There are excellent Pinot Noirs to be had from the Monterey area up through the North Coast and into Mendocino County. We will be tasting a few of these this Saturday with an eye to value in the range from $9.99 to $25.00. These are versatile wines that serve well as an apéritif or to accompany a wide spectrum of dishes.
2013 Congress Springs Pinot Noir, Monterey
List price 12.00; Our price 9.99
This Monterey Pinot Noir has flavors of black cherry, plum, and raspberry in a dry medium body backed with some earthiness and light oak leading to a silky finish. It is a solid Pinot that pairs well with lamb, pork, cheese, and poultry. It picked up a GOLD MEDAL at the Monterey Wine Festival in 2015.
2013 Laurier Pinot Noir, Carneros
List price 15.00; Our price 12.99
Plum, black cherry, cedar, and a hint of cinnamon play on the palate. The finish is soft and protracted with silky tannins and spicy flavors. Impressively, this wine in 2016 won a GOLD MEDAL at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and a GOLD MEDAL/BEST OF CLASS at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition.
2015 Bread & Butter Pinot Noir, Napa
List price 16.00; Our price 13.99
The nose shows lots of floral, chocolate, cherry cola, alongside a dusty, earthy aroma that continue through to the palate. Ripe cherries and dark chocolate dominate. There is raspberry, roasted nuts, orange liquor, and a hint of chalk. The texture is super smooth, soft, and balanced. Not too much acid or tannin.
2014 San Simeon Pinot Noir, Monterey
List price 22.00; Our price 19.50
This is a rich, fruit-driven wine with ripe flavors of black cherry and raspberry. The mouth is soft and round with a lingering finish. This Pinot Noir is from the Santa Lucia Highlands, combining several Burgundian Clones (5, 115, and 777) giving aromas of bright red fruit, cinnamon, and oak spice.
2013 Handley Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
List price 25.00; Our price 22.50
This blend is comprised of fruit from vineyards stretching from Boonville to the Estate winery located in the deep end of the Anderson Valley with a little bit of mountain grown fruit thrown in to up its intensity. It shows bright red fruit character and brioche on the nose and flavors of black cherries, cola, and raspberries with a long supple finish.
2012 Carpe Diem Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
List price 30.00; Our price 24.99
This Pinot displays admirable power, depth and density with deep aromas of black cherry and cola. The wine has excellent delineation, with layer after layer of cherry and berry fruit flavors mixed with notes of herbs and subtle spices. The cool Anderson Valley nights produce good acidity to balance out the power and heft that the fruit was able to achieve in 2012. This is a perfect wine for grilled chicken or lamb shank, and with its pretty fruit and racy acidity it is quite versatile. It received 90 points from Wine Spectator Magazine: “Shows off ripe plum and wild berry flavors, with firm, gripping tannins. Gains depth and richness, adding a touch of dried herb. Needs time. Drink now through 2022.”
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