The Pinot Noir Shootout...
A Wine Challenge

heartheartheartheart = Love at First Sip


Laetitia Vineyard & Winery 2004 Estate Pinot Noir,
Arroyo Grande Valley, $20
5000 cases produced

(94)
Male: The nose is luscious...cherries, spice and violets. Really nicely balanced and the finish goes on and on.

Female: Aromas of earthy black cherry with Asian spice and forest floor notes. A burst of bright cherry on the palate with wild berries joining in. Broad in the mouth with a lovely core of fruit surrounded by spice and truffle notes. Tastes of velvety dark fruit. Lingering fine grained tannins. Wow!
Buena Vista 2004 Dijon Clone Ramal Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $38
900/6 packs cases produced

(93)
Male: Love this nose! Wow! An appealing baked cherry pie nose, with added chocolate, vanilla, new oak, black raspberry, and berry fruit aromas. The fruit is perfectly balanced with a full rich middle and a big finish. Black cherry and raspberry are well-integrated with a pleasant lift of acidity. Did someone slip in a La Tache?

Female: Cherry, mushroom, forest floor, and blueberry aromoas lead to a big, velvety palate with dark fruit flavors touched with cinnamon and allspice. This a complex wine, nicely balanced with fruit with a lithe mouthfeel and a good long finish.
MacPhail Family Wines 2004 Pratt Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $56
235 cases produced

(93)
Male: A complex nose with a nice combination of oak spices and fruit. Great texture. Really juicy! Great Pinot character and length. Wow! I really like this one!

Female: Cherry nose with cedar, sandalwood, red raspberry, strawberries, and floral notes. Lithe texture, with beautiful cinnamon spice, red cherry and pomegranate on the palate. Succulent and easy to drink. Good weight, balance and finish. The finish is long with a touch of heat.
Row Eleven Wine Company 2003 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir,
Santa Maria Valley, $49
144 cases produced

(93)
Male: Ripe and young wine. Very dark color. Pretty scent of berries...pomegranate, black cherry and dark fruits with black licorice accents. Intense concentration. Incredible mouthfeel. Long finish with heavy oak accents delivered as spices and herbs. Gossamer continuity. Sexy! Wow!

Female: Dense and intense. Black cherry color with earthy and black cherry aromas. Dark fruit in the mouth, velvety flavors with a very long and elegant finish.
Gary Farrell 2003 Rochioli-Allen Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $60
156 cases produced

(92.5)
Male: Floral aromas accent the cranberry and strawberry nose. Mostly cherry on the palate. Nice balance, good persistence of fruit. A nice dusty finish. A crowd pleaser. A well-integrated wine that will only get better with time. Nice sex appeal!

Female: Lavender, cherry and cinnamon on the nose. Soft and elegant in the mouth, pretty fruit balanced with nice acidity. Cherry and cedar on the finish with wonderful memories of Grandpa's pipe tobacco. A delicate, elegant and feminine wine.
Keller Estate 2003 La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $30
2200 cases produced

(92.5)
Male: The aromas are complex with nice french oak accents, roast beef, anise, raspberry, and violet aromas evolving into restrained berry and black cherry fruit flavors. The grapes were harvested at just the right level of ripeness. The wine displays well integrated fruit, oak, acid and tannin. A powerful & graceful Pinot. Impressive!

Female: Rich ruby in the glass. Floral perfume and strawberry aromas with incense accents. Good weight in the mouth with raspberry, cherry and a hint of citrus flavors joined by bright black cherry and coffee flavors mid-palate. Nice structure.
Lost Canyon Winery 2004 Saralees Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $38
340 cases produced

(92.5)
Male: Round, rich and powerful but still in balance. Light ruby color with a lovely pinot nose. Balanced fruit and oak with a nice kiss of acid - a great wine!

Female: Aromas of sandalwood and cherry pie. Fragrant with fruit forward flavors and a fruity finish. A yummy mixed palate of flavor.
Artesa Winery 2004 Estate Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $39.99
2,400 cases produced

(92)
Male: Spicy forest floor, sandalwood notes, tangy cherry, berry, and smoky meat...and that's just in the nose. A supple & sexy wine with a lovely balance.

Female: Black cherry, black raspberry, ripe rich dark fruit,a little mushroom, smoke,and nice earthiness on the nose. On the palate - this elegant wine is luscious fruit, black cherry, tea leaf and a little spice. Good acid with mocha and nutmeg on the smoky finish.
Bernardus 2004 Pinot Noir,
Monterey County, $25
4,850 cases produced

(92)
Male: A beautiful, fragrant wine with cinnamon and spice enhancing the cherry and very ripe pomegranate fruit with graham cracker back notes. On the palate, the alcohol and oak dominate the fruit on this very tightly wound wine. Will integrate with time.

Female: Aromas of bramble berry, pleasant plum, cherry, licorice and menthol on the nose. The palate is very bright with zippy acidity, nice body and texture. There is a big explosion of boysenberry and notes of espresso in the mouth on entry with added walnut flavors joining mid-palate through the finish. Bring on the carne asada! A full well-rounded wine.
Casa de Caballos Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Paso Robles, $24
63 cases produced

(92)
Male: The nose needs a bit of coaxing before revealing a beautiful bouquet of dried flowers, strawberries, ripe dark fruit, blackberry, black cherry, cola, sandalwood AND spice. Big fruit on the palate. Dark AND rich. The finish is a bit short.

Female: The seductive nose of deep berries and cherries evolve into flavors of ripe bing cherries and raspberry. This is a smooth and velvety Pinot accented with zippy acidity. The finish is laced with tea.
Copeland Creek Vineyards 2002 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $30
450 cases produced

(92)
Male: A very pretty pure strawberry nose - very clean. Sweet cherry on the palate with Asian spice notes. Sexy! Delicious accented cherry flavors on an awesome acid frame.

Female: Mushrooms, compost (black and rich) with ripe strawberries on the nose. Nice depth of flavors, juicy cherry, cola and brown spices. Very complex but elegant. Palate has zippy acidity with a long finish. Great balance!
David Bruce Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma County, $30
9199 cases produced

(92)
Male: Candied black cherry and black licorice nose. Nice mouthfeel. Ebullient fruit. Nice mouthfeel. Cherry liqueur concentrated flavors with dense berry through the long finish. Velvety & everlasting.

Female: Black cherry, cola, blueberry & chocolate aromas. Tastes of earthy blueberries. Velvety on the long chocolatey finish.
Davis Family Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $35
800 cases produced

(92)
Male: A sexy and provocative Pinot nose - classic with cherry, floral notes, spice, and raspberry. Distinctive fruit flavors, dense mouthfeel, complex and layered in the mouth. Refined and graceful.

Female: Inviting aromas of rose petal, light strawberry, fresh cherries, and lovely earthy notes. Jammy cherry components and sweet vanilla notes in the mouth. Cranberry and lemon peel with nice acidity on the finish. Elegant!
Hagafen Cellars 2004 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir,
Napa Valley, $32
1425 cases produced

(92)
Male: Nice balance of oak and fruit with a soft and silky finish. The nose is cherry, forest floor and mushrooms.

Female: Aromas of milk chocolate, cherry cola, tea, brown sugar, and toasted nut. The medium-bodied palate has great acidity with red cherry and raspberry flavors. This very balanced wine will be wonderful with food.
Sonoma Coast Vineyards 2002 Bailey,Clary,Morelli Lane,Nunes Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $60.00
783 cases produced

(92)
Male: This is a sexy looking wine. Lovely cherry, fresh strawberry and forest floor notes on the nose opening on the palate to delicate raspberry and strawberry notes with cola and baking spices. Nice balance of fruit and oak on the finish. Nice acidity. This wine will age gracefully.

Female: Mushroom, earth, strawberry, and lavender on the nose. Definitely cool climate fruit. In the mouth, strawberry, cherry, cinnamon, and cardamom notes. Nice acidity. Great finish! Elegant and velvety. Enjoy with wild mushroom ravioli or grilled lamb chops.
Vision Cellars 2004 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma County, $28
638 cases produced

(92)
Male: Toasty, almost charred spareribs over black cherry, black olives, cloves and dried herbs on the complex well-integrated nose. Nice strawberry, raspberry, cinnamon and roses on the palate. Bright acidity lifts the fruit on the finish. There are some latent green stems notes late (which may dissipate with time).

Female: Oh baby! Aromas of black cherry and spice, an earthy, Burgundian style. Slightly sweet in the nose with leather, black mocha and chocolate-covered cherries that carry through onto the palate which is nicely balanced. Just the right amount of oak with a long finish. Moderate acidity.
D'Argenzio Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $36
260 cases produced

(91.5)
Male: Complex and integrated aromatics with brown spice, red cherry, Santa Rosa plum, vanilla, and graham cracker notes. The color is tawny and appears older. Very well balanced across the palate with some candied fruit and oak that carries through on the finish.

Female: Light strawberries and rhubarb with lots of floral notes...lavender, jasmine, rose petals on the nose. A hedonistic wine, ripe and jammy on the palate with concentrated fruit on the palate. Balanced with some earth and acidity on the finish.
Halleck Vineyard 2004 Three Sons Cuvee Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $38
648 cases produced

(91.5)
Male: Lovely aromatics - strawberry jam, potent black cherry, cola, licorice, and forest floor. Luscious, concentrated jammy fruit with a little heat. Big and chewy. Richness & depth on mid-palate, nice fruit and lingonberry on the finish. This wine is a rugby player in a tutu.

Female: Intense aromas jump out of the glass. The nose is a little hot with lots of raspberry and blueberry & a nice earthiness to balance the fruit. More fruit than oak on the palate. Finishes with chewy cherry notes.
Reynolds Family Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Los Carneros, Napa Valley, $45
580 cases produced

(91.5)
Male: A yummy and sexy wine! The nose has candied apple with dried flower notes. Lots of black fruit on entry which replicates with equal intensity throughout. Cola jumps in mid-palate and stays through the enduring length.

Female: A nicely balanced, elegant wine. Ripe, juicy cherry and raspberry jam with some mushroom on the nose. The wine is nicely balanced - big blueberries, lots of vanilla and oak. Velvety.
Surprise Valley Ranch 2004 Shandel's Oppenlander Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Mendocino County, $30
170 cases produced

(91.5)
Male: Bright berry with subtle menthol, forest floor, red currant, and raspberry aromas. The flavors are complex - including black cherry and violet. The wine is a little funky. Unfiltered with a nice structure, lots of concentrated berry flavors, a balanced finish and a touch of heat with nice acidity on the finish.

