Snowy Day & Pinot Days

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This past Saturday I attended the 5th annual Pinot Days wine fest. The event was held this year as in last, at City Winery on 155 Varick Street in Manhattan. Pinot Days, whose mantra is “serious wine, serious fun” is the largest gathering of Pinot Noir producers in the world. The events are held in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and this week in New York City. In New York over 35 producers were scheduled to show up for this event to pour Pinot Noir mainly from California with a table or two from Oregon and New Zealand as well. At the San Francisco event there over 100 producers in attendance , much more than the New York event but there was still plenty of juice to be sampled on Saturday.

Last Saturday was also the day that a massive snow storm was scheduled to hit the city. There was speculation from high to low on how much snow would actually fall in New York, in fact the city got hit with the second highest accumulation of snow since they started keeping records for that sort of thing in 1869 with the official count at 26.8 inches (68cm) of snow on the ground. That missed the record by just .1 inch. Since the vendors and winemakers were already in town for the event and the product was at the venue, the show went on despite the blizzard and frankly, indoors drinking good wine was probably the best thing to be doing during a raging snowstorm. Many wine drinkers managed to find their way down to Varick Street and the event was surprisingly crowded with many happy drinkers.

In my opinion the 2013 and 2014 Pinots were drinking very well. Some of what I sampled:

 

Sojourn Cellars

2014 Pinot Noir “Sangiacomo” (Sonoma Coast). Medium red with bright cherry nose, silky with some earth on the finish, great balance.

2014 Pinot Noir “Ridgetop” (Sonoma Coast). Medium red with earth notes on the nose, silky with a moderate to long balanced finish.

Proprietor Craig Haserot was kind enough to pour some his limited release (300-400 cases) Cabernet Sauvignon which was mighty tasty juice.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Home Ranch” (Sonoma Valley). Dark red to black in color, dusty mint on the nose, chewy and silky, camphor on the firm tannin, great balance.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Oakville” (Napa Valley). Dark red to black with a pretty perfume of dark plum and licorice, silky dark fruit, concentrated with great balance.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Beckstoffer Georges III Rutherford” (Napa Valley). Dark red with a purple robe, dark chocolate and dried herbs on the nose, tight and dense with firm tannins and acids on the end. The most austere of the three.

Lula Cellars

2012 Pinot Noir “Costa Vineyard” (Mendocino). From a five acre vineyard, medium red with turned earth and red cherry on the nose and bright, silky fruit and crisp acids.

Waits-Mast Family Cellars

2012 Pinot Noir “Mariah Vineyards” (Mendocino Ridge). From a very small production winery (50-100 case lots). Light brick in color, slate on the nose, chewy with dark chocolate on the nicely balanced finish.

2013 Pinot Noir “Nash Hill” (Anderson Valley). Light red in color, red cherry and earth on the nose, Asian spices on the fruit, moderate to long finish, balanced.

2013 Pinot Noir “Oppenlander” (Mendocino County). Light brick, smoky dark chocolate on the nose with smoky red cherry on the bright finish.

Panthea Winery

2011 Pinot Noir “Londer Vineyard” (Anderson Valley). Another small production winery (1500 case total). Medium red with a pretty perfume of with flowers, mint, silky dark fruit, nice balance on the moderate to long finish.

2012 Pinot Noir “Estate” (Anderson Valley). From a 2.5 acre plot, light purple with dried herbs on the nose with juicy dark cherry fruit and silky acids at the end.

Trombetta Winery

2013 Pinot Noir “Gap’s Crown” (Sonoma Coast). Medium to dark red, prune notes on the nose with silky dark fruit and a great balance.

Chenoweth Winery

2012 Pinot Noir (Green Valley). Only 175 cases produced, medium red, spicy red fruit and some toast on the nose, juicy with firm acids.

Balo Vineyards

2014 Pinot Noir “Estate” (Anderson Valley). Medium red, dried herbs on the nose, bright cherry fruit with firm acids.

Brooks Note Winery

2013 Pinot Noir (Marin County). Very small producer with this bottling at 250 cases, light brick, turned earth on the nose, silky fruit, a little one dimensional but a nice glass of wine.

2013 Pinot Noir “Weir Vineyard” (Yorkville Highlands). 150 cases produced, light purple, tobacco on the nose, smoke, violets and tobacco on the hard finish.

Thomas Fogarty Winery

2012 Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mtn). Medium amber, barnyard on the nose with bright cherry herbs on the bright finish.

