Taylor Eason

Three passionate Pinot Noir producers in Mendocino County

"Northern California's Mendocino County, a wine region rich with redwoods, coastal climate and definitely Pinot Noir, has birthed three disparate yet dedicated wineries, proudly wearing their Pinot passion like a badge of honor," writes Taylor. Read their profiles.

Au Bon Climat

Au Bon Climat 2013 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Gris-Pinot Blanc ($16.99)

Not a full-varietal Pinot Gris but a blend of two-thirds Pinot Gris to one-third Pinot Blanc, this rich, appealing California white benefits from the blend. A clear, bright straw color in the glass, it offers good, fresh, snappy citrus - lemons and limes - on the nose and palate. There's something more, too, a whiff of white flowers on the nose that segues into an intriguing chalky minerality in the flavor. It shows good texture on the palate, medium body with 13.5% alcohol; bone-dry and crisp, fresh-fruit acidity, with limey citrus and stony minerals lingering in a very long finish. Impressive wine at a value that's more than fair. (March 8, 2015)

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Vino e Cucina d'Italia

The passion of Vignaioli Morelino di Scansano

Lovers of Italian wines know of Tuscany. To the southwest lies the less well-known Cantina Vignaioli del Morelino di Scansano, a cooperative of approximately 150 growers, producing nearly 2.5 million bottles of wine a year. Neil Duarte visited recently.Here's his report.