Female: Rich in the mouth with loads of dark fruit and a touch of cinnamon on the finish. Black cherries and violets on the nose, silky red and black fruit in the mouth. Sweet dark fruit on the finish.
Annapolis Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $42
200 cases produced

(91)
Male: Light ruby in color. Cherry cola with allspice and red licorice aromas lead to sweet and yummy ripe cherry and strawberry fruit. Finishes clean with bracing acidity on the extended length. Chewy tannins that will integrate with time.

Female: Aromas of eucalyptus, mint, and cranberry develop into flavors of the same in the mouth. Nice complexity. Pretty in the mouth. Tannin on the long finish with blackberry and pomegranate notes. A very youthful wine. The oak tannins are still huge dwarfing the fruit to some extent now but will round with time.
Balletto Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $24
1040 cases produced

(91)
Male: This subtle wine has vibrant, wild strawberry, raspberry and deep black cherry aromas. The entry is lush with hints of cinnamon and cola. Sexy!

Female: Cherry in color with bright cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, jasmine, tea, cola, and spice on the nose. The palate is less complex with red fruit, tart acidity and a zippy cherry pie finish.
David Bruce Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $40
3875 cases produced

(91)
Male: An inviting berry bouquet. The wine has a dark earthtone color. Nice concentrated fruit with a mouth coating richness. Black cherry, raspberry in the mouth with just a touch of heat and tannin on the finish.

Female: Aromas of black cherry & earth. Ripe and juicy. Loads of velvety black fruit with violet and vanilla accents. Big and bold on the palate with some heat on the finish.
Derbes Wine 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $40
210 cases produced

(91)
Male: Coffee, creme brulee in the mouth with sweet cherry fruit and tarry notes. Velvety texture. Subtle acidity. Supple and sexy although the finish is a bit short. An appealing wine.

Female: The nose is restrained at first but opens to red raspberry and blueberry pie aromas. Soft, fruity and elegant on the palate with pretty cherry and vanilla flavors. A feminine wine.
Gary Farrell 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $34
7099 cases produced

(91)
Male: In the glass, the wine is light ruby in color with a pretty nose of cinnamoned black cherry with graham crackers and touches of cedar. In the mouth there are layered cherry, currant, plum, a little blueberry, cinnamon and toast flavors. Sexy, with a refined continuity.

Female: A lovely nose - cherry, ripe and jammy with anise notes. Great acid with flavors of cherries, raspberries and sweet toffee. The finish is long and very smooth with notes of almonds. A very elegant wine.
Lost Canyon Winery 2004 Dutton Ranch Morelli Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $38
410 cases produced

(91)
Male: The vanilla, forest floor, sweet black cherry aromas are accented by pumpkin pie spice. Pure raspberry and red currant in the mouth with generous spice notes and quite a bit of oak. Nicely balanced on the long finish.

Female: The nose has rose petals, sandalwood, earth, and nice red fruit with some black raspberry overtones. Flavors of dried cherry, cranberry, mocha, and hazelnuts. Velvety, well-balanced with good acidity. A wonderful food wine.
Williams Selyem 2003 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $38
1317 cases produced

(91)
Male: Ripe but fine-boned with cherry, violet, toast, and blackberry aromas - great nose! Tons of flavor, great texture, very long finish. There is slight heat but the flavors really pop. Nice acidity. Soft and silky, goes down like greased lightening. You can forgive the heat.

Female: A sweet rich nose, round mouthfeel. good texture with rich black cherries, raspberries and a dark chocolate finish. Good structure here.
Burrell School Vineyards 2003 Veranda Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $36
675 cases produced

(90.5)
Male: The nose is awesome...reminiscent of Eschezeaux. Lovely herbs, incredibly complex flavors - red currants, rosemary, and juniper with bright acidity to lift the finish.

Female: Roses, cranberries, cherry, cola, and herbs when you swirl your glass. Big and balanced flavors on the palate, dried cranberries, maple syrup and herb notes. Nice acidity on the medium-long finish.
Carneros della Notte 2003 Pinot Noir,
Los Carneros, $48
400 cases produced

(90.5)
Male: Shy nose with hints of minerals and rhubarb. Cool cherry and plum flavors on the palate of fruit and oak. The finish is long and smooth.

Female: The nose is extremely closed but the blackberry fruit explodes on the palate with notes of earth and coffee. Chocolate flavors join mid-palate. The wine is full-bodied and well-balanced with round tannins on the long finish.
Casa Barranca Wines 2004 Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir,
Santa Rita Hills, $24.99
350 cases produced

(90.5)
Male: Black pepper, dark berry, smoke, and mint aromas. The wine is dense on the palate, sexy,juicy and jammy with sweet flavors moving into plum and currant, good structure with a long finish.

Female: A very pleasant, elegant and delicate wine. Aromas of raspberry, sandal wood and apricot preserves. Nice balance of fruit & herbs with a big mouthfeel and a long toasty finish.
De La Montanya 2004 Christine's Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $38.00

(90.5)
Male: Black cherry, roses, sandalwood, and funky oak aromas. Comes across quite nicely in the mouth. Red cherry fruit is the mainstay with added spice notes. Good balance with nice acidity. Cherry play from front to back, obvious but flawless.

Female: Slightly tarry and barnyard aromas are integrated with sweet raspberry. The palate is nicely balanced between the acidity and the fruit. The finish is long with sandalwood accents.
La Crema Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $29
2000 cases produced

(90.5)
Male: Light ruby with tart cranberry, forest loam and mint on a cherry base. Bursting cherry entry with notes of raspberry, floral and mint through mid-palate. Bright and lively on the palate. Concentration (from the beautiful extraction)and weight. Slight grit on the lengthy finish.

Female: Hints of cola, caramel, and sweet dried cherries on the nose with some added oak notes. Aromas are repeated on the palate. Medium bodied with nice acidity. Better with food.
MacPhail Family Wines 2004 Frattey Shams Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $49
49 cases produced

(90.5)
Male: Tons of cherry and berry aromas. Fruit galore on the palate, good acid with a very long finish.

Female: Layered aromas of spice, raspberry, cardamom, a touch of clove, cranberry, and raspberry. A beautiful burgundy color. The fruit core is layered with the flavors that are in the nose. Smooth, lovely finish ? good job!
Mahoney Vineyards 2003 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $25
500 cases produced

(90.5)
Male: A melange of berry aromas, black raspberry, red currant and marion berry waft from the glass. The addition of orange peel makes for an ethereal palate. The finish is super-concentrated with cola tones.

Female: A real Pinot! Solid cherry fruit on the nose and palate. Cardamom and cinnamon add interest mid-palate through the finish. Well balanced and complex with a long finish.
Raye's Hill Vineyards & Winery 2002 Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley
450 cases produced

(90.5)
Male: The nose is reminiscent of enjoying warm cherry pie while sitting under a grove of redwoods. Black cherry cola and dried fruit on the palate. The finish starts out silky and then a touch of heat flares up. Should get better and better with time.

Female: The nose is lovely and complex showing varied aromas of roasted pork tenderloin with cherry chutney, baking spice, blackberry, and dried cherries. On the palate, there is tart red cherry, pomegranate and dried cherries with lots of herbs and spice on the palate. Tannin on the finish.
Carneros Creek 2002 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $20
5837 cases produced

(90)
Male: A brawny wine. Earth and fruit on the nose, super-concentrated cherry fruit on the palate with long acidity and cocoa powder notes on the finish. The oak is a bit overwhelming now but will round out with time.

Female: Bright cherry aromas, cherry, strawberry, strawberry jam, and anise flavors inter-twined mid-palate. Smooth and easy to drink. Nice acidity on the finish.
Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery 2002 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $34
254 cases produced

(90)
Male: Cinnamon and baking spices with herbs accent the the cherry and plum in the nose. Concentrated cherry on the palate with dusty tannins and creamy oak on the finish.

Female: Charming berry, cola, juniper, and sandalwood nose. On the palate, cranberries and tart cherries with zingy spicy and sweet notes, and a hint of chocolate on the well-balanced, long finish. Great texture with granular tannins. Lovely round mouthfeel and a nice finish.
Kilgour Estate 2004 Pinot Noir,
Geelong Region / Bellarine Peninsula, Australia, $20
700 cases produced

(90)
Male: Nice balance of light barnyard funk and plum aromas. Good mouthfeel! Slightly meaty, black cherry, plum, currant, and smoky oak flavors. Fleshy with very ripe flavors. Not elegant but very nice.

Female: An earthy style, almost slight wet horse blanket, wet sawdust...then red fruit! On the palate, sweet cherries dipped in brown sugar...I like this! Nice acidity on the finish, nicely balanced.
Landmark Vineyards 2003 Kastania Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $45
400 cases produced

(90)
Male: Raspberry, black cherry and floral aromas. Elevated fruit mid-palate with a touch of spice and earthy undertones. Sexy & balanced. Good structure with a big rich finish.

Female: Bright cherry and strawberry with barnyard on the nose. Fruit with the addition of vanilla in the mouth. Elegant with a silky mouthfeel with black pepper and anise on the red fruit finish.
Mt. Hood Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Columbia Gorge, Oregon, $22
650 cases produced

(90)
Male: Mixed red berry aromas and palate. The flavors are are on the tart side. Bright acidity drives the long berry finish. An uncomplicated wine.

Female: Black cherry and soft chocolate tone on the nose. There are a lot of layers here. A well balanced wine with tart fruit on the palate. Orange peel, clove and sweet vanilla on the finish.
Namaste Vineyards 2004 Abundance Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $20
300 cases produced

(90)
Male: Brown baking spices and tart mixed berry on the nose with graham cracker back notes. Mixed red berry on entry. Black raspberry and licorice explosion on the mid-palate. Silky mid-palate with substantial tannin on the finish.

Female: This is a good food wine. Earth, rich loam, ripe juicy blackberry, black plum, some baking spice, and leather notes on the nose. Palate is more simple than the nose indicates mostly black cherry cola and velvety blueberry. Nice acids on the long finish.
Nepenthe Wines 2004 Pinot Noir,
Adelaide Hills, South Australia, $19.99
3315 cases produced

(90)
Male: Light ruby with a very luscious nose of earth cherry, violets and blackberry. Good acidity, modest oak and nice texture. The finish is long and tart. The tannins are still prominent but will round out with time.

