2017 Pinot Noir, Monterey
25 of the Best Pinot Noirs for 2020
Ever since Paul Giamatti waxed poetic about the “thin-skinned, temperamental” Pinot Noir in the 2004 film “Sideways,” the noble grape has seen its popularity with wine drinkers skyrocket. Pop culture stardom aside, there’s a lot to know and love about Pinot Noir: The fickle and terroir-driven grape is admired for such qualities as its deep red color, notes of luscious berries and smoke — and, sometimes, prohibitive prices.
It’s not easy finding a good Pinot Noir for a weeknight under $20, so this is a nice go-to. It’s juicy and grippy and smells like cherries and cinnamon along with the fresh soil from your garden. It’s buoyant on the palate with a tart fruit core. This is a great bottle to share with friends or have a few glasses with just you and Netflix.
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The aromas of this wine are of ripe black cherry with some leather and earth notes in the backdrop. The ripe cherry is sappy and rich on the palate and the wine finishes with an elegant silky texture best described as supple and combines well with the strawberry, raspberry coulis and a suggestion of spicy clove and cinnamon.
The color of this Burgundian inspired fine Pinot Noir is medium garnet and aged in 2 year old French Oak barrels for 18 months on its natural lees with no racking.
This wine is from a single vineyard (Arroyo Loma) Pinot Noir grown by veteran Central Coast grape grower Steve McIntyre and is comprised of three Dijon Clones: 115, 667 and Pomard 4. The vineyard is sustainable and farmed organically, but not certified. This wine was fermented in opentop fermenters and received a 72 hour cold soak period followed by gentle 30 minute pump-overs, three times daily. The wine was finished in 2 year old Francois Frerre burgundy barrels for a period of 18 months.
My favorite accompaniment to Pinot Noir is roasted Duck Breast cooked medium rare and served with French lentils. It works well with a classic Toulouse Style French Cassoulet with a whole duck leg confit cooked in its own bowl with cannellini beans, pork shoulder and finished topped with bread crumbs prior to 2 hours in the oven. On the lighter side it’s nice with seared tuna, sushi nigiri (especially Unagi) and pairs well with Impossible Burgers. But the best way to enjoy a fine Pinot Noir is on a Friday night with good friends and lots of laughter.
“V” Pinot Noir Monterey, CA
Tasting Panel, 03/17
“Smooth and lush with ripe cherry and earthy notes;
savory and dense, long and intense.”
Restaurant Wine, 07/17
“Screw cap. Great Pinot Noir value. It is supple, very
ripely flavored, full bodied, and well balanced; a wine
with plum, rose petal, toast, and cherry aromas/flavors
and a medium length finish. [2017-2018].”