Coco-lux assorted truffles

Returning to California Pinot

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
February 26, 2008

Wine Emporium
1545 2nd Ave
(80th & 81st Sts)
New York, NY 10028

In wine, always be curious; always taste before you judge.

Recently I opened a bottle of Pinot Noir from a Sonoma winery, Buena Vista, that just celebrated its 150th anniversary. Initially, I had expected to write it off as another overpowering, alcohol-cum-fruit bomb California Pinot.

So, I tasted the 2005 Ramal Vineyard Pinot Noir ($40) with low expectations but was instead rewarded by a fruit-forward yet very nuanced wine. Aged in French oak barrels (55% new) for eight months, this beet-colored blend of clones (Pommard 5, Dijoin 115, 667, 777, 828, Swan and Martini) and site-selected Pinots shows both complexity and balance. Raspberry, cassis, and plum merge and dance.

It’s been a while since I’ve embraced a California Pinot. This wine restored my faith and has prompted me to taste before making assumptions.

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