Female: This is a wine to be enjoyed with food. Warm, juniper breezes, an herbal bouquet, the cedary length, thyme, basil, and sage, accent the cherry fruit.
Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma County, $17
22000 cases produced

(90)
Male: Nice nose with well-integrated aromas of herbs & spices, smoke, violet and tar. This very tightly wound but nicely balanced wine has cherry, violet and blackberry flavors. Nice finish with lots of structure. This is one for the future...cellar for three to five years.

Female: Aromas of cherry, cola, sarsaparilla, and oak developing into flavors of root beer and cherry. The finish is medium-long and velvety.
Woodenhead Vintners 2003 Wiley Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $45
310 cases produced

(90)
Male: This is a new age, very modern style of Pinot Noir. Very nice nose, pretty cherry, violet, floral...youthful. Great flavors, very sexy with a supple texture and a long complex finish. Great fruit, oak and perfume balance. Classy!

Female: Aromas of black cherry, clove, some cinnamon, plum, sandalwood, and leather notes invite you to taste this wine. The palate is medium-full bodied with nice acidity. The wine is more balanced than thought at first, elegant. Nice bright acid, lovely mouthfeel and some lingering tannins. Enjoy with food.

heartheartheart = An Affair to Remember


Laetitia Vineyard & Winery 2003 Les Galets Pinot Noir,
Arroyo Grande Valley, $60
240 cases produced

(89.5)
Male: A big wine! Powerful aromatics and big palate. Black cherry, forest, smoke, and plum aromas. Concentrated, ripe but not over ripe flavors with cola, licorice, vanilla and cinnamon. The finish is a bit warm.

Female: Mushroom, barnyard, soy sauce, blackberry, violet, orange, cranberry and slight black pepper on the nose. The palate is big, dark and brooding. Full-bodied with definite tannins, ok acidity and a bit of heat on the finish.
Reynolds Family Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River, Sonoma, $45
400 cases produced

(89.5)
Male: Light ruby with a lovely pinot nose - earth, mushroom, cola, and strawberry. Ripe, lip smacking fruit on the palate - cassis, clove and spices. A touch tannic on the finish but a very well made wine.

Female: A nice food wine. Wow! Aromas of cherry, berry, a hint of violet and vanilla evolve into flavors of plum with a hint of spice. More on the nose than is delivered on the palate.
Sonoma Coast Vineyards 2003 Bailey, Clary, Morelli, Nunes, Priscilla's, Zephyr Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $65
875 cases produced

(89.5)
Male: Black cherry, licorice and black tea aromas that replicate on the palate. Opulent and layered black fruit on the palate. Nice acidity on the finish. This is a very young wine!

Female: This wine is a baby and will only get better with time. A touch of earthiness and mushrooms over strawberry jam in the nose. Lots of layered fruit in the mouth. No gaps - lovely!
Toad Hollow Vineyards 2003 Goldie's Vines Rod's Pride- Pinot Noir Reserve,
Russian River Valley, $45
850 cases produced

(89.5)
Male: Subtle aromatics of rootbeer, vanilla and cherry develop into a generous palate with lots of flavor. Creamy with nice acidity. Charming & enjoyable.

Female: The color is gorgeous with a lovely nose of cherries, plum and orange peel. The palate is big, full-bodied and a little sweet with candied plum, tea and cherry flavors. The medium long finish delivers a little heat but it's not over the top.
Harmonique 2003 Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $48
318 cases produced

(89)
Male: A bright, deftly oaked wine. Perfumed with floral notes, cherry, plum, and wisps of fennel. A bit frisky but lithe with definition, structure and great mouthfeel.

Female: This is a lip smacker! The nose is mostly raspberry with accents of cherry, mocha, currants and green olives. The palate is very floral with cassis flavors, lovely - well-balanced. Good complexity - tannin and acid work together for some significant aging potential.
Landmark Vineyards 2003 Grand Detour Pinot Noir,
Sonoma County, $27
1100 cases produced

(89)
Male: A crowd pleaser. Bright cherry cola and ripe black fruit. Dark ripe black fruit with nutmeg and cardamom on the palate with some heat delivered mid-palate through the creamy oak & vanilla finish. This is a yummy wine that will age nicely.

Female: Earth, barnyard, pomegranate and blackberry aromas opening to nice strawberry on the palate. Medium-full body. Moderate style, not over the top. Nice acidity on the finish.
McIntyre Vineyard 2002 Force Canyon Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Monterey County, $31
450 cases produced

(89)
Male: The wine in the glass is a gorgeous crimson color with sweet and lush black cherry and plum aromas enhanced with deft wood and brown spice. The palate has lovely cherry, cola and honey elements. A silky Pinot with a long finish.

Female: The nose starts out spicy with forest floor notes evolving to include cherry and orange zest that carry through onto the palate where the wine is almost cherry pie-like. The wine is silky with espresso notes on the finish.
Toad Hall Cellars 2003 Lavender Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $40
275 cases produced

(89)
Male: The lush red berry and heavy vanilla aromas replicate on the palate. Light spice throughout. Medium body, round tannins and a nice mouthfeel. Sexy!

Female: Balanced wine with a long finish. Good structure. Sweet red fruit nose with floral accents. Jammy, rich ripe black and red fruit becomes blackberry, black cherry with some earth. Soft and easy to drink.
Davis Bynum Winery 2002 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $28
2900 cases produced

(88.5)
Male: Light ruby in color. The nose is huge with plums and blackberries. The aromas duplicate on the palate. The finish is delicate with nice vanilla accents. A balanced wine.

Female: Barnyard aromas with wild berry and dark cherry notes that carry onto the palate. Nice varietal character. A nicely balanced wine.
Heller Estate Organic Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Carmel Valley, $40
215 cases produced

(88)
Male: Deep ruby color. The nose is very tight but hinting at floral. The entry explodes with mixed wild berry and jasmine. Round ripe tannins, a balanced structure, medium body, silky mouthfeel all add up to make this a wine with elegance and finesse.

Female: Tea and cranberry on the elusive nose but opens to dark fruit and rich flavors in the mouth with licorice accents. Lots of tannins and nice acidity on the finish.
Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Santa Barbara County, $17
972 cases produced

(88)
Male: Ruby in color with violets, strawberries and wint-o-green notes on the nose. The entry is tart brightening up mid-palate with ripe red cherry and Santa Rosa plum flavors. An enjoyable wine.

Female: In the glass there is delicate spice, big strawberry and tart cranberry. The aromas replicate on the palate with a pleasant apricot nougat candy note joining in. Too much oak and tannin on the finish.
Nicholson Ranch 2002 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $35
195 cases produced

(88)
Male: An inviting cherry, raspberry and vanilla nose promises a rich wine. The palate is much more tart than the nose would suggest. Medium body with vibrant acidity. The structure dominates the fruit and drives the long finish.

Female: An earthy style Pinot with lots of barnyard, slight lavender notes, ripe red and black wild berry aromas. The palate is very tart and tangy with dried cherry fruit. Earthy & bit oaky on palate. Cherry prevails through the finish.
Stephen's 2003 William Cain Pinot Noir,
San Luis Obispo County, $18
230 cases produced

(88)
Male: The aromas are light - woody, spicy, cinnamon, sandalwood, strawberry, cherry, and raspberry. The wine is fairly well-balanced - with spicy cherry flavors, nice tannins, fair mouthfeel, good texture - a good food wine with a nice finish. A nice wine but not exceptional.

Female: The ripe, rich, sweet cherry, red wild berry, black currant and slight cinnamon aromas lead to flavors of ripe apples, pomegranate and red licorice with roasted chestnut backnotes. A complex wine that is pleasing. Needs food for full enjoyment.
Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Central Coast, $25
30,855 cases produced

(88)
Male: Medium ruby in color with aromas of raspberry, blackberry and plum with a bit of funkiness. A simple wine with light cherry flavors throughout. Medium body and structure with bracing acidity on the finish.

Female: Light raspberry and rhubarb with a little funkiness in the nose. Lovely strawberry and raspberry in the mouth with tart cranberry on the finish. Pretty, if not elegant. Nice acidity in this lighter style Pinot Noir.
Baileyana Winery 2003 Grand Firepeak Cuvee Pinot Noir,
Edna Valley, $38
805 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Medium garnet color. Perfumey: cherry, raspberry and lavender aromas are joined by focused black rapsberry on the palate. Dill notes on the finish.

Female: Delicate, elegant Pinot nose with bright strawberry, strawberry jam and nice brown spices. Classic!
Concannon Winery 2003 Selected Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Central Coast, $14.99
10000 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Alive and fruit driven.

Female: Cola, cocoa and hints of cherry in the nose. Cherry in the mouth. Coffee, clove and orange peel on the finish. Little acidity on the finish. A sipper.
David Bruce Winery 2003 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Maria Valley, $45
327 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Medium deep garnet. The nose is fairly tight with hints of wild red berry and cola. The wild red berries repeat on the palate with earthy plum, black pepper and allspice joining in. Medium full body with round tannins. Bracing acidity drives the finish.

Female: The nose is very tight with hints of cola but oh, when the wine hits your palate it opens to lots of lusious red fruit. The fruit is balanced by mouth watering acidity. Bien Nacido?
Laetitia Vineyard & Winery 2003 La Colline Pinot Noir,
Arroyo Grande Valley, $60
240 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Deep garnet in color. Aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, vanilla and floral notes replicate on the palate. Medium body, round tannins and a smooth mouthfeel through the mid-palate. Turns tart on the long finish.

Female: The aromas are pure, big and rich black cherry with big dark fruit in the mouth with earthy notes. Well-balanced.
Nicholson Ranch 2002 Estate, Reserve Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Valley, $45
390 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Medium ruby with vanilla, cherry and raspberry aromas. The entry is pure raspberry cassis. Baking spice, coffee and anise join mid-palate. Medium body, balanced structure, nice mouthfeel. Bracing acidity drives the finish.

Female: Rose petals with cola notes on the nose. A nicely balanced wine. Bright cherry touched with blueberry in the mouth. The acidity lifts the wine making this a wine to enjoy with food.
Pellegrini Family Vineyards 2004 Olivet Lane Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $24
2900 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Cherry and strawberry with floral back notes. Sour cherry, rhubarb and spice on entry. A nice, viscous mid-palate with cherry cola and light spice on the finish. This is a simple wine, easy to enjoy.

Female: Black cherry, almost jammy nose with butterscotch notes. Soft and sweet with nice brambly fruit notes on the palate. Fine tannins.
Row Eleven Wine Company 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $34
800 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Ruby with slight paling at the meniscus (the rim of the glass). The shy nose hints at cherry and raspberry. Lush red berry entry and finish. Allspice, cinammon, cassis and earth lend complexity through the mid-palate. Medium body fine tannins and better than average depth and length.

