Some readers will not find that the wines highly rated in this issue and their standards of deliciousness satisfy. I would emphasis however that for what the winemaker set out to achieve, the most wines will need to be respected for their own balance, complexity and subtleties, and admired. I believe you’ll find the wines money well spent. Pay particular attention to the Pinot Noirs from Morgan and Eric Kent.
When Balzer penned these quotes, I had started my practice. With new found spendable income and
an interest in Pinot Noir with Burgundy, I began to survey the market. Since
Balzer pointed out, there were national Pinot Noirs that were worthy, with Chalone being the
one that I latched on to.
A series of videos on California wines, “California Wines: Behind the Glass,” is being released by the California
Wine Institute. The videos convey the appeal of the regions, climates, and grapes and people who come
together to create California wine. “California Wine Month” is the first in the 23-part series debuting on
September 6 on Instagram (california.wines) before rolling out over social networking channels including
Facebook (CaliforniaWines), Twitter (CalifWines_US) and YouTube (California Wine Institute), and going live
on www.DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com. A new movie will be posted each week until the final movie, “Road Trip,”
wraps up the show on February 7, 2018.
September is the annual California Wine Month so that this is a matter. It is a time to reflect and
observe California wine. The Golden State now has 4,700 wineries and more than 900,000 acres planted to wine
grapes throughout 138 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). California generates 85 percent of United States
wine and is the number one state for wine and food tourism, attracting 24 million tourist visits every year. Two-thirds of the wine shipped in this country comes from California.
It is astonishing to realize how far domestic Pinot Noir has come over my lifetime. Wine critic,
Robert Lawrence Balzer, wrote in his book, Wines of California, some derogatory, but correct
comments about Pinot Noir in California at the time.
I am happy to say
in this issue there are many “great” wines that are affordable and intended to be drunk now. They would not be
considered “collectible,” but that does not diminish their excellence. Francophiles can turn up their noses, but
California Pinot Noir can be dreamy.
Several members of the California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) are offering special wine
packs for guests at harvest time. For information on the special deals, visit www.cabbi.com/specials.
Forty years later, domestic Pinot Noir offers an embarrassment of riches, with great wines simple to locate and
acquire. As a perfect example, I offer you the wines from California reviewed in this matter. In step with
California’s increasing Pinot Noir wealth, the consumer’s palate has matured leading to more interest in the
subtleties and intricacies of Pinot Noir. Also, consumers hold high standards for great producers. As
Jake Lorenzo mentioned in Wine Business Monthly in 2012, “We need to take the time to find out who is
uncompromising when making their wines. Once we identify these winemakers, we need to buy their wine and
pony up the amount of money they need to stay in business.
Visit www.discovercaliforniawines.com/californiawinemonth to see a complete list of September events by date.