Among the wine news that I came across today is the news of a California Pinot Noir - Woodworth Vineyard’s 2008 Pinot Noir won a Gold Medal at the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Summit and finished third in its judging category. It’s the only Pinot Noir still wine grown and produced in the Temecula Valley wine region.
Woodworth’s 2008 Pinot Noir achieved scores of 93 and 94 from judges who tasted more than 360 competing wines from the United States, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re obviously ecstatic that a panel of judges including sommeliers, wine makers, wine writers, chefs and wine lovers, determined that our Pinot was among the best,” said Marlene Woodworth, who owns the winery with her winemaker husband, Gary. “It was even more exciting that we won while competing against traditional Pinot Noir strongholds such as Carneros in Napa, Santa Barbara and Russian River.”
Southern California is generally considered too hot to grow Pinot Noir. Woodworth Vineyards, however, enjoys a unique micro-climate with warm days and very cool nights coupled with coastal fog in the mornings, an ideal environment for Pinot.
“Pinot Noir lovers spoke out loud and clear at the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Summit,” Barbara Drady, Pinot Noir Summit organizer and wine evangelist. “In an unmistakable statement of preference, they embraced wines of elegance and varietal authenticity rather than burly Syrah-like Pinots, the muscular Pinot Noirs made popular by a few influential reviewers and their publications.”
Described as the “most romantic of wines,” the 2008 Pinot Noir from Woodworth has notes of bright cherry and little bit of spice followed by a big berry taste accentuated by soft tannins and a lingering finish with smoky hints of tobacco. Gary and Marlene Woodworth produce all of their wines in small batches. Only 140 cases of the 2008 Pinot Noir were made.
The Woodworths purchased 45 acres in De Luz in 2000. Eight acres are planted with grapes, including nearly 3 acres devoted exclusively to Pinot Noir. The Pinot vines were grafted onto Syrah, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon root stock over the last five years. Woodworth Vineyards also produces Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, a White Merlot (Golden Maggie), a blend of Chardonnay and Muscat (Sweet Sophie) and a red blend (Black Dog).