WEEK 1--WB Virtual Tasting For Charity--Pinot Noir, Benefiting Laura's House

Theme: Pinot Noir (from anywhere, but it has to be Pinot)
Host: Frank Murray III
Matching donors: 3 Anonymous WB matching donors (with one matching up to $250, and two others matching up to $500) [cheers.gif]
Date: November 21st - December 2nd
Format: Drink any Pinot Noir and post a TN back here to this thread. I will donate $5 per TN. If you post a photo of you drinking the wine, I will double the donation to $10. If you post just a photo of the bottle, it only counts for $5. I value and want to encourage relationships here and getting out from behind our avatars and abbreviated names with real photos, all that can go a long way to build bridges.

My charity I am supporting is Laura’s House (http://www.laurashouse.org), one that is very close to my heart. My wife did her internship here, she serves on its Board and our annual Falltacular event supports Laura’s House every February. If you want to learn more about where my/our donations have been devoted, you can click here to watch a short 5 min video. Click here >>> Robin Goes Inside Laura's House - YouTube

Thank you all for supporting my charity, for drinking Pinot Noir and sharing your experience and through your efforts, helping to support a place where women and children can flee for safety, a place free from violence, abuse and where they can start over and learn how to gain their lives back. We all can do something, I appreciate you helping.

I love the picture double-down bonus! This theme is tailored to my habits and coincides nicely with Thanksgiving. Get out your checkbook.


Timing is impeccable, FMIII. I have some burgs being delivered today to replenish my stock of zero bottles. One will be sacrificed in your honor.

I am going to drink a Rivers Marie pinot this weekend to create a bridge between your theme and mine. As a lawyer trained in loopholes, I must ask whether you consider the following an abuse. I’m going to have a lot of people cooking dinner for the family homeless shelter in White Plains. Let’s say I bring 5 bottles of pinot and get 10 people to each write notes on all five of them. Does that count for 50 notes? How about a group photo with 5 bottles and all 10 people? Just asking. [cheers.gif]

I have a blind-format tasting of 8 or 9 Pinots scheduled for this evening.
Do I need a dispensation to start November 20?

Just post them tomorrow. :wink:

Mr Jay Hack, I have consulted my cadre of experienced and savvy lawyers and they have indicated that your scenario would allow us to honor only 5 TNs. Just do this, man: drink the wines, write up the TNs, post them, take a cool picture like you did last year holding the 5 bottles with the group, post it with the TNs and then it’s $50 for Laura’s House. Jay, you’re a good man, thank you for doing what you do.

T, your dispensation is approved. Your long distance yet devoted and conistent financial support of the charity is always appreciated so go drink them, post as you wish, and I will pay.

Look forward to seeing the notes hit this thread, Alf and Fred. Go get after it.

So here is my first group of tasting notes on 9 Pinot Noirs.
I would like to give some context to the tasting, however.

I held a blind-format wine tasting for a group of friends that came and shared some wines throughout the course of the evening. There were initially 9 different pinot noirs from the 2012 vintage. Eight were California wines and 1 was from Oregon.

The bottles were placed in a brown paper bag and labelled with the name of a singer - songwriter. In such a setting, the use of names of songwriters, rather than numbers or letters, sparks discussions about their music in addition to talking about the wines. I knew the wines selected but did not know which bottle was in which brown paper bag.

The group that tasted through the wines during the course of the evening did not all take notes nor did they taste each wine. In such a format, the focus tends to be on the sharing and enjoyment of the wine and the company and not on any formal analysis or technical discussion.

My impressions of several of the wines changed over the course of the tasting as I had food, the wines warmed up from the initial cellar temps to room temperature, and as I hopped from one sip to another tasting across the line-up. All were enjoyable and there was not a bad bottle nor a flawed wine in the bunch.

The wines were not decanted. Corks were pulled about two hours before the tasting.

Damien Jurado
2012 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Calegari Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (11/20/2015)
This wine was labelled Damien Jurado.

Dark purple color. Dark cherry flavors with some bright acidity on the finish. While the fruit shows some rich sweetness, there remains a freshness to the wine. This was one of the more favored wines in the group tasting.
Quite enjoyable.

Bob Dylan
2012 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Balcombe Vineyard Dundee Hills - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills (11/20/2015)
This wine was labelled Bob Dylan.

Sadly, I did not have enough time to follow this wine. My initial impression was that it was nicely balanced with brown spice, red fruits, and some red clay element.

Jens Lekman
2012 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir La Neblina - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/20/2015)
This was labelled Jens Lekman.

The wine seemed a bit disjointed. There were some earthy-mushroom flavors that rose above any fruit. A savory flavor profile of forest floor and herbal notes.
After the brown bag was removed, I was disappointed as I expected more form this wine.

Tom Waits
2012 Burt Street Cellars Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/20/2015)
This wine was labelled Tom Waits.

Dark red color. Shows some dark fruits with a bit of brown spice. Dark cherry flavor with a touch of cola. Nicely balanced. A good wine but not yet quite intriguing enough to merit a higher ranking.

The Tallest Man on Earth (Kristian Matsson)
2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (11/20/2015)
This was labelled The Tallest Man on Earth (Kristian Matsson).

