The 2010 Picket Fence Pinot Noir is sourced from 2 vineyards, the Green Valley vineyard and the Riverside Vineyard in the Russian River Valley AVA inside of Sonoma, California. The winemaker, Alison Crowe, worked at Chalone and Boony Doon before taking over the winemaking chores at Picket Fence. Picket Fence is owned by Bronco Wines (2 Buck Chuck) and while many of their labels are virtual wineries, Picket Fence seems to be the real deal. This Pinot used to be available at Trader Joe’s for around 10 bucks, but I have not seen it in the store for a couple of years, it is available online and at other retail stores for a bit more. The wine is fermented in open top tanks and then aged in French oak barrels, 50% new oak, the rest used barrels. The alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is a see-thru rusty red with a black halo. The nose is interesting, ripe cherries, a medicinal aroma, bacon fat, herbs and mushroom. This Pinot is a mix of astringent and juicy fruit flavors. It starts with herbal tea, sauteed mushrooms, ripe cherry, strawberry and blueberry creme brulee. The mid-palate adds tart pomegranate, cassis with a light touch of spice. The finish is very long, it slowly melts away.
This is one of those wines you pull out when someone says there are no good Pinot Noir’s available for under 20 bucks. There is a nice blend of interesting flavors, enough balance and length to stop a Burgundian Pinot fan from getting too crabby and it is relatively inexpensive and tastes great. The Picket Fence Pinot Noir is a solid Russian River Pinot at a great price.