Posted: Friday, March 23, 2007
Tasting Highlights: 2004 and 2005
CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR More great wines as vintages shift gears
From the elegant 2005 and the rich 2004 vintages come nearly two dozen remarkable wines.
Three years ago, if someone told you there would be dozens, even hundreds of outstanding California Pinot Noirs to savor, you might have raised a skeptical eyebrow.
Here's another wave of Pinots for your consideration, from the 2004 and 2005 vintages. While there are stylistic differences between the two years, both offer plenty of exciting wines.
The 2004s are well balanced and deep in fruit and are generally riper and richer in flavor than the 2005s. The 2005s are generally more elegant, subtle and refined, yet still ripe, concentrated and flavorful. It's one of those win-win situations.
Alcina, Dain, Fort Ross (with four bottlings) and Zepaltas are among some of the newer brands gaining in quality.
FORT ROSS REVIEWS:
2004 PINOT NOIR RESERVE Fort Ross Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 92 POINTS
Deep and complex, with wonderful earth, clay, spice and earthy berry flavors that become more expansive on the palate, with dense, chewy currant, mineral and anise. Ends with a long finish and ample tannins. Drink now through 2012. 370 cases made. —J.L.
2003 SYMPOSIUM PINOT NOIR, Fort Ross Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 92 POINTS
Ripe, plush and deep, with complex plum, blackberry and wild berry fruit that's supple and polished, finishing with a long, intense aftertaste that keeps the fruit at the forefront. Drink now through 2011. 688 cases made. —J.L.
2004 PINOT NOIR, Fort Ross Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 91 POINTS
Fragrant, spice, wild berry, black cherry and floral notes. Intense yet supple, polished and elegant, ending with a delicate fruity aftertaste that lingers. Drink now through 2011. 953 cases made. —J.L.
2003 PINOT NOIR, Fort Ross Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 91 POINTS
Supple, rich and polished, with smooth blackberry and black cherry fruit that's focused and long on the finish. Drink now through 2011. 600 cases made. —J.L.
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