Friday, March 2, 2007

Rating:**+ $$ 2005 Estancia Pinnacles Ranches Pinot Noir, Monterey CA

Review: This pinot noir was recommended as a worthy contender in the $15 price range - a range in which I have found precious few pleasant pinot noirs. At price points twice that and above, pinot noirs can be exotic, delightful wines. At this price point and below, I have found little of note. Think about how much of a contrast that is to other grape varieties, where $15-ish can find some excellent wines (Note, it doesn't guarantee a delightful wine... it's just that you can find some.) Well, enough philosophy and anticipation... let's drink wine:

The color of this pinot noir is a medium red and purple - oddly, it's not a red and purple combination, but almost looks like red and purple separately. The nose is a bit rounder and somewhat more subdued than typical for pinot noir, but it still picks up the classic varietal high notes. On the palate, the Estancia is quite smooth and mouth-filling, spreading out with cherry, berry and mild oak. It is followed by an undistinguished and fairly quick finish.

Well, you can paint a tiny grin, but not a big smile on my face. This is pleasant enough, but it is definitely not the complete character I'm seeking. I'll give it a plus for the aromas and plushness. But I still haven't found that elusive $15 pinot noir. Suggestions?

Find Estancia Pinnacles Pinot Noir at WineZap.

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