$20 Pinot at 10

Drinkable, but barely. Well past prime, dark rusty orange in the glass, smelling of moldy vegetables, phone-book and dull candied fruit. A shrill bell pepper announces that grizzled almond-liqueur sort of nuance Pinot gets just before it implodes on itself completely.

Light and thin in the mouth. Watery and unsophisticated. Not much of an entry, middle adds some bitterness to the vapid pile, and I suppose a more upbeat blogger could gush about the patina and cherry reduction and how they work together to reflect a stunning wine still drinking magnificently and an absolute place-mark in Pinot Noir history from a hallowed producer but this is not that blog. What cherry there IS turns to Reese’s Pieces, broken stem and a finish as meager as the entry. But there’s a candied bit in the lasting drizzle. Interestingly sweet.

There might be a CC or SBC below this but am pretty sure this is the lowest-price Pinot ABC sells. Completely drinkable and actually enjoyable for someone who is able to see it for what it is, this is THE POSTER CHILD for why I am purging all $30 pinots over 5 from my cellar. I love $30 Pinot, don’t get me wrong. One of my favorite topics other than $25 Napa cab. But more than any other varietal demographic, it has its age limitations: almost without fail.

Not an un-enjoyable wine. I love Pinot enough to lick this thing all night, and those of you who know me well know this is not a negative review. Pinot is straight fucking magic–even a cheapie like this at 10. Just observing on its limitations.

2008 AU BON CLIMAT Pinot Noir Los Alamos Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara 13.5


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