Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **+ $$ Keesha Pinot Noir, 2006, Mendocino County, CA - Wine Review and Rating

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Original Review, by way of background, December, 2009: Keesha Pinot Noir is another candidate in my long-lived (and relatively futile, with a few exceptions) search for best-value pinot noirs. This candidate is made in Mendocino County, California, and finished at 13.9% alcohol. The name "Keesha" comes from the winemaker's dog.   Keesha Pinot Noir hails from Mendocino County, an area from which I've particularly enjoyed some recent chardonnays, syrahs and zinfandels.

In the glass: Medium-light brick red.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, shows a somewhat taut, brambly nose with light mud undertones.

On the palate: A slick, almost weightless mineral middle is the very first note, followed quickly in your upper palate by some thorny red - perhaps raspberry - fruit. That hits quickly, then fades, bringing attention back to the mineral.

And the finish: Dusty tannins, light in weight but dark charcoal in tone, stay attached to the sides of your mouth long after the sparse fruit has evaporated.

In summary: A more old-world experience for sure, sparse and taut and minerally. Two stars with a plus for its eccentricity and memorability on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. Not a  particularly outstanding value at the price.

Updated review: following three days under vacuum in a partial bottle... Aromas have opened just a tad towards apparent fruit. Palate is unchanged. Suggests it could be laid down for a few years without concern.
Updated Review, over a year later, April, 2011: The nose is softening somewhat, and the mud undertones are becoming more intriguing. Remains sleek, tannic, sparse on the palate, offering fruit in small proportions throughout the experience.  Intriguing still in its sparseness.   Seems to want a bright, tangy meal, so it can be the gentle sidelight.  Not an appetizer-on-its-own type wine.

Following long decant, several days kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  Picking up an additional and intriguing mineral oil on the nose.  A spec more fruit coming through on the palate.  Just a spec, mind you...

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