The 2010 Mark West California Pinot Noir was sourced mainly from vineyards in Central Coast AVA (primarily Monterey and Santa Barbara) along with grapes from Mendocino, Sonoma County and Lodi grape growing AVA’s. Then to give the wine a little extra shine, they blend in Pinot Noir from their more expensive bottlings, 5% from Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and 3% from Napa/Sonoma Carneros AVA. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged in neutral French oak barrels for 8 to 10 months. The alcohol content is 13.8%,
The color is clean, clear scarlet red with black highlights. The nose has some of that Pinot Noir funk, mushroom and herbs dominate, with cherry and fudge brownie trying to compete. This is a light side of medium bodied wine, with a thin, but silky mouthfeel. It tastes of tart cherry, smoother plum, bracing herbal tea and cola. The mid palate at first softens things up with some blueberry in cream and then ends with POM Wonderful. The tannins are soft and the acidity is well balanced. The finish is subtle but reasonably long.
The Mark West California Pinot Noir is an amazing Pinot for the money (you should be able to find it anywhere from $8 on sale to $14). It is a Pinot Noir put together from grapes from several AVA’s, but it does not taste diluted or homogenized, it has a very specific Pinot Noir flavor profile. The gap between expensive Pinot Noir and value Pinot is really starting to blur. This is a Pinot Noir that would pair well with your Thanksgiving meal.