The annual Pinot Days festival came and went this past weekend in its hip new spot at the Metreon. As someone who has attended every Pinot Days tasting since the very first, people often ask me who the winners were. I don't provide tasting notes, but I lean toward wines that exhibit strong balance, great mouthfeel, and an X Factor that can begin a conversation. After tasting over one hundred wines at this event, here are my winners for this year (in no particular order):
- Freeman showed two beautiful Pinots from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both 2013, $44 and $45 respectively), which were perhaps the two best Freemans I have ever tried.
- Martinelli's 2013 Bondi Home Ranch Pinot was fantastic, following a strong showing in 2012.
- Kanzler's 2013 Sonoma Coast was their only wine on show and it was excellent.
- Sojourn's 2013 Sangiacomo Pinot was outstanding (in 2012, I preferred the Gap's Crown).
- Furthermore's 2012 Gap's Crown was fantastic.
- Both of Windy Oaks' wines were phenomenal — the 2013 Estate Diane's Block and the 2012 Estate 100% Whole Cluster.
- In the value category, Teac Mor's 2009 Pinot was on sale at $120 per case (definitely worth it) and their 2012 was offered at $120 per six pack (also worth it). If they will extend the same offer to you, I'd go for it for everyday drinking.
- Two wines that were very, very close but just missed my cutoff for buying were the 2012 Weir Pinot from Talisman and the 2013 Fox Den from Dutton Goldfield. If you have enjoyed Talisman or Dutton wines in the past, don't hesitate — both are very good.