The 2009 Monterey Pinot was a sleeper hit. As I mentioned, I don’t care for the flavor profiles I often find in Monterey Pinot. There is an oddness in there, and something that doesn’t sit well with me, in the form of green sticks and odd leaves. But this example has dusty dried cherries and strawberries, and while it was a bit tight at first, opened up to white pepper with a lot of floral influence. Again for $15 it’s a crowd pleaser. Solid B.
The 2010 Carneros Pinot was, as is expected, big and jammy with bright raspberry. I personally thought it was a little hot, and bold but silky. Even though it was big and jammy, the body was lighter, which was somewhat surprising for a Carneros wine. There was a lot of darker fruit hiding in there. Not my fave. C+
My personal favorite glass was the 2010 Rodgers Creek Pinot. This single vineyard designate is the only wine that is finished with cork and showed Earthy mellow mushroom, bark, sarsaparilla and spicy gingerbread. In a way it reminded me of a Coca Cola cake (it’s a southern thing). The foggy terrain of Rodgers Creek gives this a stunning baking spice palate that I just love. I couldn’t quite believe that this was only $30, and it definitely gets n A in my book.
The moral of this story is that it pays to dig a bit under those big brands. They often hide premium wines under their hats that you might not otherwise approach. Since I prefer to dig under the vines for smaller, less well known wines, I am appreciative to find a larger production winery that is focusing on quality, even when quantity makes the bankers happy.
Thanks to Alison and Laura from The Barn Group for a lovely evening!