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94 • Prix 2008 Reserve, Fagan Creek Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Napa Valley $50. Cellar Selection. Kosher
Brilliant deep ruby color. Distinctive aromas of spicy cherry custard, watermelon sorbet, eucalyptus and orange blossoms with a supple dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long, elegant cocoa, cedar, mint leaf, and mineral accented finish. Unique and flavorful. (tasted on May-12-2011)
93 • Elkhorn Peak 2008 Estate Grown, Pinot Noir, Napa Valley $34. Cellar Selection.
Deep ruby black color with a violet cast. Rich aromas of spicy berry compote with hints of sandalwood and eucalyptus. Supple and round with a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with vanilla bean, cocoa, tomato and pickling spice note on the long, juicy finish. Elegant and vibrant. (tasted on May-12-2011)
93 • Domaine Carneros 2009 Estate, Pinot Noir, Carneros $35. Organically Grown Grapes
Deep garnet violet color. Subtle aromas of pistachio butter, dried cherries, sage and spice with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a zesty, sweet citrus and honeyed nut finish. Very mouthwatering and pure. (tasted on May-16-2011)
92 • Ledson 2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $60. Cellar Selection.
Deep garnet black color. Aromas of plums, beef bouillon and chocolate fudge with a round, silky dryish medium-to-full body and long, toasty cedar, grilled pepper, spice and earth accented finish. A stylish table wine. (tasted on Apr-28-2011)
92 • Goyette 2009 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast $19.99. Best Buy.
Deep ruby color. Interesting aromas of eucalyptus, bacon fat, pink peppercorns, and blackberry custard with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a zesty, spiced apple, toffee, and menthol tobacco accented finish. A very fun and flavorful pinot. (tasted on May-23-2011)
92 • Domaine Carneros 2008 "Famous Gate", Pinot Noir, Carneros $68. Organically Grown Grapes
Garnet color. Dense aromas of melted chocolate, baking spices, and honeyed cherries with a silky, tangy fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and rich pure, dried berry, apple, praline, toasty cedar, and dusty spice finish. Delicious. (tasted on May-16-2011)
91 • Domaine Carneros 2007 "Famous Gate", Pinot Noir, Carneros $68. Organically Grown Grapes
Rich aromas coconut cream, cocoa butter, and raspberry pie with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy pomegranate jam, tomato concasse, and brown spice finish. Rich and stylish. (tasted on May-16-2011)
91 • Davis Bynum 2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $35.
Deep ruby color with a violet cast. Aromas of black raspberries, plum skin, pepper, and cocoa with a silky dry-yet-fruity medium body and a elegant toasted cedar, grilled apple and earth accented finish. A very nice table wine. (tasted on Apr-28-2011)
91 • Concannon 2009 Selected Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Central Coast $10. Best Buy.
Deep ruby color. Spicy and smoky cherry, apple, and nougat aromas with a silky medium body and a tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body with hints of tomato, grilled pepper and cocoa on the finish. Very nice; serve with grilled pork. (tasted on May-12-2011)
91 • Château Faire Le Pont 2008 Milbrandt Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Columbia Valley $29.99.
Dark ruby color. Cherry, nut, rhubarb and pepper aromas with a satiny dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with a nice lively layer of vanilla and earth on the long finish. Very attractive and stylish. (tasted on May-23-2011)
91 • Windy Oaks 2008 Estate Cuvée, Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains $39.
Delicious boysenberry, pickled okra and spiced tomato aromas and flavors with layers of cherry custard, cedar, smoked nut, peppercorn, and earth on the finish. A sensational sipper or table wine. (tasted on May-23-2011)
91 • Calcareous Vineyards 2008 "Twisted Sisters", Pinot Noir, Paso Robles $20.
Deep ruby black color. Aroma of cherry salt water taffy, rhubarb and peppercorns with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, creamy spice and baked apple and citrus accented finish. A big, bold pinot that goes down easy. (tasted on May-23-2011)
90 • Domaine Carneros 2009 "Avant-Garde", Pinot Noir, Carneros $24. Organically Grown Grapes
Raspberry and cocoa aromas and flavors with a supple, zesty medium-to-full body and a creme Anglaise, blackberry custard, and white cigar ash accented finish. Excellent and super table friendly. (tasted on May-16-2011)
90 • Stephen Vincent 2009 Pinot Noir, California $14.99. Best Buy.
Rich blueberry and sour cherry aromas with a supple fruity medium-to-full body and a long spicy, cocoa accented finish. Delicious and balanced. (tasted on Jun-03-2011)
90 • Brophy Clark 2007 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills $29.
Deep ruby color. Interesting aromas of pistachio nougat, potter's clay, raspberry custard with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a mulberry, red apple, ground nut and wet stone accented finish. A stimulating sipper or pair with salmon teriyaki. (tasted on May-23-2011)
89 • Isaac Smith NV Pinot Noir, American $19.
Deep ruby color. Aromas of wet clay, waxy honeycomb and cherry compote with silky dryish medium body and a melted toffee and dried leaf accented finish. A classy table wine. (tasted on Jun-03-2011)
89 • Renteria 2008 Knittel Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Carneros $40.
Deep ruby color. Lightly smoky roasted pecan, pistachio nougat, raspberry gelato and cherry taffy aromas with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy apple, melon, cranberry, and toasted cedar accented finish. A polished oak forward pinot. (tasted on May-16-2011)
89 • Renteria 2008 River Ranch, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $40.
Aromas of tomato paste, grilled beets, baked strawberries with a hint of rubber. Soft and supple with a dryish medium body and grilled pepper, pomegranate and cedar notes on the savory chewy tannin finish. A nicely refreshing, lightly smoky table wine. (tasted on Apr-28-2011)
89 • Castle Rock 2009 Pinot Noir, Monterey County $13.99. Best Buy.
Deep ruby black with a violet rim. Rich aromas of black raspberries, chocolate and peppercorns with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a supple, lingering apple sauce, mineral and cedar accented finish. Very tasty and stylish. (tasted on May-12-2011)
89 • Castle Rock 2009 Pinot Noir, Carneros $13.99. Best Buy.|Next| |Find-a-Wine|
Deep garnet color. Rich creamy black raspberry creme brulee, baked sweet potato and melted toffee aromas with a supple dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy glazed apple, spice and cocoa finish. Nice straightforward balance, style and purity of fruit. (tasted on May-16-2011)