Pinot On The River and the Great 2009 Pinot Vintage
By all accounts, the 2009 Pinot Noir vintage in California is spectacular. These wines are now largely in the market place or will be coming on the market soon. It's one of the things that makes me so excited about he upcoming Pinot On the River tasting on October 23 in Healdsburg, California.
Of the 2009 California Pinot Noirs Jim Labue of the Wine Spectator wrote: "There is no such thing as a perfect vintage, but 2009 comes close to nirvana for California Pinot Noir." More than 55% of the more than 350 2009 Pinots tasted by the Wine Spectator garnered 90 point or more.
My search of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate shows that a stunning 70% of 2009 Pinots reviewed garnered 90 Points or more.
So, I'm stocking up on those brands I know and love and others that I've recently become familiar with. My hope is that many of the producers pouring at Pinot on the River will showcase their wines from the 2009 vintage, though I suspect many will be bring out their 2010s.
What's exciting about the Pinot On the River event is how many really great, small, artisan and exciting Pinot producers choose to pour at the event. Consider:
Patz & Hall
Just to name a few of the more than 100 Pinot producers pouring at the event.
I'm not in agreement with those who will argue that California Pinot tends to be a one trick pony of over extracted, inelegant blockbusters that doesn't emulate Burgundy. The fact is there exists a variety of Pinot styles from California that result from the myriad of appropriate, but different, growing regions that grape farmers have developed around the grape.
You can find what you want. West Sonoma Coast is a very exciting region for Pinot, as is the Petaluma Gap, Santa Lucia Highlands, Anderson Valley and, I think, Carneros.
You'll find all these regions represented at Pinot on the River.