By way of background, opening thoughts: Moniker Wines are a line of Mendocino County, California, wines provided by the Thornhill family and vinted by winemaker Mark Beaman. This pinot noir is from a blend of three Mendocino county valleys: Anderson, Redwood and Potter.
In the glass: Medium dusty mahogany.
On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows aromatics that suggest not-yet-fermented grape must. Nothing wrong with that; it simply suggests primary fruit and skins. From the aroma, seems like this will be fruity and mouth-filling, not austere.
On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing a solid core in the center, a sturdier backbone than I anticipated. Plenty of soft purple fruit surrounds this core and creates a nice velvet resonance. Distinctive without being odd, Moniker Cabernet Sauvignon offers a bold Mendocino take on a classic varietal. The finish brings residue of cocoa and plum in a slow, soft, low-acid fade.
In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a plus for pleasant distinctiveness on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.
Updated review, another year later, now four years from vintage date, June, 2015 : Soft aromas, hidden fruits. Palate brings some distinctive mid-palate red currant fruits and a cocoa-tinged soft red core. Soft finish and ready to enjoy now.
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