Female: Butterscotch on the nose with hints of black raspberry. Dark fruit in the mouth with lots of oak, cassis and vanilla on the finish,
Trentadue Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $22
194 cases produced

(87.5)
Male: Sweet black cherry, Santa Rosa plum and cedar aromas. Cranberry and cassis with tar, anise, coffee, and black tea on the palate. Ripe, soft - an "everyman" Pinot.

Female: Very forward fruit on the nose, black cherry and plum compote. Depth and concentration on the palate of black fruit, tar and licorice. Bright acidity kicks in on the finish.
Buena Vista 2004 Ramal Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $38

(87)
Male: The raspberry and boysenberry aromas are highlighted by Earl Grey tea. The focused fruit profile is accented with nice acidity. A simple, uncomplex wine.

Female: Caramel and nuts accent the lovely raspberry fruit nose, replicating on the palate where the addition of toffee adds interest. A pretty wine!
Buena Vista 2004 Swan Clone Ramal Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $38
700/6 packs cases produced

(87)
Male: The color is deep ruby with a tight nose. The palate is predominantly tart red berry. A simple wine with quite a bit of acid on the finish.

Female: Licorice aromas accent the dark fruit. Juicy flavors and a powerful structure. The core is cherry with earth, anise and dark cherry too. A wine full of personality and layers. The flavors and aromas dissipate with time and oxygenation.
David Bruce Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Santa Lucia Highlands, $45
420 cases produced

(87)
Male: Medium deep garnet with a closed nose. Slight spritz on the palate. Raspberry and cherry with the addition of floral notes on entry through the mid-palate. Balanced, medium bodied with a rich wild red berry finish.

Female: A big style of Pinot Noir at first glance. Big nose, big fruit but finishes with a subtle elegance.
Esterlina Vineyards 2002 Esterlina Estate Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $35
895 cases produced

(87)
Male: Medium deep ruby with cherry, raspberry and vanilla aromas. There is a burst of mixed wild berry on entry with floral notes and mint through mid-palate. Medium body, bright acidity and lively mouthfeel. A balanced wine with a long berry finish.

Female: An interesting wine with sweet red fruit on the nose, cranberry and minty notes in the mouth with clove and nutmeg joining in on the finish.
Gary Farrell 2003 Russian River Selection Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $34
5086 cases produced

(87)
Male: Subtle, sexy, lively and fresh. Nice Pinot!

Female: Bright and clean with elegant strawberry on the nose delivering fresh cherry on the palate. Lovely texture with lemon peel flavors accentuating the lively acidity on the finish.
Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves 2002 Rust Rock Terrace Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $40
724 six-pack cases produced

(87)
Male: Garnet in the glass with candied perfume in the nose and a touch of earthiness. The entry is cherry candy, very smooth to mid-palate when there is a burst of tannic acid. Sexy raspberry and cherry finish.

Female: The nose is pure perfume, very elegant. Candied black cherry in the mouth with cola coming in towards the finish.
Gundlach Bundschu 2003 Rhinefarm Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Valley, $32
2600 cases produced

(87)
Male: Medium ruby color with light cherry and cassis aromas which replicate throughout with an additional smoky character. Medium body with substantial tannins and acid which drive the lengthy finish.

Female: Cranberry and rhubarb on the nose, bright red fruit on entry joined by cranberry and green tea mid-palate through the high acid finish.
Inman Family Wines 2003 Olivet Grange Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $40
503 cases produced

(87)
Male: Medium deep ruby and tight nose hinting at mixed red berry. Cherry, raspberry and cassis entry and finish with cherry throughout. Balanced medium body with chalky tannins. Average length and depth.

Female: A nice ruby color. Barnyard and wild berry nose. Sweet caramel and berry flavors. Fine grained tannins.
La Crema Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley
3700 cases produced

(87)
Male: Bright cherry on the nose and in the mouth, soft tannins with good acids.

Female: Eucalyptus, black cherry and clove aromas open to flavors of bright black raspberry with nice acidity on the finish. The finish fades quickly. Drink now. Not an ager.
La Crema Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Los Carneros, $29
3500 cases produced

(87)
Male: Bright cherry aromas and flavors, soft tannins, good acid. A well made wine!

Female: Black raspberry, eucalyptus and clove on the nose delivering bright black raspberry on entry, acid joins in mid-palate. The finish is nice but short.
Laetitia Vineyard & Winery 2004 Reserve Pinot Noir,
Arroyo Grande Valley, $45
640 cases produced

(87)
Male: Deep ruby with wild red berry and a hint of floral aromas on the nose. The wild berry & floral carry throughout. Huge structure, full body and depth of flavors. High alchohol on the tart, long finish.

Female: Full and rich. Cherry and black cherry in the mouth with a touch of sweetness. Cocoa and cinnamon notes on the finishing making this a very interesting and appealing wine.
Laetitia Vineyard & Winery 2004 Laetitia Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Arroyo Grande Valley, $35
2000 cases produced

(87)
Male: Muted plum and spices on the nose with simple cherry and plum flavors on a dusty frame.

Female: Coffee and deep black cherry aromas and flavors throughout joined by cloves on the finish. A simple, staightforward wine.
Mahoney Vineyards 2003 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $25
500 cases produced

(87)
Male: Deep garnet in color. The closed nose gives no indication of the wonderful burst of fruit on entry...wild berry, sweet cherry, and cassis! Medium body, fine tannins. Lovely mouthfeel. Great depth and length.

Female: Cooked raspberries and black cherries in the nose once the wine opens. Dark fruit with touches of cranberry in the mouth and on the finish. Nice wine!
Miner Family Vineyards 2003 Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Lucia Highlands, $50
1,100 cases produced

(87)
Male: The wine is medium garnet in color with a semi-closed nose. There are hints of raspberry and vanilla aromas. On the palate, the wine opens to sexy cherry, raspberry and vanilla flavors with a hint of nutmeg throughout. Light in body with round tannins. A lovely quaffer.

Female: A nicely balanced, elegant wine. Cranberry, sassafrass, raspberry and cloves on the nose. Opening to lush red fruits with a touch of vanilla. Orange peel on the finish with some nice acidity. A sipper.
Namaste Vineyards 2004 Prosperity Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $25
300 cases produced

(87)
Male: In the glass, the wine has a muddy ruby color. Shy nose with hints of red berry, cherry and wet stone. The entry bursts with cherry, cassis, strawberry, mineral and earth through mid-palate. Balanced structure, good depth and berry length. This wine leaves your mouth tingling.

Female: Raspberry in the nose and mouth. Black tea and cloves on the finish. This is a big burly wine!
Naughty Boy Vineyards 2003 Home Ranch Pinot Noir,
Potter Valley, Mendocino County, $24
454 cases produced

(87)
Male: Subtle aromatics of red fruit and cola. Elegantly simple.

Female: Wild berries on the nose - almost blueberry. Bright fruit on the palate with orange peel and black tea on the finish with some nice acidity. This wine is very youthful. All of the pieces are there but needs some time to meld together. I'd like to retaste this in six months or so. Should be awesome!
Orchid Hill Wine 2003 Pinot Noir,
Paso Robles, $24
480 cases produced

(87)
Male: Fresh strawberry, black cherry, high toned red fruits on the nose. The wine is very fresh and lively with nice balance on the palate. Lots of oak and tannins on the finish. Very tight, very concentrated...it's a baby!

Female: Very deep Burgundian color! Sweet aromas of berries and brown sugar. Moderate fruit on palate which is more old world style. Red cherry and raspberry flavors. Toasted nutty finish.
Patz & Hall 2004 Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $55
985 cases produced

(87)
Male: Medium deep ruby and a shy nose with hints of cherry, blueberry and brown baking spice. Replicates throughout. Medium-full body with a tannic mid-palate. Average depth and length.

Female: Subtle and understated, big fruit with blueberry pie aromas and flavors. Lots of tar and coffee notes on the finish.
Row Eleven Wine Company 2003 Pinot Noir,
Santa Maria Valley, $29
1200 cases produced

(87)
Male: Deep garnet with an inviting raspberry and cherry nose. Mixed red berry flavors throughout. Lavender, cassis, forest loam and pine needles jump in mid-palate. A complex and interesting wine.

Female: A interesting wine with layered aromas and flavors that are still melding together. Needs time to develop its true potential. Dill notes over red fruit on the nose. The palate has cranberry chutney flavors with touches of ginger. Forest floor notes and orange peel on the finish.
Schug Carneros Estate Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $22
7090 cases produced

(87)
Male: The nose is tight. Cherry creme with hints of raspberry on the entry through mid-palate. Floral notes join mid. Fairly simple but with a big plus...the mouthfeel is silky...sexy.

Female: Chocolate covered raspberries on the nose. Elegant cherry, raspberry in the mouth with a velvety finish.
Tassajara Cellars 2003 Ward Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Contra Costa, $19.95
200 cases produced

(87)
Male: Bright ruby with an expressive nose of cherry, strawberry and plum with back notes of chocolate and earth. Replicates through the mid-palate. Medium body and structure with tart red berry mid-palate through the lengthy finish.

Female: Cinnamon, raspberry, violets and blueberry invite you to take a sip of this earthy, big, bold wine. Almost syrah-like in it's intensity. Lots of oak on the long finish.
Tayerle 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $25
90 cases produced

(87)
Male: Cherry aromas are accented by yeasty aromas of baking bread. Cherry cheesecake on the palate. Delicious!

Female: The nose is pure cherry delivering sweet cherry flavors on the palate with a sour cranberry finish.
Truckee River Winery 2003 Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Lucia Highlands, $42
250 cases produced

(87)
Male: Raspberry, cherry and ginger aromas lead to a big cola palate with anise spice. The finish lingers. A nice wine for quaffing.

Female: The color is rich. Spritely fruit with notes of coffee and hazelnut on the nose. Sweet black cherry fruit on first sip joined by caramel and black licorice, sweet framboise,and boysenberry jam preserves. Nice mouthfeel. The palate is full-bodied with lots of oak and alcohol on finish.
Williams Selyem 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $42
3020 cases produced

(87)
Male: Subtle strawberry and raspberry aromas with sweet, spicy cherry flavors. An elevated mid-palate...rich. Smooth finish.

Female: Soft and lush with earthy, spice and raspberry in the glass and in the mouth. A lot of class here...anise, black pepper and dried apricots. Nice and bright.
Broadbent Selections 2003 Pinot Noir,
Marlborough, New Zealand, $40

(86.5)
Male: Tar, anise, and a touch of earthiness on the nose with light red fruit on the palate. A nice dose of wood and acid on the finish.

