The 2012 Estancia Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from vineyards in Monterey County, inside the Central Coast AVA of California. Monterey County is just north of the Paso Robles AVA and Northern Monterey County is a very cool grape growing area with a long growing season, which is just the conditions that Pinot Noir grapes need. The 2012 vintage in California was one of the best vintages in years. This Pinot was aged in small oak barrels for 10 months, 75% of the barrels were used before, but 25% were new French oak barrels. The price of the Estancia Pinot fluctuates in the web from $9 to $14. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a crystal clear ruby red. The nose is very promising, a mix of cherry, herbs, mushroom,menthol and Christmas spice (ginger bread and cinnamon, etc.). This a medium to light bodied Pinot with a firm, but silky mouthfeel. There is tart cherry, sweeter raspberry, herbal tea and curry spice. The mid palate shows smooth black cherry, tart cranberry and a soft slap of Altoids spice. The tannins are subdued and the acidity provides very nice length for a valued priced Pinot Noir. The finish goes on and on and on.
The 2012 Estancia Monterey County Pinot Noir is a pretty decent Pinot. Some valued priced Pinot’s can be a bit too heavy, but the Estancia is light on its feet and has an admiral amount of depth and complexity. This is no weak cousin to the expensive Pinot Noir’s, it may not be the equal to the best Pinot’s, but for the price it does just fine. The lighter body of this Pinot will not overpower the flavor of the Thanksgiving turkey and the solid acidity will hold up to the side dishes. And of course, it drinks nicely on its own.