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Getting down to seeds and stems at 2018 World of Pinot Noir

It was not surprising to find, at the 2018 World of Pinot Noirin Santa Barbara this past March 2-3, that American Pinot noirs are more impressive than ever. 15, 20 years ago, I would attend a 2-day event like this (such as the IPNC in McMinnville, OR), taste about 100 wines (about as much as I can before my tongue goes numb), and find maybe a dozen Pinot noirs that would knock my sox off. This year I found over 40 of them.
“Knock your sox off,” of course, is open to interpretation. Personally, I look for expression of place; which is why I was just as wowed by a lacy, mildly herby 2015 Presqu’ile estate bottling and a twiggy and reticent 2015 Adelaida HMR as I was by a lavishly aromatic 2015 Brewer-Clifton Machado and a deep, dark, brazenly “powerhouse” style 2015 Merry Edwards Meredith Estate.
We are all seduced by intensity (myself included). For many of our better Pinot noirs, intensity certainly does not preclude balance and terroir related integrity. But the glass-half-full side of…

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"I fought against the bottle," as Leonard Cohen wrote, "but I had to do it drunk"... specializing in wine as a restaurateur, retailer, wine judge, journalist, frequent flyer and mental traveler. But to me, wine is a food like a rose is a rose. So why all the fuss? Currently: Editor-at-Large/Bottom Line Columnist, The SOMM Journal; Contributing Editor, The Tasting Panel. Awards: Sante's Wine & Food Professional of the Year (1998); Restaurant Wine's Wine Marketer of the Year (1992 & 1999); Academy of Wine Communications (commendation) for Excellence in Wine Writing and Encouragement of Higher Industry Standards; Electoral College Member, Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone.