I loooove me some Arcadian, but generally agree that finding Pinot of this ilk out of CA is just as much a minefield as many Burg. lovers make-out Burgundy to be. so … throw a dawg a bone people - what are some I should try?
edit: forgot to mention … the '06 Rhys Alpine I tried a couple weeks ago was very much up my alley – elegant, not overblown (imo).
EDIT: So, I went through this thread and made a comprehensive list of all that have been suggested.
Obviously, people are going to have different opinions about what constitutes “lighter-styled”; yes, this means you are not going to agree with all (or maybe any) of the wines listed here – please don’t let that get your panties all twisted.
Au Bon Climat
Copain (recent vintages)
Drew - Fog Eater
Failla - Sonoma Coast
Kutch (recent stuff)
Navarro (methode ancienne)
2008 Nicholson Vineyards
Pey-Marin (not Pey Lucia)
Ravines (from Finger Lakes, NY)
Scherrer’s Appellation pinots
Woodenhead - Anderson Valley Wiley vineyard
I’m not sure I would include Clos Pepe in this category, which is not to say that I think his wines are ultra-ripe. They are neither light nor heavy, just extremely balanced in terms of fruit concentration, palate weight, and mouthfeel.
A distributor was saying the same thing a year or so ago and I tried some over the Summer. Their 06 Kiser had a nice subtlety with good acidity. Hopefully Copain continues in that direction.
Been hearing more positive things about recent Kutch vintages, but unlike a vocal majority, my tastes of the 05 and 06 were flat out disappointing. Second the Varner, had an excellent bottle of 05 Hidden block a few nights ago.
I’d strike some of the names previously mentioned. Kutch for starters. Also, while I love Arcadian and Clos Saron, I would not describe either as lighter-styled. Arcadian is at least as dense as Dujac, which is certainly on the fuller side of the spectrum by Burgundy standards. Really, the only Cali. pinots I’ve ever had that you could call lighter-styled not just within the context of Cali. but compared to Burgundy as well are Inman and some wines from Calera once they reach age 10 or more.