Tag: pinot noir

Theopolis Vineyards 2016 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

After tasting the Theopolis Vineyards 2015 Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir, I was absolutely curious to try Theodora’s take on the grapes from Santa Lucia Highland. While both Yorkville and Santa Lucia are mountainous regions whose climates and terroir are affected by their proximity to the ocean, my lone experience with the Yorkville expression of Pinot Noir could not have been more different than my multiple experiences of the grapes from SLH. So to taste the juxtaposition from this talented winemaker was both a treat and an educational experience.

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Theopolis Vineyards 2015 Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

Theodora Lee, winemaker and proprietor of Theopolis Vineyards is one talented lady. Though she founded her winery in 2003, I’ve only just recently been able to taste what this hidden gem has to offer — and I can’t boast enough about the wine’s I’ve tried. Pinot Noirs from Mendocino are already a favorite of mine — I’ve had quite a few exquisite ones from Anderson Valley. (Try FourSight) But the nuances the Yorkville Highlands provides this malleable varietal are in a league of their own. And Theodora knows how to work with those nuances, creating a delicate — and dare I say feminine — beauty in the bottle.

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Mud House 2015 Pinot Noir

I’ve recently been tasting more and more wines from New Zealand (with many more to come in the near future, I assure you), and while I did stumble across a beautiful expression of Pinot Noir from Mt. Beautiful hailing from the North Canterbury region, it seems that many, if not most, wines produced are coming from the Wairau Valley. As Mudhouse Vineyard Manager Nev Gane says, “In Marlborough’s Wairau Valley most vineyard rows run perpendicular to the old braided riverbed deposits […] slight humps and hollows often lead to differing canopy densities, producing great depth and diverse flavors in the fruit.” This depth and diversity takes any of the “wishy-washy” stereotypes out of the region’s Sauvignon Blanc and certainly showcases itself in the Pinot Noir.

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Cuvaison 2015 Spire Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir from Carneros has been hit or miss with me. I often times find the expression so tightly wound that I lose all mention of real fruit. But Cuvaison has provided me not just a hit, but a home run. Crafted from a single vineyard block located on the vineyard’s highest elevation, using winemaking methods created specifically for these grapes, and keeping the real essence of those grapes and vineyards through every step of the winemaking process — Cuvaison has changed my perception of what Carneros has to offer Pinot Noir vineyards and has piqued my interest in the AVA.

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