I picked up this wine because I’d heard good things, it was $15.99, and I like a vineyard that has some fun with their label. I was rewarded with a good, full-bodied, surprisingly boozy Pinot Noir.
Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes and hailing from my one of my favorite wine areas, Santa Barbara County, this wine is produced from a family run vineyard where the grapes are hand harvested. Usually hand harvesting is done to ensure grapes are picked at their optimal ripeness. It is not unusual for pickers to go out several times during harvest season, as some bunches will be ready one week and others the next. Ripe grapes make great wine, and the riper they are, the boozier that wine will be.
Clocking in at 14.5% (really means it could be up to 15.5%), this Pinot Noir has aromas of cola, ripe black cherries, and sweet strawberries. While it was fuller bodied than I usually like a Pinot Noir to be, it was silky on the palate with very soft and subtle tannins. The wine doesn’t disappoint and tastes as fruit forward as it smells. There are also hints of vanilla and baking spices. The strawberry finish stays with you and is accented by a good burning sensation from all the alcohol.
To me, this is definitely a cocktail wine – one that should be enjoyed alone or with dark chocolate and close friends.