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VINO FINO TASTERS
1999 PINOT NOIR TASTING
May 16, 2001


The 1999 vintage in California was one which tried the patience of many wine growers.  The summer was cool and by September, the fruit was still low in sugar and high in acidity.  Some warm spells pushed sugar levels a bit, though acidity remained fairly high.  This is where the skills of the grower and winemaker come into play.  It's important to taste the fruit to assess its maturity or development.  Gauging the ripeness solely by sugar and acid might mean you've picked fruit which hasn't developed enough character to make a profound wine.

We included the winner of the most recent Weimax Pinot tasting, Seghesio's "Keyhole Ranch" bottling, along with a few other wines from producers who, for the most part, have prices in the realm of reality.  The tasting proved to be quite good, as there were no "stinkers" in the group (I'm referring to the wines, not the participants).

The Wines Gerald's Rank GROUP RANK Total Points 1sts/2nds/
Lasts
CARNEROS CREEK
1999 Los Carneros
"Las Brissas Vineyard"
$34.99
1 2 29 2/5/0
CUVAISON
1999 Carneros
Napa Valley
$24.99
6 5 51 1/1/0
PEDRONCELLI
1999 Dry Creek Valley
"F. Johnson Vineyard"
$14.99
4 6 51 0/0/0
SEGHESIO
1999 Russian River Valley
"Keyhole Ranch"
$23.99
7 3 41 1/1/0
SHOOTING STAR
1999 Mendocino
$14.99
8 7 62 0/1/4
STEELE
1999 Carneros
$19.99
3 4 43 0/0/1
WILD HOG VINEYARD
1999 Ryer Island
"Stewart Vineyard"
$23.99
2 1 18 6/1/0
ZENITH VINEYARDS
1999 Canterbury 
New Zealand
"Reserve"
$19.99
5 8 65 0/1/5


Tasting Host: Doug Moke


8th Place:  ZENITH VINEYARDS 1999 "Reserve" PINOT NOIR
One taster wondered why a television manufacturer was now making wine.  Perhaps this explains the poor reception this wine received from the tasters.  The "odd duck" of the group, this wine had lighter color and higher acidity than the rest of the group.  The fragrance was reminiscent of sweet oranges and spices, with a hint of pepper.  The citrusy flavors are, actually, rather pleasant.  This would be a good wine to pair with Mediterranean/African cuisines which incorporate sweet spices and raisins.
One-half star (three star scale).

7th Place:  SHOOTING STAR 1999 Mendocino PINOT NOIR
There's no real flaw to this wine, save for its intensity, or lack thereof.  I detected a hint of mint and some woodsy fragrances.  On the palate it displays a faintly cherryish note.  Standard quality and no better.



6th Place:  PEDRONCELLI 1999 Dry Creek Valley "F. Johnson Vineyard"
Pedroncelli's single-vineyard bottling has lots of strawberry and cherry fruit, not unlike some robust Beaujolais wines.  Good flavors confirm those elements found on the nose...this would be a nice warm-weather red.
One star.

5th Place:  CUVAISON 1999 Carneros/Napa Valley PINOT NOIR
Berryish fruit with a smoky, woodsy note to the fragrance of this medium-bodied Pinot.  Sweetly-oaked, this is in the above-average range.  One-and-a-half stars.



4th Place:  STEELE 1999 Carneros PINOT NOIR
Sweet cherry fruit and some vanillin notes were pleasant, though some described this as "candied" and "soda pop-like."  Nicely cherryish Pinot.  Drink now.  One star.

3rd Place:  SEGHESIO 1999 Russian River Valley "Keyhole Ranch" PINOT NOIR
Mildly cherryish with some sweet oak and a hint of a fragrance which reminded me of band-aids.  Still, I thought it was okay.  The tannin was more evident in this wine in this particular line-up than in our tasting a few weeks previous.  One star.

2nd Place:  CARNEROS CREEK 1999 Los Carneros "Las Brissas Vineyard"
Though they've been Pinot Noir specialists since the inception of this winery in the early-to-mid 1970s, I can't say I've viewed Carneros Creek as a source of much interesting wine.  Though the most costly wine of the tasting, I felt this was very nice, showing toasty oak and an attractive woodsy quality.  The oak comes through on the palate, showing some style and depth.  Dark red fruit character completes the package.  Four to eight years of cellaring potential.  Two stars.

1st Place:  WILD HOG 1999 Ryer Island "Stewart Vineyard" PINOT NOIR
Lots of cherry and dark red fruit fragrances and plenty of sweet, toasty oak make for a very attractive perfume.  The cherry and vanillin elements weigh in on the palate in this very showy Pinot Noir.  The wine ran away from the rest of the pack in this line-up, hogging first place honors.  Drinkable now and over the next year or two.  Two stars.

