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CHEESE PAIRING:
Vermont Shepherd
Port Salut
Edam
Asiago
Mahon
Ubriaco
Saga Blue






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Cabs may get much of the press, but Pinot is the grape that inspires real devotion. It's difficult nature and elusive, ever-changing flavors, are a challenge to both winemakers and wine lovers. A cool-climate varietal, it just won't ripen anywhere, which makes the places it does thrive all the more special. Burgundy still holds the distinction of producing the most "terrior-driven" versions of this varietal, but California, Oregon and New Zealand are in the hunt to knock them out of first place. While they're in for a long and tough battle, the wines coming out of the New World are producing first rate stuff at much more affordable prices. Plus, they seem to be learning, especially with Pinot, that they don't have to make the wine taste like a Burgundy for it to be considered good. Besides that dream is an impossible one. More than most grapes, Pinots derive much of their flavor from their location, which is why it's so hard to pin its' profile down. That, of course, just makes finding the perfect one all the more challenging and enjoyable. Burgundy is a complicated region to understand, as well as an expensive one to dabble in, so you won't see many reviews of wines from that region here. My new favorite region is the Santa Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara County, which is making some truly remarkable wines from this grape. It's a region to look out for.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A light-medium bodied, ruby-colored wine with moderate acidity and tannins. Most wines from the New World are made to drink within 5 years of the vintage date. Only some Burgundies (and a few best New World wines) have the ability for long term aging. When young these wines are generally fruit forward and bright with ripe red fruits driving the smell and taste. Some, usually those with a bit of age, have additional flavors of spice, earth, leather, game and woodsmoke. When made well, the wine will be elegant and elusive, though still packed with flavor.



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spacer.gif2008 Redtree Winery Pinot Noir, CaliforniaRATING: **
spacer.gif2007 Anglim Winery Bien Nacido Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2007 Daedalus Cellars Jezebel Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, ORRATING: *
spacer.gif2007 Queen of Hearts Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2007 Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New ZealandRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Cambria Winery Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Catalina Sounds Pinot Noir, Nelson, New ZealandRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, FranceRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Rochford Latitude Pinot Noir, Victoria, AustraliaRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Queen of Hearts Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Summerland Winery Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Tolosa Winery "Lily Gil" Pinot Noir, Edna Valley, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Alma Rosa PInot Noir, La Encantada Vineyard, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Cambria Winery Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Carmel Road Pinot Noir, Monterey, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Casa Cassara Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Fess Parker Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Labyrinth Bien Nacido Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Lafond Winery Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Lafond Winery Pinot Noir, Clone 113, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Lafond Winery Pinot Noir, Clone 777, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Lincourt Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Melville Vineyards Pinot Noir, Verna's Blend, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 McKeon-Phillips Reserve Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Pezzi King Winery Pinot Noir, Sonoma, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Soter Vineyards Beacon Hill Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, ORRATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Summerland Winery Pinot Noir, Odyssey-Thurleston Vineyard, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Wild Earth Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New ZealandRATING: **
spacer.gif2003 Fiddlehead Cellars 728 Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2002 Miura Carneros Hudson Vineyard Pinot Noir, Napa Valley, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2002 Summerland Winery Pinot Noir, Odyssey-Thurleston Vineyard, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ****


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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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