Top Scoring Pinot Noirs Between $10 and $20

California pinot noir is a “hot commodity” amongst the Millennialgrapesblack generation with its silky red fruit flavors and soft tannins.  It is an easy drinking red wine for new wine drinkers, but is often difficult to find at price points below $20.  Therefore, the purpose of this tasting was to evaluate value priced pinots and try to find some favorites.  Our five Millennial wine judges succeeded in this endeavor and have three great pinot noirs to recommend. 

***** (93, GOLD) Bogle Russian River Pinot Noir 2006 – $13

Silky texture, spices, fresh berries and cloves. A hint of minerals. Soft and smooth finish. Easy to drink. Well balanced. The favorite of the 3 female wine judges who all gave it a gold medal at 19 points each. Great wine to have with friends or with chicken marsala.  Available at K&L and BevMo.

**** (SILVER) Mark West California Pinot Noir 2006 – $10

 Cherry jam and spice. Lovely texture and mouthfeel. Medium length finish. Lacks complexity. Matt said he enjoyed this wine and picked it as his favorite. Available at CostPlus and K&L.

*** (SILVER) Chalone Monterey Pinot Noir 2006 – $14

Soft cherries, cola and spice. Fruity nose with some earth and mineral on the palate. Zach’s favorite with a Gold at 19 points. Available at K&L.

How the Judges Scored the Wine

All the judges are millennials between the ages of 21 and 30 and are attending university. They have varying degrees of wine experience, but have been trained on how to use the Wine Tasting Evaluation form (see menu on How We Evaluate Wines). All judges complete the Wine Tasting Continuum Questionnaire and completed the PROPO test to validate their score in order to determine if they are tolerant, sensitive or hyper-sensitive tasters. Following are wine preferences of each judge:

Zack is from Rohnert Park, California. He scored a 7 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that he is a Tolerant Taster. He prefers big, red tannic wines. His scores were: Bogle = Silver; Mark West = Bronze; Chalone=Silver.

Ally is from Novato, California. She scored a 3 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that she is a Hyper-Sensitive Taster. She prefers sweeter white wines, fruity reds, Champagne, and sparkling wine. Her scores were: Bogle = Gold; Mark West = Bronze; Chalone=Bronze.

Matt is from Sherman Oaks, California. He scored a 4 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that he is a Sensitive Taster. He prefers dark red wines with big tannins. His scores were: Bogle = Silver; Mark West = Silver; Chalone=Bronze.

Jennifer is from Petaluma, California. She scored a 3 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that she is a Hyper-Sensitive Taster. She prefers white wines, such as Chardonnay, as well as Champagne and sparkling wine. Her scores were: Bogle = Gold; Mark West = Silver; Chalone=NA.

Katie is from Solvang, California. She scored a 4 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that she is a Sensitive Taster. She enjoys all types of wine with no preference of white over red, but selects wine based on the food and occasion. Her scores were: Bogle = Gold; Mark West = Silver; Chalone=Bronze.

SEE VIDEO OF JUDGES’S FAVORITE WINES:

http://www.viddler.com/explore/lizthach/videos/2/

 

Favorite Aromatic White Wines

Aromatic white wines are those that are considered to be very fragrant whendscf0671 you smell the wine.  They often provide lovely aromas of flowers and fruit.  Common aromatic varietals include riesling, gewürztraminer, muscat, torrentez (from Argentina), albarino (from Spain), and gruner vetliner (from Austria).  We tried all six of these varietals today, but the slightly sweeter muscat from Sutter Home eclipsed the drier styles of the others.  Following are the favorites of the five Millennial wine judges.

***** (97, GOLD) Sutter Home Muscat, California, -$4

Lovely fragrant nose of roses and apricot, which carries through on the

sutter-home1palate.  Sweet, dessert style wine.  Great to drink alone, or with spicy foods.  A run-away favorite of all 5 judges in this tasting.  

**** (90, SILVER)  Michel Léon Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France 2007 – $8

Peach and jasmine nose, with lychee and rose on the palate.  Good acid and medium body.  A pretty wine with silky floral notes.  Rated gold by both Ali and Brandon. 

How the Judges Scored the Wine

All the judges are millennials between the ages of 21 and 30 and are attending university.  They have varying degrees of wine experience, but have been trained on how to use the Wine Tasting Evaluation form (see menu on How We Evaluate Wines).  All judges complete the Wine Tasting Continuum Questionnaire and completed the PROPO test to validate their score in order to determine if they are tolerant, sensitive or hyper-sensitive tasters.  Following are wine preferences of each judge:  

Ally is from Novato, California.  She scored a 3 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that she is a Hyper-Sensitive Taster.  She prefers sweeter white wines, fruity reds, Champagne, and sparkling wine.  Her scores were:  Muscat = 20; Gewurtz = Gold-19.

Matt is from Sherman Oaks, California.  He scored a 4 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that he is a Sensitive Taster.  He prefers dark red wines with big tannins.  His scores were:  Muscat = 19; Gewurtz = Silver -17.

Katie is from Solvang, California.  She scored a 4 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that she is a Sensitive Taster.  She enjoys all types of wine with no preference of white over red, but selects wine based on the food and occasion.  Her scores were:  Muscat = 19; Gewurtz = Silver -18.

Kelly is from St. Helena, California.  She scored a 1 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that she is a very Hyper-Sensitive Taster.  She enjoys sweet white wines and fruity reds.  Her scores were:  Muscat = 20; Gewurtz = Silver -17.

Brandon is from Los Angeles, California.  He scored a 4 on the Tasting Continuum and verified with the PROPO paper that he is a Sensitive Taster.  He prefers sparkling wines, as well as smooth fruity reds.  His scores were:  Muscat = 19; Gewurtz = Gold-19.

SEE VIDEO OF JUDGES’S FAVORITE AROMATIC WHITE WINES AT:

http://www.viddler.com/explore/lizthach/videos/1/