Pinot Month 6-pack Sampler #2 - Next Level Pinot Noirs
Hamilton Russell 2022 Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Pinot Noir (Walker Bay, South Africa) - For 40 years now, Hamilton Russell vineyards have been perfecting Burgundian style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production in the Walker Bay region of South Africa. Many critics argue that they have achieved their goal and their wines are often compared to French wines that cost 2-3 times their price. Pronounced aromas of mentholated herbs and fynbos dance on the nose of this excellent wine, with supporting tones of forest floor, tilled soil, red currant and cherry. Medium in weight and plush in feel, it offers framing tannins that lend a solid grip to the palate and finish, while a kiss of warming spice graces the close. Well balanced and structured, it's attractive now, but will mature well through 2035.
Arterberry Maresh 2019 Old Vines Pinot Noir (Oregon) - The 2021 Pinot Noir Old Vines comes from the Maresh Vineyard, from vines that were planted in 1970, and has a singular expression with detailed, spicy accents reminiscent of bitters or amaro. "You only get those high-toned essences if you pick al dente," winemaker Jim Maresh explains. "It's easy to volatilize all that away." The Old Vines has a medium ruby color and arresting aromas of orange bitters, mossy bark and tobacco leaves complementing a deep core of pomegranate, rhubarb and cranberry. The light-bodied palate offers remarkably pure, detailed flavors. It has velvety tannins, seamless freshness and a very long finish with a flourish of spicy accents. - 98pts Parker's Wine Advocate
Albert Bichot 2020 Fixin Clos de la Perriere Premier Cru Monopole - The price of Premier Cru Burgundy has gone through the roof in recent years, so we're excited to offer this amazing Fixin from Bichot in this sampler. Clos de la Perriere is a Premier Cru climat within the village of Fixin, at the northern end of the Cote de Nuits sub-region of Burgundy. This small, 12 acre (5ha) site is one of the best known in Fixin due to its long history and the high quality of its wine. This monopole property is owned by the Joliet family and is one of just 8 vineyards with Premier Cru status in Fixin.
95pts Decanter, 93pts Wine Spectator
"A classy red, with supple cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral flavors underscored by a deft touch of new oak. Balanced, with the refined structure exerting itself as this winds down on the lingering, spicy finish. Impressively elegant. - Wine Spectator"
Littorai Les Larmes 2022 Alexander Valley Pinot Noir - Littorai owner and winemaker was the first American (and remains one of the only) to be head winemaker at Burgundian winery, and not just any winery, but one of the most renowned, Roulot. He was lured back to America after just 2 years a Roulot and has since been making some of California's most elegant, complex and Burgundian style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Les Larmes is a blend of de-classified barrels and press wine from the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Vineyards including Cerise, Savoy, Wendling and One Acre. Beautiful aromas of red cherries, plums, strawberries and fine spices. Floral and expressive. The palate is supple, fine grained and shows a sweet fruit core. Easy, fleshy and appealing with some nice grainy, spicy tannins on the finish. It’s fruity, open and delicious with a sweet core of fruit, but there’s a sense of elegance and ease here.
Lando 2021 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir - Sadly Sam wasn't able to get the 2021 bottled in time to have a sample ready for the Taylor's Faithful to try at February's Triangle Wine Experience this year but his fall release is certainly worth the wait. Bolder tannins and brighter in acidity Sam likes to hold it back an extra 6 months before releasing over this Russian River Pinot Noir. Fresh crushed dark berries dominate the aromatics. The midpalate is laced with briary black and blue fruit with minerality and richness. All of which leads to a long, creamy finish with overlapping blue fruit, and savory spices. This is an intense, yet complex wine, fresh, and elegant.
The Hilt 2020 Sta Rita Hills Estate Pinot Noir - The newest jewel in the crown of the makers of California's most expensive Cabernet Sauvignon, Screaming Eagle, is The Hilt. The Hilt is dedicated to producing top Pinot & Chardonnay and thankfully not too many people know about these amazing wines yet and the prices are still reasonable (actually they're an incredible value!).
95pts James Sucklng, 94pts Wine Enthusiast
"Lovely floral aromas of lavender and rose petal with ripe yet fresh strawberries. Crushed stone. Medium-bodied with very fine tannins and bright acidity. Subtle mineral and salt notes with gorgeous fruits. But always reserved. Slate. Super value, such quality. - Suckling"