The BEST of SONOMA Pinot Noir – Master of Wine drinks Pinot Noir Wines from California

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David Hirsch on I’ll drink to That:

I have used this glass in this Video: RIEDEL Performance Pinot Noir.
I have tasted the following wines in this Video:

2019 Red Car Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir Fort Ross-Seaview AVA – 75 US$
2016 Hirsch San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast AVA – 75 US$
2019 Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley AVA – 200 US$
2018 Schug Carneros Estate Pinot Noir Estate Grown Carneros AVA – 50 US$

The 100 Point Scoring System (from
96-100: An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase and consume.
90 – 95: An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
80 – 89: A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70 – 79: An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
60 – 69: A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.
50 – 59: A wine deemed to be unacceptable.

Pinot Noir is slowly conquering the world and in California, it has gained ground over the last decades. It was the fifth most widely planted variety in 2007 and now it is the third most important variety – having almost doubled in vineyard size.
There was a Pinot Boom over the last two decades and many agree that it all started because of the movie Sideways … which is still strange to me…
Pinot is mainly planted in the cooler regions along the coast and this is where Sonoma comes into play … Sonoma County covers the area north of San Francisco. It is the cool climate neighbor of Napa Valley. While the North of Sonoma can get pretty warm too and is home to Cabernet and Zinfandel, the South produces some of the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the state.
Why is the South Warmer than the North? You might wonder… Well, it is all about the influence of the Pacific.
The Pacific brings cold water from the north pole down to the shores of the Golden State. In most of Sonoma County the Mountain ranges running from North to South stop the cold winds from the sea but to the south, near the city of Petaluma there is a gap – the Petaluma gap.
Through that gap, wind flows into the region and cools it down significantly. The cold air goes up the valleys and in the north, the influence is not that pronounced any more. Pretty much exactly half of the 23.600 Hectares are planted to Chardonnay and Pinot but I will focus on the velvety kind or queen of the region: PN. So let’s dive into the wines, the regions, the terroirs, the people …