Pali Wines Returns to Artisan Wine Depot

Pali's Joanie Hudson and Tony
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We thoroughly enjoyed tasting Pali’s wines in June, so when Artisan Wine Depot invited us, we jumped at the chance. On the Saturday before Christmas the store was busy, but we were patient.  OK, no we weren’t.

Pali Wines Returns to Artisan Wine Depot

Joanie Hudson (Pali’s Western Regional Sales Manager) was as charming as she was in June.

Pali's Joanie Hudson and Tony

Pali’s Joanie Hudson and Tony

The first pinot was the 2011 “Shea Vineyard” (Willamette Valley, $54.97).  We’ve tasted a number of wines from this vineyard in the past and, frankly, it’s appeal has always escaped us.  This was no exception.  The wine is thin and acid with no mouth feel at all.

The next pinot was the 2010 “Riviera” (Sonoma Coast, $16.99)“Juicy” is the best word I can come up with to describe this wine. Black cherry aromas are followed by blackberry flavor with a hint of chocolate. We bought two bottles.  Interestingly, we also tasted this wine in June.  It’s difficult to believe it could have improved so much in six months, but apparently it has.

Up next was the 2012 “Huntington” (Santa Barbara County, $19.99). Aromas of black cherry and blackberry with a hint of earth. On the palate, flavors of blackberries and plum.  This was our second choice.  Both the Huntington and the Riviera are genuine bargains.

The 2010 “Windsor Oaks” (Russian River Valley, $44.99) presents aromas of white pepper and oak. At the moment, the wine is too oaky and tannic for us, but those with the patience to wait three or four years will be rewarded.

Winemaker Aaron Walker (previously assistant winemaker under Loring), in conjunction with consulting winemaker Kenneth Juhasz combined efforts starting with the 2008 harvest. Walker and Juhasz are terroir specialists who strive to bring out the distinct characteristics of each of the sites we source for our fruit.

 The 2012 “Bluffs” (Russian River Valley, $19.99) presents aromas of earth and is generally a more austere. This is a straightforward pinot noir with no pretensions. On the palette, lush tannins give way to red fruits.

It’s always a pleasure to taste Pali’s pinot noirs because they reflect the terroir where the grapes are grown.  And the Pali website tells us why→

 

About the author

Tony Lima has been a California wine fan since arriving in California from the east coast in 1974. He's lived the growth and expansion of the West Coast industry first hand. He's seen the fickle California Wine consumer fads pop up and burst... the craze for Zinfandel, then oaky Chardonnay, then Merlot, now Pinot Noir. On behalf of fellow Californian oenophiles, he hunts for great pinot noir and great values in pinot noir all along the West Coast. His day job is Professor of Economics at California State University located in Hayward. His undergrad degree in chemical engineering (MIT) and his MBA (Harvard) and Ph.D. Economics (Stanford) are the root of his interest in the Business of Wine. He is a card-carrying member of the AAWE - American Association of Wine Economists.

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