The final round of judging in the 2010 Pinot Noir Shootout was held today at Bistro Boudin on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I was asked to join about 30 other judges to pick the best of the best from over 250 entries across the world.
It was an easy day of judging, tasting just 32 Pinot Noirs in 4 flights of 8. The complete results will be reported out by Barbara Drady, owner of Affairs of the Vine and Mike Potashnik, publisher of the International Wine Review.
In the meantime I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites from today’s final round.
David Bruce, Anderson Valley, Pinot Noir 2007 The nose is charred and smoky, with red fruit and the sweetness of caramel. In the mouth it is tangy with food-friendly acidity, concentrated and shows a nice accent of vanilla – very long and very nice. $42 at the winery David Bruce
La Fenetre, Sta. Rita Hills, Calmant Creek, Pinot Noir 2007 The nose is very caramelized, with vanilla, almost like the smell of a freshly baked creme caramel, baked in a room full of French oak barrels. The mouth strikes a balance of richness and acidity. There is a thickness of texture that adds to the experience – very nice.$50 at the winery
Pacific Coast Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills, Babcock Vineyards, Pinot Noir 2007 The nose combines minerality and berries and with 15 minutes the fruit really ramped up in intensity. In the mouth this wine is quite dense, tasting of cherry cola for a long time – nice. $62.50 at the winery Pacific Coast Vineyards
Brophy Clark, Santa Maria Valley, Garey & Goodchild Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2007 The oak really dominates the nose in this wine but when you put it in your mouth, the fruit pops, lots of it in a red vein. I suspect that the oak will integrate with time becoming more elegant with age. $30 at the winery Brophy Clark
Perception, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir 2007 Earth and oak combine in a rich, complex mix to dazzle your nose. Then in the mouth the fruit is on steroids, quite vibrant. This is a wine where every part of the palate is activated, the texture is well-managed with just a hint of tannin and the acidity goes on a long time – very nice. $42 at the winery Perception
The public tasting of the judges’ favorites will be held on Saturday, February 27 in San Rafael at the Pinot Noir Summit. Details and tickets are available online at Affairs of the Vine