Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino, June 2011

Mendocino seems like a sleepy community 100 miles or so away from San Francisco, and once in awhile you might remember a few winemakers are toiling away out there, too. Believe it or not, I learned at this event that over 80 wineries are operating in Mendocino County — most of them open to the public. (In all fairness, it is a big county…)

Lots of great Pinot Noir is being made out there right now, along with the county’s undersung speciality: unoaked (or very lightly oaked) Chardonnay. Here’s a rundown of everything I got my hands on.

Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino, June 2011

2009 Bonterra Chardonnay / B+ / good acid, fruity

2009 Bonterra Viognier / B-

2008 Bonterra Zinfandel / C+

2006 Bonterra The McNab / B / earthy, rocky finish

2009 Paul Dolan Chardonnay / A- / nice fruit, minimal oak

2009 Paul Dolan Cabernet Sauvignon / A- / one of Mendo’s better cabs

2007 Paul Dolan Deep Red / B / a field blend, unthrilling

2009 Saracina Sauvignon Blanc / A- / tropical mango notes

2010 Saracina The Choir / A / Rousanne and Viognier, delightful

2010 Saracina Chardonnay / B+ / fig notes

2009 Saracina Pinot Noir Anderson / B+ / dense

2007 Saracina Altrea Old Soul / B+

2009 Saracina Zinfandel “Pick and Shovel” / B- / dusty

2007 Baxter Pinot Noir Toulouse Vineyard / B+

2007 Baxter Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard / A / amazing fruit here

2006 Baxter Carignan Caballo Blanco Vineyard / B+

2009 Handley Pinot Grigio / A- / extremely light

2009 Handley Chardonnay / A-

2007 Handley Pinot Noir / A- / earthy and thick

2010 Husch Sauvignon Blanc / A-

2009 Husch Pinot Noir / A- / cocoa notes

2007 Husch Cabernet Sauvignon / B / big, tougher

2009 Londer Pinot Noir Anderson Valley / A / ridiculously velvety

2007 Londer Pinot Noir Parabol / A- / tighter

2007 Londer Pinot Noir Estate / A- / also a bit tight

2010 Phillips Hill Chardonnay / B / mild, unoaked

2010 Phillips Hill Gewurztraminer / B

2009 Phillips Hill Pinot Noir Hinterlands / B / big Burgundy character

2009 Phillips Hill Pinot Noir Mendocino Ridge Valenti / A / tops

2008 Phillips Hill Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard / A-

NV Roederer Anderson Valley Brut / A- / tropical, melon

2002 Roederer L’Ermitage Brut / B+ / yeasty, big mouthfeel, foamy

2009 Foursight Charles Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc / A- / very light

2009 Foursight Anderson Valley Dry Gewurztraminer / B- / slight medicinal finish

2007 Foursight All-In Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir / A-

2009 Foursight Clone 05 Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir / A- / big, tart fruit

2009 Foursight Zero New Oak Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir / A- / young

2009 Foursight Semillon / B-

2007 Graziano Zinfandel / A- / subdued

2006 Graziano Petite Sirah / B+

2006 Graziano Coro Mendocino / B+ / old and new world put together

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