Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Three American Pinot Noirs

Three American Pinot Noirs


These bottles were purchased at MacArthur’s.  The Roth cost $20, the Bouchaine cost $22, and the Shea is insanely priced at $47.  According to Wine-Searcher the Shea typically runs $35-$38 per bottle.  Jenn’s favorite wine was the Shea and I must agree, it is quite nice and a reasonable buy at the $35-$38 range but not at the $47 price point.  The Roth is a good wine and incredibly priced at $20 if you do not mind the assertive Pinot Noir style.  It is worth a try, I like the savory aspect with the dark sugar and spice notes.

2008 Shea Wine Cellars, Pinot Noir, Estate, Willamete Valley
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir with 13% of the fruit fermented in wood tanks.  The wine was aged in 46% new and 54% used French oak.  This young wine took several hours to develop so we put it back in the wine fridge to taste later.  On the second night the nose revealed roses and spice in a dense package along with barrel toast.  The dark red fruit mixed with racy minerals with a midpalate of lifted, blue/black fruits and incense.  There is a pleasing finish before a mixture of minerals and persistent hard blue fruits come out in the aftertaste.  Lovely but needs to be cellared.

2007 Bouchaine, Pinot Noir, Carneros
We did not like this as much as the Roth.  There is a light nose.  In the mouth the flavors of dark red fruits are a steely, somewhat grapey and show some heat right before the finish.  There are dusty notes in the aftertaste.  This wine comes across as mature.  I would drink this now.

2009 Roth Estate, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
There is quite a team making this wine.  Roth Estate is the second label of Lancaster Estate which means David Ramey is a consultant and Jesse Katz is the winemaker.  Jesse work at Screaming Eagle, Paul Hobbs’ Vina Cobos, and Robert Foley.  This wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.  It took two bottles to produce this tasting note.  The first bottle was consumed within one evening but we felt the wine finally started to open up as we drained the last glass.  The second bottle was consumed over three nights.  This wine clearly needs to be cellared.  There is a light nose of floral berries.  In the mouth this medium bodied wine has an aggressive start with a bit of heat from alcohol.  It is a little discombobulated right now and could use a few years to come together.  It is compact with black cherry, red fruit flavors, some sweetness, and a bit of wood.  There is a savory character as the wine grows significantly in size with dark sugar and spice notes.  There are some very fine tannins in the long aftertaste.  This is a modern, assertive wine.

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