Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

Pick My Next Bottle – 2007 California Pinot Noir

The December installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on California Pinot Noir from the 2007 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened on New Year’s Eve and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

The 2007 vintage of California Pinot Noir was praised by The Wine Spectator as the best vintage ever for the variety in Northern California.

The Contenders

  • 2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard – Pure and precise and bursting with juicy young fruit, this wonderfully well-stuffed Pinot Noir achieves a degree of rarely seen varietal richness without resorting to out-of-bounds ripeness or more oak than is absolutely necessary. It is so rich and stridently fruity that its youthful firmness goes all but unnoticed, but make no mistake, it is structured for keeping as the finest wines are, and it promises to find further polish and grow that much more inviting if it is allowed to rest quietly for another half-dozen years. 94 points from Connoisseurs Guide.
  • 2007 Dehlinger Estate Pinot Noir – Tom Dehlinger has never been one to hold back on Pinot Noir and leaves the making of delicate wine to others, and his style can be no better seen than in this bold and deeply filled effort. When, as in such stellar harvests as 2007, all the pieces fall into place, even the naysayers who cannot see past alcohol content are bound to be taken with the kind of richness and wonder-fully concentrated fruit that this deep, remarkably well-balanced bottling shows. It will hold and improve for many more years, but whether drunk now or saved for later, it needs to be paired with appropriately rich foods. 95 points from Connoisseurs Guide.
  • 2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard – Bright red. Strikingly pure raspberry, wild strawberry, rose and mineral aromas are deepened by a subtle note of smoky Indian spices. Sharply focused, energetic red fruit flavors stain the palate, with silky tannins providing structure and grip. The red berry character gains strength with air and dominates the long, intensely spicy finish. One of the more graceful pinots I came across in this year’s tastings. 94 points from Stephen Tanzer.

Which 2007 California Pinot Noir should I open?

  • 2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard (49%, 21 Votes)
  • 2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard (33%, 14 Votes)
  • 2007 Dehlinger Estate Pinot Noir (19%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 43

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the January Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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8 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2007 California Pinot Noir

  1. Very tough choice! I’d love to try any of these bottles. I voted for the KB because I’d be interested in a check in on this ripe wine from a ripe vintage to see if it is showing any signs of losing all that it had when Charlie Olken tasted it young. I know that WS will sing for years and years, and I suspect the Dehlinger will as well. KB may be the same but I don’t have any real experience with holding KB beyond 4-5 years. Don’t get a lot and just can’t lay off it that long.

  2. The William Selyem PN is phenomenal. I’ve had several bottles, & even though the Kosta Brown is a close second, the WS is WOW! BTW: the Dehlinger PN is exactly what is wrong in my opinion with the ” modern style” of wine making in California PN & Chardonnay

  3. Interesting comment. Tom, I’d be interested in your reaction since you have so much experience with Dehlinger. I’m a fan of all three wineries but if anything would put KB in the category of one pushing the ripeness/richness boundries. Dehlinger wines are very well balanced in my experience and the Green Valley location usually contributes plenty of acidity to balance ripe fruit.

    1. I agree with you Mike. If we assume “modern style” pertains to ripeness then I would more likely associate that with Kosta Browne as well. The Dehlinger Chards definitely have some of the flint, match stick characteristics I more often associate with Chablis than California Chardonnay. That being said some recent bottles of Dehlinger Pinot Noir from 04 and 05 had a touch of VA in my opinion so maybe that is where the comment comes from. At the end of the day though wine is so subjective that it is hard to argue one way or the other.

  4. Not familiar with Dehlinger wines, Tom, so I wanted to get your insight. Looks like I’m losing this vote though!

  5. In review of the bottle notes, one can see the potential for further maturity in the Kosta and Dehlinger selections. Since there is no such suggestion with the William Selyem one can surmise that it is likely at or closer to its optimal maturity. Cheers!

  6. Since it’s not the reserve, it probably has the shortest life span of the three and is probably the most ready. It was showing well the last time I had one, which was about 6 months ago.

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