Thanks to some friends, I was fortunate to try two new Pinots I’ve not had before. One, a premium, the other a very nice mid-priced Pinot from Santa Cruz.


Rochioli 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

DdV: 91
WS: 92
WE: 91
Price: $70.00
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Source: Russian River Valley

Very nice nuanced wine but a bit too high in terms of price.  That said, this is a wonderfully balanced effort with bright cherry, vanilla, and hints of cedar on the nose with lush cherry, plum, cola, and strawberry on the mid.  Finishes nicely with a final blast of strawberry and hints of spice.  Great for grilled pork or grilled chicken or braised short ribs.


Vine Hill 2009 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

DdV: 90
WE: 90
Price: $30.00 (have seen it as low as $15 on sale)
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Source: Santa Cruz Mountains

Great value especially when on sale.  Beats quite a few Pinots I’ve had at twice the price!  Hints of flowers, cranberry, orange and a small hit of earthy cedar on the nose moves on to dark cherry, mountain blueberry, cola, and vanilla on the mid.  Finishes with hints of cocoa and spice.  Tannins are quite soft so drink em if you got em.