Female: An earthy and spicy nose with cranberry fruit as a backnote. Layered on the palate with nice acid on the finish. A well-balanced wine.
Fess Parker Winery 2004 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir,
Santa Maria, $50
986 (6 pks) cases produced

(86.5)
Male: Medium garnet with tart red berry aromas that replicate throughout. Medium-light body, plenty of oak and tannins. This is a young wine and is still somewhat disjointed but should integrate over time.

Female: Cedary black raspberry on the nose. Rich, multi-dimensional on the palate and through the finish with lots of black fruit accented by tar and tobacco.
Handley Cellars 2004 Pinot Noir,
Mendocino County, $19
690 cases produced

(86.5)
Male: Cherry and cranberry aromas lead to the same on the palate with creamy vanilla and cleansing acid on the finish.

Female: Light cherry, spice and violets on the nose repeating on the palate with added black licorice notes. Very nice acidity on the finish.
MacPhail Family Wines 2004 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $35
583 cases produced

(86.5)
Male: Medium light ruby with an inviting nose of mixed berry and vanilla. Back notes of pencil lead and floral scents. Red berry and cherry on the entry and the finish. The mid-palate lacks definition. Medium body with a silky mouthfeel and lengthy finish.

Female: Bright strawberry and strawberry jam on the nose and on the palate. Sweet cinnamon buns on the finish. A delightful quaffer.
Ste Michelle Wine Estates 2003 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir, Grand Reserve,
Santa Maria Valley, $22
990 cases produced

(86.5)
Male: Light cherry color. Sweet and spicy pomegranate and red cherry aromas with a hint of allspice. Soft, delicate and food friendly.

Female: Rhubarb on the nose leads to a lovely richness on the palate heightened by raspberry flavors. Lots of acid on the finish.
Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
New York, $14.99
400 cases produced

(86)
Male: Light ruby in color with red berry and cherry aromas. The tart red berry entry is joined by eucalyptus and cherry that carries through the finish. Medium light body balanced with a smooth mouthfeel and medium length.

Female: Cola, cherry, floral and tea notes on the nose evolve into lovely cherry fruit on the palate enhanced by menthol notes. The finish is smooth and silky.
De Bortoli Wines 2003 Estate Grown fruit Pinot Noir,
Yarra Valley, Australia, $33.99
7500 cases produced

(86)
Male: In the glass, the wine is medium-light garnet in color. The cassis, cranberry and cherry aromas replicate through mid-palate. Medium-full bodied. The heavy tannins and depth of flavors highlight the black plum, blackberry and cherry on the medium-long finish.

Female: Very pleasant cola and floral aromas with earth and mushroom notes. Black fruit in the mouth with heavy oak accents. An effervescent note on the palate is a distraction.
De La Montanya 2004 Tina's Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River, $38.00

(86)
Male: Bright ruby with rich blackberry and black cherry aromas. Hints of vanilla and eucalyptus add to the nose. Fruit is tarter on the palate than the nose suggests. Medium-full body with plenty of structure and bright acidity on finish.

Female: Sweet cherry and cola on the nose. Texture is nice but the fruit on the palate is tart - much more than the nose would indicate. Persistent finish with nice acidity.
Fort Ross Vineyard 2002 Symposium Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $28
290 cases produced

(86)
Male: Medium rubr color. Sexy raspberry, cherry and vanilla aromas with floral back notes. Tart cherry, black pepper, earth, and forest loam entry to mid-palate. Cherry turns sweet when combined with the coffee and black tea on the finish. Medium body, smooth mouthfeel and round tannins.

Female: Earth and cherries on the nose and palate. Silky, elegant entry through mid-palate. Alcohol and tannins dominate the fruit on the finish.
Gala Rouge 2004 Pinot Noir,
Languedoc, France, $9.99
35,000 cases produced

(86)
Male: This deep ruby wine has aromas of mixed blackberry with a hint of chocolate. The aromas replicate on entry through mid-palate. The wine is balanced with medium body. Brown spice, black tea and pepper jazz up the blackberry on the long finish.

Female: Slight smokiness and cola on the nose with dark fruit in the mouth. The finish is short but not unpleasant. A very nice value!
Gary Farrell 2003 Allen Vineyard Hillside Blocks Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $60
171 cases produced

(86)
Male: Medium light ruby in color. Mixed berry and cherry cola on the nose carrying through the palate and the finish. The wine has medium body and structure with light oak nicely accenting the fruit and lots of cleansing acidity.

Female: A beautifully balanced wine...bright and clean. Strawberry and fresh cherry aromas open to cassis, strawberry and black raspberry with added floral notes. Nice round tannins and acidity make this a delightful Pinot.
Gary Farrell 2003 Starr Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $45
968 cases produced

(86)
Male: Bright ruby color with a subdued nose of raspberry, strawberry and black pepper. Strawberry and cherry dominate the palate with a hint of baking spice. Medium body and structure, fairly balanced.

Female: The nose is inviting with strawberry and cola notes delivering nicely spiced cherry and strawberry flavors in the mouth. The acidity is awesome! This wine should age beautifully.
Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves 2002 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $35
2,100 six bottle cases produced

(86)
Male: Medium garnet with a simple nose of cherry and back note of raspberry. Strawberry/cherry entry and finish. The mid-palate is dominated by oak and tannins. Medium body. May be in a dumb state (could awaken).

Female: Cooked cherry and plum aromas delivering sweet and sour cherry on the palate. Dusty tannins with nice acidity. A lighter style. Good for sipping!
Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves 2002 Gravel Knob Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $40
577 six-pack cases produced

(86)
Male: Strawberry with rootbeer accents on the nose and on the palate. Bright fruit with nice acidity.

Female: Lots of menthol on the nose like breathing in fresh mint in the garden. Light cherry in the mouth, nice acidity. Not a lot on the finish except cola.
Libarle Vineyards 2002 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $30
90 cases produced

(86)
Male: Lots of chocolatey oak on the nose - spicy and warm. This is not for the feint of heart - not a delicate wine. Blackberry and cherry - fat on the palate (lacking acidity). The finish is quite tannic. Enjoy with grilled lamb chops or a big steak.

Female: Aromas of cherry and tea bring you to the flavors of tea, cola, mushroom and cherry. Woody with hints of sweet fruit on the finish.
MacPhail Family Wines 2004 Goodin Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $54
296 cases produced

(86)
Male: Medium light ruby with an expressive nose of black cherry, earth, floral accents and allspice back notes. Cranberry and cherry on the palate with dill notes. Silky.

Female: Nice! Balanced fruit. Everything fits.
MacPhail Family Wines 2004 Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $58
86 cases produced

(86)
Male: Medium deep garnet with a semi-closed nose. Vanilla, cherry and hints of tart red berry throughout. Plenty of oak. Medium-full body. Black cherry and lavender mid-palate with a long black cherry finish.

Female: Strawberry, cranberry, a touch of dill, and clove with lots of oak! Serve with cheese, but nothing spicy as the oak will intensify with heat.
Mahoney Vineyards 2003 Haire Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $28
100 cases produced

(86)
Male: Dark ruby in color. Aromas of black cherry and graham crackers. Rhubarb and cranberry with yeasty notes on the palate. The finish is dusty and slightly charred. Round tannins with a smooth mouthfeel.

Female: Lavender, smoke, cherry, and a bit of earth on the nose, carrying through onto the palate. The finish is tart with cranberry flavors. Nice acidity. Nice wine!
Nicholson Ranch 2003 "Cactus Hill" Estate Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Valley, $30
963 cases produced

(86)
Male: Spicy red fruit on the nose repeating on the palate. Big oak tannins mask the fruit to some degree but should smooth out with time.

Female: Aromas of bing cherry with lots of spice on the nose. Big on the palate with sweet fruit and spice. Tannins are still aggressive but this appears to be a fairly young wine.
Paraiso 2003 Estate Pinot Noir,
Santa Lucia Highlands, $22
3,200 cases produced

(86)
Male: Complex nose showing forest loam, baking spice, herbs, and mushroom; but where's the fruit? Red berry fruit shows on entry, rich and full in the mouth but doesn't last through the finish. Lots of structure but not enough Pinot pleasure.

Female: Medium garnet in color with baking spices on the nose over bright ripe berries. Bright berry flavors in the mouth with smooth silky tannins. Fruit does not last through the finish.
Parducci Wine Cellars 2004 Pinot Noir,
Mendocino County, $11
9500 cases produced

(86)
Male: Medium deep ruby. Strawberry, cranberry and cherry aromas. Tart red berry entry and finish. Medium body and structure with baking spice jumping in mid-palate through the finish. Simple but nice flavors and mouthfeel.

Female: Deep, rich and sweet aromas evolving into dark fruit flavors with coffee and cocoa notes on the finish. For those who like California style Pinot. Lacking in acidity. A nice wine. Simple.
Patz & Hall 2004 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast, $36
4,697 cases produced

(86)
Male: Deep garnet in color. Cherry, vanilla and strawberry on the nose and palate. The entry and the finish are tart with the mid-palate full of oak. Somewhat disjointed but the wine is young and should meld with time.

Female: A smoky nose leads to strawberry and cooked strawberry flavors. A young wine with fairly aggressive tannins. With time, this should be a beautiful wine - there is enough fruit to balance the oak and tannins.
Per Bacco Cellars 2003 Pinot Noir,
Arroyo Grande Valley, $25
750 cases produced

(86)
Male: Nearly opaque with a deep garnet color. Licorice, plum and cranberry aromas. Cranberry and tart cherry throughout the palate. Good fruit with a solid finish. A big wine!

Female: A very young wine showing lots of smoky flavors over deep black fruit in the nose and on the palate. The tannins are still very aggressive but will definitely mellow and improve with age.
Per Bacco Cellars 2003 Pinot Noir,
Arroyo Grande Valley, $40
280 6pks cases produced

(86)
Male: Subtle aromatics. Cola on the palate. Refined and simple.

Female: Syrah-like color, lots of blue notes. Coffee, leather and dark fruit aromas developing into dark fruit in the mouth with lots of oak. Clove, tarragon and orange peel on the finish. A really nice wine, but not my idea of Pinot Noir.
Rodney Strong 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $19.00
12,042 cases produced

(86)
Male: Ruby in color with smoky cassis and brown spice in the nose. Hints of tar and anise aromas replicate on entry. Tart red berry takes over on the mid-palate with substantial tannins. Medium body and length with a heavy toast character on the finish.

