29th Annual Best of The Best:
California Pinot Noir
QRW Tasting Team
The most successful California Pinot Noirs come from chilly climes, where the famously schizoid grape can ripen slowly and evenly. And so it is that QRW’s Best of Best Pinots all hail from cooler AVAs: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills and Russian River Valley.
BEST OF SHOW
2010 Donum Estate Pinot Noir Reserve
✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ Five-Star Wines ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
Wines of extraordinary character and quality —
in a class by themselves.
2011 Belle Glos Pinot Noir “Clark & Telephone Vineyard” (Santa Barbara County), $44. Lush, soft, spicy, succulent, cocoa, vanilla and bacon flavors.
2011 Belle Glos Pinot Noir “Las Alturas Vineyard” (Monterey County), $44. Ripe, plush, almost sweet, blackberry and spicy oak vanillin flavors.
2010 Donum Estate Pinot Noir Reserve (Russian River Valley), $72. Rich, plump, succulent, mulberry and spice flavors. BEST OF SHOW
2010 Fess Parker Pinot Noir “Ashley’s Vineyard” (Santa Rita Hills), $50. Elegantly knit, well-focused, wild raspberry, spice and nutty oak flavors.
2010 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir “Coopersmith” (Russian River Valley), $80. Rich, ripe, penetrating, black cherry and toasty oak flavors.
• 29th Annual Best of The Best: California Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux Blends
• 29th Annual Best of The Best: California Chardonnay
• 29th Annual Best of The Best: Champagne Tasting
• 29th Annual Best of The Best: California Zinfandel