Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$ Stallion Cellars Pinot Noir, California, 2010 - BEST VALUE

Find prices and retail availability for value-priced California pinot noir.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Some attractive pinot noirs are originating from various California regions in recent years.  Most all of any note are from individual regions, accordingly labeled as "Russian River Valley", "Napa", "Sonomoa" or the like.  More generic "California" labels are typically mixed juice, vinted to create a value-priced offering.  So few high-value, lower-priced pinot noirs exist that it seems worth our continuing investigation.  Here we are trying one of the "California" appelation pinot noirs, made by MWD Vineyards in Healdsburg CA.

Original tasting and review : This is Stallion Cellars Pinot Noir, California, 2010, finished at 13.2% alcohol.

In the glass:  Light to medium red.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold dry cherries, a distinct measure of funkiness and earth. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweet, peppery and spicy, with fresh red fruits, cinnamon and a deftly balanced energy. Modest, but very clean finish.

In summary: Balanced, light red cherry experience brings four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Overall best value, unusual among pinot noirs.  Following long decant, full day at room temperature in partially filled bottle:  Still dry cherries on the nose, less earth.  Remains soft, sweet, spicy and balanced on the palate.  Not improved with the decant, but perfectly fine. 

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Find prices and retail availability for value-priced California pinot noir.

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