Well, if you’ve gotten this far, you realize apologies are in order. LOOK AT THAT LABEL!!! I am so mordantly against any label of this nature. It falls smack-dab in the middle of all marketing-directives I am completely against. I don’t like labels–or tasting room employees or anyone else, for that matter–alluding to the contents of the bottle. This one just fails on so many levels. It just strikes me as falling into that whole sect of BITCH-WINE and CHOCOLATE-WINE and SKINNY-GIRL-WINE and, well, marketing towards *yummy* and label-forward dretch. I have avoided this wine for some time JUST because of the label.
Clear, thin, bright garnet–not ruby, which somewhat surprises me, being a 2012–definitely garnet, with clear wide edges. A nice gentle ‘pinot’ skunkiness muddled with sweet oak, a touch of AL, and, well–I have no option here–dark cherry fruit. Nice and fruity, but of a dark sort–not the jammy fruit-forward-ness I was expecting–and altogether fairly balanced, if a bit meager. A nice crisp acidity wraps up the musky pinot earthiness and heads off into the direction of mild tannin and a little more AL. It is a nice, pleasant Pinot Noir which will please a multitude of palates and at 20$, you can’t be too hard on it. It fades into simple fattiness fairly quickly and I would love to find something like this for about 12.99. To me, it seems that would be a good price-point for this wine. But times have changed, and 20$ Pinot, is, well, you pretty much have to pay 20$ minimum for a drinkable Pinot these days. One could poke around on the third or fourth shelf at the supermarket or TJ’s and probably come up with negociant- or mass-produced wine which matches or betters this on one level or another, but all-in-all, it is not a terrible wine. Fairly two-dimensional, no gripping nuances or tastes which drag you back, but probably the bench-mark for an easy, 20$ Pinot quaffer. I have yet to find big brother Cherry Pie around here, but I suppose I should seek it out so I can eat crow about what an over-blown, oaky, alcoholic, Bella Glos muss I have assumed IT is. It is very interesting to see people posting about how amazing the 60$ Cherry Pie is, but then people who fall into more of a Pinot-Dork category step up and say, “Ya know… the 20$ Cherry Tart is the better wine.” and one can only assume it is for the pure Pinot thinness, nuances and acidity which gives the nod to the cheaper wine.
2012 CHERRY TART Pinot Noir California 14.2
Postlude: Almost all the wines I drink have some reasonable amount left and are Vac-U-Vin’ed and tasted the following evening. Typically the results are predictable… Old cabs fall apart, Pinot’s go all fruit-forward and match-head-y, young cabs either disappear into a fruity muss or polish portions which lead me to believe they will age gracefully. It is very telling, but I do not take it as the Word of God. Occasionally, a wine tasted the following day will be so noteworthy as to be IMPOSSIBLE not to write an additional note. This is one of them.
24HRS: Just a blithering baby of strawberry lollipop fruit and cane sugar. Has slipped from second- or third-shelf PN to absolute bottom shelf. Really telling. Everything of vague interest I tried hard to trump up and not be too negative on is totally gone. Just a concentrated Kool-aid of a wine.