As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemakers gained a stable of quality sources for Pinot fruit from the finest AVAs in California. The 2012 Sonoma County Pinot Noir is only the fourth vintage from the enterprising team at Banshee Wines. A large percentage of it is still sourced from the Sonoma Coast, often declassified barrels from vineyards that close followers of top-tier west coast Pinot may recognize: Coastlands, Emmaline, Jack Hill, Rice-Spivak, Tina Marie, Hellenthal, Hurst, Bohemian, Sullivan Vineyards and more. Tasting notes from the winery for this brand-new release: “The aromatics start in a cool perfumy register that is underlined by a touch of forest floor. In the mouth the wine offers a deft balance between just ripe raspberries and boysenberry against a frame of rhubarb and pine. The 2012 also possesses a sense of coiled energy behind its elegant outward appearance.”
There is no mystery behind this delicious wine. Domaine Brunet is classified as a Vin de Pays d’Oc from Limoux. The bouquet presents impressive concentration and intensity with aromas of black cherry, vanilla, and subtle note of smoky toast. Incredibly rich and juicy on the palate with flavors of blackberry melting seemlessly into a backround of soft, velvety tannins. This is a great value among Pinot’s from just about anywhere.
One of the finest wines of the vintage, this is simply a spectacular effort that has captured every bit of the potential it originally displayed in cask. Restrained and backward nose of a fantastically complex mix of blackberries, spice, cedar, soy, anise and dried herbs followed by full-bodied, multi-layered flavors of amazing length. Opulent and lavish yet all remains exquisitely balanced and this is astonishingly precise. A real stunner of a wine that is as classy and graceful as they come. As good and classy as the ’02 if not quite as structured. 96 Points. 2016+. Burghound.com
Yamhill Cuvée has an aroma profile that consists of red fruits, minerals, spice, earth, and hint of French Oak. The palate offers youthful tannins and balanced acidity which lead to a smooth and graceful finish. It is approachable in its youth, while maintaining the elegance and finesse of a Domaine Serene Pinot Noir.
92? points. A very somber and inexpressive nose features intensely earth and moderately sauvage aromas of brooding dark berry fruit and violets that precede the rich, full-bodied and overtly powerful flavors that are very Nuits in character. There is a seductively velvet character to the complex, robust and muscular finish that is mildly rustic but wonderfully persistent. Even so, the depth of material here is very impressive and this should be outstanding in due time.