At first glance, the 2011 and 2012 vintages for California Pinot Noir could hardly appear more different. Whereas 2011 was a cool, damp year plagued by harvest rains that resulted in mixed quality, the 2012 growing season saw ideal weather from start to finish, not too hot and not too cool. Yet despite the climatic gifts of 2012, the wines are not head and shoulders above the 2011s. Wine Spectator's James Laube explains.
From the Sep 30, 2014, issue