – A
2006 Morgan Pinot Noir 12 Clone – B+
2006 Morgan Pinot Noir Tondre Grapefield – A-
2006 Morgan Pinot Noir Gary’s Vineyard – B+
2006 Morgan Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard – A-
2006 Alta Maria Pinot Noir Bien Nacido – A-
2006 Native9 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley – A-
2006 Philo Ridge Vineyards Pinot Noir – B-
2006 Testarossa Pinot Noir Palazzio – B
2006 Testarossa Pinot Noir Sleepy Hollow Vineyard – B
2006 Testarossa Pinot Noir Gary’s Vineyard – A-
2006 Zepaltas Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – B+
2006 Zepaltas Pinot Noir W.E. Bottoms – B+

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