Tag: pinot noir

Ranch 32 2015 Estate Pinot Noir

Hello Arroyo Seco, I love your Pinot Noirs. Sunken beneath the Santa Lucia Highlands, you love the ocean air as much as I do, hugging it, holding it, as it feeds your grapes. You get just enough sun to let those berries bud, but use the foothill range to shield them from harsh winds. And in the right winemakers hands, you give us Pinot Noir wine so uniquely your own.

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Clos du Val 2017 Estate Pinot Noir Rosé

I wouldn’t say I’m into the rosé craze, but I will admit that more winemakers are crafting beautiful rosés, paying more attention to the specificity of flavors and textures innate in the grape’s variety. I’d say I’ve had the worst luck with Pinot Noir rosé’s — they seem to be over-extracted, too fruit forward, too one-dimensional, and, I hate to say it, too pink. But again, I’ve been noticing a difference over the past few years, and I can tell you for certain that Clos du Val has it right. Subtle aromas, hints of texture, and a sunset-orange hue: everything I wasn’t expecting from a rosé of Pinot Noir, but everything I love when sipping a rosé any day.

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Clos du Val 2016 Estate Pinot Noir

Clos du Val is a name that I’d heard of but had yet to experience until just recently. The winery has been around since the 1970s Napa Valley boom and it seems that they’ve not just lasted through the years, but have developed and refined both their vineyards and their winemaking, becoming the triumph they are today. Once a Cab-dominant wine program, Clos du Val now boasts a full portfolio showcasing all the varietals the region does well. In the past I’ve been hesitant about Carneros Pinot Noirs — and, yes, I know it’s something the sub-AVA is known for. It’s just within these past two or three years that I’ve seen an increase in a more “hands-off” approach span across both grape growers and winemakers in this area, and I have to say that the results have been phenomenal (and delicious). Case and point is this estate Pinot Noir from Clos du Val. 

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Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate Rosé

I literally just read four separate articles in four separate (real) publications about rosé today. While some industry experts still call this pink wine thing a fad, others argue that it’s here to stay. The thing is, rosé is a style of winemaking — not a wine. And like all things, there is always a chance that it can go out of style. This may be true — eventually. Right now winemakers are doing interesting things with their grapes — varying skin contact time, using lesser-known varietals, creating some blends that are down right “old-world” and others that are undeniably “new-world.” There are so many styles, enough to suit all kinds of palates. So, whether or not the style stays popular in the mass market, rosé wine, itself, isn’t going anywhere. I think. I also think that this Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate Rosé is worth a sip…so let’s dive in, shall we?

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Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate White Pinot Noir

I first heard about white Pinot Noir from my friends and fellow writers who specialize in wines from the Northeast. Every picture I saw, every post I read, was about this “weird wine” made north of California. When I finally got my hands on one — Ghost Hill Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc — it was, indeed from the Willamette. And, lo, here we go again. I was excited to see this, to me, obscure expression of the varietal in my latest delivery from Left Coast — eager to taste another winery’s take on the theme. But now I have to wonder, is this exclusive to the Willamette? Or are there any California wineries producing this as well? Left Coast has done a good job of keeping my interest (and taste buds) piqued…

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