This month’s first Premier Series Top Pick is a no brainer for my palate. Pietra Santa’s 2009 Cienega Valley Pinot Noir gets the first nod. Why? Pietra Santa had built an enviable reputation over the years for fashioning classic Italian varietals, most notably Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from Pietra Santa’s first estate bottled Pinot Noir. Well, now you know. I think winemaker Alessio Carli got it right. His first estate Pinot Noir is bright, juicy, and true to the terroir and climate of Cienega Valley. Pinot Noir is a tough grape to grow and a difficult wine to make, so Carli gets my first Top Pick and my second Top Pick, too. Yep, his excellent 2010 Amore Signature Collection Pinot Grigio is simply delicious. It’s by far one of the top two or three California Pinot Grigios in the market. Nevertheless, this second Top Pick was a tough choice to make because I really like this month’s Vergenoegd Runner Duck Red. It’s an incredible value and a unique wine with a lot going on. I’m also pleased with 1805’s crowd pleasing Chardonnay. It’s not always easy to reach a consensus on Chardonnay, but this one seemed to have something everyone enjoyed.
A Votre Santé!