Click photo to enlarge
Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Along with taking many top honors at the Humboldt County Fair this year, wines from Briceland Vineyard in Redway are also gathering high ratings from wine industry professionals. Three Briceland Vineyards Pinot Noir wines, made from Humboldt County grapes were awarded more than 90 points by Rusty Gaffney in his long running Pinot Noir newsletter, the PinotFile.

Gaffney gave the 2011 Reserve Humboldt County Pinot Noir a rating of 95 points. This wine is a blend of grape grown in the Bosco, Phelps, and Ronda's (formerly Le Chien Blanc) vineyards. “The reserve designation is offered in years of distinctive quality,” Briceland Vineyards' Andrew Morris said, “when a blend can be made which highlights the best features from several vineyards.”

Also receiving high marks was Briceland's 2011 Ronda's Vineyard Humboldt Pinot Noir (awarded 92 points) and the 2011 Phelps Vineyard Humboldt Pinot Noir (awarded 91 points).

Gaffney's PinotFile newsletter has been published monthly since 2002 and was the first wine review focused on a single grape varietal. “Gaffney has tasted and written about thousands of pinot noirs over the last 11 years,” Morris said. “We are excited about having our wines receive high marks from him.”

Gaffney describes Briceland Vineyards as “maybe California's best kept secret for reasonably priced, superbly crafted wines.”

Six Briceland Wines were submitted to Gaffney for tasting and five of the six earned 90 or more points. The other two Briceland wines each receiving 90 point ratings were the 2012 Lolonis Vineyard Mendocino Chardonnay and the 2012 Spirit Canyon Vineyard Mendocino Arneis. The Arneis also captured a gold medal at the 2013 Humboldt County Fair.

Photos by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Briceland Vineyard's 2012 Arneis wine was awarded a 90-point rating from Rusty Gaffney, author of the PinotFile newsletter, and also captured a gold medal at this year's Humbolodt County Fair.