The 2011 vintage for California Pinot Noir is a tale of two harvests. A series of October storms drenched the North Coast and split winegrowers into two camps—those who picked prior to the deluge and those who waited, hoping the skies would clear. Wines made from grapes picked before the storms stand above the rest, although not unequivocally. Anticipating the downpours, some vintners harvested marginally ripe grapes; after the rains, vintners salvaged what they could, with mixed results. Wine Spectator's James Laube explains.
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