Harvest Moon Estate and Winery was founded on growing, producing and bottling world-class Russian River Valley wine in a balanced, elegant style. Our premise is that Russian River Valley Zinfandel can be just as layered and complex as any Pinot Noir or Bordeaux variety in the world and receive the same respect. The Pitts family has grown quality grapes in the Russian River Valley since 1976. In 2000, son Randy reverse migrated from San Francisco back to Sonoma County to assume the farming responsibilities at the family’s modest nine-acre ranch. In conjunction with lessons on farming by his Dad and a few viticulture/enology courses at the local junior college, Randy made a barrel of homemade Zinfandel off the ranch’s back block which turned out exceptionally tasty. Quickly concluding that properly farmed and judiciously fermented, Zinfandel has great capabilities of being California’s own wine nobility. The growers-turned winemakers birthed their inaugural vintage in 2002 and look forward to making their Zinprint on the winescene for decades to come.
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I also enjoy Randy’s wines but, as I have mentioned before, his wines tend to be corked or have flawed corks more than usual. Moreover, I have not been refunded for a corked bottle I got from Klez via a casemate share over 6 months ago! Contacted customer service twice and they wanted me to go through Klez. Not sure it’s worth the risk going in for case knowing 2-3 will likely be flawed. What a shame because the price is off the hook!
@losthighwayz I’m curious. I drink a lot of my own wine and find 1-2 off out of 30-40 btls opened. Wine from brls are gently blended in tank prior to bottling to reduce inconsistency. Me thinks you live in an area where heat damage is playing a role here
Mine was not heat damage, at least not on my end. Ordered the 2013 from woot December '17, stored perfectly, had a couple bad/off (not corked) bottles and this is the cork from one of them, opened March '18. This topic came up at the time so I took a pic because I happened to have just opened one up. A leaker cork not necessarily a bad thing but combined with what I perceived to be off bottles I thought it odd. Never said anything, but since it came up again…
@Harvest_Moon@kaolis similar experience. Not trying to bash Randy because I truly enjoy his style but it’s frustrating when not only do I get an off bottle but there is no recourse for me because Casemates has not figured out how to handle flawed shared bottles. I wish WD would jump in here and address this issue. I have been very patient and loyal, I might add!
We also had this bottle for the Seattle gathering. Notes are at work right now… The email said this was going up Friday. We really enjoyed this. I’m buying a case and would be willing to share a bit with Seattle crew, but want at least 6 for us. Notes coming in the morning if it lasts that long!
Curious how this compares to the 2014 that was offered back in Feb? I found the 2014 to be more tart (is that acidity?) than I prefer. Maybe I didn’t decant long enough? I’ve still got most of the 2014 case in the basement because I thought maybe it needed more time.
For the 2014, vintner Randy said that it could go another 3-7 years (even though the specs said drink by 2020, Randy chimed in saying 3-7 more years), so I’m also curious if this 2016 could go another 5-9 years (even though the specs say drink by 2020 once again).
As @trifecta said, we had this at our seattle gathering. This was a favorite among everyone, along with the Winesmith meritage. This is a smooth, earthy, round, lovely Pinot. This is a Pinot drinkers pinot, typically not something that I would enjoy, but this is so well rounded and balanced, with pleasant cherry fruit, that its pretty difficult to dislike. When I tasted this I said that I would pay $15 - $20 per bottle for it, so this is very well priced.
2016 Harvest Moon Pinot Noir; Sonoma County, 13.5% abv, natural cork.
58F, PnP into Riedel fishbowl. A bit cloudy w/sediment present, likely due to recent shipping. I had let the bottle rest upright in cellar for about 40 hours after receiving.
The nose on this wine is huge! Forest floor, earth, bright cherry. Palate is a little tart, but not leading to any bitterness. Medium acid, medium weight. A bit of cherry and lean strawberry on the palate. Medium+ length finish with a mild spice note.
This was SWMBO’s favorite out of the 4 labrat bottles, and it was a close second for me behind the Winesmith Meritage. Already bought a case to split, as Pinot is liquid currency in our household, as this is a darn enjoyable wine!
I did go back to this for a small tasting hours later at the gathering and the tartness was gone and it had picked up more complexity of fruit as well as some mushroom/umami on the palate. As Twich22 mentioned, it was well received at the gathering. If you are a pinot drinker, this will likely be in your wheelhouse. There were a few folks who prefer cleaner style pinots without the forest floor/earth notes, so if that’s not your thing this might not be the wine for you. Cheers.
@klezman I respectfully disagree. It’s not bad luck. I’ve made dozens of purchases in wine woot/casemates and have never had an issue with corked bottles like I have with HM. The ratio of flawed bottles to good bottles is a bit high imo and I recall others mentioning the same
@losthighwayz Logic dictates that either you are abnormally unlucky (i.e. getting a higher percentage or corked bottles than statistics suggest) or I am abnormally lucky (i.e. getting far fewer than statistics suggest). I agree the 2009 Late Harvest and 2009 RRV Zin had a higher rate of cork problem on average than any other wine I’ve had. But my cork problem rate is still far far lower than yours and more in line with Randy’s.
So yes, I think you’ve had some exceptionally shitty luck in this case.
I do remember there being issues with some Harvest Moon corks in the past. In fact I warned klez about it when he was getting ready to buy cases for his wedding. Thankfully he ignored my warning, bought them anyway and didn’t have any problems.
I don’t remember discussions about HM wines being “corked”, though.
@kaolis@losthighwayz Good point. That is certainly higher than my going rate, but it is well in line with the standard industry statistic of 1-5% (different sources certainly give different ranges - I’ve seen some as high as 8%)
Strange this hasn’t sold out. Quality Pinot Noir for $12 or $13 total, to your door. That opportunity (like with KR E mixed case) makes me skip other opportunities.
In fact this year I’ve really raised the bar on what constitutes a ‘good deal’ because of Casemates. Because the stuff that has come to Casemates the last year is insane, with very little shipping (just my $60 a year shipping.)
There are a couple great sites that rhyme with “ShinReno” and “DoubleStew Bee Mess Doh” and “Blast Schmottle” (I don’t want to say any names!) that are great, but by comparison, just not great enough any more.
I suppose a lot of your are in the same boat I’m in after 10 months of Casemates: I’m stuffed with more wine than ever, and have to say no sometimes at least.