Sunday, October 27, 2013

Updated Review: ***+ $$ Chad Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA, 2009 - GOOD VALUE

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Opening thoughts: Chad is a label that has made its mark by securing excess, high-quality wines from various California regions, and closing them out under a different label from the originating vineyard.  Thus, they are seeking, high-quality, value-priced wines

By way of background: This is Chad Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA, 2009, finished at 14.3% alcohol. 

Original Tasting and Review, October, 2010:

In the glass: Chad Pinot Noir Sonoma is deep burgundy in the glass, quite opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this Sonoma pinot shows bold, smoky and well-oaked dark pinot fruit.  Quite robust and classic. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are a full-throttle, charcoal center, thick with fruit, taut with bold alcohol, and leveraged with intense oak.  Sweet tannins pull your cheeks together at the close.  Finish holds as the tannins slowly let your gums peel away from your cheeks.

In summary: Overall, an intense American pinot noir experience.  Rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its intensity and power.  Precariously close to four stars, which may arrive with some age and mellowing.  This is, after all, being tasted just one year from harvest date.   Good value, which is something relatively hard to attain in a pinot noir.

Following long decant, kept cool for two days in partially-filled bottle: The nose has grown more sandy and fruity, still deep and quite intense.  The palate has held quite consistent, with the tannins having released a bit of their grip.

Updated review, over a year later, December, 2011:  Remains deep burgundy with same solid smoky fruit demeanor.  Well-knitted fruit and charcoal continue to define the boundaries of this solid pinot noir.  Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Very consistent nose and palate.  Not growing old at all. 

Updated review, another two years later, now four years from vintage date, October, 2013:  Medium brick burgundy in color now, not opaque.  Sweet silky pinot fruit on the nose, with just a glimmer of soft oak.  Lush, bright and aromatic fruit on the palate.  The tannins have sweetened and the charcoal is melded in.  Still fresh, but no longer youthful.  Good drinking time!

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