2009 – 2010 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR
“Drink wine and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved.” …… Medieval German saying.
Years – or vintages as they are called – do make a difference. And one of the biggest contributing influences to a successful vintage is weather. In California, where irrigation is allowed, rain may make less of a difference than in the Medoc (France) where irrigation is not allowed. But irrigation is not sun, or uncontrollable onslaughts of scorching heat. Irrigation does not control unusual cold snaps, or late springs, early frosts, or crazily varying temperatures. For that matter, it does not control too much rain. And all these conditions beyond control influence whether a vintage will be successful or “not so much.”
If you bought California Pinot Noir from the 2009 vintage, it was hard to miss a wine that was deeply flavored and with vibrant acidity, regardless of the estate. Perhaps without knowing it, you were buying the year. But buying the same label from 2010 could be disappointing. That’s because Mother Nature was not as generous that year. Still, 2010 was far from a disaster. Although many wineries saw their harvests off 30% and more, 2010 vintages are concentrated with deep color thanks to a cool growing season that finished with a heat wave and compacted harvest time. Wines from 2010 are sturdy, can be enjoyed now or cellared easily for six years.
When shopping for 2010 California Pinot Noir, look for wines made in Sonoma (Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast & Mountain), Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez) or Monteray (Monteray, Santa Lucia Highlands).
1. Siduri (Russia River Valley) $30
2. Calera (Central Coast) 35th Anniversay Vintage $24
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