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World of Pinot Noir 2013 - Who Let the Chards In?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:41 pm
by Steve Anderson
Some brief notes/impressions from World of Pinot Noir 2013, Avila Beach CA.

Had the good fortune to be able to attend the Saturday Grand Tasting for World of Pinot Noir event this year. The first surprise – as much as I love Pinot Noir, my two favorite wines of the day were Chardonnays. Perhaps it was due to the warm day under the tents, or perhaps because 45 of the 50 wines I tasted were Pinots, but the Chards were fabulous. When I attended two years ago, several winemakers had a Chard or other white “under the table”, but this year there were a number of wineries pouring a white along with the Pinots. Still, it was at least 97% Pinot as the event name would imply. As usual, no formal notes from me, but here are some brief impressions.

2010 Paul Lato “Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard Chardonnay. Paul does not do many events, so it is always a treat to see him. Has to be one of the most passionate and generous winemakers I have met. He is truly excited when talking about his wines and was one of the few pouring from Magnum and even Double Magnum. The 2010 Souvenir Chard was poured from Magnum. I’ve posted before how much I love the 08 and 09 versions, and the 10 is a home run as well. Gorgeous nose of citrus and pear. On the palate, crisp lemon, apple and pear with a nice flinty minerality. Fabulous chard.

2010 Hilliard Bruce Hilliard Bruce Vineyard Chardonnay. Like the Lato, who consulted for this vintage at HB, there are frequent comparisons to a white burg. Also has a beautiful nose of citrus/lemon, and a nice mineral streak. 100% French oak, but less new oak (30%) than the Lato. A truly exceptional chard. The better news…it is $10-$15 cheaper than the Lato and easier to find.

2010 Deovlet Bien Nacido Pinot Noir. Phil told me to make sure I stopped by to see Ryan and I’m glad I did. Great guy and great wines. Also passionate about what he does and it comes across as he describes the wines. The Bien Nacido was a beautiful red (even under the tent) with a nice nose of spice, red fruits, and some rose/florals. Darker cherry fruit on the palate, with nice minerality and even a bit of strawberry/rhubarb pie note that I love in some RRV Pinot’s such as Keefer Ranch.

2010 Deovlet La Encantada Pinot Noir. A bit harder to describe this one from memory, but I do recall liking it as well. Believe this was darker, also with a dark fruit/black cherry palate and nice minerality. Both wines had a great texture/mouth feel and I look forward to trying these from bottle over a day or two rather than in an event setting. That said, looks like they are sold out on the web site, but can be found at a few retail locations on Winesearcher. Also pleased to recently learn that Ryan makes the wines for Refugio Ranch, a set of wines I have enjoyed at the last two Celebration of Harvest events. Ryan is definitely a young winemaker to keep an eye on. Make sure to try the wines if you come across them.

Other Santa Barbara County wines I enjoyed at WOPN (all Pinots):
- 2007 Arcadian Fiddlestix
- 2010 Brewer Clifton Mt Carmel
- 2010 La Fenetre (didn’t write it down, but believe it was the Le Bon Climat)
- 2011 Paul Lato “The Prospect” Sierra Madre
- 2011 Sandhi Santa Rita Hills



Re: World of Pinot Noir 2013 - Who Let the Chards In?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:54 pm
by Phil_Carpenter
Thanks for posting, Steve!!

Those H-B wines are pretty dang good. Have had the chard twice lately and impressed both times.

Ryan is the man! Love the wines he makes! I also am a FREAK for La Encantada fruit. Love that vineyard.