Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wine Spectator Pinot Noir Report

UpdateThis post was based on an article on However the publishers seems to have pulled the article from their site; it's no longer available at the original URL. Sorry.

Wine Spectator magazine has published a round-up of over 600 of the current Pinot Noir releases. It focuses mainly on the 2006 vintage, which overall they rate fairly poorly. Of the 400+ wines from the vintage just 31 rated in the 91-94 range, and none rated 95-100

There aren't many local wineries on the list. Here's a round-up; for the complete listing see the web site or the September 30th issue of Wine Spectator magazine.

Bargetto 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains scored just 81.

David Bruce has six wines rated. The highest score went to the 2005 Santa Cruz Mountains which got 90. The lowest went to another Santa Cruz Mountains wine, the $75 2004 Estate Bottled which got 78.

Mount Eden got 90 points for the 2004 and 88 for the 2005. Note that the web site shows the wrong price for the 2005 Pinot - it's actually $60 at the winery, though can be found for less. The 2005 Saratoga Cuvée only rated 82.

Rhys had three wines rated, plus three of the sister label, Alesia, made from fruit sourced from other AVAs. All were 2006 vintage; the Swan Terrace got 89 and the Alpine Hillside got 91 but the Alpine Vineyard only got 82. Good luck getting any though; the Rhys mailing list has a fairly long waiting list.

Sonnet had 5 wines rated, two of which were the Muns Vineyard. 2005 scored 83 and 2006 scored 81. I was particularly surprised by this as it's one of the few wines reviewed that I have actually tried. It was being poured at Pinot Days right next to Silver Mountain's 2005 Muns Vineyard (which is made in the same facility by a different winemaker) and of the two I preferred the 06 Sonnet.

Testarossa had no less than 13 wines reviewed, none of which are made from local fruit. Most of their scores were in the 87-90 range. The 2006 Palazzio, which is a blend including some Santa Cruz Mountains fruit scored 87.

Vine Hill 2006 Gatos Locos scored 82. That's about in line with my impression from the Pinot Paradise tasting last April.


Anonymous said...

So, apparently, Laube is still on crack. The '05 Mount Eden rocks, and is clearly better than the '04. Darker, denser, more concentrated, both better now, will be even better with age, and it's structured for a very long life. This was my #1 wine at Pinot Paradise. (94+ pts, as in its 94 now and will get better)

I'm sure the Rhys wines are better than he rates them, too.