Female: Cherry coke in the nose (reminds me of me teenage years ordering a cherry coke, ketchup & fries). The aromas carry through onto the palate and the finish. A simple, one-dimensional wine.
Schug Carneros Estate Winery 2003 Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $30
693 cases produced

(86)
Male: Bright, clear and iridescent in the glass. The nose has red licorice, cola and tar notes over diverse red fruit. On th palate, beautiful fruit is revealed and balanced nicely with acid and oak.

Female: Cranberry and dill notes in the nose delivering cranberry, rhubarb and strawberry flavors on the palate. The dill resurfaces on the finish. Nice acidity. A food wine.
Stephen's 2003 Encell Pinot Noir,
San Luis Obispo County, $24
90 cases produced

(86)
Male: The nose is tight hinting at cranberry and black pepper. Cranberry, tart cherry and cola from entry through the finish. Plenty of structure with some added brown spice on the finish.

Female: Strawberry and cranberry in the nose and mouth. A nice, simple, well-made wine with lemon on the finish.
Styring 2003 Red Hills Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, Oregon, $28.00
100 cases produced

(86)
Male: Raw wood dominates the nose. A power play to corral the enormous black raspberry fruit. An ager!

Female: Black pepper, black cherry, black raspberry aromas are joined by floral and elegant red berry. The aromas carry through onto the palate. Cola, tea and forest loam flesh out the mid-palate through the finish. Medium silky mouthfeel with bracing acidity on the ripe red berry finish.
Tandem Winery 2003 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir,
Green Valley, Sonoma County
684 cases produced

(86)
Male: Medium garnet with an integrated nose of floral notes, cherry and raspberry that repicates on the palate from entry through the finish. Medium body, round tannins, smooth mouthfeel with bracing acidity and a better than average length.

Female: I don't like the nose, the barnyard overpowers the fruit. On the palate, black fruit with good grape tannins and nice acidity.
Windy Oaks Estate 2002 Schultze Family Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $39
225 cases produced

(86)
Male: Light ruby color with a lush cherry nose, hints of smoke. Cherry, cola and slight burnt flavors of the palate. Angular tannins with a tart finish.

Female: Strawberry jam in the nose moving to strawberry and raspberry jam with backnotes of cocoa on the palate. Nice acidity.
Windy Oaks Estate 2003 Schultze Family Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $42
150 cases produced

(86)
Male: A very muscular wine. Light garnet in color with cherry, vanilla and hints of anise on the nose. Black mixed berry and black cherry burst onto the palate on entry joined by eucalyptus, tar, earth and forest loam at mid-palate. The finish is a bit tannic with spices and herbs tickling the tongue.

Female: Lots of oak on this wine! Cranberry, black cherry with a hint of mint throughout.
Bargetto Winery 2004 Regan Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $20.00
1000 cases produced

(85.5)
Male: Very light color with cherry aromas Some VA (Volatile Acidity - a vinegary or nail polish remover aroma). Medium body and structure. Pepper and plum flavors with cola and rhubarb notes. A sexy wine.

Female: Like a spring garden, the nose has a myriad of floral components. Cherry and plum come together on the elegant entry joined by nutmeg through mid-palate. The flavors drop off on the finish.
Chaddsford Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Pennslyvania, $22.99
340 cases produced

(85.5)
Male: Pale color turning to amber. Very light integrated nose of strawberry and cherry. Light body, totally integrated and sexy. Not a lot of depth.

Female: Very light in color. Lovely nose of strawberry, cherry and light spice. The palate has delicate, elegant fruit. A lighter style, would be wonderful with baked ham.
Ketelsen Vineyard and Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley
200 cases produced

(85.5)
Male: Medium deep ruby with a shy nose. Cherry cola on entry and finish with raspberry, red plum and cassis joining mid-palate. Balanced medium body and structure with average plus length.

Female: Black cherry and black raspberry with heavy dill notes. Faint licorice on the palate joined by big black plum, black raspberry and very ripe tomato flavors. Longer than average finish.
Robert Stemmler 2003 Ferguson Block Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $40
264 cases produced

(85.5)
Male: Cherry cola on the nose and palate. Lots of oak but should settle and mellow with time.

Female: Pickle barrel and mint on the nose with nice cherry and cranberry in the mouth. Oak is dominant on the finish with clove, tea and leather flavors. Ager? I'm not sure.
Roessler Cellars 2003 Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $42
608 cases produced

(85.5)
Male: Deep ruby. Light raspberry and vanilla aromas. Balanced, a simple wine with medium body, depth and length.

Female: Fruity aromas draw you in. The palate is a mouthful of sweet cherries and a good dose of pretty spices. Nice weight on the palate with a long finish.
Amity Vineyards 2000 Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $40.00
170 cases produced

(85)
Male: Light ruby with cola and mixed red berry aromas that replicate throughout. Fruit flavors are reserved on the palate with high acidity and an austere finish.

Female: Pomegranate nose with pretty fruit on the palate. Nice finish. An uncomplicated wine.
Arcadian 2002 Dierberg Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Maria Valley, $50
300 cases produced

(85)
Male: Deep garnet in the glass. The light aromas of mixed black fruit (black cherry, blackberry and plum) replicate on entry. The fruit doesn't follow through, turning tart. There is heat at mid-palate as alcohol intensifies and carries through unto the finish.

Female: Nice ruby color in the glass. Bright cherry in the nose. Sweet cherry and black fruit in the mouth - a touch too sweet. Cranberry with touches of tarragon and orange peel on the velvety finish.
Bouchaine Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $28
6600 cases produced

(85)
Male: Deep ruby . Tight nose and palate. Full body and structure. Brooding character with a solid core of fruit.

Female: The very delicate strawberry nose leads to light strawberry and cranberry on the palate. Good acid on the finish.
Carneros Creek 2003 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $40
477 cases produced

(85)
Male: Pure black cherry with subtle black plum backed by hints of nutmeg, earth and vanilla. Bright cherry, cassis and cranberry with earth, black pepper and tar mid-palate. All enhanced by lifting acidity and alcohol through the finish.

Female: Tight on the nose and palate. Cranberry and earth flavors and aromas. The finish is tart.
Carrefour Vineyards 2003 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $28
589 cases produced

(85)
Male: Light ruby. The expressive nose shows ripe mixed berry, cherry, tobacco, and black pepper notes. The entry is cherry and red berry, finishing with tar, eucalyptus and cassis from mid-palate on. Medium full body with a tannic structure. Average plus length and depth.

Female: Aromas of cherries and raspberries accented by barnyard notes lead to light red strawberry fruit on the palate. Finishing with green tea notes.
Davis Bynum Winery 2003 Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River, $60
243 cases produced

(85)
Male: Bright ruby. Cola, barnyard and red berry on the nose. Tart red berry and cherry on the palate turning to sour cherry mid-palate through the finish. Simple, medium body and structure. Lots of tannin on the finish.

Female: The cherry and barnyardy nose opens to sweet cherry in the mouth becoming sour cherry on the mid-palate and cranberry on the finish. Tannins are still a bit aggressive but this wine has enough fruit and acid to age nicely.
Davis Bynum Winery 2002 Lindleys' Knoll Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $55
513 cases produced

(85)
Male: Medium deep garnet with a brooding nose of black mixed berries. Sexy berry entry without much depth. Light body balanced and simple.

Female: Cherry, cranberry and lemon with hints of dill on the nose opening to cranberry flavors joined by cherry mid-palate. The acid kicks on the finish with cranberry tea notes.
De Bortoli Wines 2004 Pinot Noir,
Yarra Valley, Australia, $15.99
15000 cases produced

(85)
Male: Tart red berry aromas backed by hints of forest loam and earth. Replicates throughout on a full structured medium body high acid frame. Medium garnet in color, with an average finish.

Female: Light in color. The delicate nose is slightly smoky with cola and raspberry notes. Tingly in the mouth with sour cherry flavors. This is a nicely balanced wine.
DeLoach Vineyards 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $18
8,480 cases produced

(85)
Male: Bright ruby color. Closed nose with a hint of cherry. Tart cherry, strawberry and cassis throughout. Medium light body with plenty of acidity. Eucalyptus, nutmeg and allspice contribute mid-palate through the finish.

Female: Candied cherry with clove notes on the nose. Nice mouthfeel with soft cherry flavors on the palate. Soft, easy to drink and slightly sweet.
Foppiano Vineyards 2004 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $23
1600 cases produced

(85)
Male: Medium deep ruby with a tart red berry nose that replicates throughout. Pepper, anise and smoke mid-palate through the finish. Acidity and tannins trump fruit.

Female: The nose smells like an Oregon Pinot with cherry and cranberry notes. Lightly cooked red fruit in the mouth with a spicy finish. Starting to develop a nice velvety character.
Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves 2003 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $26
9400 cases produced

(85)
Male: Bright ruby color. Light cherry and red berry aromas replicate throughout with hints of vanilla, milk chocolate and tobacco mid-palate through the finish. The wine is balanced with medium body and a silky mouthfeel. Better than average length.

Female: Sour notes on the nose and in the mouth. Opens into riper fruit mid-palate. It's almost as if this wine is upside down.
Grove Street 2004 Pinot Noir,
Napa, Carneros, $18
1,800 cases produced

(85)
Male: Medium ruby color with a fairly closed nose hinting at cherry. Black cherry and cassis on entry with black pepper and coffee flavors joining mid-palate. Medium full body and plenty of tannins with a long finish of coffee and mixed berry.

Female: Black fruit on the nose with lots of spice. Aromas replicate on the palate with lots of oak on the finish.
Handley Cellars 2003 Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $25
3037 cases produced

(85)
Male: Bright ruby color with a light cherry nose. Balanced medium body and structure with a lush mouthfeel. Raspberry and cherry dominate the palate, with a touch of spice that leads to a long finish with a burst of acidity.

Female: Light herbs and cherry on the nose. Bright fruit in the mouth finishing with tart cranberry flavors and lovely clean acidity.
Harmonique 2003 Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $53
225 cases produced

(85)
Male: Very light ruby with a tight nose. Cherry and hint of wild red berry on the entry and the finish. Nutmeg and vanilla are present through the mid-palate. Heavy on the oak with drying tannins on finish.

Female: There is black cherry and a touch of cola on the nose. Black cherry in the mouth finishing with dusty notes and quite a bit of tannin. The wine is very youthful and should age nicely.
Inman Family Wines 2004 Olivet Grange Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $40
650 cases produced

(85)
Male: Medium deep ruby in color. The nose is closed. Cassis,plum and cranberry on the palate with a heavy hand on the oak. Full bodied and muscular. So big it hardly seems like Pinot.

