TN: 2005 Windy Oaks Diane's Block Pinot Noir

I had been wanting to try one of these for awhile. And very glad that I did, even though it was baby killing.

An amazing nose of strawberry, cranberry and rhubarb that just explodes out of the glass. These flavors carry through on the palate, in a more restrained manner, along with refined tannins and nicely balanced acidity. The tannins linger in a finish that just won’t stop. This is very pleasurable now, but patience will reward those who wait. With it’s fruit, tannins and acidity, this has the potential to be screaming good in 5+ years.

Nice Greg, I’m a huge fan of WO.

They soar with time in the bottle.

Windy Oaks is my favorite SCM winery. Jim and Judy do a great job. If you haven’t tried their One Acre Chardonnay then definitely add it to your list.

Nice job Greg.

Had the same wine Thurs nite…certainly fine enough as Greg states, but there was half a bottle left over for Fri nite…

Folks… you REALLY ought to try that approach with the younger WOE reds…it was much richer after a nite in the fridge…and it wasn’t a slacker the first nite. Retained all of the spices, but simply more of everything in the glass.

First time I have tried this and I will need to see if I can replicate it…simply to prove this theorem…

These really do tend to show even better after some time in the glass/open bottle. I opened a few 05s to get a feel for the style, and promptly buried the rest.

They are so good that its just really hard to do this. Usually my bottle is empty long before I can even consider letting it sit.

Have you ever tried their “special burgundian clone”? I have an 05 of that, sitting up at the windy oaks winery where I can’t get my hands on it.

I was looking at mine today. Not yet…

My wife and I had the same experience recently with the 2006 Diane’s Block. Finished about half the bottle, re-corked, and put it back into the wine fridge. The first night it was decent, but a bit on the tart side-apple/cranberry were quite prominent. Call me crazy, but over the few bottles I’ve had of Diane’s block, I’ve wondered if apples were previously grown on this land. But, I digress…back to the 2006…the next night the tartness had softened and the wine was more balanced-delicious! I’ve got another bottle, and I’ll need to either show patience and age it, or discipline and open it a night earlier.

Working on the last glass of the bottle as I type this . . . it has not lost a step on day two.

Interesting comment. Now that you mention it, I can see that. This is my first WO and it definately has a distinct flavor profile. Very enjoyable, but distinct. I don’t know if that is unique to the Diane’s Block. Hopefully, some of you with more exposure to WO can help squelch my ignorance here.

The Diane’s block certainly (in my opinion) is different then the estate cuvee and reserve. I don’t buy it regularly as part of my WO shipment but I try to pick up a bottle once in a while and try it when I visit the winery. If you haven’t had the reserve, then you are in for a treat when you try that one.

Rob-I’ve only had the 04s, other than tasting the 05 briefly at the winery where I couldn’t make an assessment (other than to like it a lot).

I need some real Burgheads to try the SBC and offer up their assessments. From a different planet…it’s that distinctive. Less reflective of the terroir, imo.

I’ve definitely noted that the Diane’s is a bit different than other WO wines. Makes sense since the vineyard is down the hill several miles from the WO property in Aptos. Although I’ve found the Diane’s to be decent (better on night two), I prefer the Cuvee/Henry’s/Reserve. As such, my Wine Group focus has been the Cuvee and Reserve. These wines need a bit of age, though, and the aggressive new oak regime is not for all.

IMO, the Cuvee, at the $30 Wine Group price, is one of the best QPR pinot bottles in CA, and the Diane’s and Henry’s aren’t far behind at $35 per. At those prices, WO holds its own with the Alesia San Mateo (perhaps a declassified one-off, but still…) and the Copain Tous Ensembles.

I’ve tried the Reserve at the WO Wine Group pick-up, and it was excellent. I’m patiently waiting on my stash, but my wife recently dropped on of our 2006 bottles on the floor of our offsite locker. Thankfully for my wife’s sake, the smell was amazing.

For me, the '05 Diane’s definitely needed some time, as I didn’t find it enjoyable on release. Now it’s full-on delicious.

There are definitely many very distinct terroirs in the SCM. Some are relatively large, like the Corralitos area, others vary tremendously within the same vineyard, such as the Alpine Vyd. There’s a good number of Corralitos vineyards, so the makings are there for an interesting horizontal.

A tribute to Jim Schultze’s vineyard management is that the best Pinots I’ve had from Testarosa and Alfaro have been from the Schultze Vyd. Truly expressive of the site.

The Alesia San Mateo is declassified Rhys Family Farm Vineyard, so it has the unique vineyard expression, but not the expected excellence.

Agreed! When people ask where my favorite CA wines come from, I usually claim it’s a tie between the SCM and the Anderson Valley. This answer almost always illicits a blank stare. I then quickly attempt to drop a few SCM names such as Windy Oaks, Rhys, Big Basin etc. before they lose interest. Just doing my small part to pay it forward.

People tend to know Mount Eden and Ridge, so I tend to mention them first. Then get onto the fact that there’s some new world class wineries here.

Good point–can’t forget a couple SCM classics, which I admittedly need to explore further myself.