Tasting Report: Taste of Mendocino 2010

Who knew there was this much wine in Mendocino? When I strolled into this event 45 minutes before it was set to end, I expected to see maybe a dozen winemakers pouring, not 58 producers, some with a dozen wines on their table. Is Mendocino really this big?

I guess so, and it also produces a pretty wild range of wines, too, although pinot noir is the clear focus. Which is great, because I love pinot.

Funny then that some of my favorite wines from this event weren’t pinot noir but blends and other red varietals that aren’t usually associated with Mendocino. Of special note, Yorkville Cellars’ 2006 Richard the Lion Heart, an amazingly balanced and complex blend of cabernet franc, petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, merlot, and malbec — and a steal at $36 a bottle. And who knew Mendo could do cab so well? The 2006 McNab Ridge Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ranks with the best that Napa is producing and runs just $40.

Notes and full ratings follow.

Complete Tasting Report – Taste of Mendocino 2010

2008 Drew Wines Fog Eater Pinot Noir / $36 / B- / off, sweet and smoky

2008 Drew Wines Valenti Vineyard Pinot Noir / $36 / B- / similar

2007 Esterlina Anderson Valley Pinot Noir / $45 / A- / Burgundy style, soft

2007 Esterlina Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Reserva / $NA / A- / very similar, slightly more tart

2007 Foursight Zero New Oak Pinot Noir / $35 / B+ / tart, cherry

2007 Foursight All-In Pinot Noir / $46 / B / syrupy

2007 Foursight Charles Vineyard Clone 05 Pinot Noir / $NA / B+ / similar to Zero New Oak

2007 Londer Vineyards Estate Grown Pinot Noir / $48 / B / on the sweet side

2007 Londer Vineyards Paraboll Pinot Noir / $54 / B+ / quite tart, needs food

2006 Mendielle Vertu Reserve Merlot / $42 / B- / smoky, coconut notes

2007 Navarro Vineyards Mendocino Pinot Noir / $NA / A- / smooth and velvety

2006 Philo Ridge CORO Mendocino / $37 / C+ / hard

2006 Yorkville Cellars Richard the Lion Heart / $36 / A / amazing blend of cab franc, petit verdot, cab sauvignon, carmenere, merlot, and malbec

2002 Roederer L’Ermitage / $47 / B+ / big sweetness in this sparkler

2006 Paul Dolan Deep Red / $45 / B+ / tannic but lush blend of grenache, syrah, and petite syrah

2008 Phillips Hill Beeson Tree Pinot Noir / $40 / B- / like BBQ, sweet and smoky

2008 Phillips Hill Oppenlander Vineyard Pinot Noir / $42 / B / slightly improved

2005 Milano Family Echo / $37 / A- / complex and quite good, very balanced

2006 McNab Ridge Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon / $40 / A / a wonderful surprise, lovely with balance and strong fruit

2007 Kimmel Vineyards Merlot / $42 / A- / cocoa notes, some moderate red fruit

2006 Le Vin Winery Syrah / $40 / C+ / funky, like coconuts

2007 Le Vin Winery Cabernet Franc / $NA / B+ / 17.3% alcohol, no sulfites. Port-like

2006 Handley Holmes Ranch Pinot Noir / $40 / B- / thin

2007 GoldenEye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir / $55 / B+

2007 GoldenEye Gowan Creek Pinot Noir / $75 / A- / lovely, modest earth notes

2008 GoldenEye Migration Pinot Noir / $34 / B / smoky and dusty, with a bacon finish

2007 Dogwood Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir / $40 / A- / jammy, almost too sweet

2007 Chiarito Vineyard Nero d’Avola / $36 / A- / lovely, big plum fruit

2007 Chiarito Vineyard Petite Syrah / $35 / B+ / jammy, hints of Zin

2006 Bink Wines Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir / $40 / A- / green finish, but nice fruit

2005 Bonterra The McNab / $45 / B / earthy, with an Italian flair

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2 Responses to Tasting Report: Taste of Mendocino 2010

  1. Navarro’s Pinot Noirs are among my favorites. The 2007 you reviewed here is available from their web site (www.navarrowine.com) for $19/bottle–just over half the price of the least expensive wine in the list. And if you like that, you have to try their Méthode à l’Ancienne Pinot which is even better and still cheaper than anything else on the list. Their best, though, is the Deep End Blend.

    I’m not affiliated with Navarro but my wife and I have been in their wine club since we got married down the road in 1993.

  2. Pingback: Drinkhacker.com » Review: 2007 Kimmel Merlot Mendocino

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