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Castle Rock Pinot Noir
California Cuvee 2009

Typically you won’t find good, drinkable California Pinot Noir under $10. It’s just not one of those varieties that gets produced often as a inexpensive wine…..however, Castle Rock brings atypical to expensive Pinots!

Castle Rock Winery makes many different wines from several western appellations. They source their grapes from growers and they do not have a big winery on a large estate, therefore, enabling them to keep their overhead low enough that they can deliver quality wines for lower prices – making their wines ideal for everyday wine drinkers like ourselves. Most of their wines are found in retail establishments across the U.S. (you may also order direct from their website http://www.castlerockwines.com)

This California Cuvee Pinot Noir was remarkable for the price point I found it for. ($6.99 at my local Costco) I didn’t go into tasting it with much expectation. I had never tried Castle Rock Wines before, but had tried a few other Pinots in this price point category that were frankly, not good. So, there I was wondering how this one would be. I LOVE IT when I’ve pleasantly found a wine to be misconceived! This one is a winner! Someone once said, “Finding a new wine to try, can be more exciting than opening Christmas Presents”! Well, maybe not for everyone, but for us “wine geeks”-it’s so true!

The visual on this Pinot Noir was crystal clear red. Very beautiful to swirl and look at. The nose brought forward cherries and a slight earthiness in the background. Very nice. Tasting it also brought cherries to the palate; a little oak and best yet a extremely smooth and satin mouthfeel. It had a good, moderate finish and if I could give only one word to sum it up…balanced. Very balanced. When any wine can achieve balance, it’s a winner. This Pinot was great sipping it on it’s own and later that evening I paired it with homemade chicken noodle soup – it was awesome! The only negative thing I have to mention about this wine is, it does not drink well the second day. I left one glass for the next evening, since I was drinking the bottle on my own and the second evenings wine was nothing close to the taste experience of the first. What does this mean? Share with friends or drink the whole bottle the day you open it! (what a shame,huh?) Not really the worst pitfall for a wine to have.

I give the Castle Rock California Cuvee Pinot Noir a THREE BOTTLE rating. I would probably give it a Four Bottle rating if I drank Pinot Noirs’ regularly – if you do, then this one is case worthy for a everyday quaff at home. Thank you Castle Rock for keeping us everyday wine drinkers in the position of affording a really good Pinot Noir!