Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2008 Pinot Noir

The October installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2008 Pinot Noir from California and Oregon. 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. I plan on opening the winning bottle this coming weekend and will publish a Bottle Note shortly thereafter.

2008 was an exceptional vintage in Oregon. Dry weather in September and October allowed vintners to pick their grapes at the optimal time. The vintage was more challenging in Northern California with extreme weather and vast wildfires.

The Contenders:

2008 Thomas Pinot Noir – Vivid ruby-red. An intriguing, highly aromatic bouquet evokes red and dark berries, cherry, sassafras and smoky Indian spices, with a slow-mounting floral element. Juicy, penetrating redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors gain sweetness with air and pick up floral, game and herbal nuances. A lively mineral quality adds lift and cut to the sweet, strikingly persistent finish, which shows a hint of dusty tannins. Displays excellent complexity already but this wine has a stellar track record for aging. 94 points from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.

2008 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Koplen Vineyard –  Bright ruby. Intensely perfumed bouquet displays red berries, potpourri and star anise. Michael Browne told me that he used a lot of whole clusters this year “to increase the spiciness. The fruit is always powerful and I wanted to bring an extra dimension.” Pliant, juicy red fruit flavors are complicated by notes of cinnamon and spicecake, with slow-building smokiness. Finishes with refreshing tangy cut and a strong echo of raspberry. 92 points from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.

2008 Dehlinger Pinot Noir – The flagship Pinot, the 2008 Pinot Noir Estate, comes from the finest hilltop parcels in his beautiful Russian River vineyard. Its dense plum/ruby color is followed by a perfumed nose of forest floor, and sweet black raspberries, black cherries and plums intermixed with a hint of Asian spice. Fleshy and medium to full-bodied with silky tannins, good acidity and purity, it demonstrates a commitment to intelligent winemaking. These wines are never over-oaked or extreme in any fashion. The 2008 Pinot Noirs continue Dehlinger’s nearly unbroken record of success with Pinot that started in the mid-seventies. The ever reliable Tom Dehlinger continues to turn out some of the most fairly priced wine in all of California. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2008 Pinot Noir Should I Open?

  • 2008 Thomas Pinot Noir (63%, 22 Votes)
  • 2008 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Koplen Vineyard (26%, 9 Votes)
  • 2008 Dehlinger Pinot Noir (11%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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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 November installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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3 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2008 Pinot Noir

  1. 2008 Thomas Pinot Noir is my pick. No reason other than curiosity as to how the Thomas is doing 7 years after one of the best vintages ever in Oregon. Cheers!

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