Bel Glos Winery

2014 Pinot Noir “Clark & Telephone” (Santa Maria Valley). Dark red, dried herbs on the nose with chewy dark chocolate fruit and good balance. An un pinot, pinot.

Mansfield Dunne Winery

2012 Pinot Noir “Peterson Vineyard” (Santa Lucia Highlands). Light brick with dusty oak on the nose, tight and silky.

Saintsbury Winery

2014 Pinot Noir “Lee Vineyard” (Carneros). Medium red, dried herbs on the nose with bright black cherry, crisp, moderate to long finish.

2014 Pinot Noir “Stanly Ranch” (Carneros). Closed nose, chewy and chunky dark fruit, good balance.

Bernardus Winery

2012 Pinot Noir “Pisoni Vineyard” (Santa Lucia Highlands). Medium clear red, crushed rocks on the nose, juicy, plummy, dark fruit, firm with some heat but tasty.

 

 

 

Pinot Days 2015

 

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This past Sunday afternoon I attended the 4th annual Pinot Days wine event. Part of a Pinot Noir wine tour which was billed as the “largest gathering of Pinot Noir producers in the world”. The tour will also make stops in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. At this event in New York, 40 wineries from California, Oregon and New Zealand poured their selections though most of the wineries were from California. The event was held at City Winery located at 155 Varick Street in Manhattan and was open to the public.

The icy conditions that Sunday afternoon made for a smaller crowd than last years event as well as fewer wineries attending this time around.

At the beginning of the tasting I decided to focus on the small producers I wasn’t familiar with. Some of the highlights:

California

2012 Mansfield-Dunne Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands). This producer only makes two wines topping out at about 300 cases for each wine. Brick in color with a nice perfume of earth, smoke and black cherry and was tight and tart.

2012 J. Wilkes Winery Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley). Another small lots producer, medium red with earth and black cherry on the nose with juicy fruit and acids on the finish.

2009 Clos de la Tech Pinot Noir “Domaine du Docteur Rodgers” (Santa Cruz Mts.). Some tech guys decided to start a winery, today they poured a trio of their ’09’s, this one was medium to dark red in color with dusty and floral notes on the nose and was dusty and silky with a big hit of chewy tannin at the end. Some heat.

2012 Landmark Cellars Pinot Noir “Overlook” (California). Sourced from three appellations, medium red with floral dark chocolate on the nose, juicy with cinnamon spice on the fruit with good balance.

2012 Thomas Fogerty Winery Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mts.). Medium red with dried herbs on the nose, tart bright fruit with some earth notes on the finish.

2012 Gary Farrell Winery Pinot Noir “Russian River Selection” (Russian River Valley). Light red in color with toasty cherry on the nose, silky dark cherry fruit with nice balance.

2012 Gary Farrell Winery Pinot Noir “Bacigalupi Vineyard” (Russian River Valley). Light red with damp earth and mushroom on the nose with vanilla and cinnamon notes on the tight finish.

2013 Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir “Rodgers Creek” (Sonoma Coast). Light red in color, closed nose of dark berries, tight, bright fruit with chocolate notes on the crisp finish.

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir “Horseshoe Bend” (Russian River Valley). Medium red with mushroom and earth on the nose with herbs and damp earth on the moderate to long finish.

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir “Soul Patch” (Russian River Valley). Medium red with a stinky nose, silky dark fruit with bitter chocolate on the long and balanced finish.

2011 Saintsbury Winery Pinot Noir “Stanly Ranch” (Carneros). Medium red with warm, dusty chocolate on the nose, juicy with mint notes on the balanced finish.

2011 MacPhail Family Wines Pinot Noir “Pratt Vineyards” (Sonoma Coast). Medium red with dried herbs on the nose, juicy and dusty with firm tannin.

2011 MacPhail Family Wines Pinot Noir “Sundawg Ridge” (Russian River Valley). Medium to light red in color with earth notes on the nose with earthy and dusty fruit and great balance.

Oregon

2012 Van Duzer Vineyards Pinot Noir (Willamette). Medium red with toasty, floral notes on the nose, dark cherry fruit with big acids on the finish.

New Zealand

2011 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir “Earth Smoke” (Canterbury). There was one table of Pinot from New Zealand, I asked for the most “stinky” wine and this is what I was given. Cloudy light red in color, with, yes a stinky nose and was tight and tart.