Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Pinot on the Deck, Peay, Kistler, KB, Stemmler, and more! 25 August 2008

Pinot on the Deck, Peay, Kistler, KB, Stemmler, and more! 25 August 2008


This Saturday a group of us got together for a casual evening to taste Pinot Noir outside on our deck. Present were Deborah, Dave, Ross, Angela, Denise, Shane, Jenn, and myself. Deborah, Dave, and Ross are former co-workers. While Dave was in Iraq we exchanged email about wine and promised to get together once he returned. The wines were double-decanted within an hour of tasting and all wines were brown-bagged.

The top-ranked wines were:
1st: Dierberg
2nd: Kosta Browne
3rd: Kistler
4th: Peay and Stemmler

The quality of these bottles spanned a wide range. It was of great suprise to Shane and myself that the Dierberg was clearly the group favorite. We drank a bottle one month prior which we thought was good but certainly not remarkable. This bottle rocked. The Kosta Browne came in a close second. The Kistler, Peay, and Stemmler followed in a tight grouping.

I’ve done my best to summarize the tasting notes:

2003 Shea Wine Cellars, Estate, Pinot Noir, Willamete Valley
Garnet in the glass, definitely an older color. A light nose. In the mouth black fruit, some cool blue fruit, and some creaminess. There are minimal tannins. While some found this wine average, most disliked it with comments of “wow, so bad,” “jammy” fruit, or “alcoholic aftertaste.”

2004 Robert Stemmler, Nugent Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Almost as perfumed as the Dierberg but definitely a delicate nose. Angela thought it had a “great smell.” Sour red fruit at first then with air it became cloying and herbed. Heavy-handed in the mid-palate. The tannins were present but hidden by the fruit. I decanted all of the wines myself and when I got to this one I could smell it two feet away. It was intense but the power faded off when it came to the tasting.

2007 Sterling Vintner’s Collection, Pinot Noir, Central Coast
Purple-ruby in the glass. A light nose of bright fruit. Purple fruit and toasted flavors in the mouth. Two people enjoyed the long finish.

2005 Dierberg, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley
The most perfumed and aromatic nose out of all of the wines. Very articulated dark red and blue fruits, black cherries. There was attractive grit to the fruit with excellent supporting acidity. There were fine tannins in the finish. This was deep, lush, and had a long finish. Dave found it “bold.”
Jenn found it “rich.” Deborah thought “It’s almost a religious experience – like being in a rural chapel.” I was certain this was not the Dierberg.

2004 Kosta Browne, Kanzler Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Garnet with slight-brick cast to it. Sweet round fruit that improved with air. Both Deborah and Ross enjoyed the berry flavors. Dave thought that although a high-alcohol wine it was well-balanced.

2005 Peay, Scallop Shelf, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Very light color. A nose that is very lightly perfumed. Red and blue fruits up front then a tad flat in flavor mid-palate. Deborah thought is “very delicate” and many found it a “lush” or “smooth” finishing wine. I think it is a bit young.

2006 Willakenzie Estate, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
A brighter, light raspberry color. Brighter red fruit on the nose. The nose immediately stood the wine out from the rest. Candied raspberry and cherry flavors in this “thin,” “light”, and “austere” wine.

2006 Kistler, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
This was a youthful purple in the glass. A “soft” or “delicate” sweet nose. Sweet fruit, though a little cloying. After the initial fruit flavors, the tannins become evident as they build to a short, slightly hot, coarse-tannic finish. Most people enjoyed the wine’s initial flavors but there were many comments highlighting the short finish and aftertaste.

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