PINOT NOIR WINE REVIEWS

2013 Bella Luna Pinot Noir
2013 Burke Family Vineyard Pinot Noir
2012 Bella Luna Pinot Noir
2012 Burke Family Vineyard Pinot Noir
2011 Bella Luna Pinot Noir
2011 Bella Sonoma Pinot Noir
2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
2009 Bella Luna Pinot Noir
2009 Left Edge Pinot Noir
2008 Bella Sonoma Pinot Noir
2008 Bella Luna Pinot Noir
2008 Two Vineyard Blend Pinot Noir
2007 Bella Luna Pinot Noir
2007 Leepin Pinot Noir
2006 Bella Luna Pinot Noir
2006 Leepin Pinot Noir
2006 Priscilla Pinot Noir

REVIEWS: 2013 BELLA LUNA PINOT NOIR

Gold Medal and 94 points

North Coast Wine Challenge

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REVIEWS: 2013 BURKE FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR

Silver Medal and 89 points

North Coast Wine Challenge

A bit more outgoing this nicely rounded, moderately full-bodied wine begins and ends with its sights set on juicy, oak-sweetened, ripe cherry fruit. Its palatal intimations of velvet are followed up with a proper touch of tactile grip, and, if certain to grow over the next three or four years, it is a friendly wine that affords plenty of near-term appeal.

Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine (2/2016)

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REVIEWS: 2012 BELLA LUNA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 90
Softly layered in medium-sized waves of earth, rose, and strawberry, this is a delightful wine with enough stuffing through the midpalate to enjoy on its own or with a meal.

Wine Enthusiast (3/15)

Score: 89
Russian River Valley. While neither of the two Churchill Pinots impresses as being particularly bold or dramatic, this one is a bit less outgoing and not as energetic as its deeper partner, and it comes without quite the same promise for aging. It is nonetheless a pretty and well-crafted effort with a nice sense of winemaking polish, and it affords useful drinking with any number of milder dishes that employ poultry or pork.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (10/14)

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REVIEWS: 2012 BURKE FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR

Score: 92
Sonoma County. Mild, but abundant sweet oak puts a creamy edge to the nicely ripened, very precise, wonderfully persistent fruit of this handsome young Pinot, and, while the wine is light on its feet and not at all beholden to ripeness, it conveys plenty of richness and depth right from the first. It is supple and very well-balanced with trim acidity and a long, lively finish, and its uncommon sense of polish and charm is bound to tempt drinking before it has had the chance to age into its delectable best some four or five years down the line.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (10/14)

Exceptional
Faintly rustic nose with black cherry and mid-palate weight. Plum-y finish; a bit riper than I usually like, but a lot of depth. Better in 2-4 more years. Excellent wine from Anthony Austin.

Dan Berger, wine writer

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REVIEWS: 2011 BELLA LUNA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 90
Bella Luna has been Churchill's most consistently successful Pinot Noir. The 2011, low in production, is concentrated in raspberries, cherries and pomegranates, uplifted by acidity and with a sweet jacket of toasty oak. Drink now–2019.

Wine Enthusiast (12/1/13)

Score: 89
A few years back, we passed on the first vintage of this wine because there was not much of it, and we heard from winemaker Ken Churchill that we had missed out on a good thing. So we tried the wine later on. Now, we never miss it because, as it has shown here, the vineyard succeeds even when others are not. In a year fraught with difficulties this one has come through with a decently fruity, strawberry and cherry scented bottling whose supple entry and slightly fleshy passage across the palate leaves it open and quite useful for service with roasts and chops.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (10/12)

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2011 Bella Sonoma Pinot Noir

Score: 88
With polished, savory cola, pomegranate, cranberry and sour red cherry candy flavors, this Pinot has a delicate texture, light and airy in the mouth. It's bone dry, with a fine burst of acidity for balance. This elegant style more and more defines Churchill's approach.

S.H., Wine Enthusiast (12/1/13)

Score: 89
Seemingly a little softer than its mate, and on the full-bodied side, it is fairly outgoing with its ripe cherry fruit and it makes a comfortable passage across the palate. More a wine for savory meats like a garlic-laden leg of lamb than things on the simpler, lighter side. It is sure to please in the right setting now and for a few years to come.

Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine (10/13)

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REVIEWS: 2010 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY CHARDONNAY (Sold Out)

Score: 88
Light-medium in volume and combining citrusy and fresh appley fruitiness with a modest touch of crème brulée oak and hints of caramel in its aromas, this medium-full to full-bodied wine has a decent sense of substance and a good look at varietal character to its long, somewhat firm flavors. Better for plainly grilled fish or shrimp than for richer chicken dishes, it will gain in openness and roundness with a bit of aging.

Connoisseur's Guide to California Wines (8/2012)

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REVIEWS: 2009 BELLA LUNA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 88
The main thing about this Pinot Noir is the richness. It's bold and sumptuous, with flavors of raspberries, cherries, pomegranates, persimmons and cola, accented by oak and brightened by brisk acidity. With its delicious finish, it's a pretty wine to drink now.

Wine Enthusiast (8/1/2012)

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REVIEWS: 2009 LEFT EDGE PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 92
A racy, rich and vital Pinot Noir, whose tart acidity and delicate structure testify to its cool coastal origin. The grapes were grown in a small vineyard close to the Pacific. You can taste the fog and wind that wind through the raspberry, cherry and cola flavors. Drink now-2015

Wine Enthusiast (8/1/2012)

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REVIEWS: 2008 BELLA SONOMA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 91
This Pinot is made in a lighter style, but it's complex and interesting. It's marked by dryness and acidic crispness. The raspberry, cola and persimmon flavors are enriched with a touch of sweet, smoky oak. Seems best now, but it could surprise over the next six years.

