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High on acid and real sense of purpose at 2019 World of Pinot Noir

Landmark Westside Rd. barn passed by many a visitor to Russian River Valley's Middle Reach neighborhood My general impression of the 120 or so Pinot noirs that I managed to taste at the 2019 World of Pinot Noir – taking place at Santa Barbara’s The Ritz-Carlton Bacara this past March 1-2, 2019 – was: Still lots of full bodied wines, with alcohol levels typically in the 14.0%-14.5% range (with “outliers” at 13.0%-13.5%), despite the predominance of 2016s, a vintage that saw a return to more or less “normal” (whatever that is) conditions, after four consecutive years of drought. When elevated alcohol is a negative, of course, wines came across as harsh or hot, often with sweet, ripe cola-like or raisiny aromas, with little or no delineation or sense of delicacy one would hope to find in the varietal – and I tasted more than of few of them over the weekend. But at their finest, many of the fuller scaled Pinot noirs came across as plush and impeccably balanced, livel

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Randy Caparoso:
"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.