The 2010 flipflop Pinot Noir is sourced from grapes grown in more than one California grape growing AVA. Seeing “California”, and not a particular AVA on the front label as the grapes place of origin is usually not a good sign when it comes to Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir grapes are hard to grow and certain locations, such as the Willamette Valley, Carneros, Russian River Valley and several more, allow the Pinot Noir grape to thrive, while other growing locations do not allow the grapes to develop properly. When the label merely indicates “California,” you do not know what you are getting, but at $5 or $6 a bottle, it is not that great of a gamble. flipflop is one of Underdog Wine Merchants many labels, they also produce Cupcake Vineyards, Big House Wines and Fisheye Wines. The back label shows that vanilla is in the flavor profile which would indicate that this Pinot received some sort of oak conditioning, either some aging in oak barrels or oak chips or staves tossed into the stainless steel tanks. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is black cherry red with a slightly rusty tint. The nose is just picked Michigan cherries, Thanksgiving stuffing herbs, a faint whiff of cinnamon spice and coffee creamer vanilla. This is an easy to drink, simple (for a Pinot Noir) wine, but not simple in a derogatory way, more in a friendly way. It tastes of cherries in a bowl of cream, fresh raspberry, a hint of sauteed mushroom and a late hit of green jelly candy slice spice. There is no transition or mid palate, what you get upfront is all there is, but what you get upfront is tasty and reasonably complicated. The finish mirrors the main body of the wine and it goes along until it slowly fades away.
The 2010 flipflop Pinot Noir is not the wine you reach for when you have a hankering for some Pinot goodness. What it is, is a young wine that is cheap and tasty, well-made (this Pinot has surprising balance and length) and tastes more like an expensive Pinot Noir than any 5 buck Pinot has a right to. The more sips I take of the flipflop Pinot, the more I like it. A great Pinot Noir? Of course not, but as an inexpensive Pinot Noir it holds up very well.