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Aug 10, 2010 10:03 AM

Line-up for California pinot tasting?

There aren't very many California Pinot Noirs available here in Quebec, but I'm thinking of doing an evening built around the few that are. Here's a list of what I can get my hands on -- are any of them worth organizing such an event around? I'd probably need at least four bottles, ideally a range representative of the state's various styles. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Pinot Noir 2006, Julia's Vineyard, Santa Maria, Cambria
Pinot Noir 2007, Meiomi, Sonoma Coast, Belle Glos
Pinot Noir 2007, Carneros Estate Winery, Sonoma Coast, Schug
Pinot Noir 2007, Carneros, Cuvaison
Pinot Noir 2007, Carneros, Schug
Pinot Noir 2007, Central Coast, Calera
Pinot Noir 2006, Santa Maria Valley, La Bauge Au-Dessus
Pinot Noir 2006, Mount Harlan Cuvée, Calera
Pinot Noir 2001, Edna Ranch Vineyard, Edna Valley, Nichols
Pinot Noir 2007, Russian River Valley, La Crema
Pinot Noir 2008, Santa Santa Maria Valley/Santa Barbara, Belle Glos
Pinot Noir 2005, Ryan Vineyard, Mt. Harlan, 30th Anniversary, Calera
Pinot Noir 2006, Brown Ranch, Carneros, Saintsbury
Pinot Noir 2006, Signaterra, Russian River, Benziger
Pinot Noir 2006, Reed, Mount Harlan, Calera

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  1. The Central Coast the basic bottling for Calera. The higher end stuff is excellent but needs time. That's probably okay. I may have tasted it.
    The Mount Harlan Calera will definitely need to be decanted or opened a day or two in advance. I think 2006 was not a good vintage for Calera, but I'm not sure.
    LaCrema is Gallo. Some people think it's a good QPR. I don't.
    A Couple of other Caleras, I see now. They're still young.
    I confess I've never heard of Bell Glos, Schug, La Beauge Au-Dessus, or Nichols.
    I like Saintsbury's wines, but I've never had the Brown Ranch bottling.
    I didn't know Benzinger did pinot noir.
    The Caleras are the best of the bunch, but they're all pretty much from the same area. I don't know that you'd get a stylistic difference.
    CAmbria and Cuvaison are meh.
    If I had to pick four, I'd go with two Calera, the Saintsbury and the Benziger.

    1. The Le Beauge Au Dessus is a top end Au Bob Climat bottling. It may be a bit young but I'd toss it in to have a Santa Barbara wine in the mix

      1. Might be fun to do a Calera tasting - each of the Calera's listed above are from a different region or vineyard - Central Coast, Mount Harlan Cuvee, Ryan Vineyard and Reed.

        Otherwise, I might try the Central Coast Calera, the Meiomi Belle Glos, Cambria Julia's Vineyard and the Calera Reed - that's a very nice bottle.

        Decanting would be a good idea since they are all pretty young.