Tag: pinot noir

Wrath Wines 2015 Ex Vite Pinot Noir

I first came into contact with Wrath Wines during a Pinot Noir-focused tasting in SF. I was immediately drawn to the combination of elegance and rusticity they were able to capture into their wines. Indeed, working with fruit from Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highland AVA means working with some seriously structured fruit — even Pinot Noirs can be a bit harsh. Not so here.

I was delighted to find them in my package of SIP Certified wines and have the chance to dive deep into the varietal that (I think) they do so well.

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Benziger Family Winery 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir

Benziger has a long-standing family reputation in Sonoma. The family made the migration to California’s northern wine country when it was still had its “wild west” status and together groomed the land to make some top quality wines. Since 2000, all four of Benziger’s estate vineyards have been officially certified Biodynamic, meaning they’ve eliminated the use of all synthetic materials, encourage biodiversity in the field, and nurture a closed nutrient system. The effects? Well let’s have a taste and see, shall we?

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Siduri 2014 John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir

I wandered into the Siduri tasting room on a cold, rainy day in Healdsburg purely for the atmosphere. Comfy couches, warm lighting, it was the perfect ambiance I was looking for. As further luck would have it, I just happened to be the only customer, so the two tasting room staff members were more than happy to give me a bit of one-on-one attention as we all tasted through the winery’s current line up.

A tasting at Siduri is a study in Pinot Noir — because that’s all they make. They’ll start you with the open-textured and elegant offerings from the Willamette and slowly walk south, through all the major winemaking regions of California. The last stop will be Santa Barbara County’s Sta. Rita Hills AVA — and though they source from several vineyards in the area, I found the 2014 Pinot Noir from John Sebastiano Vineyard the most unique Pinot in my entire tasting that day.

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Sea Smoke 2015 Southing Pinot Noir

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was so excited by her delivery of Sea Smoke wine, she decided to try both bottles on the same night. She so enjoyed starting her evening with the Chardonnay that it seemed only natural to open up the Pinot Noir to pair alongside her Friday night fun meal. And so it was…

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Ladera Vineyards 2015 Pillow Road Pinot Noir

This is another story about an iconic winery that I’ve always wanted to taste and finally have. Ladera Vineyards is the passion project of Pat and Anne Stotesbery who purchased their first Napa acreage atop Mount Veeder in 1996 with the intention of becoming grape growers and sellers. They replanted their hillside vineyard, which was predominantly planted to Chardonnay, to Cabernet Sauvignon, focusing on the grape they knew thrived best in this area — and a grape they loved. As these stories often go, the Stotesburys were so pleased with what they were producing, they began making their own wines, eventually establishing their own line under the Ladera label. Today Ladera Vineyards has a prestigious reputation for crafting some of Napa’s best Cabernet. But their most recent experiments have taken them to the vineyards of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley where they now grow and produce some of that regions strongest grapes — Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

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