Sunday, April 26, 2009

2007 Sarah's Vineyard Pinot Noir, Central Coast

There's not much good Pinot Noir around for under $20; by all accounts it's a difficult grape to grow well. The Santa Cruz Mountains is a great place to grow Pinot, but it's typically expensive; there's a lot of demand for the fruit and little supply.

Sarah's Vineyard make two highly regarded Pinots; one from Estate fruit, another from small vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Each retails for $35. But they also have a third wine; a blend of barrels that didn't make the cut for the other two. This wine sees less oak and carries the Central Coast appellation; it's aimed primarily at the restaurant market, for their by-the-glass programmes.

This is a lovely, rich Pinot with a cherry/floral nose and lots of sweet cherry and spice flavours. There's enough structure that it doesn't come across as flabby; although it's not going to fall apart any time soon I don't see it getting any better than it is right now.

In fact the only downside with this wine is its availability; it goes directly into the wholesale market and isn't even sold out of the winery tasting room. The only retailer I can find currently offering it is Vineyardgate in Millbrae, who have it for the bargain price of $17 (the RRP is $24). If you spot this wine on a restaurant wine list you should definitely consider it. Value.


ZeroG said...

I agree with the assessment that this wine is quite the difficult, but worthwhile find. Sarah's Vineyard tends to follow a more European tradition by making softer, more subtle reds that accent food, not overpower it.

As a quick side-note, I found the 2006 Sarah's Vineyard Pinot Noir at Grocery Outlet in the SF bay area for $5. Yeah....$5. This is a steal!!!