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photo credit: Elise Aileen Photography


The 3rd Annual Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival, “A Passion 4 Pinot” is a premier event on the international wine calendar. Hosted in one of the world’s most dramatic and awe-inspiring Hotels, this is a unique opportunity to engage with some of the top winery owners and winemakers and other leading wine personalities and enthusiasts from all over California.



The annual World of Pinot Noir event gathers the planet’s foremost Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars in a weekend-long
seaside celebration of this delicious and storied wine.



***2017 Russian River Valley Brut***
92 points Wine Enthusiast
Winemaker Dianna Novy combines 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay into this lovely brut, which spent three years on the lees. Oyster shell, peach and green apple highlight a lovely, balanced burst of persistent bubbles. —V.B.

91 points Jeb Dunnuck
A stunning sparkler from California, the 2017 Brut reveals a vivid gold hue to go with classic, Champagne-like notes of buttered citrus, green apple, white flowers, and a touch of salty mineral nuances. These carry to a medium-bodied, racy sparkling wine with good purity of fruit, bright acidity, and a clean, crisp finish. Give bottles another year to integrate some acidity and pick up richness, and it’s going to evolve nicely for 5-7 years.

Lettie Teague – The Wall Street Journal

Winemaker Dianna Novy Lee has turned out a beautiful sparkling wine that’s also beautifully packaged. This rich, complex blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made via the traditional method is a worthy West Coast counterpart to Champagne.

91 Points – James Suckling

Pears, cooked apples, quince, pastries and salted almonds on the nose. Medium-bodied with sharp acidity and fine bubbles. Dry, crisp and fresh with subtle nuttiness.


***2019 Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir***
90 points Wine Enthusiast
With a strawberry-cream nose, this wine evolves to show light notes of cola and cinnamon spice. Fresh and lively in acidity, it also has a lush creaminess to the texture that appeals and lengthens the supple tannins. —V.B

93+ Jeb Dunnuck
I was able to taste two Pinot Noirs from this label, both showing beautifully. The 2019 Pinot Noir Sexton Vineyard comes from a site on the Sonoma Coast and offers up a great perfume of ripe strawberry and framboise fruits intermixed with plenty of spice, forest floor, sassafrass, and floral notes. Medium-bodied and vibrant on the palate, it has a terrific spine of acidity, good concentration, and enough tannins to evolve for upwards of a decade. This complex, elegant Pinot Noir is well worth seeking out.

92 points Purely Domestic Wine Report

2019 PINOT NOIR, SEXTON VINEYARD 25% Whole Cluster The nose is a brisk blueberry and graphite over dried cherries and juniper. The palate entry is lean plum with a core of mouth-coating cranberry and tobacco-like cherry. Bright acidity on the finish. Drink 2021 – 2028.

90 points Connoisseur’s Guide to Wine

FLAUNT Sexton Vineyard Sonoma Coast 2019 Fresh and fruity as befits a wine of its tender age but hinting at a nascent bit of savory, mildly loamy spice that foreshadows more complexity with time, this medium-full-bodied offering displays a little more depth and potential than its lesser-priced companion from Flaunt with a very well-integrated streak of underlying tannin ensuring fine potential for three or four years of expansion and growth.


***2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast***

Flaunt, 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 13.8%, $24, 4 stars. Bright and lively, this pinot has flavors of strawberry from start to finish, with notes of cranberry and lemon zest in the mix. – Peg Melnik – The Press Democrat

93 points – 2021 Flaunt Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma Coast, CA: Very light in the glass, almost Provencal, with subtle fruit and white flower. The palate is also full-blown Provence with excellent balance and brightness. This might be a bit light for some, but if they were trying to imitate Provence, they certainly nailed it. Outstanding.

89 Points – Jeb Dunnuck – The 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir is floral with sweet perfume of rose petal and ripe strawberries. The palate is lively with orange zest, melon rind, and pomegranate. This Rosé is perfect for youthful drinking over the next year or so.


***2020 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir***

88 points James Suckling – Cranberry, burnt lemon and five spice. Medium-bodied with bright acidity and soft tannins. Tangy finish.

88 points Wine Spectator – Structured, with crisp dried red fruit and berry flavors that are matched to lively acidity. Features floral hints on the finish, with cedary accents. – Kim Marcus

93 points Wine Enthusiast – A beautiful shade of reddish violet in the glass, this appellation blend is clean and brisk on the nose with raspberry, pomegranate and currant aromas. It’s tightly focused on the sip, where hibiscus and raspberry flavors are wrapped in chalky tannins. A lemon-rind bite adds to the palate, which is still quite young but already easy to quaff. – Matt Kettmann


***2020 Peake Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir***

90 Points – James Suckling Aromas of redcurrants, cherries, fresh flowers, vanilla and spice box. Medium-bodied with sleek tannins and fresh acidity. Zesty and lively with a flavorful, spicy finish.

90 points The Wine Spectator – Lithe and well-structured, with concentrated red currant and cherry tart flavors backed by rich acidity and tannins. Shows toasty richness in the midpalate, with a finish that’s flush with underbrush accents. – KM

94 points Wine Enthusiast – 2020 Peake Ranch Pinot Noir – A light shade of ruby in the glass, this single-vineyard expression pops on the nose with fresh Bing cherry, strawberry, curry leaf and carnation aromas. The palate is very zesty as well, with a taut texture that presents flavors of smashed currant, melon rind, crunchy sage and wild thyme. Matt Kettmann

95 points The Drunken Cyclist – Medium to dark color with another fabulous nose; rich and fruity with a lovely tart cherry. The palate is equally fantastic with rich fruit, vanilla, Yowza.


***2019 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir***
90 points Wine Spectator
Crisp and redolent of crushed red plum and wild cherry flavors that are backed by vibrant acidity. Spicy finish features a snap of licorice. Drink now through 2023.

90 points Wine Enthusiast
Fresh and carbonic in lively red fruit and a tang of citrus, this coastal wine is funky and earthy. Thick tannins support a core of forest floor, clove and black tea. —V.B.

93 points Jeb Dunnuck
More open, evolved, and ready to go compared to the more backward Sexton Vineyard release, the 2019 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast gives up a spice-filled nose of red and black fruits, dried flowers, sweet earth, and a touch of leather. Already complex and nuanced, it has plenty of depth on the palate, with a medium-bodied mouthfeel, good acidity, and ripe tannins. It’s another terrific wine from Dianna Novy.


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