Wine Enthusiast (6/1/2011)

Score: 91
Medium ruby color; subtle cherry and raspberry aromas; rich, ripe cherry flavors with some spice and light oak; good structure and balance; long finish. A subtle, lighter styled Pinot with plenty of flavor and aromas. Ready to drink.

The Pinot Report (Issue 72)

Score: 88
While showing a touch of the woodsy spice that marks both of its siblings, this wine gets the nod as being the deepest and best filled of the lot. Its keenly defined, ripe-cherry fruit stays the course through to a lengthy finish, and, if arguably still a bit ragged at the end, it will be helped by a few years of aging.

Connoisseurs Guide to Wine (6/2011)

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REVIEWS: 2008 BELLA LUNA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 93
Medium-deep ruby color; rich, complex, spicy red cherry aromas; complex, rich raspberry and cherry flavors with some earthy notes; sweet oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Complex Pinot with really nice aromatics -- give this some air before you drink it.

Pinot Report (Issue 72)

Score: 91
Give this polished Pinot an hour or two of decanting and serve it now with a good steak, or try prosciutto-wrapped dates for an exotic appetizer. It's dry, rich and spicy, with ripe cherry, red currant, cola and bacon flavors, edged with sweet, smoky sandalwood.

Wine Enthusiast (6/1/2011)

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REVIEWS: 2008 TWO VINEYARD BLEND PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 90
Medium ruby color; bright, raspberry, cherry aromas with some spice notes; ripe, bright cherry flavors with spice, cola and earthy notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Bright and spicy, this Pinot is great for lighter fare.

The Pinot Report (Issue 72)

Score: 88
Churchill makes Pinots in a lighter-bodied style, but they're still elegant and complex. This translucent wine is silky in the mouth, and the raspberry, cherry, and cola flavors are enhanced with brisk acidity.

Wine Enthusiast (6/1/2011)

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REVIEWS: 2007 BELLA LUNA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 93
Medium ruby color; rich, deep cherry and spice aromas; deep, rich red cherry and raspberry flavors with spice and sweet oak notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep and rich Pinot with very nice fruit.

The Pinot Report

Score: 90
Ripe cherries and toasty oak hinting at a graham cracker richness come with background notes of berries and candied violets in this bottling's attractive aromas. Supple on the palate and a touch frontal in its flavors, the wine is juicy and easy to taste with lots of sweet cherry notes as its central theme. Firming acidity tightens its finish somewhat and allows it to serve now or to be aged for a few years.

Connoisseur's Guide to Wine 2/10

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REVIEWS: 2007 LEEPIN PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 92
Medium-deep ruby color; deep, earthy, black cherry aromas with forest floor notes; deep, complex black cherry fruit with earthy notes, sweet oak, good structure and balance; long finish. Earthy and complex, this Pinot has some great cool-climate fruit and the right amount of forest floor notes.

The Pinot Report

Score: 91
Very precisely focused, bright and energetic aromas of cherries, both red and black, along with notes of creamy oak and a mild hint of candied fruits make the early going here, and the wine's medium-full-bodied, balanced qualities and velvety suggestions on the palate follow right in stride. A bit of nervy acidity adds its own tangy element at the finish, but this wine will serve well now with the meaty fishes or lighter meat preparations yet has all the parts in place for a few years of aging.

Connoisseur's Guide to Wine 2/10

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REVIEWS: 2006 BELLA LUNA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Score: 92
Medium ruby color; rich aromas of cherry, spice and rose petals; bright and rich cherry flavors with spice and herb notes; silky texture; sweet oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Rich and bright, this Pinot opens up nicely in the glass.

Pinot Report 12/30/08

Score: 91
While attractive and fairly well-focused, this wine is a little low-keyed in the nose, but it ups the ante in terms of richness and depth once in the mouth. It is never a big wine, but it is well-balanced one and its racy flavors are charged with loads of pretty young fruit that seem to build and gain in substance. Exceptionally long, neatly polished and a sheer joy to drink, it will be hard to resist in the near term even if capable of growing for a few years.

Connoisseur's Guide to Wine 10/08

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REVIEWS: 2006 LEEPIN PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Gold Medal Winner
Sonoma County Harvest Festival

Score: 91
Medium ruby color; deep, spicy aromas of cinnamon with black cherry notes; deep, complex core of black cherry fruit, spicy and earthy notes, sweet oak, good structure and balance; long finish. Deep and rich, this Pinot is a terrific mouthful of earthy, spicy complexity.

Pinot Report 12/30/08

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REVIEWS: 2006 PRISCILLA PINOT NOIR (Sold Out)

Silver Medal Winner
Sonoma County Harvest Festival

Score: 92
Medium ruby color; bright, spicy aromas of clove and cinnamon with some berry notes; complex, big and rich red cherry and raspberry fruit flavor with lots of spice and sweet oak; silky texture; good structure and balance; long finish. Bright and spicy Pinot with flavors that just go on and on.

Pinot Report 12/30/08

Score: 91
Very much cut from the same cloth as its finesseful partner from the Bella Luna Vineyard, this sleek, well-ripened Pinot starts out on the slightly delicate side and builds as its crosses the palate. Highlighted with hints of sweet cream and fresh toast and tenaciously fruity in character, it finishes on a bright, mildly acidy, tart-cherry note that bids one to wait for a couple of years.

Connoisseur's Guide to Wine 10/08

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