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Wines of the Week | Westerhold 2009 Syrah and 2012 Pinot Noir

One of the first times I tasted the Westerhold wines was with John Westerhold, and his winemaker, Russell Bevan at Hospice du Rhone in Paso Robles a few years ago. It was the first of two consecutive years where Russell wore the coveted Coat du Rhone, the rakishly gaudy smock bestowed on the consensus favorite winemaker by the assembled producers. It was easy to see why they were so appealing with their classis, rich fruit, meat and black pepper structure. I do my best to try these wines with Russell every year and am finally back on track.

Note: The Westerholds were supposed to have been in Volume 3.3 last month but didn’t fit in the final layout. An omission that has now been remedied. 

90 2009 Westerhold Syrah

Bennett Valley, Estate, 14.3%, 177 cs., $42

Alban 1 Clone from the estate. The nose is pure black plum, racy blackberry, conifer, spice and black pepper. The palate entry shows a firm, floral and peppercorn appeal, seamless with a solid grip of mineral, carbon and blue fruits in the finish. Drink 2015 - 2025. 

91 2012 Westerhold Pinot Noir

Bennett Valley, Estate, 14.7%, 125 cs., $52

A blend of Pommard and a trio of Dijon [115,667,777] clones, The nose is briar, raspberry, violet with the spice that only Pommard brings. The palate entry is crisp, yet polished and full with darker fruits and spice with forest floor. Shows excellent length and moderate oak, [14 m. in new Gamba and Remond]. Drink 2015 - 2021. 



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