In The Press

The Tasting Panel LogoFiner American Pinot Noirs Than Ever Before - Randy Caparosa, The Tasting Panel

There were significantly more - and finer - world-class West Coast-grown Pinot Noirs at 2014's World of Pinot Noir...
Two observations:

  • The idea of "typically over-oaked" American Pinot Noir is officially a thing of the past.
  • the vast majority of the 200-plus wines tasted, an overweening sense of alocohol or ripeness just wasn't there.

Click here to read the complete article.Two Guys from Napa

Two Guys from Napa give their Recommendations from the 2014 World of Pinot Noir

We had a lot of favorite wines at the World of Pinot Noir, but that’s to be expected when you have access to over 200 premium wineries at a premium wine event which draws participants and attendees from around the world.  We suggest you visit these wineries and/or look for these wines in your local wine stores, restaurants or online. 

As usual, the 2014 World of Pinot Noir event was a delightful opportunity to taste some of the best Pinot Noir wines available in the world and we’ve already marked our calendars for the first weekend of March 2015.

Click here to see all of their recommendations.

Steve HeimoffSteve Heimoff Looks Forward to WOPN 014

Off to World of Pinot Noir today, a great event for keeping track of what’s up with the variety, in California and around the world. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Among the seminars I’m excited about are “The Insider Wines of the Cote d’Or” and a comparison of the wines of Willamette Valley and its sub-AVAs with the wines of Maison Jadot.

Randy Caparosa reports on WOPN in his blog, "Culinary Wine & Food Adventures"

"What became crystal clear after two days of immersion in the grape at the 12th Annual World of Pinot Noir in Shell Beach, CA. this past March 2-3:  American Pinot Noir has definitely grown up. But have Pinot Noir lovers matured?  The Pinot Noirs shown – generally from the 2009 and 2010 vintages – were impressive enough, despite more than a few hints and allegations heard amongst the crowd about concerns like 'balance,' which I still think is a load of expletive." Read more here!

PinotphileOur favorite Prince (of Pinot) reports on the 2012 events

"Each year on the first weekend in March a few thousand pinot geeks converge on the small beach side community of Shell Beach at The Cliffs Resort to revel in the wines made from their favorite grape. This year’s event was exceptional. It was a weekend to renew old friendships and make new friends, to discover new Pinot Noir producers as well as revisit established Pinot Noir vintners, and to taste the current bounty of Pinot Noir from North America, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Burgundy. Two seminars were offered on Friday, March 2, hosted by winemaker Fintan Du Fresne and the crew at Chamisal Vineyards in Edna Valley. The first seminar, titled “Technique v. Terroir: The Cube Project,” was moderated by yours truly, and the second seminar, “Natural Winemaking,” was moderated by noted Pinot Noir expert, John Haeger. I will summarize the discussion and conclusions reached at each seminar." Read on...

And here's a few wines that caught the Prince's interest.

Two Guys from Napa visit the Twelve Annual World of Pinot Noir...

"Earlier this month, we had the extreme pleasure of participating in two days of Grand Tastings at this year’s World of Pinot Noir Festival held in Shell Beach, California.  With over 180 winery participants, we expected to be reminded of why we love some of our favorite Pinot Noir producers.  We were also hoping to discover some new wineries at WOPN and we were tremendously successful in that.  However, what we didn’t expect and were truly surprised at were the quantity and quality of food provided during the Grand Tastings." Read their blog here.

iWine Radio interviews 2012 seminar panelists

Thomas Houseman, Winemaker, Anne Amie Vineyards, Willamette Valley, panelist at the The Twelfth Annual World of Pinot Noir Technique vs. Terroir – Vineyard, Vintage, Winemaker seminar/tasting. The seminar examines the influence of the winemaker and the vineyard on Pommard grapes picked in Carneros, Sta. Rita Hills, and the Willamette Valley. Follow this unique experiment between Anne Amie Vineyards, Bouchaine Vineyards, and Lincourt Vineyards.

Blast from 2011 World of Pinot Noir

Check out Grape Radio's interviews from the 2011 tasting.Grape Radio

Join us as we sit down with some familiar and maybe not so familiar winemaking names in the “World of Pinot Noir,” as we hear about their beginnings, their processes, their passions, and their aspirations. Our interviewees include: Jeff Pisoni (Lucia Vineyards), Eric Lundblad (Ladd Cellars), Byron Kosuge (B. Kosuge Wines, Kingston Family Vineyards), Jacob Fetzer (Masut Vineyard and Winery), Bibiana González Rave (Lynmar Estate), and Alan Baker (Cartograph Wines). Click here to listen.

Grape Radio asks "Alcohol vs. there a fight?"

