2014 Pinot Noir (3BBL) by Roger Roessler Wines

Tonight’s Occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir (3BBL) by Roger Roessler Wines (@rogerroesslerwines), Sonoma CA.

Clear ruby color. Gentle, plush, aromatic nose. Earthy notes take center stage with wet wood, damp forest floor, a touch of that all too familiar Sonoma Dirt and Mushroom. As it breathes, slightly ripened cherries creep forward. Swirling vigorously intensifies, fruit and floral notes. A sweet cola makes an appearance. Beautiful!

Body is nicely balanced, greeting with a gentle touch of acidity which is quickly replaced with a smooth, silky, slightly viscous body. Paper thin layers of crisp tannin are laid down beneath layers of thin wisps of cherry cola, faint crisp caramel and viscous leathery essence. Transition to finish is characterized by the emergence of a gentle but firm spice towards the back. Body vanishes, leaving behind slightly bitter cola as crisp, clean tannins assert themselves amidst a gentle warmth.

This 3BBL is a blend of this vintner’s top Pinot from that vintage. Each vintage unique in its own expression. This vintage is a beautiful representation of the greater Sonoma region. It preserves this identity very well in an all around classy expression. If you haven’t explored Roger Roessler wines, I highly recommend them. They make for a great study, a compendium of Pinot Noir from up and down the Pacific Coast. I have been following their wines for well over a decade now.

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2016 Pinot Noir by Reichwage Winery, Sonoma Coast

Tonight’s Occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir by Reichwage Winery, Sebastopol CA.

Big bold intense color for a Pinot. Nose is shy out of the bottle. You can definitely pick up hints of that all too familiar Sonoma dirt. Nose develops a little more weight, berries and ripe cherries as it opens up. Damp woody dirt and red vines licorice move forward. Nose is very subtle and gentle.

Body is not as big as the color suggests but very much in line with the nose. Subtle, gentle, smooth expression. Ripe cherries greet the palate with a hint of acidity more in the form of a sweet citrus that is quickly smothered by a full, plush, soft mouth feel. Transition to finish is seamless leaving the palate slightly dry under an enduring spice warmth.

This Pinot is showing nicely right now. It is clean, well executed. It feels like a classic Pinot Noir, subtle, nuanced, smooth and balanced. It channels the terroir very subtly, gracefully retaining it’s sense of place. Now I’m curious to see how the 2018 vintage is showing now. That should be an interesting vintage right about now. Stay tuned!

Nicely done Max Reichwage 🍷😁👌🏽

You can read more from my exploring of Max Reichwage’s wines here.

2016 Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley) by Dierberg * StarLane

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley) by Dierberg * StarLane, Santa Barbara County, CA.

Deep intense color. Nose is a little shy out of the bottle with notes of raspberry, blackberry, a touch of cherry cola, licorice and damp wood leather with an underlying herbal suggestion almost eucalyptus like. It’s very faint and hard to discern. Swirling vigorously unlocks a burst of berries and cherry cola, over and over and over again… Ugghhh.

Body is light, crisp, balanced from front to back. This wine eases onto the palate, very gently, with mere suggestions of faint dark cherry and plum skins. Not too ripe, not too tart, just right, a mere tannic suggestion. There is a masterfully integrated crisp neutral oak you would easily miss. This all combines to form a supple, creamy underlayment. It has a nicely integrated mouth feel. A warm, firm but restrained spice emerges and persists over the palate. Transition to finish is seamless as the melange of whispers and suggestions slowly fade away leaving the palate slightly moist, under a gentle crisp tannic grip and gentle, warm spice tingle.

The 2014 vintage is one of my all-time favorite Pinot Noirs. This 2016 vintage falls right in line. It is an absolutely gorgeous wine sure to keep the focused, advanced palate engaged even entranced. A very sophisticated, nuanced expression, the Dierberg SMV Pinot holds a special place in my heart and Cellar. I don’t think I will ever be able to get enough of it. This is what you get when wine comes first before everything else.

I have to go now…

Read more about my first visit to Dierberg * StarLane here.

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Dierberg Star Lane wines delivered to your doorstep

Shop Dierberg Star Lane wines on Wine.com

2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir by Dawn’s Dream Winery

Tonight’s occasion: 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Clone 236, Santa Lucia Highlands) by Dawn’s Dream Winery, Carmel by the Sea, California.

