Pinot Noir

Tuesday Quick Sip – 2006 Papapietro Perry Peter’s Vineyard Pinot Noir

2006 Papapietro Perry Peter’s Vineyard Pinot Noir

Wine Information –

Appellation: Russian River Valley

Grape: 100% Pinot Noir

Oak program: 11 months in 50% new French oak and 50% 1st and 2nd use

Alcohol: 14.25%

Price: $49

Production: 1200 cases

2006PinotNoirPetersVineyardMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: yam, violet, cedar, blackberry

Taste: plum, currant, cedar, violet, peppercorn, rose, eggplant

Mouthfeel: full body, nice acidity – velvety and silky smooth

Finish: long

I wish I had gotten more than one bottle of this when we were at the winery last November. It was one of those wines that you get upset as you drink it, because you know you can’t get another one.


Categories: $40+, Pinot Noir, sonoma, wine review | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Tuesday Quick Sip – 2007 Wild Horse Vineyards Pinot Noir

wildhorsepinot2007 Wild Horse Vineyards Pinot Noir

Wine Information

Appellation: Central Coast (Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County)

Grape: 100% Pinot Noir

Cooperage: 10 months in 25% new French Oak

Price: ~ $22

My Tasting Notes

nose: plum, raspberry, cedar and earth

taste: cedar, red currant, wet earth and cherry

mouthfeel: medium body, fair amount of acidity

finish: good long length, fruity

I am hit or miss on Central Coast Pinots most of the time but the Wild Horse Vineyards faired pretty well. The mix of dark and red fruit on the nose and palate with a healthy dose of woody damp forest floor, it was layered and suitably complex. The tannins were nice and velvety, but not lack in structure especially after “they” teamed up with the acid.


Categories: $20-$30, Pinot Noir, wine review | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Pinot Noir Tasting at The Wine Cellar

This Friday at the Wine Cellar Jeff will be focusing on Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir by many accounts is the most difficult grape to care for in the vineyard and to manage in the cellar. The grapes tender skin is highly sensitive to climate variations, and is best suited to cooler climates, where in hotter climates as Jancis Robinson puts it, Pinots sensual “essence can easily turn to jam.” Just as important as the weather, the soil adds another factor in the complexity of growing Pinot Noir, thriving best in soils that are composed primarily of limestone. Thus, Pinot Noir is a direct product of its environment and a great example of terroir expression.

To showcase how different environments showcase the many faces of Pinot Noir Jeff will have us taste Pinots from New Zealand, Oregon, California and of course France.

FREE as always this Friday from 5:00 to 8:00.


Categories: Pinot Noir, wine cellar, wine tasting | 1 Comment

A Gift from Santa… Santa Cruz that is!

For Christmas my sister in law Tesla and her husband Stefano brought us what turned out to be a fabulous Pinot Noir, from a local winery that is just down the road from their house in Santa Cruz, California. What they gave us was the 2004 McHenry Estate Bottled Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir. Their objective in buying this wine was to one, get us something that we had not had before and two, get us something from a local, small independent winery that they had been to.

The McHenry vineyard was originally planted in 1972 by Dean, Jane, Henry and Linda McHenry. The 2 acre non-irrigated vineyard sits at an 1800 ft elevation on Bonny Doon road just 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard consists of 4 Pinot Noir clones, 2 of which exist on their original root structures, instead of being grafted to virus-free root stock which is currently how most vines are planted.

According to Wine Spectator, on the whole, the 2004 vintage was a great year for Pinot Noir in the Santa Cruz area. The season started with a hot spell, that led to an early ripening of the grapes and produced deep concentrated flavors.

The 2004 McHenry Pinot Noir, of which only 320 cases were produced, is the 5th bottling from the Estate Vineyard that was replanted in 1997, after a majority of the vineyard was lost to Pierces Disease in 1992. The grapes for this 2004 beauty were harvested between August 28th and 30th after reaching an overall brix of 24.4 degrees. The wine was put through primary fermentation over a nine day period before going into Francois Freres French oak barrels for almost 24 months.

My Tasting Notes –

Nose – Plum, pomegranate, brussel sprouts, and acorn squash

Taste – Raspberry, green beans, coca cola, and earthy damp moss

Mouthfeel – silky smooth and extremely polished with light to medium body

Finish – Decent length, with a tingle of white pepper at the back of the tongue

I am starting to like Pinots more and more. I think this Pinot walked a perfect line between ones that I have tasted from Burgundy, that I wasn’t completely sure about and the over-the-top, fruit forward Pinots from California. It reminded me of a lot of the Pinots that I have had recently from the Willamette Valley, but definitely was much lighter in body and in color, which is usually a turn-off for me.

If you want to sample the Pinots from McHenry their tasting room is open during passport program events, the next one is January 19th. If you can make it to Santa Cruz, you can directly order a bottle or two from their website. I suggest you do, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks again Tesla and Stefano! Cheers!

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Categories: McHenry, Pinot Noir, wine tasting | 1 Comment