Awesome California Pinot Noir

Awesome California Pinot Noir

Posted on Jul, 11. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

If you don’t know by now, I am as suspicious of new world Pinot Noir as a fly is of a rolled up magazine. I am a Burgundy fanatic and I will say frankly that the more I taste new world Pinot Noir the more I withdraw into my ways. So perhaps I am a little too hard on Pinot Noir becasue of my biases. Honestly that doesn’t worry me much, I love what I love and I know how to get it on a consistent basis.

I still taste every Pinot that is put in front of me, I mean who doesn’t like to be reminded that one is perfectly correct in one’s biases? There does come along an occasional non-Burgundian Pinot that will strike me as awesome though. Most of them are still French (smile) but I have had a few California and Oregon Pinot’s strike me as utterly delicious.

Last week I tasted the 2009 La Follette. Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir and I can say unreservedly that it was just frickin’ awesome! I feel like in the past when I have recommended a Cali Pinot it was becasue of the closesness to “the French Palate” of the wine. Not so in this case. This Pinot Noir was classic to everything I associate in a Sonoma Pinot but with out all the faults I typically attribute to the new world style.

The pedigree of winemaker Greg La Follette is worth reviewing here:

Greg’s route to winemaking began inauspiciously when he realized that his first love – playing the bagpipes – was simply not a practical career path. He earned a double BA in Plant Biology and Chemistry from California State University, Northridge, then a Masters in Food Science and Technology at UC Davis. It was at Davis that he became fascinated with the scientific components of mouth feel. As it turns out, his particular interest in the Burgundian techniques of sur lie aging and battonage emerged on the crest of a tidal wave of interest in new production techniques in California. His studies, funded by the Napa Valley Vintners Association, gained the attention of winemaking icons such as Dick Graff, and paved the way for Greg’s future success.

In 1991, Greg left Davis for Beaulieu Vineyards, where he was the research viticulturist /enologist for famed master winemaker André Tchelistcheff. He travelled to Australia, working on Chardonnay for Yarra Ridge, then returned to Napa Valley to work for Jarvis and then again at BV. He consulted for Kendall-Jackson, and was on his way to becoming a top Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producer when he joined Flowers Vineyards & Winery in 1996 as head winemaker and general manager. The winery he built at Flowers during his tenure is still considered one of the best gravity-flow, gas-assist green wineries in the world.

This is great Pinot Noir; smooth in texture, medium in weight, there is a great Pinot flavor that is all deliciousness. I highly recommend this one to everyone, it represents what I consider the best of American wine making, pure yummy enjoyment on a cerebral level.

2009 La Follette. Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $22.00 • Premier Cru: $23.00 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $29.99
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