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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." Randy Caparoso is a full-time wine journalist/photographer living in Lodi, California, and the author of "Lodi! The Definitive Guide and History of America's Largest Winegrowing Region" (2021). In another life, he was a multi-award winning restaurateur, starting as a sommelier in Honolulu (1978 through 1988), and then as Founding Partner/VP/Corporate Wine Director of the James Beard Award winning Roy’s family of restaurants (1988-2001), opening 28 locations from Hawaii to New York. Accolades include Santé’s first Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year (1998) and Restaurant Wine’s Wine Marketer of the Year (1992 and 1998). Between 2001 and 2006, he operated the Caparoso Wines label as a wine producer. For over 20 years, he also bylined a biweekly wine column for The Honolulu Advertiser (1981-2002). He currently puts bread (and wine) on the table as Editor-at-Large and the Bottom Line columnist for The SOMM Journal, and spend most of his time as freelance blogger and social media director for Lodi Winegrape Commission (