Comparing Pinot Noir

This month’s meeting of the San Diego Chapter of the American Wine Society was themed, Pinot Noir Wines from NakedWines. Our meeting started with some recaps from the officers about financials & membership. A brief recap of the National Tasting Project (NTP) from last year was given & those who participated were given back their tasting sheets. A few announcements were made by members about upcoming events & we confirmed our next month's meeting Host location. We then moved onto my presentation.

Today was a comparison of 9 Pinot Noir varietal wines from several distinct grape growing regions: New Zealand, Oregon, and the California Coast. As we then moved onto the tasting portion of the meeting, I presented each wine, pouring them while read the winemaking notes provided. We kept the regions grouped together to allow for comparison of how the regional differences expressed themselves in the wine.

My presentation began by me explaining why I joined the NakedWines club & why I wanted to present this particular club. It is totally different from most wine clubs and also has an amazing selection.

We started with the Pinot Noir wines grown in New Zealand. An up-and-coming international player ion the world of Pinot, these wines presented with the classic red fruit forward aromatics & flavor profiles, while each expressing the individual winemakers influence.

Wines Poured:

  • Mr Glover Pinot Noir Marlborough 2016 (link)

  • Rod Easthope Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 (link)

The presentation then moved to the West Coast of the United States, starting in the great Northwest of Oregon. We discussed how climate is a defining factor in Oregon Regions, as well as the fact that most wineries are dry-farmed. Scott Kelly was the NakedWines 'Winemaker of the Year' for 2017, and created these 2 amazing expressions of Oregon Pinot.

Wines Poured:

  • Scott Kelley Pinot Noir Oregon 2016 (link)

  • Scott Kelley Pinot Noir Willamette 2016 (link)

We the presentation moved forward, we continued our path south into California. Coastal influences, the variety of terroir, & multitude of micro-climates all play a major factor in defining regional styles of Pinot Noir produced in California. The wines were poured from North to South down the coast. From flavors reminiscent of Burgundy to the bright fruit forward styles that California has become known for, the wines presented amazing character & great reflections of the regions they were produced within.

Wines Poured:

  • DRG Susie's Block Russian River Pinot Noir 2016 (link)

  • La Tapatia Pinot Noir Carneros 2016 (link)

  • ROX Scott Peterson Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2016 (link
    This vintage received a Double Gold medal in the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

  • Matt Parish Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2016 (link) - our Groups #1 pick!

  • Rick Boyer Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2016 (link)

Here are the Meeting Notes.