Make sure you chill it the day before. When you open it, pour the first glass. Let it sit a few minutes while you take and post a photo and tag me. 🍷📸😁👌🏽Now take a sniff without swirling it.

A subtle cantaloupe melon. Unmistakable. Almost creamy and nectar like. Now swirl vigorously. White cranberries, passion fruit and a slightly mineral leather. The more you swirl, the more it’s Pinot underpinnings reveal themselves. Ahhhh I love it!

A slightly weighted, viscous body greets the palate. It is fairly balanced up front but moderate acidity eventually rolls over the palate with notes of citrus and white cherries. As this fades it transitions seamlessly to a subtle peppery spice which ushers in an otherwise gentle finish. Faint tannins provide a paper thin structure upon which this subtle expression lies.

This is a refreshing Rosé, especially for those who like their wines (red or white) with a little body to them. Its SLH Pinot Noir expression certainly shines through. To Dawn and the entire crew, nicely done!

2018 Pinot Noir by Bulgariana, Danube Plain, Bulgaria.

Tonight’s Occasion: 2018 Pinot Noir by Bulgariana (@bulgarianawine), Danube Plain, Bulgaria.

Not all expensive wine is good and not all good wine is expensive. This is one of the best things about venturing off the beaten path.

Dark intense color (for a Pinot Noir). Crisp, slightly warm and restrained nose with notes of black plum and a loamy wet wood leather. Swirl vigorously to unlock ripe dark cherries and subtle hints of licorice. A very distant floral/honey that you’d likely miss.

Body is dry, balanced. Crisp black plum and cherry carry through albeit even more restrained. This provides a thin, unobtrusive structure. Damp wood and a touch of crisp oak (guessing neutral French oak) bring good dimension to this otherwise fairly dry wine. Midway through a gentle but firm, warm heat emerges, quickly making its way down the chest. This marks the transition to finish, a graceful fade away leaving the palate parched with a gentle dusty tannic grip and subtle bitter cola.

This wine surprised me the first time I had it a couple years ago. I had the 2014 vintage and it was just as revealing. That vintage has aged very beautifully, revealing lots of all spice and earth notes. I can see this 2018 vintage showing even better a few years from now. Perhaps the best part about this wine is that it will set you back a modest $14 or so. What a great value for the intermediate to advanced palate looking to explore this lesser known region.

Nicely done!

2017 Pinot Noir (Elton) by Willamette Valley Vineyards

Tonight’s Occasion: 2017 Pinot Noir (Elton, Eola-Amity Hills) by Willamette Valley Vineyards, Oregon.

Slightly warm weighty nose with a noticeable albeit restrained minerality in the form of a wet slate accompanied by a hint of caramel butterscotch and damp wood. Swirling vigorously unlocks subtle bursts of black licorice, sweet cherry and very distant honeysuckle you would almost certainly miss.

Light, slightly dry and viscous body shows great balance. Crisp tannins provide firm, lean structure. Dark, tart plum a crisp, clean oak vanilla provide creamy mouth feel. This quickly gives way to a subtle cola as it fades away into a slightly dusty finish culminating in a gentle spicy heat at the back of the palate.

This is an very well built Pinot. It represents its origins very nicely without being overly abstract. It is measured, clean, slightly bold with a touch of flair, especially in the nose. I love this region and I was very pleased to find that this Winemaker decided to open a tasting room in my own backyard – an authentic taste of Willamette Valley, here in Sacramento, California.

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Willamette Valley Vineyards wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Willamette Valley Vineyards wines on Wine.com

2014 Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains) by Lachini Vineyards, Oregon

Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains) by Lachini Vineyards, Oregon

Beautiful clear ruby color. Bright nose out of the bottle, with subtle berries, dusty slate-like mineral essence and a honeysuckle so faint it could be missed. Swirling vigorously unlocks even more mineral leather, red berries and sweet cherries. Just gorgeous!

Bright body with good acidity on the attack. Dry berries, cherries and subtle, crisp, clean oak vanilla follow closely, adding great dimension, a pinch of structure and lush mouth feel. This quickly exits the stage, leaving behind a slightly bitter, dry mineral underlayment. This marks the transition to finish which results in thin but firm, dry tannic grip, slightly moist tingling lips and an ever increasing heat in the chest.

