32 Winds blows away some big-name Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in blind tasting.

32 Winds

This venture has quietly created some cult following among our clientele.  Last week I conducted a blind tasting of 10 high-end Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, and in both flights 32 Winds sailed away from the crowd.

The line-up in the Chardonnay tasting included:

Peter Michael Mon Plaisir ($95.00), Kongsgaard The Judge (98 Pts Parker $200.00),  Aubert “Hyde” (95 Pts Parker, $175.00), Aubert “Ritchie (95 Pts Parker $125.00), Hanzell,  Lewis Reserve Chardonnay, Littorai “Heintz” (94 Pts Parker $75.00), Kongsgaard (94 Pts Parker $85.00), Paul Hobbs Cuvee Augustina (94 Pts Parker $115.00) and of course 32 Winds Hudson Ranch

The result:

  1. 32 Winds “Hudson Ranch”
  2. Kongsgaard “The Judge”
  3. Aubert “Hyde”

What was interesting is that the average estimated price point of these wines – My group of 26 tasters guessed that 32 Winds retailed for $56.00, Kongsgaard the Judge $55.00 and Aubert $50.00, while both are much more expensive.  32 Winds sells for $44.99!!

The line-up in the Pinot Noir tasting included:

Paul Hobbs “Hyde” (95 Pts Parker, $ 85.00), Aubert Reuling Vineyard (95 Pts Parker, $150.00),Mt Eden Estate (94 Pts Parker $60.00) Capiaux Garys (94 Pts Parker), Brewer Clifton Mt. Carmel (94 Pts Parker $65.00), Chasseur “Freestone” (94 Pts Parker $65.00)), DuMol Aidan (95 Pts Parker $90.00), Martinelli “Bondi” (95 Pts Parker, $75.00), Peter Michael “Ma Danseuse” (95 Pts Parker $125.00 & 32 Winds Hirsch.

The result:

  1. 32 Winds “Hirsch”
  2. Aubert “Reuling”
  3. DuMol “Aidan”

The average estimated price for 32 Winds was $75.00 (well above its actual cost!), Aubert $72.00 and DuMol $72.00.

I love these blind tastings, because they give me a great picture of what the crowd thinks about the wine and they give me a better understanding of the price points!

Tasting Notes:

32 Winds 2009 Pinot Noir “Hirsch” Sonoma Coast

The Hirsch vineyard is located on a rugged ridge close to the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1500 feet, in a zone above the marine fog. The high elevation vine- yard sees approximately 14 hours of sun versus 10 hours at below the fogline, thus allowing long hours of unmitigated sunlight late in the season when tannins are evolving.  This Pinot Noir breaths quality and value!  The wine is rich in flavor, full in texture,  and offers a lovely underlying minerality and excellent natural acidity, a very well-balanced gem!. The flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, and freshly grated nutmeg jump out of the glass.  Layer of layer this wine shows finesse and power.  On the mid palate one will experience a great mouth feel of more black cherries, cola, and a plum.   The wine finishes like a great Burgundy with subtle touches of vanilla on the finish.

32 Winds 2009 Chardonnay “Hudson Ranch” Carneros
The Hudson Vineyard is located in the rolling hills of the Carneros, adjacent to the San Pablo Bay. The proximity to the fog and breezes from the bay makes the climate in Los Carneros cooler than surrounding areas, the perfect environment in which to grow Chardonnay.  The wine is broad shouldered, with a great rich smooth texture and wonderful natural acidity on the finish. On the nose this little gem offers touches of Bosc pears, hazelnuts and vanilla.  Full in body, yet very elegant this wine reveals touches of flinty rock, tropical fruit, honeysuckle and peaches.  Lush, yet extremely well-balanced and not overpowering this wine has the right amount of acidity to stand up against the big boys, and will age nicely.

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