The 2016 Pinot Noir Naramata Ranch was aged for 18 months in 28% new Austrian oak and comes in at 14.2% alcohol. This is sourced from 12- to 18-year-old vines from two parcels that are 1,300 to 1,800 feet above sea level. It is organic, but that certification did not come until 2019. Textured with velvet, this elegant Pinot Noir shows gracefully, but it also projects notable flavor and some hints of strawberries, becoming a tasty treat as well. Out of the gate, this was the one of this report's group that I would anoint as the hedonistic one. The wood is a bit noticeable on opening, but it's nothing important except for texture. As this aired out, it acquired better balance, and the fruit became even more interesting and nuanced. On the first day tasted, this was arguably my favorite of the group. The next day, it became a bit more subdued and not quite as different as it seemed on opening, when it appeared to be by far the fruitiest and most exuberant of the group. It still emphasized its fine fruit, though. It should continue aging well for the rest of the decade, more or less.
It's hard to resist today in its understated yet flavorful style, however, and it doesn't really need more time, unlike a couple of its siblings. They may be the tortoises that eventually overtake this hare. They may have a bit more upside potential, so there is the possibility of more separation in time. Still, right now, this is certainly one of the biggest winners, even if its ceiling is not as high. If you're going to grab one to drink tonight, this seductive Pinot is a good choice. There were 410 cases produced. Drink 2021-2030
Score: 92 points -- Mark Squires, The Wine Advocate, May 2021