Paul Lato 2015 Pinot Noir “Contender” Drumm Canyon - 96 Points


This might be the best Contender bottling to date!  This rendition of the Drumm Canyon Vineyard “Contender” will make you (happily) dream of a 1er Cru Pommard at a much lower price point!  This latest release is Paul’s best effort to-date and I have only 5 cases of this wine to offer!


Paul Lato Notes: “A highly-perfumed nose of lavender and sweet tobacco alongside lush wild berry notes is beautifully indicative of the Drum Canyon site. The palate is an exotic mélange of hard spice, leather, and bramble fruit, with a surprising and welcome acidity that lends a levity to the muscularity at its core. Like Marlon Brando on the waterfront, it shows that intensity and gracefulness can be a part of the same package.”


Pinot File 96 Points : "This vineyard is an estate property of Dierberg Winery. Sourced from a parcel located in the western section on the steepest slope, graced by southern exposure. Planted to Swan and Calera selections. ·Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is rather shy upon opening, delivering more sustained black fruit and spice aromas over time in the glass. Mid weight plus in style with an energetic core of gorgeous boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors accented with spice and earth. Lush in the mouth with impeccable balance, suave tannins, and a very long, fulfilling finish. Score: 96"

FYI: Jeb Dunnuck (formerly with Robert Parker, just started his OWN Publication)

Jeb Dunnuck - 94 Points: “The 2015 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard is similarly colored and offers a slightly more plump, rounded style. Framboise, flowers, strawberries and spice give way to a medium to full-bodied, seamless, beautifully textured Pinot Noir that has no hard edges and a terrific finish. Drink it anytime over the coming decade."



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  • Vintage: 2015
  • Winery: Paul Lato