I don’t drink much Pinot Noir. AFAIK, it’s overpriced and rarely delivers unless you’re willing to pony up tons of money. I was in my local wine store tonight and I had salmon queued up for my evening meal so I grabbed a bottle of 2009 Loring Pinot Gary’s Vineyard. I’m drinking it now post meal.
Wow! This definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste but this is one tasty mouthful of wine. It’s fruity, smooth and ultra rich. It has what I consider to be a classic Cali Pinot nose but in the mouth this is incredibly unctuous without being alcoholic or hot. It’s ready to go now but there’s so much fruit here I dare say it might evolve for a few years. This is a real eye opener for me. Not that it matters but I’m going to call this 92 points, which is about 5 points higher than I’ve ever rated a Cali Pinot.
Brian is a stud and a class act. Like Bob, this wine probably would not hit my wheelhouse. I generally skip Garys’ vineyard which I find simple and boring (not that there are not some fine wines made from there from time to time). And I am in the minority with many tasters I respect with regards to Garys’. I’d recommend dancing around more Cali pinot producers considering how much you enjoyed this. Or just more of Brian’s wines.
I really enjoyed meeting and talking with Brian at Pinot Days this year. I had not tasted his wines before, and I certainly found them to be like Paul describes, definitely well-made, albeit in a different style from some Pinots. I ordered an assortment of his new releases, and I look forward to trying them. Really, why not judge his (and most all) wines by whether they are enjoyable, not whether they match some imagined archetype of their variety?
Well, typicity isnt really imagined is it? When someone buys say a white bordeaux they can be pretty sure of some general parameters on what to expect. Still, there is certainly room for idosyncratic wines but people will usually comment when it breaks typicity to alert others.
Yeah, many times. I have my own stash and that bottle seems to pop up lots in these parts. There is certainly some variability with the bottles but I would say different 01 Arcadians would fill the top 5 slots of my favorite Garys’. Those bottles mainly caught my attention because they were Garys’. Had they been from a vineyard outside of SLH I probably wouldn’t have been as fascinated.
Only slightly OT but I have to agree with that. The last several years at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair (three days, hundreds of wines) I’ve started my days concentrating on Pinots and came to this opinion also. Typical PN is $45 and up and there’s no guarantee. Finding the good under $40 ones is a treat. Last year’s BTW was Bennett Valley Cellars Bin 6410 at $28.
I don’t find this problem with other varietals and actually Cab & blends seem to be the ones that deliver consistently. Zins are fine too if I stay away from most of the high alcohol fruit bombs (don’t like that style).
I believe the local Pinots are improving – probably because of all the newer Sonoma Coast fruit coming online.
Thanks Paul! Not to discount the other great recommendations already listed, but I take it from your note that you liked the bolder aspect of our 09 Garys’. If that’s the case, I’d recommend you consider trying some Pinots from Siduri, AP Vin, Roar, and Lucia. All reasonably priced and basically in the same, general style of what we do. I might also add that you should consider looking at their Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta Rita Hills bottlings. Pinots tend to get bigger, bolder, and richer as you look south from Sonoma. There are exceptions, but that’s a fairly safe rule of thumb.
Latitude. The farther north, the more daylight hours during the peak growing time. Fruit there tends to get ripe sooner, with less hang time. Fruit in the south needs more time on the vine to accumulate the same daylight hours to get the fruit ripe. That extra time on the vine leads to bigger wines.
The effects of latitude are difficult to overcome. That’s why IMHO, I think attempting to replicate Burgundian style wines in Cali, especially as you head south, is a risky pursuit.