As you all probably know, I attended the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Summit in San Francisco on Saturday February 26th. I blind tasted Pinot Noirs from all over, took part in a workshop and savored some really great wines during a sparkling wine tasting and the Grand Tasting of the evening. What a great event! I want to thank all the winemakers and winery representatives who were present for the Grand Tasting! Meeting you was wonderful! Thank you for sharing such spectacular wines with us! And to Barbara Drady--she is a Saint!! This remarkable woman put on one heck of a show this year and has made it her goal to make me love Pinot Noir even more than I did before she brought this event to my attention!! Thank you! Thank you!
The first thing I got to do that day was attend a workshop about the styles of Pinot Noir. There I discovered three wonderful wines and three equally wonderful winemakers who were eager to tell us all about them: Mark Goldberg, winemaker and owner of Windward Vineyard in Paso Robles, Philip Krumal, chef/winemaker/owner of Ascuncion Ridge Inn & Vineyard in Paso Robles and Kerry Damskey, consulting winemaker for TR Elliott Winery in Sonoma. Those of you who didn't attend this session missed out on some fabulosity!!! Everyone knows I love big flavors, but if I came away with anything from this event, it would be that Pinot Noir is delicate and there are so many styles--it's graceful, beautiful and something to really embrace!
The next thing I did was blind taste 32 Pinot Noirs and rank them. Here are my top 15:
15. Firesteed 2006 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $29.99 2146 cases produced
14. Coghlan Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, $47.00 300 cases produced
13. Bianchi Winery 2007 Signature Selection Edna Ranch Pinot Noir, Edna Valley, $24.99 989 cases produced
12. CRU 2008 Appellation Series Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, $35.00 332 cases produced
11. Ampelos Cellars 2007 Lambda Ampelos Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, $35.00 850 cases produced
10. Pacific Coast Vineyards 2007 Babcock Vineyards Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, $62.50 300 cases produced
9. Tondre 2007 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, $40.00 600 cases produced
8. Tarras Vineyard 2008 The Steppes Vineyard Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand, $29.99 600 cases produced
7. Mueller 2008 Emily’s Cuvee Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $44.00 800 cases produced
6. Sequana Vineyards 2008 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, $40.00 1300 cases produced
5. McIntyre vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, $36.00 390 cases produced
4. Davis Family Vineyards 2008 Horseshoe Bend Pinot Noir, Russian River, $42.00 350 cases prod.
3. SCV 2007 Balistreri Family Vineyard – Freestone View Block Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, $75.00 342 cases produced
2. Steele 2008 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, $40.00 200 cases produced
Honorable Mentions: Pinot Noirs I loved that weren't in my blind tasting!
Asuncion Ridge Vineyards 2007 Barrel Select Pinot Noir, San Luis Obispo County, $54.00
Windward Vineyard 2008 Barrel Select Gold Windward Vineyard (Estate) Pinot Noir, Paso Robles, CA, $62.00
Chamisal Vineyards 2008 Califa Pinot Noir, Edna Valley, $60.00
TR Elliott 2007 Burgonet O’Connell Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Vallley, $40.00
A great time was had by all! I strongly encourage all Pinot lovers to attend this event! 'Til next year!!!