Review: 2009 Chamisal Vineyards Pinot Noirs

South of Paso Robles, north of Santa Maria, even further north of Santa Barbara, Edna Valley is a region near San Luis Obispo, where a handful of Pinot-focused wineries can be found. Here Chamisal, a smaller winery that’s part of the Crimson Wine Group (which owns Pine Ridge and Archery Summit, among others), produces a variety of wines, including the two Pinot Noirs we tasted here.

2009 Chamisal Vineyards Pinot Noir Edna Valley – A classic SoCal Pinot, this wine is at once simple and full of varietal character. Spiced-up cherry jam, a touch of leather and cedar box, this is a wine that’s got tons of character without having too overbearing of a body. A / $35

2009 Chamisal Vineyards Pinot Noir “Califa Selection” Edna Valley – The reserve bottling, this is richer and tougher, a big and chewy wine that strays somewhat from its Pinot roots. Monstrous to the point of being a bit flabby, the wine’s fruit turns toward prune and raisin flavors, obscuring some of this wine’s more herbal character. B+ / $55

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