2010 Fadeaway Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

31125The 2010 Fadeway Pinot Noir is a $8.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive, sourced from vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley AVA in California’s Central Coast. The Santa Maria Valley AVA spans parts of both Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County, the climate is cool and Pinot Noir does well there, they have been growing wine in Santa Maria Valley since the early 1800’s. The wine is bottled by the Central Coast Wine Warehouse, “bottledlegally indicates that they bottled (and labeled) the wine, but the wine was grown, fermented and aged by another unnamed source. The alcohol content is 13.8%.

The color is a dark, but see-thru strawberry jelly red. The nose is cherry, herbs, a light scent of a new leather jacket and Girl Scout chocolate mint cookies. This is light bodied Pinot Noir, it begins with sour cherry, fresh strawberry, herbal tea and then stewed tomato. The mid palate adds a mineral edge and a faint taste of licorice. Note: Be sure that you let this wine open up before you drink it, I had to rewrite this because the wine had no fruit an hour after the bottle was opened, another half hour and all of a sudden the fruit showed up. A nine buck Pinot that takes 2 hours to open up has me wondering what exactly is in this bottle. This wine starts with soft fruit and then the rough edges take over, 9 dollar Pinot is not supposed to have rough, interesting edges. I started out thinking the Fadeaway Pinot Noir was a miss, but now I think it just might be a solid hit. And I think, that any $9 wine that has me putting this much thought into it is a successful wine.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.