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Reviews

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December 2018


2016 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR– FIRST TEAM WINE- 96 Points
2016 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR– HON. MENTION- 94 Points
2016 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR– HON. MENTION- 94 Points


“In the final issue of the PinotFile I name the All-Americans, my favorite domestic Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays reviewed over the past year. In 2018, 24% of the wines received a score of 94 or above and were considered extraordinary. These were spellbinding wines that elicited emotion.

I score both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay using the 100-point scoring system with guidelines as follows: 94-99 Extraordinary, 90-93 Outstanding, 86-89 Very Good, and 82-85 Good. Wines scoring less than 82 including flawed wines do not merit publication in the PinotFile (there are very few of these submitted for review in the current marketplace).

The All-Americans are the highest scoring wines judged independently of price, case production, vintage or wine region of origin. For Pinot Noir, the average price of wines scoring 89 or less was $38.66 and the average price for wines scoring 90 or above was $55.95. Most of the wines tasted in 2018 were from the excellent 2015 and 2016 vintages. I believe it is somewhat unfair to compare wines from disparate vintages, but the evaluation of each wine is taken on its own merit in the context of the vintage.

Only finished bottled wines that are formally reviewed in controlled, and therefore, comparable circumstances at my home office are candidates for All-American consideration. Wines tasted at dinners, festivals or wineries are not included. All wines are culled from unsolicited winery submissions with the exception of a few wines that are rarely submitted for review and were purchased.

To search for the complete review of each All-American wine, visit the Home Page at www.princeofpinot.com. Click on Winery Directory, then the producing winery, and read the review among those listed.” – Rusty Gaffney

2016 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 96 points:
“Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of black cherry, purple grape, spice cabinet and mulch soar in this gifted wine. Black cherry and boysenberry fruit flavors flood the mouth with goodness. There is plenty of spice and smart oak to enhance the pleasure. The balance is spot-on with exquisitely integrated tannins, acidity and oak, the mouthfeel is sleek and polished, and the finish is uplifting and juicy. Flat-out amazing when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle the following day. Both swagger and finesse in one package. ”

2016 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 94 points:
“Moderate garnet color in the glass. Engaging nose offering aromas of darker berry and cherry, exotic spices, oak sawdust and a hint of fresh leafy greens. Up-front opulent black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors underpinned by muscular tannins. Sheer beauty of fruit with welcome uplifting acidity and a notably long finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the imposing tannins had mollified. This wine will benefit from more time in the cellar.”

2016 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 94 points:
” Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is replete with whole cluster goodness including aromas of dark cherry, exotic spices, burnt pipe tobacco and compost. Heady fruits including black cherry, boysenberry and blackberry are accented with redeeming notes of spice and tobacco, and framed by silky and supple tannins. The mouthfeel is comforting, oak is judiciously integrated, and the juicy, long finish leaves quite a gratifying impression. Even more striking when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has personality. ”