By Andy J. Gordon
There was a smorgasbord of fine wines at the 2015 Southern California edition of Pinot Days on November 21, 2015 at The Skirball Cultural Center. Pinot Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of boutique Pinot Noir wineries. They hold four tasting events in major cities (New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles) where small producers have the opportunity to present their products to lovers of Pinot Noir wines.
The Los Angeles event featured about seventy wineries from California, Oregon and New Zealand. Nearly one thousand wine enthusiasts attended and enjoyed tasting the amazing selection of Pinots. The organizers did a fine job of selecting excellent wine producers and organized the indoor event in a well thought-out configuration. The wineries were set up alphabetically and tables with bottled water, cheese, bread and crackers were strategically located throughout the venue to allow guests to clear their palates.
Each winery had a table displaying their products and were staffed by experts, often the winemakers or owners. Guests sampled the wines and talked with the staff about their production process, location as well as other features of the wines. There were so many great Pinots to choose from that it was impossible to taste everything. Among the ones we tasted there were a few that stood out from the crowd.
The 2014 vintage from Belle Glos Wines continues their winning streak. The delicious Dairyman, Clark & Telephone and Altunas sell for about $55 each. Foxen Vineyard presented the 2013 Santa Maria Valley ($35) and 2013 La Incantada from Santa Rita Valley ($62). Both were excellent. Ken Brown Wines offered their really nice 2012 Santa Rita ($42) and La Incantada ($55). Pali Wine Company’s 2013 Durell Vineyard ($58) was smooth, fruit forward and extremely tasty. Wrath offered their excellent 2012 Swan/828 ($35) and 2012 Pommard ($35), both from Monterey. Navarro’s 2013 Anderson Valley, Mendocino was a tasty, easy to drink bargain at $19.50.
The 2015 Pinot Days event was a big success. The large crowd of Los Angeles wine lovers tasted many great wines, discovered new favorites and met with some of the finest Pinot winemakers in the world.
All of the wineries acquired new customers and the guests enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of delicious wine tasting. Look for the 2016 edition of Pinot Days next November.
Photos copyright Andy J. Gordon 2015©