Oregon vs. California Pinot Noir

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This Saturday we will have a fun tasting in which we will taste blind an Oregon Pinot Noir vs. a California Pinot Noir to see which style is more enjoyable. Here are the flights.

J. Christopher and St. Innocent were the favorites of the night. In the blind flights it was a tie 2 to 2 but Oregon got more overall votes and won.

History of Oregon Pinot Noir

David Lett 1965 Eyrie Vineyards video 1

video 2 GuildSomm great over view of Willamette Valley.

History of Oregon Pinot Noir video 3

Flight 1: Chardonnay (3 votes for Talley and 2 for Drouhin)


2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Super clear in color but fabulous on the nose and palate. Lemon, spice, apricot, and picks up an orange peel note on the finish. Medium but not over the top by any means. Good acidity. Drink now to 2020. 92 points
Day 2: A lot of lemon on day 2. As this warms up gets better featuring stone fruits, Carmel, dried apricots and orange peel. Medium finish. Still liked this better on day 1. 89 points
Day 3: Better on day 3 than the Talley. Carmel, lemon, lime, orange peel and chalk. Stood up over 3 days so I am optimistic that this has 4 more years of life. 90 points
Recommendation: Drink on a pop and pour. Probably has 3 more years of enjoyment. (92 points)

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2013 Talley Vineyards Chardonnay Rincon Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Grande Valley (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Solid but not as good as the Drouhin. Oak, carmel, apple, spices and mild oak. As noted on the last bottle this got good on day 3 so we will see with this one. Medium finish. 90 points
Day 2: Good and very similar to day 1. Picks up more Carmel on day 2 and features oak, vanilla, spices and pear. Medium finish. 89 points
Day 3: Definitely faded on day 3. Just does not have much going on. No score.
Recommendation: Based on the decline on day 3 I would say drink these up in the next few years. Drink by 2020. (90 points)

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Oregon vs. California Pinot Noir (Tasted Blind side by side)

Flight 2: Pinot Noir (4 votes for St. Innocent vs. 1 vote for Fogarty)

2010 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Temperance Hill – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Wow! Amazing complexity and vibrant nose. The favorite wine of the group. Cranberry, spice, rose petals and earth. Medium plus finish and good acidity. This wine has many years ahead based on where it is now. Drink now to 2024. 94 points
Day 2: Amazing. I highly recommend experiencing this wine on day 2. Wonderful nose of cranberry, forest floor, rose petals, spices and wafer. Medium plus finish and acidity balances out this amazing wine. Could be the best Pinot from Oregon for me since the epic 2007 White Rose. 95 points
Day 3: Still amazing. This wine has a long life ahead.
Recommendation: Drink now to 2024. This is one of the best Pinots I have ever tasted from Oregon!!! (95 points)

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St Innocent Video

Sub Regions of Oregon with Marc Vlossak

2012 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Rapley Trail Vineyard – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Dust, underbrush, strawberries, floral and cherry notes. Medium finish. This wine was a little tight and will see improvements probably on day 2. 90 points
Day 2: Day 2 has improved the performance from day 1. Strawberry, earth, mint, underbrush and beef. Much more concentrated and medium plus finish. Similar to other reviews of this wine. Solid. 92 points
Day 3: More impressive on day 3. Spices, floral, underbrush, roasted meats and herbs. Not as much fruit but love the style. Big and long finish. This is a young wine and should have a long life ahead. 92+ points
Recommendation: Hold 2 plus years and enjoy. (92 points)

Thomas Fogarty video

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Flight 3: Pinot Noir (4 votes for J. Christopher vs. 1 for Martinelli)

2012 J. Christopher Pinot Noir Lumière (USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola – Amity Hills)

2012 J. Christopher Pinot Noir Lumière – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola – Amity Hills (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Favorite wine of the night along with the St. Innocent. Bright fruit, good acidity and features underbrush, floral and minerals on the palate. Medium plus finish and the most Burgundian wine of the six. Excellent! 93 points (93 points)

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Jay Somers of J. Christopher video

2013 Martinelli Pinot Noir Moonshine Ranch (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

2013 Martinelli Pinot Noir Moonshine Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Big but not alcoholic like some over the top Cali Pinots. Floral, sweet fruits, brown sugar, bacon fat and raspberries. Medium plus finish. Hope this settles down on day 2/3 as this could round into an excellent wine. 90 plus. (90 points)

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Russian River Valley Pinot video

Flight 4: Pinot Noir (4 votes for Peake Ranch vs. 1 for Clemens)

2015 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Dopp Creek (USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains)

2015 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Dopp Creek – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Very good showing. Minerals, earth, raspberries, spice. Multilayered finish and complex overall. This should age nicely and should really improve over time. Great score now but could improve on day 2/3. 92 points (92 points)

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Wine Spectator Wine of the Year Number 7 video

Long video of Colene Clemens video

2015 Peake Ranch Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills)

2015 Peake Ranch Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Cranberry, spice, wafer and earth. Powerful wine but balanced overall. Medium to long finish. Good acidity and would pair nicely with a variety of dishes. Drink now to 2022. 93 points (93 points)

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