The Poppy Monterey Pinot Noir 2017 is sourced from vineyards in the Arroyo Seco AVA inside of Monterey County in California's Central Coast AVA. Arroyo Seco translates to a dry riverbed and is located southeast of the Monterey Bay.This area is a deep valley close to the Pacific Ocean and has warm days cooled by afternoon winds off the ocean. It has a large differential between daytime temperature and nighttime temps that Pinot Noir grapes crave.The Poppy wine brand, the poppy is the California state flower, was founded in 2003 by the Silva Family who has 45 years of experience farming in Monterey. It the “house” brand for the Monterey Wine Company, founded in 2002.Half of the wine produced in California come from faux wine companies, meaning that they do not own their own vineyards or production facilities (a winery).The Monterey Wine Company provides a facility and services for these faux wineries. From crushing the grapes to bottling the finished wine they have you covered. If you ever feel the need to start your own wine brand give them a call.The Poppy Monterey Pinot Noir 2017 was fermented and aged with some lots of the Pinot Noir in stainless steel vats and others in French oak barrels. About halfway thru the fermentation and aging process, they rotate the wines. The oak fermented wine goes to stainless steel and the stainless steel gets transferred to oak barrels. The 2017 vintage is the current release and that tells you a bit about the production methods used to produce this Pinot. It is a young, drink-it-now wine, Poppy recommends drinking it with 4 years of release.If in 2020 a current release is a 2019 or 2018 vintage, that would indicate that the winemaker used techniques that would allow the wine to balance fairly quickly. A 2017 vintage in 2020 suggests more involved production methods that would need additional time for the wine to be ready for sale.It is not necessarily a difference of good or bad if a wine is made for faster release or has more extensive production. It is more of a stylistic difference, but I find I prefer Pinot Noir wines that need more time to balance.I am a fan of coastal California Pinot Noir and Monterey County has its share of excellent Pinot Noir producers. While they have many high0-end wineries, Monterey has a pretty good track record for making excellent affordable Pinot Noir. I found the Poppy Monterey Pinot Noir 2017 onside for $11.99. The alcohol content is 13.5%.Poppy Monterey Pinot Noir 2017 Tasting NotesThe color is a clear, see-thru garnet red. The nose is very promising, there is bright, ripe cherry, with herbs, mushroom, oak spice, crushed fall leaves, black pepper, a little vanilla, and strawberry. A good Pinot Noir has a very unique aroma.This Pinot Noir has a silky smooth mouthfeel and a good bit of complexity on the palate. It starts with slightly tart cherry, a touch of tea, exotic spice, a little creamy vanilla, and strawberry. The mid-palate offers a rougher brush of spice, a salty sensation, and cranberry.The tannins do not interfere with the flavor profile and the acidity is the kind I like. It gets you reaching for the next sip without consciously thinking about it.The SummaryThe Poppy Monterey Pinot Noir 2017 provides a very solid Pinot Noir drinking experience.This Pinot Noir reminded me of much more expensive Pinots.At $11.99, I expected a quality wine, but the Poppy gave me more than I was expecting. This is not good for the price Pinot Noir, this is a straight-up good Pinot Noir. It just happens to be rather affordable.
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