Pinot on the River 2014

The 11th annual incarnation of Pinot on the River took place on Healdsburg Plaza in the Russian River Valley Sunday, October 26, 2014. The weather obliged providing a splendid sunny autumn afternoon in vine covered wine country.


Healdsburg Plaza is laid out with several walkways radiating out from a central area. This provided user friendly access for the auction placed near the center, with winery booths along the walkways. Additionally, shops and hotels border Healdsburg Plaza for those with interests before or after the event. Vineyards, some with wineries, lie in virtually all directions of the Russian River Valley countryside surrounding Healdsburg. The area is noted for producing excellent Pinot Noir


This event is billed as having over 100 Pinot Noir producers present from along the West Coast. I didn’t count them, but wine booths were everywhere. If you are new to Pinot Noir, this event is an excellent opportunity for an introduction to the wine. If you are already a Pinot Noir fan, then you may know this is an excellent event to compare and evaluate recent vintages, producers, and styles. The winery personnel pouring were eager to explain their wines, or to simply pour, as the guests wish. Pinot on the River is a great venue to taste Pinot Noir outdoors in a beautiful country environment. It’s hard for me to think of a better way to spend an autumn afternoon.

My tasting notes

93, Pinot Noir, Freeman, Russian River Valley, 2012
The aromas offer subtle and complex hints of tangerine, umami, and pleasant oak. Expansive fruit traverses the palate. This intriguing, supple wine has an elegant, intense, richness. Freeman does it again!

91, Pinot Noir, Roar, Pelligrini Vineyard, 2012
The expressive aromatics offer fresh fruit and the signature Pinot Noir nose. The complex, expansive flavors articulate the varietal well.

90, Pinot Noir, Roar, Gary’s Vineyard, 2013
Expressive, sweet dark fruit saturates the palate. This lovely wine is intense in character with a smooth in texture.

90, Pinot Noir, Lioco, Klindt, 2011
This Lioco tends towards an elegant Burgundian touch, taste, and feel. The medium size and richness remind of California.

91, Pinot Noir, MacPhail, San Giacomo, 2011
A big California style framed by toasty oak and chocked full of dark, intense fruit. This is in Character with MacPhail Pinot Noir.

90, Pinot Noir, MacPhail, Flyer, 2011
Another sizeable Pinot Noir from this producer. This is a well extracted wine with oak overtones, and a fine California expression of ripe dark fruit.

90, Pinot Noir, Morgan, 12 Clones, 2013
A tasty wine with all components nicely in balance. This is a delicious Pinot Noir with a unique flavor profile.

90, Pinot Noir, Siduri, Van Der Kamp, 2012
Moderately sweet cherry fruit permeate this medium-plus bodied wine. Well made – good effort.

90, Pinot Noir, Donelan, Two Brothers, 2012
The minerality overshadows the fruit in this inviting and well crafted PN. The light bodied example demonstrates texture rather than viscosity.

91, Pinot Noir, Hahn, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2012
Elegant, with a well balanced combination of fruit, acid, and tannins. A well crafted Pinot Noir, showing smooth textured suppleness.

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