Alcohol and Balance – could there be a more controversial issue for today’s wine geeks? Well, thankfully, the 2011 World of Pinot Noir held a seminar on this very contentious topic. Joining N.Y. Times columnist Eric Asimov as moderator, was an illustrious (and, we might add “balanced”) group of panel members: Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat), Adam Tolmach (The Ojai Vineyard), Josh Jensen (Calera), Rajat Parr (Sommelier and restaurateur), Adam Lee (Siduri), and Michael Browne (Kosta Browne).

So, how are picking decisions made? And, how do these, in turn, affect the final alcohol level of the wine? Is alcohol really just a number? Does the percent of alcohol affect the balance of the wine in the bottle? Yes, most of these questions will be answered during the seminar. And, no, boxing gloves weren’t handed out to the panelists. But, there were some strong feelings among colleagues on both sides of the issue. However, more importantly, everyone gave a good accounting of themselves. Was a final decision rendered? Well, you’ll just have to hear for yourself. Click here for the podcast.

PinotphileThe Prince of Pinot reported from WOPN 2011:

I returned yesterday from the 2011 World of Pinot Noir in Shell Beach, California, flush with fond memories of the cornucopia of spectacular Pinot Noirs and a renewed admiration for those that craft these marvelous grape concoctions.
Read the complete article here.

Steve HeimoffSteve Heimoff gets an Early Wakeup, gets excited about Burgundy (again) and thinks about Alcohol Levels in Wine

WOPN Day 1
A California palate tastes Burgundy
Post-WOPN thoughts on alcohol, Pinot Noir and scores


Santa Barbara IndependentA Wide, Wild World of Pinot Noir

Matt Kettman from the Santa Barbara Independent joined us for the 2011 Friday Pinot Noir by the Sea Grand Tasting and our Dine Local, Drink Global dinner extravaganza that evening: an enticing foray into WOPN for this neophyte.
Read the complete article here.

Grape RadioParlez-Vous Pinot?

Rusty Gaffney and Jay Selman have a casual and intimate conversation with Alexandrine Roy and Thomas Bouley, participants in the “Young Turks of Burgundy” tasting at the 2011 World of Pinot Noir. We were impressed by their charm and willingness to share their insights into the role of young vignerons in Burgundy today and their impressions of American Pinot Noir. (Please excuse our butchered French).
Click here to listen to the interview.

Vino Las VegasVino Las Vegas Takes a Detailed Look at 2011 WOPN

The World of Pinot Noir. over the last 11 years has earned the reputation as one of the foremost Wine Focus Events in the country with Growers, Winemakers and Master Sommeliers from all over the world converging on the Cliffs Resort in Shell Beach California every March.
Click here to read the full article.

Alcohol and Balance Seminar creates a stir Pinot Noir has historically been prized for lightness, finesse and grace. But our ideas of what Pinot is have changed in the last 10 years. We now see wines that are riper and more extravagant than the French style. A number of these have been critically acclaimed by some prominent critics. Is this a stylistic evolution or a fundamental aberration? Who gets to decide this? Full article

Elin McCoy, Bloomberg: Participant Rajat Parr, wine director of the Michael Mina restaurant group, caused a big stir two years ago when he decided not to include any California pinots with alcohol levels over 14 percent on San Francisco restaurant RN74’s wine list. Ironically, without knowing the alcohol levels of two Siduri wines poured at the panel, Parr chose the 15.2 percent wine as one to buy. Full article

Eric Asimov, NY Times: Personally, I prefer less alcohol in pinot noirs, but I have no hard and fast line. I’ve no doubt enjoyed many pinot noirs above 14 percent... Full article

Jancis Robinson: I’d say that all of this reflects extremely creditably on the California wine scene. I just wish we saw a few more top-quality California Pinot Noirs outside the US. Full article

PinotphileA Memorable Event

The Prince of Pinot, Rusty Gaffney, visited WOPN 2009: "A dedicated herd of Pinot Geeks made the pilgrimage" "the equivalent of Woodstock for pinotphiles."   Read the full article here

More Great Pinots Than You Can Shake a Stick At

Randy Caparoso attended and reported on WOPN 2009,  noting: "Pinot lovers these days feel like kids in a candy shop at venues like World of Pinot Noir."  Read about his favorites on his blog

See and hear GrapeRadio ask winemakers at World of Pinot Noir 2010:

-  Why is Pinot Noir a good wine for Newbies?

-  It is said that Pinot Noir Wears many different clothes - how do you like it dressed?

-  What type of music reminds you of Pinot Noir?

- Why is it said that Pinot Noir is a white wine masquerading as a red wine?

- What is a "Burgundian-Style" Pinot Noir?

...and at WOPN 2009:

- If you weren't a winemaker, what would you be?

- Do you have more North American Pinot or Burgundy in your wine cellar?

- Can you make a Pinot Noir over 15% alcohol and have it still be balanced?

- Pinot Noir is like sex because....

Click here to go to the Grape Radio website

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