This Pinot has lots of personality. A very classy execution without being boring or predictable. It is a beautifully made Pinot. I love it!

See more about my visit to their location in Woodinville below.

2016 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) by Panther Creek Cellars

Today’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Schindler Vineyard – Willamette Valley, OR) by Panther Creek Cellars, Woodinville, WA.

Rich ruby color. Out of the bottle, nose is a little shy with notes of damp slate, and a touch of ripe berries. Swirl vigorously to unlock bursts of sweet cherry, damp leather consistent with sedimentary soils, and a crisp caramel consistent with neutral oak so faint, you’d likely miss it.

Body is balanced right from the start. Light, bright but restrained acidity goes hand-in-hand with thin, crisp tannins reminiscent of dark cherry. This provides a measured amount of structure and good balance. Oak renders a silky mouth feel while minerality and fruit conspire to create dry, tart, slightly bitter cola-like essence upon the palate. This marks the transition to finish as the palate wrestles between dry and moist eventually ending dry with a subtle spicy tingle. Wet rock mineral essence permeates the entire experience. A subtle but notable star anise becomes more pronounced as it opens up over 1-2hrs.

Of their entire lineup of amazing Pinot Noir, I can see why this stood out the most – Terroir. It is terroir driven, front and center, start to finish. This is the mark of a great winemaker – a mere costodian of the grapes, allowing the vines to fully express themselves so intricately. At 100 cases, this is precisely the kind of wine I obsess over. I highly recommend stopping by if you are in the greater Seattle area.

Nicely done Panther Creek!

2019 P.C.H. Rosé by Pali Wine Company

Today’s occasion: 2019 P.C.H. Rosé of Pinot Noir (Central Coast) by Pali Wine Co.

Some of the best Pinot I’ve had comes from the Central Coast. Light, crisp, subtle and nuanced. One of my favorite winemakers I track in my cellar is Pali Wine Co. Particularly for their signature Pinot Noir. I love how they channel the region at large. So while I may not indulge in Rosé very often, I had to try their Rosé of Pinot Noir – and I am happy to report that it does not disappoint.

Crisp bright nose with a hint of leather, bright crisp berries, touch of strawberry and a whiff of clean crisp oak. This nose fully translates into the body, bright, dry, strawberry, subtle oak and leather conspire to create a soft, rounded mouth feel. This complements a slight acidic punch very well. The whole experience fades away nicely with little drama.

It’s a great Rosé for the intermediate to advanced palate. It’s interesting to see how the subtlety of this varietal drives this Rosé’s expression especially with the subtle earth notes and berries typical of the region at large. You don’t get that often in this style of wine. It is very reminiscent of Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – which as it turns out is precisely where the grapes are from.

To the entire crew at Pali Wine Co. Nicely done!

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Pali wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Pali wines on Wine.com

2011 Pinot Noir (Red Birds) by Roger Roessler Wines

Tonight’s occasion: 2011 Pinot Noir (Red Birds – Sonoma Coast) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma, California

Out of the bottle notes of damp forest floor and ripe cherries. As it opens up, the leather and earth notes only intensify. Dark cherry turns plummy. Swirling unlocks subtle bursts of sweet cherry cola. A very faint black licorice emerges in the distance. You’d almost miss it. I absolutely love the way terroir is expressed here. That signature Sonoma dirt really shines through and I cannot get enough of it!

Body has really come of age. It has had time to beautifully integrate. A soft balanced attack quickly ushers a smooth silky body. Light dark plum and berry essence carries over. Leather notes are equally represented. Crisp, restrained tannins provide great structure without dominating the palate. Body and finish are one with a linear fade. As it tapers off, notes of cola re-emerge as tannins reach out, gently clasping the palate rendering it slightly parched. But the real victor here is a gentle spice which grows with a subtle intensity after the finish.

I have been following Roger Roessler’s wine for well over a decade. Their all small batch production offering reads like a compendium of Pinot Noir from all up and down the pacific coast and makes for a great study for the curios and enlightened palate. There are many reasons we picked Roger Roessler Wines as our 2020 Winemaker of the year. This wine is one of them.

To the entire crew at Roger Roessler Wines, thank you for the great wines all these years!