Is California running out of pinot noir grapes? That’s the question that came to mind after finally getting around to reviewing the November 7, 2015 Paso Robles Garagiste Festival. We found two new wineries offering pinot noir: Pagter Brothers Winery and Chêne Vineyards. Vinemark Cellars, RN Estate, Vino Vargas, Cutruzzola Vineyards, and Aaron Wines (the Aequorea label) are old friends that have maintained their excellent quality. We’ll discuss a few of these near the end. But first, let’s look at the newcomers.
Reminder: Norma put together an entertaining video summary of this event:
Pagter Brothers Winery
[pullquote]It takes a lot of wine to be creative, so Scott took this job seriously and “researched” a lot of wine over the years.[/pullquote]
Winemaker Scott Page Pagter was pouring their 2013 pinot noir ($40). Bing cherry aromas, hints of spice and acid on the finish, and a light cranberry palate in between. What’s not to like?
Scott’s background is in music. As the website puts it ↑
He began fooling around with winemaking in 2007.
His partner in the business is Ralph Gibson “Gib” Pagter, Jr. Gib is a lawyer. In his profession,
It takes a lot of wine to preserve the law of the land apparently, and he takes this job seriously as well.
This year is the winery’s first vintage release. Support the new guys!
David Platt, the Chêne winemaker, was behind the table with a few friends. They were offering their 2013 and 2014 pinot noirs (both $48). Tip: If you want something to drink now, go for the 2013. The 2014 needs at least another year of bottle time to develop. There’s some potential there.
The 2013 features raspberries and blackberries on the palate with a touch of spice and brambleberries on the finish. Aromas of cherries and rose petals.
And the Rest
For these, we will link to our previous, more detailed reviews.
Vinemark Cellars has released their first reserve pinot noir. Carrying the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, Mark Wassberg claimed the grapes were clone 777 from Garys’ Vineyard. At a price of $38 this is a steal.
RN Estate poured two 2013 pinot noirs: Fiddlestix Vineyard ($55) and Solomon Hills ($49). Roger Nicolas continues to work magic, getting excellent fruit and treating it very well.
Cutruzzola Vineyards offered their 2013 “Gloria” estate pinot noir ($42). Francis Cutruzzola and Lisa Miller continue to make some of the best pinots in the state.
We’ve praised Vino Vargas’s Rio Ruso Reserve pinot noir in the past. The 2012 vintage ($45) continues Pedro and Vicky Vargas’s history of great work.
Aaron Wines uses their Aequorea label for viognier, riesling and pinot noir. Their 2014 Seafarer ($40) opens with aromas of cranberry, red apple, and tea. The palate features boysenberries with hints of spice and baking chocolate.
We got this review out just in time. In February we have a date with Garagiste Southern Exposure in Solvang.