What we’re drinking now…


Occasionally, there’s a wine or two or three that is consumed off the air or are sooooo bad that words alone cannot shame them. In this edition, we look at a few Pinot Noirs that have come to our attention. So to that we present what we’re drinking now…

2016 Palliser Estate Martinborough (New Zealand) Pinot Noir – $29.99

Proper Burgundian mouthfeel and weight, this New Zealand offering showed nice berry and plumy notes accented by a light touch of sage and lavender. The finish shows a light bed of tannin and acidity, and while not lengthy, compliments the elegance of the wine. Overall you need to be a fan of the old world (proper) style of Pinot to enjoy the overall approach of the wine. However, the elegant touch of the fruit may convert a wayward soul or two. TWV – 88 points

2014 Loveblock Central Otago (New Zealand) Pinot Noir – $32.99

Full bodied and epic, this wine shows big plum and mineral notes up front which lead into spicy oak and tannin on the long finish. What’s best is that although this wine has size and weight to it, there is still a refined grace and elegance that is often missing from California Pinot Noirs. Further, this wine isn’t an unbalanced fruit bomb. The weight of the wine is a woven combination of fruit, mineral, and earth that balance each other marvelously. Bravo New Zealand. TWV – 92 points

2016 Z. Alexander Brown “Uncaged” California Pinot Noir – $17.99

This wine is a blend of Monterey, Sonoma, and Napa grapes with the laughable majority emanating from Monterey. If that blend of appellations sounds familiar, that’s not surprising seeing that Meiomi “Pinot Noir” is that blend, more or less (feel the judgment if you drink Meiomi). Anyway, this wine has another thing in common with Meomi, it sucks.   While not sucking in the same technical way as Meiomi (residual sugar, use of grapes of an unknown origin), this wine breaks new ground in its sucking while at the same time copying the spirit of Meiomi.   What we have here is a fruit bomb of a wine that shows huge jammy plum, raspberry jam, and rhubarb layers that are sunk by an anchor of oppressive oak. The finish is unfortunately very lengthy with tannin, and an acrid residue of oak and acidity that goes on, and on, and on, and on… This wine and the words subtle, nuanced, restrained, elegant, classy, and good will never be used together. Now I appreciate this wine is named “Uncaged” so one should expect a fuller, brasher style. However, there still should be some suggestion that the wine was made by a normal person, and not a circus clown. I’m not sure that standard is reached here. While I hate this treatment of Pinot Noir and I hate this Meiomi copycat, I hate it less that Meiomi itself, which I think is a compliment. TWV – 78 points



Categories: Blog, pinot noir, Wine Vault

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The Wine Vault

The Wine Vault

Join us each week!

Welcome to The Wine Vault. Join us each week for a new episode highlighting some great (and not so great) wines. While we’ll focus on value wines, occasionally we’ll stray into the exotic. We are The Wine Vault, after all. Raise your glass and join us, on The Wine Vault. Cheers. -Rob and Scott

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