Female: The aromatics are elusive with subdued lilac and strawberry on the nose. The fruit is delicate, cranberry in the mouth with tea and cloves on the finish. Lots of tannin and acid, overpowering the delicate fruit.
Sonoma Creek 2003 Pinot Noir,
California, $10
1500 cases produced

(85)
Male: Medium garnet in color with a closed nose. Brown spice and floral notes enliven the light cherry flavor. Medium body and structure with a tart character mid-palate through long finish where tarry notes join in.

Female: The nose is loaded with cocoa and raspberry notes that carry through on entry. Fruit is missing mid-palate. Tannins are quite pronounced.
Kenwood Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River, $18
35,900 cases produced

(85)
Male: Deep garnet in color. The nose reveals light red berry and cherry that repeats on the palate through the finish. There is pure fruit with light oak on the mid-palate. The body is light, the mouthfeel is sexy mid-palate but there is not enough depth or length. This wine is lacks acidity.

Female: Strawberry and cherry on the nose with black pepper back notes. The wine is elegant with aromas that carry through onto the palate with clove joining in on the finish.
King Estate Winery 2003 Pinot Noir,
Oregon, $24
15000 cases produced

(85)
Male: Bright ruby with light cherry and raspberry aromas. The light fruit is mostly tart red berry. Plenty of structure.

Female: Fresh crushed cherries on the nose, black cherry on entry turning to lighter notes of cranberry mid-palate through the finish.
Maboroshi 2004 Maboroshi Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $35
300 cases produced

(85)
Male: A mostly cherry nose with earth and spice back notes. Repeats on the palate throughout with tar and cassis at mid-palate. Medium full body. A bit oaky on the finish.

Female: Not much on the nose but opens to pretty fruit. A nicely balanced wine. Simple and easy to drink.
Mahoney Vineyards 2003 Mahoney Ranch Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $32
150 cases produced

(85)
Male: Medium deep ruby and a closed nose. Smoky oak dominates entry and mid-palate now but there is lots of underlying fruit. Will evolve with time and should exude sex appeal and balance.

Female: Light cranberry on the nose. Cranberry, cherry and lots of oak on the palate. Acid and tannin on the full throttle finish. This baby need time!
Raye's Hill Vineyards & Winery 2003 Wightman House Pinot Noir,
Anderson Valley, $24.00
224 cases produced

(85)
Male: Light garnet in color. The nose is mostly burnt match and charcoal with a soft back note of cherry. This Pinot gets better on the palate with cherry and raspberry dominant with a hint of floral. A balanced wine with medium body and an average length finish.

Female: Aromas of strawberry tea are quite inviting carrying through onto the palate but just missing the blast of fruit I was looking for. Nice acidity. Might work well with light style dishes.
Robert Mondavi Winery 2003 Carneros Pinot Noir,
Napa Valley, $21

(85)
Male: Medium ruby with cherry, red berry and a hint of chocolate on the nose. Tart red berry on the palate with dill notes joining mid. Medium body and length.

Female: The color is dark red and inviting. Deep red fruit on the nose turning to tart cherry on the palate.
Roessler Cellars 2003 Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $36
198 cases produced

(85)
Male: Deep garnet with a light tutti frutti and cola nose. Raspberry on the palate with touches of dill on the finish.

Female: Bright black fruit on the nose and in the mouth. Big and intense on the palate with lots of smoke, clove and black tea on the finish.
Silver Stone 2003 Bien Nacido & Latchford Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Santa Maria Valley and Paso Robles, $28
200 cases produced

(85)
Male: Medium garnet. The nose is closed. Entry shows raspberry and cassis with earth and a hint of coffee. Full structure with medium-body and bright acidity. There is slight heat on the finish.

Female: Exceedingly ripe plum and tomato over anise and mint aromas. The mouth shows concentrated black fruit - dense and rich. The finish is abrupt.
Tayerle 2003 Las Brisas Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $25
290 cases produced

(85)
Male: Light ruby in color. The nose has some nice fruit with pine accents. Raspberry, cassis and cranberry throughout. Loads of oak. The structure trumps the fruit. Drying tannins on finish.

Female: Herbal aromas and copious cherry preserves on the nose. Focused cherry sweet and tart on the palate with clove notes on the lingering finish.
Arcadian 2002 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Rita Hills, $50
1200 cases produced

(84.5)
Male: The big, dark, very ripe fruit aromas reach up and grab you inviting to sip this wine. The palate is disappointing, sharp with lots of alcohol, tannin and oak. Medium deep garnet. The closed nose is not showing much but alchohol. Structure trumps fruit. Tannins, alchohol and acidity running wild.

Female: Lots of barnyard, cloves and peppercorns mask the ripe blackberry and cherry aromas. Oak dominates the wine at present.
DeLoach Vineyards 2003 OFS Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $35
1,067 cases produced

(84.5)
Male: Ruby color with cherry vanilla creme and hint of honeysuckle on the nose. Cherry and cassis throughout with tar, eucalyptus and earth mid-palate. Medium body, with a full structure and an average length finish.

Female: This is a crowd pleaser. Sweet red fruit in the nose and mouth with cola on the finish.
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard 2001 Estate Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $28
200 cases produced

(84.5)
Male: Light ruby with a tight nose hinting at red berry. Light cherry, cranberry and cassis entry. Allspice, cola and forest loam join mid-palate. Extremely tart finish.

Female: The nose has a slight hint of floral. The palate is black cherry, sweet and pleasant.
Tandem Winery 2003 Van der Kamp Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Mountain, $48.00
409 cases produced

(84.5)
Male: Bright ruby color. The nose is closed. The entry is cherry cola with raspberry, cranberry and cassis through mid-palate finishing with cherry cola alone. There is a tart character throughout. Too much oak for fruit.

Female: Cherries and roses on the nose. Silky in the mouth but very tannic. The finish is short.
Waterstone 2003 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $20
1666 cases produced

(84.5)
Male: Deep ruby color with a shy nose of sour cherry, cranberry and cassis that replicates on entry with coffee joining through mid-palate. Massive tannins and full body, needs some time to integrate.

Female: Deep red fruit on the nose and on entry through mid-palate. Lovely sour cherries on the finish. Big tannins now but will integrate leaving a beautiful cooked strawberry and cherry finish.
White Rose Wines 2003 Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $40
460 cases produced

(84.5)
Male: Light garnet with a touch of Brett* and barnyard on the nose and palate. Huge oak with a very Burgundian edge. *(Brett is short for brettanomyces, a wild yeast that can get into the wine or the oak barrels or the wood in the winery building itself if the winery is not vigilant. Brett imparts a distinct horsey nose and a metallic aftertaste. It mutes the fruit flavors Some folks like brett, others hate it but everyone agrees that too much Brett is a flaw.)

Female: Lots of barnyard here, funky but actually very pretty in the mouth with lots of oak influences.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2003 Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $20
16,000 cases produced

(84.4)
Male: Cherry ruby color with bright raspberry backed by cherry and a hint of blackberry aromas. Muscular structure with lots of oak dominates the fruit right now, but there is a dense core of mixed berry underneath. Needs some time to show it's stuff.

Female: The tart cranberry nose opens to light cherry in the mouth. The tannins mask the fruit. Bright acidity on the finish.
Bouchaine Vineyards 2004 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Carneros Napa Valley, $45
900 cases produced

(84)
Male: Barnyard over light strawberry aromas deliver light fruit with too much oak.

Female: Spice notes and cherry pie on the nose carrying through onto the palate but the oak, right now is masking the fruit. Coffee, clove and tarragon on the finish. Too young - needs time!
Burrell School Vineyards 2003 Estate Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $42.00
275 cases produced

(84)
Male: Deep garnet color. The nose is inviting...raspberry, vanilla and rose petal on a cherry base. Sexy with lush, rich fruit throughout with cola and coffee notes mid-palate. Medium full body, good structure with depth of flavors length and character.

Female: Cherry on the nose. The flavors are slightly watery, starting out as cranberry then going to sweet red fruit. The long finish is slightly bitter.
Cosentino Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $40
180 cases produced

(84)
Male: An extremely young wine. Lots of toasty tannins over red fruit. A huge wine that should mellow as it ages.

Female: Dark color with blue tones to the wine. Smith Brother's cough drops in the nose. Cranberry and sour cherry in the mouth. The tannins are huge! Almost tooth numbing. Will this age nicely? Only time will tell.
De La Montanya 2002 Pinup Rouge Pinot Noir,
Russian River, $28.00

(84)
Male: Light ruby in color. A simple fruity Pinot.

Female: Sweet cherry aromas. Sweet fruit on the palate. A simple wine. Nice for sipping.
DeBurca Wines 2003 Pinot Noir,
Russian River-Sonoma County, $28
320 cases produced

(84)
Male: Cherry, earthy notes. Very pleasing to drink.

Female: The nose is toasty with a hint of raspberry and additions of clove and dill. Cranberry on entry through mid-palate with lots of oak on the finish.
Lockwood Vineyard 2004 Estate Grown and Bottled 2004,
Monterey County, $18.00
1,904 cases produced

(84)
Male: Medium-deep garnet with an elusive nose hinting at raspberry and cherry. Cranberry and tart cherry throughout with eucalyptus and pepper mid-palate through the finish. Balanced, medium body.

Female: The nose is elusive. Clove dominates the black fruit on the palate turning sweet and smoky on the finish.
Lost Canyon Winery 2003 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Los Carneros, $38
365 cases produced

(84)
Male: Bright ruby color. Mixed red berry, lilac and vanilla aromas. Cherry, red plum and cassis with hints of tar and black pepper on entry and finish. Cherry based mid-palate with notes of forest loam, eucalyptus and pencil lead. Medium body with strucured depth and length. The finish is a bit tannic.

Female: Black cherry aromas and flavors. Not enough balance, too much oak.
Mahoney Vineyards 2003 Las Brisas Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $36
300 cases produced

(84)
Male: Medium deep ruby with vanilla creme and cherry aromas. Very tart cranberry cassis through the mid-palate. Cola, cola and cola on the tart finish.

Female: Cherry aromas on the nose delivering tart cherry and cranberry in the mouth. Lots of cola on the finish. The cleansing acid make this a wine that should go nicely with food.
Ortman Family Vineyards 2003 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Rita Hills, $40
120 cases produced

(84)
Male: Medium deep ruby. Very tight nose and palate. Cherry and red berry flaovrs. Simple with little depth and character.

