Consumer Reports
Pinot Noir, 2016. Elizabeth Rose

Pinot Noir, 2016. Elizabeth Rose

Item #: N0619R2DC
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Appellation: Yountville, Napa Valley, California
Color: Soft Magenta
Nose: Cherry, Mint Candy
Palate: Delicate, Nuanced Fruit
Finish: Lingering Rose Petal
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2027/Red Meat, Game/13% Alcohol by Volume

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  • Description
  • Reviews

We tend to forget that even in the Holy Wine Land of Napa Valley, wine is the product of good farming. No matter how good a winemaker like Jeff Onysko is, he can't make great wine from poor grapes.

Their story is similar to many early California wineries. Elizabeth Rose was founded in 1903 by an Italian immigrant, Joe Pelissa. The landscape was like that of his native Liguria, and Joe knew that those rolling hills were the best spot to plant grapes. So that's exactly what he did with the 35 acres he purchased there.

His goal was to keep the winery and vineyard family-owned. True to his legacy and five generations later, it still is. That's what accounts for the incredible quality of these wines. Over 100 years of farming their land and knowing how is the key. We use the term Napa Valley in almost a generic manner, as if it's just one place that makes all this great wine. In reality, it is many places. Some of them are great for growing Pinot Noir and many of them are not. Yountville, one of the coolest areas in Napa, is one of the best.

This wine would easily cost at least double the price if it weren't for the fact that this family of producers own the winery and vineyards and it's all paid for. That's a good start, but the finish is still what's in the bottle.

This is classic cool-climate Pinot Noir offering delicate, Bing cherry in the nose and mouth, and then expanding to myriad flavors like mint, rose petals, earth and white chocolate. The finish brings it all together and beyond.