At $80 the Pisoni Vineyard offering is certainly one of their most expensive wines. In part, that's because Gary Pisoni is a real character, a real wild child, who's known for his high speed jeep tours and self medication with certain medicinal herbs. He's also a skilled grower by any standard, but his vineyard often tends to produce some pretty bombastic, heady, extremely ripe wines.
Pisoni Vineyard wines do often get great scores from Robert Parker and others, but to many other credible wine critics, they often seem a bit overripe. In some ways, they're also anomalous for the region. Santa Lucia Highlands has southern exposures and some wind protection, which makes it one of the warmer parts of Monterey County, but it's still a decidedly cool climate grape growing region. I've heard some people characterize it as "Too warm to make good Pinot," based almost entirely on their experience with wines grown by Gary Pisoni.
I often notice over-ripe notes in grapes from Pisoni Vineyard, and frankly, they're often not my favorite wines. This one, though, I like.
As much as I like the Patz & Hall 2008 Pisoni Vineyard, I sometimes wonder whether some vintners resent the reputation that a high profile, lets call him extreme, winegrower can bring to what really is a formidable Central Coast wine region where most of the growers march to a somewhat different drum.