Clear, medium ruby-garnet in the glass. Appealing medium-intensity nose of cherry, wood, and smoky damp outdoors. Dry, medium acidity and tannins along with sour cherry and 14.4% alcohol provide some real bite, but this is very nicely balanced with ripe red fruit, vanilla, and some floral qualities. Medium body and a nice long finish. Overall very good, and definitely recommended. $54 at Everything Wine. See Talley Vineyards and the winemarker’s notes.
2009 Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir
Pale-to-medium ruby with a garnet rim. Medium intensity nose of red cherries and a bit of strawberry, along with wood and a bit of a damp forest thing. Dry, medium acid and light tannins; medium body. The 14.5% alcohol slightly overwhelms a fruity palate mostly of cherry and a little spice; oaking is evident. Overall good. $30.50 at Steamworks Wine Thief. See Viña Errázuriz; see the winemaker’s notes (PDF).
Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir 2008
Medium deep ruby with a garnet rim. Beautiful light nose of red cherry, strawberry, and fall forest—perfect complement to this drizzling but beautiful Vancouver day. Dry with a hint of residual sweetness, mid acidity, low tannins and light-plus body. Red fruits dominate, nicely balanced but with a bit of medicinal quality (also noted by a taster on CellarTracker). Good length. 14.2% alcohol. Overall good. $48 at Legacy Liquor Store. See Domaine Carneros.
Robert Oatley Pinot Noir 2009
Clear, almost-medium ruby red in the glass. Light, appealing nose of cherries and red berries, pepper, and strongly evident wet leaves. Dry, medium-plus acidity, and medium tannins. The cherries and a bit of raspberry dominate in the mouth. Medium length finish. Overall good; enjoyable Pinot. 13% alcohol. $32.50 at Crosstown. See Robert Oatley Vinehards; see the wine maker’s notes.
Blue Mountain Pinot Noir 2010
Clear, medium ruby red with a hint of purple. Clean, medium intensity nose of cherry and oak with some vegetal overtones: straightforward but appealing. Dry, medium-plus acidity, and light tannins; medium body. Cherry and sour cherry, some appealing wood notes, and spices. A medium length finish; not complex but nicely balanced. Overall good; recommended. 14% alcohol.
$30 at Crosstown. See Blue Mountain Winery (warning: some Flash).
Schug 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Clear, medium ruby in the glass. Clean, light nose of cherry with some oak apparent. Dry, medium acidity, low tannins and light body. Cherry and earth with vegetal notes on the palate, with spice and increasing and not altogether pleasant sourness in the medium length finish. Overall good. 13.5% alcohol. About $37 at Steamworks Wine Thief.
See Schug Carneros Estate Winery and the winemaker’s notes on this vintage.
Winderlea Pinot Noir 2007
Clear, medium ruby with a tawny rim. Clean, medium intensity nose was initially more suggestive of a white, hard to place but I lost that as it opened up into appealing cherry and spices. Dry, medium acid and low tannins; light body. Straightforward but appealing red fruits in the mouth, mostly cherry and plum and perhaps a bit of strawberry. Medium length but not a great finish. 14% alcohol but not that noticeable.
The notes on CellarTracker are intriguing for this one: apparently widely drunk, there are wildly varying opinions. My bottle is fine and my opinion is middle of the road: overall good, but I was hoping for something more along the lines of the 2008 Crowley.
USD$50 at 12th and Olive in Seattle, a nice little shop with great service. See Winderlea Vineyard and Winery and their notes on this vintage.
Cloudline Oregon Pinot Noir 2009
Clear, medium ruby red with a garnet rim. Clean, medium intensity red cherry and strawberry, with a bit of earthiness. Dry, medium acidity, and light tannins with a light-plus body. A bit of astringency and unwanted vegetal qualities in the mouth, overshadowing a straightforward blend of red fruit flavours. Not a strong finish, and overall nothing to get excited about. 13.5% alcohol. $30—decidedly overpriced—at Crosstown. See Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.
Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2008
Clear, medium ruby with a slight garnet/tawny rim. Medium intensity nose of cherry and wet earth, oak. Dry, medium acidity, medium body, low tannins. Dull-ish flavours of undistinguished red fruit, with some slight vegetal notes. Short finish. 12.5% alcohol. OK, but quite undistinguished; disappointing. This was a gift from my father, so I don’t know the price. See Maison Roche de Bellene.
Crowley Willamette Valley 2008 Pinot Noir
Clear, medium ruby colour. Clean, medium intensity aromas of black cherry, plum, and earth notes. Dry, medium-plus acidity and light bodied with light tannins. Many nicely mingled red fruits on the palate, with cherries and raspberries dominating; spice, tasteful oak, and again an earthiness round it out. Good length. 13.5% alcohol. Overall very good, really enjoyable; I definitely recommend this one. $36.90 at Marquis Wine Cellars. See Crowley Wines.