By way of background, opening thoughts: It's hard for us to find good or best value wines in pinot noirs. It's especially scary to try very inexpensive pinot's. Today, we are taking one for the team by sampling one of the lowest priced, mass market pinot noirs available.
Original tasting and review : This is Mark West Pinot Noir, California, 2012, finished at 13.5% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in October, 2014.
In the glass: Clear, consistent ruby red.
On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows sweet fruit with lightly charred oak. From the aroma, seems like this will be friendly and lightly layered.
On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much as anticipated. Elements of classic pinot noir grape are muted here, with more crowd-friendly red berries predominating. An element of oak provides a certain structure, and allows the sip to fade modestly. It is friendly and the bottle wants to be cracked open young.
In summary: Overall, just touches three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, and is a best value at its tiny price. Don't think of it so much as a pinot noir, however, but more as a crowd-friendly red,
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mark West Pinot Noir.