Quality of California Pinot “skyrocketed”

5th November, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt

The quality of Californian Pinot Noir has improved more than any other grape in the state over the last decade, according to Karen MacNeil.

Karen MacNeil is author of The Wine Bible and chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies

The comment was made during a Pinot Noir tasting at last month’s California Wine Summit, where attendees tried 18 Pinots , selected by a group of professionals led by MacNeil, who is author of The Wine Bible and chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley.

Initially, MacNeil recorded a period 15 years ago, where “California Pinot Noir was evolving, but not at a very brisk pace”. Continuing….

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6 Responses to “Quality of California Pinot “skyrocketed””

  1. Wes Hagen says:

    Thanks to everyone for having such good taste and choosing the Sta. Rita Hills as the premier AVA for Pinot Noir in California. 37th parallel for the win~!

    • Mike Cope says:

      I agree with Wes. Those Sta. Rita Hills vineyards—Cargasacchi, Clos Pepe, 3-D, Sanford & Benedict, Wenzlau, Sea Smoke, etc.—are producing amazing fruit. Not surprised that there were so many awards.

  2. Brian Tuite says:

    Flawed tasting. No Copain, Rhys, Ceritas, Anthill Farms…

    • Jason says:

      Brian, Couldn’t agree more. Rhys’ SCM bottlings are tops, and the Anthill Farms Anderson Valley selections are incredible.

  3. Sorry you did not get any Flying Goat Cellars vineyard designated Pinot Noirs from Santa Maria Valley and Sta. Rita Hills. We’ll have to work on that! Cheers, Kate

  4. aaron walker says:

    I produce Pinots every vintage from Oregon, Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley and Sta Rita Hills – especially in the last 4 vintages (2010-current) the Sta Rita Hills have consistently been the stand outs in our cellar. It’s about time the rest of the wine drinking world caught on – SRH Pinots are amazing!

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