Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wine Review: Castle Rock Carneros Pinot Noir 2004 (NW)

Nose doesn't reveal much
Nice burst of soft fruit and milk chocolate on the palate
Clean finish

Bargain Pinot Noir can be tough to find. As a rule of thumb, it's a slightly more difficult grape to work with and, therefore, often more expensive than comparable bottlings of other major varietals. However, this is changing somewhat as more producers work with Pinot Noir along with their other reds.

This wine was $12, which is a decent price. It doesn't have all the mystery and excitement of a great Pinot Noir, but it's at least representative of the varietal and easy on the wallet. The funny thing about this wine is that it doesn't reveal much on the nose. I swirled and sniffed as much as possible but it seemed kind of flat. Then, after taking a sip, I was surprised at all of the flavor on the palate. It is very smooth, with a nice fruity quality and a layer of milk chocolate. This is the exact opposite of a lot of wines that are produced in the modern style. I often find that modern-style wines have a great nose then disappear on the palate with very little finish.

I recommend this wine as an inexpensive Pinot Noir, but not if you're looking for something exotic or exciting. For that, you'll probably have to spend a lot more money. Raise a glass!


Anonymous said...

Just had a bottle, I am always happy when I get the "pinot Funk" in an inexpensive Pinot. I share a bottle virtually every night so it's easy to get a case of this to enjoy every once in a while. Will be interesting to see what this is like in a year or 2.
Has a lot of what I seek in a reasonable pinot.

Anonymous said...

We drank a bottle Saturday evening. So delicious I wish we could find more. I'd buy a case. Wish I had tasted it sooner. The 2004 seems hard to find.