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The 2009 vintage may be one of the best, with nice balance in all ways for both reds and whites - very good quality and yields as well as good ripeness and acids. The closest vintage in memory being 2002. Fruitfulness caused some problems early on, with large berries and full clusters pushing off berries in the cluster, but later blocks were pristine and, assuming patience to await flavor development rather than picking on simple analytical numbers like TA and brix, will be as good as any wines we’ve made.
- 91pts International Wine Cellar, July 1, 2012, Josh Raynolds Bright ruby-red. Ripe raspberry and cherry on the perfumed nose. Lush and expansive, offering densely packed red fruit compote flavors that become brighter and spicier with air. A spicy note comes up on the clinging finish, which shows a seamless, fleshy character. This hefty pinot would work well with rich red meat dishes or strong cheeses.
- 91pts Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman - Light and tangy, this red is juicy with plum, pluot and spice flavors that linger against mildly crisp tannins. Offers deftness and grace, with a finish that keeps going. Drink now through 2017.
- 90pts Wine Enthusiast, January 1, 2013, Paul Gregutt - This is a forward, even plush Reserve, loaded with generous black fruits and streaked with anise and cola notes. At first, the wine seemed to fade a bit too quickly, robbing the finish of expected complexity. But retasted on the second day, the wine had fleshed out beautifully.
- 90pts Wine Advocate, August 1, 2012, David Schildknecht - Judging by how the finished Chehalem 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve showed for me in June, selection of barrels for this cuvee - designed, as it is, to maximize finesse and leave the more obviously rich and/or powerful material to the RR bottling - was a challenge in this vintage...Still, this might simply need more time in bottle to knit, and will probably be worth following for at least half a dozen years.