Power To The Pinot Noir Tasting In Lovely Camarillo At Mr Johnson’s House…What A Hit For Lovers Of The Pinot! By Chef Mike Fraschilla

Industry & Wine Geek Friends Blind Tasting 23 Pinots from the “West” Coast… Ponderous???? Perhaps, BUT well worth the good time had by all! Overall very closely scored (BUT very hotly argued about) wines; AND pleasantly enough only 1 “Corked” Wine Entry!

Highlights Of Top Scored Wines Included:

Chef Mike Fraschilla

1) 09 Papapietro Perry “Mukiada” Russian River ($70-80) For That Price It Should Have Shown Well! : )

A 3-Way Tie!!!
2) 09 Orogeny “Green Valley” Russian River ($25-29) An entry leaving a few geeks scratching heads… Would not be surprised to see this beauty make Wine Spectators 2011 Top 100 Wines List!
2) 09 Wren Hop “Omens & Prophecy” Russian River ($58-65)
2) 09 Sojourn “Sangiacomo” Sonoma Coast ($45-55)
Others Wines Among The Top 12 Included:
07 Roar Wines “Garys” SLH ($50) A Few Thought This Was The Best…
09 3 From Black Kite Cellars – “Angel Hawk,” “Stoney Terrace,” “River Turn” – All Very Fine Anderson Valley (Mendocino CA) Pinots!!! ($45-55)
07 Jack Creek “Reserve” Paso Robles ($40-45) Great Pinot From Paso… Wow!
09 Zotovich Family SRH ($25-29) Fantastic Value From A Top SRH Vineyard!
07 Jayson Sonoma Coast ($38-43) Pahlmeyer’s 2nd Label Tells You Everything!
08 Cellar 33 “Keefer Ranch” Russian River ($40-45) Small Producer – Big Joy!

I was pleased as punch with 3 of my entries making the Top 12 cut, and 1 More Making Top of the Bottom List! : )

Among The Other Pinots Here’s A Few Of My Notes:
#13 Was 09 Veramonte “Ritual” Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley Chile ($16-19) A Paul Hobbs Wine project with the Vermonte Family. This Pinot offers great quality/value – Last year’s 08 was a WS Top 100 Pick for 2010

#20 09 Sea Smoke “Southing” SRH ($59-69) – This monster was big and dense and did not fare well with tasters…My feeling was perhaps too young and could benefit from more time in the bottle!

#22 07 Pisoni Estate SLH ($65-70) – A huge surprise to many… While the nose and taste of this Pinot was great, TOO many of fruit whores among the tasters found the finish too “bitter”

#23 Wren Hop ‘Siren’s Lore” Russian River ($55-60) Our only corked bottle! Through the funk of the corked nose all tasters agreed that there was great fruit ruined by the TCA.. Would love a re-taste with a clean bottle!

The 06 Sonoma Coast (#21) & an 09 Single Vineyard Pinot (#15) entries from William Selyem ($50 & 70) did not wine favor with the tasters (Too elegant not enough power)… This was also true for #21 the Four Graces “Black Family Estate” Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot from Oregon($75). Although not corked it showed some oft-putting notes & flavors of oily banana peel!

It was more than clear that on this night, for this tasting panel, that AVA’s throughout the Sonoma Valley earned bragging rights as THE big providers of Powerful Pinot Noirs! : )