LaCrema vs. Decoy pinot noir review / shootout

22 06 2014

Today we compare two 2012 pinot noirs from Sonoma County, California:  La Crema Sonoma Coast ($19 at Total Wine and Costco, but usually in the low $20s) and Decoy Sonoma County ($22).

Decoy first impression:  a beautifully sweet aroma, a delicious cherry-rhubarb pie taste, what could go wrong?  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wineguider Thanksgiving Pinot Noir Shootout

21 11 2013

Hi!  Today, in anticipation of The Big Dinner next week, we compare five pinot noirs, all of which I purchased at Total Wine:

  • $11:  Castle Rock Monterey County, California, 2010
  • $17:  Cloud Break Reserve, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, 2011
  • $22:  Coelho, Willamette Valley Oregon, 2011
  • $14:  Harbor Front, California Coastal, 2012
  • $18:  Mark West Carneros, Sonoma, California, 2010

Here is how they ranked, based on taste combined with value:

Read the rest of this entry »





Rosemount Estate pinot noir review

17 09 2013

Today we look at a 2011 Aussie pinot noir that goes for $9.99 at Total Wine.

Such a pretty color!  Regardless of anything else, this wine will look great on your table, with its nearly see-through pure rose color. Read the rest of this entry »





Cono Sur Reserva Especial pinot noir review: WE, WANT, THE FUNK

31 08 2013

Today we review a 2012 pinot noir from Chile’s Valle De Casablanca.  I found it at Total Wine for $18.

Well, this can be short, ladies and gentlemen.  I suggest you Read the rest of this entry »





Kirkland Russian River pinot noir review

24 08 2013

Today it’s a 2012 pinot noir from California’s Russian River Valley that goes for about $12 at Costco.

This pinot has a lot going for it:

  • the price is low,
  • it’s Russian River,
  • it is not “all cherry all the time” as many affordable California pinots are, and Read the rest of this entry »




Cellar No. 8 pinot noir review: UPDATE

21 05 2013

Here’s a 2011 California pinot noir that costs $8.50 at Total Wine.  We gave the 2010 vintage a positive review here.

Cellar No. 8 has a nice new reddish-purple label, but more importantly the juice inside the bottle Read the rest of this entry »





Morgan “Twelve Clones” Santa Lucia Highlands pinot noir review

20 04 2013

Today we look at a 2011 pinot noir from California’s Santa Lucia Highlands (“SLH”) region, which I picked up at Total Wine for $26.  List price is $32.

California’s SLH grows mostly pinot noir.  On the bright side, these wines are “big, fleshy and mouthfilling,” says the San Francisco Chronicle.  But to me, they are too hot (high in alcohol), too fruity and tannic, and often taste burned.  An example:  the inexplicably expensive Siduri Sierra Mar, reviewed here.

In short:  I am biased against SLH pinot.

Morgan‘s “Twelve Clones” pinot is pleasantly spicy.  It has 14.3% alcohol, yet isn’t overly hot. Read the rest of this entry »