Ken Brown Rancho La Vina Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir lovers need to introduce themselves to Ken Brown Wines!

Located on the southern edge of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, the winery specializes in small lot Pinot Noirs with about 3,000 cases produced annually with most lots at less than 250 cases.

I highly recommend that you stop in for a visit the next time you are in Santa Barbara as all of his wines are stunning and well priced.

The 2010 Ken Brown Rancho La Vina Vineyard Pinot Noir is absolutely irresistible!

The only thing more incredible is that the bottle only cost $39, this is especially striking when you consider that only 166 cases of the Rancho La Vina Pinot were produced in 2010.

This is a big, expressive effort whose brilliant violet color and enticing fruit aromas are just a precursor of what is to follow.

Intense, mouthwatering black cherry and blueberry flavors overwhelm the palate, while licorice and hints of raspberry can be detected in the lush rounded tannins on the exquisite finish.

I rate the wine a 9.2 on a 10 point scale.




2008 Lachini Chehalem Mountains Estate Pinot Noir


The 2008 Lachini Chehalem Mountains Estate Pinot Noir is a wonderfully complex Pinot from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

This ruby red wine walks a tightrope between the elegantly soft tannins on the finish vs the lively acids and heavy mouthfeel perceived at the start.

Over time layers of flavors are slowly uncovered. The first impression is of chocolate and cola wrapped around dark fruit. Eventually these sensations turn to black cherries with soft mushroom accents. Finally ending with ruby red grapefruit on a dry finish.

Like most Oregon Pinots, it pairs very well with food, especially pork chops, but it also drinks very nicely alone.

Only 325 cases of this exquisite juice was produced, and its $60 price tag ensures it will be very difficult to find.

Clos Du Val Carneros Pinot Noir

The Clos Du Val Winery is located in the heart of Napa Valley’s famed Stags Leap District.  The Winery is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignons, but it also produces award winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays as well as Merlot, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc.  The wines are all fairly priced with the base Cabernet Sauvignon priced at under $50.

The 2008 Clos Du Val Pinot Noir from Carneros is a Burgundian style Pinot, as evidenced by its low alcohol content of 13.5% and subtle earthy fruit.

It is an elegant, food friendly wine that is well balanced between its juicy acids and silky tannins.

The crystal, ruby colored juice has faint black cherry aromas followed by soft rounded cherry cola and earthy pepper flavors on the short finish.

This is a simple but enjoyable Pinot Noir, that is best with food, and retails for a reasonable $30