Deep, dark red ruby color. Earthy notes on the nose. A rich style with dark red fruits but with a nice core of acidity that gives the ripe fruit some lift. Very good.
This was one of the more favored wines of the group.

Suzanne Vega
2012 Ceritas Pinot Noir Hacienda Secoya Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (11/20/2015)
This was labelled Suzanne Vega.

Light ruby color.
Nose shows bright acidity and red raspberries.
There is an elegance to this wine. It is light in mouthfeel but quite bright with high tomes of sour cherries and the bright acidity that runs throughout. Quite engaging.

Cat Power
2012 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
This was in a bottle labelled Cat Power (Chan Marshall).

Herbal nose showing some likely whole cluster element and a cool climate site. A bit cloudy color. There is an intriguing savory side with white pepper to balance the bright red fruits. Started to show some green notes towards the end of the evening (about 4 hours into the tasting).

Patti Smith
2012 Poe Wines Pinot Noir Hudson Vineyards - USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros (11/20/2015)
This was in a bottle labelled Patti Smith.

Wow. That was my initial impression. Light ruby color. Good fresh raspberries on the nose.
Taste: Fresh red berries with bright acidity. Light in weight but good fruit kept fresh and lively by the acidity. Over time, it started to show an Indian spice component that complimented the fresh red fruits. Enjoyable.

2012 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/20/2015)
This was in a bottle labelled Sia.

Cloudy color. At first, the nose showed a bit of funk. Initially, a little odd mix of herbs and fruit that, at first, was disjointed.
With a little time, this wine blossomed, opening up with a good core of red fruits, some cranberry and orange, and an inviting dose of acidity to keep it fresh.

Here are photos to help boost the donation.
Line up of the wines pre-bagging:
Full line-up after the unveiling:
A closer look at some:

2013 Robert Gibourg Bourgogne Rouge

Not too expressive, but pleasing aromatics of deep and lifted dark red fruits, earth, and wood shavings. Palate is very fresh, barely ripe red fruits, with just a slight vegetal note. Medium tannin and intensity toward the back, leading to a balanced, persistent finish. Nicely done.

Cheers Frank, and to Laura’s House
Robert Gibourg WB.jpg

2010 Coleman Nicole Pinot Noir Roman’s Lot II

Not a huge bouquet, but pretty with red fruit and some earth just barely poking out. On the palate, really good structure, firm acid backbone, med. tannins, bright red fruits more on the sour than the sweet spectrum. Big, flavorful wine. Just a hint of earthiness with lots of forward fruit. Drying out just a tad. Went great with Soyaki BBQ chicken breast and asparagus.

Great start guys. This is exactly what I wanted to see. Onward!

2009 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge

I’ve been in the wine doldrums lately and this bottle was just the ticket out. Puffy capsule and soaked cork with signs of seepage; however, the wine was fine. Bright beam of acidity which moderated with air as rich strawberry and cherry fruit came to the fore. On day two, some sous-bois elements appeared. Great silky texture along with good back-end grip. Nice concentration. 12.5% abv. Delicious with buckwheat noodles and greens w/mushrooms and miso.

Katrina, in case you’re unaware, Leroy is notorious for overfilling the bottles, so what you described as seepage is very common.

THanks for the charity work, Frank! It’s real nice to see folks are still concerned for others in this day and age! Since I missed your last Kutch virtual tasting event, I decided to pop a Kutch this evening to support the cause.

2013 Kutch McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir

  • popped about 3 hours ago and poured a glass; came back to it later this evening. Color is mostly translucent cranberry color w/out bricking. Moderate nose of cherry, strawberry, and floral elements. Flavors of sllightly sour cherries, strawberry, cranberry, hints of cola and a slightly savory character; cherry acidity, fine tannins, and slight savory linger for quite a while. Nice wine - glad I Pobega’d it today!


Hi Bob

Thanks for the note. My other Leroy bourgognes look similar so glad to hear it’s not unusual… at any rate the wine was certainly sound.


Photos! Yes, there are real people behind the 200x200 squares. Wonderful :slight_smile: I love the $10 TNs.

Recognize this wine:

  • 2011 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/21/2015)
    Popped and poured and then followed for an hour. A very California pinot, but it was only 4 years old, and no one drinks four year old pinots. Very interesting, in that no one would confuse this for syrah or and other grape. Bright, intense cherry flavor and that flavor I can’t describe that is characteristic of Cali pinot. You’d know it if you saw it . . . or tasted it. Some call it cola, but the more I taste it, the less I think that’s what it is. There is also an underlying herbal component in the background. (91 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

I agree with your note about the tartness, I just forgot to mention it in mine. I will add the photo tomorrow. There were about six people who tried the wine and everyone liked it. Stood up to running around like a nut preparing food for 150. Tomorrow I invited others to bring pinots for more TNs. I will provide a few just in case.

By the way - does Aubert pinot count? Most people around here think it’s actually syrah.

Jay, it does for you. [dance-clap.gif] [pillow-fight.gif]

  • 2009 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Southing - USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills (11/22/2015)
    Second bottle of this in the last two months for whatever reason, just dump luck as I hadn’t had one in years. Good color and clarity. Cherry liqueur scent with a light burnt toast. Strong kirch core surrounded by terpin and toasted oak. Paired with an extravagant homemade Persian meal. I’m stuffed.

Posted from CellarTracker