Female: Needs time. Right now, the wine is showing dill, rose petals, mushrooms, forest floor and some red berry notes. The aromas don't translate onto the palate but should with time. Lots of clove on the finish.
Robert Stemmler 2003 Estate Grown Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $32
2,500 cases produced

(84)
Male: Medium deep ruby with cola berry nose and palate joined by chocolate, earth and dill through the mid-palate. Full body with depth of flavors. Stewed character on the finish detracts from the overall impression of the wine.

Female: Dark fruit on the nose with lots of toast that carries through onto the palate. Definitely a California-style Pinot. The finish is oaky! Lots of oak and a touch of acid of the finish.
Robert Stemmler 2003 Nugent Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $32
1,300 cases produced

(84)
Male: Aromas of black cherry and tar with touches of vanilla replicate on the palate. Not enough structure.

Female: Medium ruby color. Prune on the nose and cooked dark fruit on the palate.
Windward Vineyard 2003 Monopole Pinot Noir,
Westside Paso Robles, $30
1369 cases produced

(84)
Male: Light ruby color with cassis and cherry backed by notes of raspberry and vanilla creme. Smoky mixed berry flavors on a very structured medium-bodied wine with a finish that leaves your mouth tingling.

Female: The nose is muddled with cooked strawberry, red meat, rhubarb and dill accents. The palate is cleaner dominated by pomegranate, rhubarb and orange zest.
Bernardus 2003 Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Lucia Highlands, $50
329 cases produced

(83.5)
Male: Medium deep ruby color. The cherry and raspberry aromas with a touch of tobacco entice you but don't carry through onto the palate. In the mouth the flavors are pruney with a brassy, tart character.

Female: The ruby color is lovely. The nose is funky. Nice weight in the mouth with cooked fruit flavors finishing with heat.
Signorello Vineyards 2004 Los Amigas Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir,
Carneros, $38
150 cases produced

(83.5)
Male: Plum, strawberry and cherry aromas in the glass. Strawberry, cherry and cassis on the palate with smoky notes joining in mid-palate. A balanced wine with medium body and length.

Female: Ruby garnet in the glass. The nose is inviting with red fruit aromas. Big red fruit on the back of the palate, missing fruit on entry and mid-palate.
Amity Vineyards 2003 Sunnyside Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $40.00
83 cases produced

(83)
Male: Ruby color with pure cherry aroma that doesn't show up on the palate. Brooding character of cassis, cranberry with black tea and eucalyptus throughout. Medium-light body and full structure. Cherry finally joins the party on the finish. Needs time to integrate.

Female: A rich, dense wine. Lavender and cherries on the nose. On the palate, sour cherries, mushrooms and a touch of dill which intensifies on the finish with the addition of lemon tea. All the pieces are there for a really lovely wine but needs time to come together.
Amity Vineyards 2003 Schouten Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $40.00
165 cases produced

(83)
Male: Bright ruby. Light raspberry and cherry with hints of floral on the nose. Tart red berry throughout. Medium body and astringent tannins.

Female: Creamy cherry nose, velvety feel. I like it!
De Bortoli Wines 2003 Pinot Noir,
Yarra Valley, Australia, $33
5000 cases produced

(83)
Male: Bright ruby color. Smoke and black pepper aromas with tart light cherry flavors throughout. Medium body with cleansing acidity.

Female: Dark fruit on the nose that carries though onto the palate. Coffee on the finish with nice acidity. Not exciting but a nicely made wine.
Elkhorn Peak Cellars 2002 Fagan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Napa Valley, $30
1756 cases produced

(83)
Male: Light ruby in color. Plum, black cherry and vanilla aromas. Cherry cola on the palate front to finish. Light bodied, simple quaffer.

Female: Raspberry and cranberry nose with toasted hazelnut back notes. Cranberry with clove notes on entry through the finish. Moderate acidity.
Estancia 2004 Pinnacles Ranches Pinot Noir,
Monterey, $15
80,000 cases produced

(83)
Male: Deep garnet color and tart red berry aromas. Bright cherry & raspberry entry through mid-palate. Round soft tannins, light acidity, light body. Elegance without depth or length.

Female: A one-dimensional wine. If you like cherry, you'll like this wine. Cherry soda pop on the nose, sweet cherry on the palate through the finish. Like a cherry popsicle but not so cold.
John Tyler 2002 Bacigalupi Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $42.00
826 cases produced

(83)
Male: Medium ruby in color. The nose is redolent with cherry, cassis and cranberry aromas. The wine shows extremely tart mixed red fruit that fills the palate. Medium light body with a silky mid-palate and a tart finish.

Female: Subdued ripe strawberry, rhubarb and tomato aromas and flavors. Tart and a bit tannic but a very clean wine.
Styring 2003 Six Cluster Dessert Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley
75 (500 ml) cases produced

(83)
Male: Medium deep garnet in color with smoke, anise and chocolate on the nose. Chocolate dominates throughout the palate. Medium-full body, depth and length. Almost like a Zin Port. Impressive!

Female: Cooked fruit aromas, creamy in the mouth. Odd. Not my cup of tea or glass of port.
Styring Vineyards 2003 "Wit" Reserve Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, Oregon
167 cases produced

(83)
Male: An interesting wine with aromas and flavors of earthy blackberry and cola.

Female: Blueberry and cherry cola on the nose, cherry cola on entry, thinning in the mouth to tart cranberry notes with lemon peel on the finish.
Windy Oaks Estate 2003 Schultze Family Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $29
200 cases produced

(83)
Male: Light garnet with a shy nose of cherry and raspberry. Tart red berry throughout. Very structured and disjointed right now. Has all the components but needs time to knit together.

Female: Earthy, cola nose. Pure raspberry and cherry cola with a hint of fennel in the mouth. The finish is long and tangy.
David Bruce Winery 2003 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $55
1038 cases produced

(82.5)
Male: Plum with back note of tar on nose. Stewed plum on entry with sweet cherry on the mid-palate through the finish. Medium-full body. Balanced depth and length. The entry ruins it.

Female: Cherry cola on the nose and in the mouth. High alcohol that dominates the fruit.
Michaud Vineyard 2002 Pinot Noir,
Chalone, $35
1050 cases produced

(82.5)
Male: Cranberry and dill on the nose. Carries through onto the palate. Nice acid on the finish.

Female: Pickle barrel on the nose with sour cherry and cranberry flavors in the mouth. Dill notes on the finish with nice acidity.
Cosentino Winery 2004 Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Valley, $25
420 cases produced

(82)
Male: Medium deep garnet. Tight nose hinting at black cherry. Not much fruit on the palate almost all structure. Medium body.

Female: Light floral and berry nose that is very inviting. Gripping tannins that mute the black cherry fruit on the palate. I'm not sure if this will evolve into a lovely wine or if the tannins will out live the fruit.
Surprise Valley Ranch 2003 Shandel's Oppenlander Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Mendocino County, $30
113 cases produced

(82)
Male: The nose is pickle barrel through and through but on the palate, sweet red cherry and red licorice. Seamless continuity. Too bad about the nose.

Female: Mushrooms past their prime on the nose but the mouth has lovely dark fruit with a nice touch of acidity on the finish.
Toad Hollow Vineyards 2003 Goldie's Vines Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley, $19.99
1850 cases produced

(82)
Male: Mixed berry aromas joined by tar and anise on entry turning to tart red berry mid-palate. Lots of acidity and tannin on the finish.

Female: Sweet in the nose, like cherry soda pop. In the mouth, cherry flavors turning to cranberry with a big hit of acid and tannin on the finish.
ARCADIAN 2002 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Pinot Noir,
Santa Lucia Highlands, $45
1500 cases produced

(81)
Male: Medium deep garnet in color. The nose is very closed with some rhubarb and herbal notes, Very stylistic and angular. Pickle barrel throughout the palate.

Female: A very close nose with sour fruits, cranberry and rhubarb, and barnyard notes. Thin on the palate with clove and barnyard hanging in through the finish.
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard 2002 Estate Pinot Noir,
Santa Cruz Mountains, $30
212 cases produced

(81)
Male: The wine is a medium-deep ruby color with raspberry, cassis and vanilla creme aromas. The flavors are tart cherry throughout with raspberry and vanilla on entry through the mid-palate. Medium-light bodied with plenty of acidity and on the long tart finish.

Female: The color is dark with a bluish cast. Mint and eucalyptus over strawberry aromas and flavors with tart cranberry joining mid to late palate through the high acid finish.
Lulu B. 2004 Pinot Noir,
Pays d'Oc, $9.99
15,000 cases produced

(80)
Male: Cherry ruby color. Shy nose of cranberry and cherry that replicates throughout. Simple light body. No depth.

Female: A light bodied wine reminiscent of a Gamay. Raspberry and strawberry aromas and flavors. Simple.

heartheart = Will Provide Fond Memories


Amity Vineyards 2003 Amity Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley, $40.00
130 cases produced

(79)
Male: Sun-dried tomato and subtle cherries on the nose. Drying tannins.

Female: Black cherry and cola on the nose. On the palate, LOTS OF OAK which over powers all of the fruit. Some acidity on the end. Disspointing after the inviting nose.
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2003 Estate Pinot Noir,
Finger Lakes, New York, $20.00
cases produced

(79)
Male: Medium light garnet. Barnyard throughout but there is more fruit (red berry and light cherry) than the nose would suggest. Medium body and structure.

Female: I don't love the nose but the mouth has some nice light cherry a with light sour cherry and tea on the finish.
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2002 Estate Pinot Noir,
Finger Lakes, New York, $20.00
cases produced

(79)
Male: Very light garnet in color. The nose is very earthy with notes of tart cherry and cranberry. The aromas repeat on the palate. Nicley made wine but not my style.

Female: Smoky, toasty rhubarb aromas replicate on palate. Too much toasted oak for the fruit.
Cottonwood Cellars 2003 Cottonwood Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Colorado, $15
240 cases produced

(79)
Male: Red raspberry with lots of American oak accents showing lots of dill on the nose. Red apple and brown spice jump in on the palate.

Female: Lots of dill here over light red fruit aromas that carry through onto the flavors of the palate. Cleansing acidity on the palate. Who would think of producing Pinot Noir in Colorado? A nice effort from what we can only assume is a difficult place to produce our favorite grape.
Sandalyn Wilderness Estate 99/00 Pinot Noir,
Hunter Valley, $20.00
600 cases produced

(75)
Male: Strange color almost looks like it has coffee in it. Nose follows through with coffee and balsamic vinegar notes.

Female: Cloudy and dark in color. The nose is weird as is the palate. Not my idea of Pinot Noir.