Four Californian Pinot Noirs

Byron PNByron Pinot Noir 2013, Santa Barbara County, California (£16
Some will like the soft, vanilla tinged ripe red berry flavours here, but others will think that (like many Californian Pinots) it veers too much towards the overripe. I tasted this over a couple of days to see if a subtler edge emerged, but it didn’t. B(-)


These next three came direct from the winery, check out for local availability

Marimar Cavalls PNMarimar Estate Mas Cavalls Pinot Noir 2013, Sonoma Coast, California
The gentlest of the trio, but the red berry and red cherry fruit has a slightly hot (as in alcoholic) and stewed character and I miss some of the Pinot perfume. B-

Marimar Masia PNMarimar Estate ‘La Masia’ Pinot Noir 2010, Russian River Valley, California (£30
I tasted this with an enthusiastic group of wine lovers in Edinburgh and they loved it for its lush, ripe dark cherry flavours, smoky oak and persistent flavours. It’s certainly a rich concentrated wine, but throughout the intensity, it manages to keep the Pinot allure. The sweet spot of this trio for me. S

Marimar Cristina PNMarimar Estate Cristina Pinot Noir 2012, Russian River Valley, California
Takes the richness of the previous wine and ratchets it up a notch, which for me is a step too far. So those dark cherry and berry flavours veer towards the overripe, and there’s a little too much heat from the alcohol. Will it calm down with time? Not so sure… B+

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