 


VINO FINO TASTING ARCHIVE

2007 RUSSIAN RIVER PINOT NOIRS  February 2010

A RANGE OF FRENCH CHABLIS WINES  January 2010

HOLIDAY DINNER & WINE MARATHON  December 2009

ROSÉ SPARKLING WINES  November 2009

ARGENTINEAN MALBECS  October 2009

WEST COAST CHARDONNAYS  September 2009

GREEK RED WINES  August 2009

2005 BUDGET BORDEAUX  July 2009

CAMPANIAN WHITE WINES  June 2009

MIXED BAG OF CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 2009

RIOJA WINES, MOSTLY FROM THE 2004 VINTAGE  March 2009

NORTH COAST PETITE SIRAHS  February 2009

SYRAH & PETITE SIRAH COMPARISON  January 2009

A VINO FINO CHRISTMAS  December 2008

MOSTLY 2005s: NAPA CABERNETS  November 2008

SONOMA COUNTY PINOT NOIRS  October 2008

SANTA RITA HILLS -2006 VINTAGE- PINOT NOIRS  SEPTEMBER 2008

NEWLY RELEASED ZINFANDELS  August 2008

WHITE RHÔNE VALLEY WINES  JULY 2008

LOIRE VALLEY SAUVIGNONS  JUNE 2008

FRENCH CHABLIS 2005-2006  MAY 2008

NORTHERN RHÔNE SYRAHS  APRIL 2008

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS PINOT NOIRS  January 2008

ANNUAL HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS DINNER  December 2007

WEST COAST CHARDONNAYS  November 2007

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  October 2007

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES  September 2007

SONOMA'S 2005 VINTAGE ZINFANDELS  August 2007

CURRENT RELEASE (2004-2005) ZINFANDELS  July 2007

ROS WINES FROM ALL OVER  June 2007

ITALIAN LAGREIN WINES  May 2007

ARGENTINEAN MALBECS  April 2007

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE PINOT NOIRS  March 2007

MOSTLY 2004 CABERNETS   February 2007

CRU BEAUJOLAIS  January 2007

A VINO FINO CHRISTMAS  December 2006

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  November 2006

PINOT NOIRS of VALUE-PRICING  October 2006

WORLD OF SYRAHS TASTING September 2006

AUSSIE CABERNET-SHIRAZ BLENDS  August 2006

ALEXANDER VALLEY (California)  and MARGARET RIVER (Australia) CABERNETS  July 2006 

CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAHS  June 2006

2004 NORTH COAST PINOTS and a FRENCH INTRUDER  May 2006

AGLIANICO : BASILICATA & CAMPANIA'S MAJOR RED WINE  April 2006

NERO D'AVOLA - A TASTE OF SICILIA  March 2006

UNDER THE VINO FINO RADAR ZINFANDELS  January 2006

HOLIDAY WINE TASTING & DINNER  December 2005

BUBBLIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD  November 2005

NORTH COAST PINOT NOIRS  October 2005

STATE OF CONFUSION CABERNETS  September 2005

TIM ZAINER'S SIDEWAYS LOOK AT MERLOTS  August 2005

LOIRE VALLEY CABERNET FRANCS  June 2005 

CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  March 2005

2002 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  February 2005

VINO FINO HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON  December 2004

CHARDONNAYS OF MODEST PRICE November 2004

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO  October 2004

2002 CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIRS  September 2004

AUSSIE SHIRAZ-CABERNET BLENDS  August 2004

GEWRZTRAMINERS FROM ALSACE July 2004

2001 SOUTHERN RHNES (7 Chteauneufs & a Vacqueyras)  June 2004

AGLIANICO WINES FROM CAMPANIA & BASILICATA  May 2004

MONTEPULCIANO WINES FROM THE ABRUZZO & MARCHE REGIONS  April 2004

SONOMA ZINFANDELS  February 2004

1997 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  January 2004

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA 2003

2001 CTES du RHNES  September 17, 2003

2000 OREGON PINOT NOIRS  August 20, 2003

WEST COAST SYRAHS  July 16, 2003

2000 Bordeaux  June 18, 2003

2000 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS May 21, 2003

OFF THE BEATEN PATH SYRAHS APRIL 16, 2003

2002 NEW ZEALAND SAUVIGNON BLANCS  March 19, 2003

1999 California CABERNETS  February 19, 2003

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA December 4, 2002

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  August 21, 2002

CHAMPAGNES & SPARKLERS July 17, 2002

Interesting Paired CHARDONNAYS
May 15, 2002

2001 Southern Hemisphere SAUVIGNON BLANCS   Feb. 20, 2002

1999 ZINFANDELS January 16, 2002

HOLIDAY SEASON BACCHANALIA
December 5, 2001

1999-2000 New PINOT NOIRS November 14, 2001

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS October 17, 2001

1998 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS September 19, 2001

1999 LANGUEDOC REDS August 15, 2001

1997 SAUTERNES July 18, 2001

Mostly 1998 NEBBIOLO June 20, 2001

1999 PINOT NOIRS May 16, 2001

1996 SAINT-MILION Tasting April 18, 2001

CARNEROS CHARDONNAYS March 21, 2001

1984-1985 NAPA CABERNETS/John Vignau Memorial Tasting  October 20, 2000

1997 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS   September 20, 2000

1998 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS   August 16, 2000

WINES FROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: CLARETS  June 21, 2000

WINES FROM UNDER THE TUSCAN (and Umbrian) SUN   Aprile 19, 2000

1997 BORDEAUX: MEDOC May 17, 2000

 

 

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