California Pinot Noirs come of age

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Another great article by Eric Asimov, this time on the transformation of (some of) pinot noir winemaking in California.  Below is his summary list of Cali pinots that are produced in a lighter, perhaps even more ‘Burgundian’ style, than some of their other pinot peers:

  • ANTHILL FARMS Sonoma/Mendocino; lovely, fresh and floral.
  • ARCADIAN South Central Coast; lively, pure and age-worthy.
  • AU BON CLIMAT Santa Barbara; well-balanced and complex.
  • CALERA WINE COMPANY Mount Harlan; intense single-vineyard wines.
  • COPAIN Mendocino; delicate and nuanced.
  • FAILLA Sonoma Coast; elegant and focused.
  • INMAN FAMILY WINES Russian River Valley; bright and pretty.
  • JOSEPH SWAN VINEYARDS Russian River Valley; restrained and delicate.
  • LANE TANNER Santa Barbara; light-bodied and fragrant.
  • LITTORAI Mendocino/Sonoma Coast; structured and energetic.
  • LONGORIA Santa Barbara; earthy and intense.
  • THE OJAI VINEYARD Santa Barbara; light and savory.
  • PEAY VINEYARDS Sonoma Coast; spicy and polished.
  • PORTER CREEK VINEYARDS Russian River Valley; fresh and elegant.
  • RHYS VINEYARDS Santa Cruz Mountains; graceful and complex.
  • RIVERS-MARIE Sonoma Coast; intense, lively and balanced.
  • TALLEY VINEYARDS Arroyo Grande; earthy yet fresh.

And finally, the quote of the article:

“The palate in Europe, like the wines, has had a thousand years to develop,” said Ted Lemon of Littorai, whose wines beautifully combine structure and intensity with restraint. “We’re only starting.”

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