Pinot Noir Tasting — March 3, 2012

Submitted by the Wine Wise Guys

It was a blustery, rainy evening, but even the high winds didn’t keep the Wine Wise Guys and their guests from assembling for their first tasting dedicated to Pinot Noir wines.

The group of wine enthusiasts consisted of 6 women and 5 men, and among them were one professional and two amateur wine makers and eight former American Wine Society members.

Jan, Elmeda, Paul, Carolyn, Laura, Sue, Tom, Bill, Jean, Eric
Photographer – Jennifer

The tasting consisted of 13 Pinot Noirs. There were no price or geographic restrictions on the submissions.

The tasting was blind with each of the entries wrapped in a brown paper bag before the tasting. All the bottles were assigned numbers, and the names and prices of the wines were revealed only after the tasting was complete and the score sheets tallied. The scoring was based on appearance, aroma, body, taste, and finish, and the top four picks of each person were collected and used for the final rankings.

There were several surprises when the results were revealed. Two wines recommended by “those in the know” did not place as high as expected, and an $8 wine took fifth place ahead of several more expensive pinots. Also, despite the diversity of people tasting, there seemed to be consensus on the top placings.

Exhibiting many of the traditional characteristics of pinots—light-bodied, strawberry and cherry flavors—the big winner of the evening was Wild Horse 2010 Pinot Noir from California Central Coast.

The winemaker’s notes:
Our 2010 Pinot Noir has juicy cherry, pomegranate, and cranberry aromas, spicy red fruit flavors, a velvety mouth feel and a long, clean finish. French oak aging gives it rounder texture and subtle toast notes. Alcohol by volume: 13.9%

Coming in tied for second was Belle Glos Meiomi 2010 Pinot Noir. Unlike the first-place winner, this pinot was fuller bodied and more fruit forward with tastes of vanilla and dark berries.

The winemaker’s notes:
Meiomi (May-oh-mee) is a Pinot Noir that gets its fruit from the most noteworthy coastal areas in California. The wine is crafted, lush, balanced and luxurious. Three of the California’s most sought after coastal growing regions brilliantly meld together in this deeply flavored, stylish and truly balanced Pinot Noir; at its most fundamental core, it is an approachable, food friendly wine with a style and place all its own. Alcohol by volume: 13.8%

ast place is on the far left, and it moves to first place on the far right

The Final Results:

Placing Wine Price
1 Wild Horse 2010 Pinot Noir Central Coast $16
2 Belle Glos Meiomi 2010 Pinot Noir $20
2 Cartlidge & Browne 2010 Pinot Noir North Coast $13
4 Costiera Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2004, Seghesio Family Vineyards $30
5 Smoking Loon 2009 California $8
6 Savigny les Beaune 1st Cru clos des Grettes $40
7 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir $17
8 Alta Maria Vineyards Pinot Noir $24
9 Cupcake 2010 Central Coast $8
10 Tisdale, California $4
10 Mark West Pinot Noir California 2010 $10
13 Byington Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains $22
13 JanPark 2009 Pinot Noir priceless


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