Southern Humboldt Pinot Noir wines top picks on All-American lists

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Four wines from Briceland Vineyards and one wine from Elk Prairie Vineyards have been listed by Rusty Gaffney, also known as the Prince of Pinot, as 2013 All-American Team favorites.

Briceland Vineyard's Ronda's Vineyard Humboldt Pinot Noir earned 92 points (out of 100 points) and a place on the 2013 California Value Priced Pinot Noir First Team All-Americans.

Two Briceland Vineyards and one Elk Prairie Vineyards Pinot Noir earned honorable mentions, the Briceland 2011 Reserve Humboldt Pinot Noir (on the 2013 California Pinot Noir Honorable Mention All-American list), the Briceland 2011 Phelps Vineyard Humboldt Pinot Noir, and Elk Prairie Vineyard's 2011 Deux Punx Humboldt County Pinot Noir (both on the 2013 California Value Priced Pinot Noir Honorable Mention All-American list).

The fourth Briceland Vineyard's wine to be placed on the 2013 California Chardonnay Value Priced All-American list is a 2012 Lolonis Vineyards Mendocino County Chardonnay.

"This is the third year in a row that Briceland has had multiple wines on Rusty's All American Teams," Briceland Vineyard's Andrew Morris said.

Gaffney publishes a newsletter called the PinotFile and ranks most Pinot Noir wines in California and Oregon. "Each year in December I name my favorite Pinot Noir performers for the year," Gaffney said. "It is the American way to name favorites," he added, "but there are so many exceptional Pinot Noirs produced in California and Oregon, the task is very challenging." He said Pinot Noir can vary from bottle to bottle, day to day, and week to week, and he estimates that there are at least 2,000 producers of Pinot Noir in California and Oregon.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Briceland Vineyards' Andrew Morris pours a sample of award-winning wine at a recent wine tasting. Four Briceland Vineyards' wines have been named as 2013 favorites by Rusty Gaffney, who has published a monthly Pinot Noir newsletter known as the PinotFile since 2002.