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Tasting Report: Pinot Days 2017


It’s been a few years since we visited Pinot Days, to see what American — primarily Californian — wineries are doing with this most beloved of grapes. The answer: Well, they’re still making pinot noir, and, based on this crop of primarily 2014 and 2015 vintage wines, they’re doing an awfully good job of it.

While this show, in a somewhat smaller venue, was unfortunately a bit rushed, thoughts on all wines tasted follow.

Tasting Report: Pinot Days 2017

2016 WALT Pinot Noir Anderson Valley “Blue Jay” – lots of youth, cinnamon and clove notes / B+
2015 WALT Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast “Bob’s Ranch” – rich, cherry and cola notes just as its tasting notes swore; very long and bold finish / A-
2015 Three Sticks Pinot Noir PFV – herbal notes on the nose, but all fruit on the palate / A-
2015 Three Sticks Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Durell Vineyard – dark cherry dominates, with dusky spices and a cocoa punch / A-
2014 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir Rocheux Reserve – something funky here, lots of barnyard notes / C+
2015 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir Rocheux – big and brambly, brooding, some spices / B+
2015 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir Diversite – a blueberry monster / A-
2014 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir Trajet Reserve – youthful, lots of promise / B
2011 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir Equinoxe – citrusy, but a bit lean / B
2015 Kanzler Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – lovely balance, pretty vanilla notes / A-
2014 Kanzler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – burly and spicy, lovely depth / A
2012 Kanzler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – mature, with denser meaty notes, a bit flabby at times / B
2014 BlueFarm Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown Vineyard – huge blueberry and bold vanilla notes — probably my single favorite winery of the day / A
2014 BlueFarm Pinot Noir Carneros – similarly big, but more subtle / A-
2014 BlueFarm Pinot Noir Fort Ross-Seaview – beautiful balance here; lovely fruit with a hint of spice; tops of the day / A
2014 DeLoach Vineyards Pinot Noir OFS – solid, but dark, with lots of acid / A-
2014 DeLoach Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate – similar, more structured / A-
2014 Donum Pinot Noir Carneros – a bit meaty / B
2014 Donum Pinot Noir Anderson Valley – quite pretty, with an herbal edge / B+
2014 Donum Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – more well-rounded, but with a dense finish; the first of three single vineyard wines / B+
2014 Cherry Pie Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek – nice fruit, good acidity, silky palate / A-
2014 Cherry Pie Pinot Noir Huckleberry Snodgrass – a touch denser, more herbal notes / A-
2014 Cherry Pie Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch – some spice notes, a bit of menthol / A-
2014 Cherry Pie Pinot Noir Three Vineyards – a blend of all of the above, somewhat lean, which is a surprise / B+
2014 Bernardus Pinot Noir Soberanes – strong vanilla notes, beautiful and bold / A
2014 Bernardus Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Vineyard – more acidity than the above / A-
2014 Bernardus Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard – a bit on the herbal side / A-
2014 Bernardus Pinot Noir Gary’s Vineyard – strong pepper hits on the finish / A-
2014 Bernardus Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard – a lovely balance, one of the top wines here / A

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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