A Tasty Trio of Pinot Noir: Ferrari-Carano, Erste + Neue, and Rodney Strong Vineyards

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, wine blogger, and someone who appreciates the liquid expression of place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. It is an area of interest that you never run out of new things to taste and learn.

The wines selected for this post are all reasonably priced and made from the finicky Pinot Noir grape. In my opinion, you generally get what you pay for when it comes to Pinot Noir.  It is not the easiest grape to grow or produce and it is very picky about where it will thrive. Twenty [something] dollars is typically the starting point for a nice entry-level selection. Pinot Noir, with its wonderful and alluring aromatics, is a wine I thoroughly enjoy swirling, sniffing, and sipping. Many examples embody (or flirt with) elegance and finesse and are extremely food friendly. The three Pinot Noirs reviewed are enjoyable wines that you will want to seek out and share with friends and family over a delicious meal. For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

Ferrari-Carano 2013 Pinot Noir

Review: Ferrari-Carano 2013 Pinot Noir (SRP $36): This is a delicious Pinot Noir made from fruit sourced from Ferrari-Carano’s three ranches in Anderson Valley. It’s crafted by the talented Rebecka Deike who oversees red wine production.  Wonderfully aromatic and fruit forward in style, this wine delivers a ripe and effusive mix of sweet cherries and pomegranate with hints of brown spice, rose petals, and soft vanilla impressions on the back-end. On the palate, there’s notable texture and richness, with a fresh kick of acidity holding everything together; closing with a round, generous finish. This is an appealing bottle to match with hearty casseroles, beef bourguignon or homemade meatloaf. Region: Anderson Valley, California. Other info: ABV 14.4%, aged 10 months in 37% new French oak and 63% neutral French oak barrels, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Erste + Neue Mezzan 2013 Blauburgunder

Review: Erste + Neue Mezzan 2013 Blauburgunder (SRP $23): This is a wine I had an opportunity to try for a recent tasting led by Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible. The event highlighted the diversity and quality of Italy’s most northerly wine-growing region, Alto Adige. Blauburgunder is displayed on the front label; Pinot Nero on the rear; both are synonyms for Pinot Noir. This high-elevation Pinot Noir boasts aromas and flavors redolent of black cherries, plum, and spiced fruit cake, with a pronounced earthy character that's intermixed throughout the fruit from start to finish. It is medium-bodied and streamlined in the mouth, with ample acidity and a wonderful food-friendly quality about it. Enjoy with anything from a simple roasted chicken to herb-crusted rack of lamb. Though many of us don’t look to Italy when seeking out Pinot Noir, the grape does well in the higher altitude sites of Alto Adige and is well worth seeking out. Region: Alto Adige, Italy. Other info: ABV 13.5%, matured 12 months in new American and French oak barrels, matured in big wooden cask and little oak case for 12 months, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Rodney Strong Vineyards Russian River Valley 2013 Pinot Noir

Review: Rodney Strong Vineyards Russian River Valley 2013 Pinot Noir (SRP $25): This attractive wine offers an inviting perfumed nose of black cherries, plum, tea rose, vanilla bean, and baking spices. It’s full and rich in the mouth, yet supple, with balanced acidity and ripe flavors that mirror the aromas. There is a faint earthy edge with spicy flavors that linger through the pleasing, medium-long finish. Pinot Noir isn’t cheap to produce and picky about where it grows. This is a solid and approachable expression of Sonoma County Pinot Noir [for the money] that you can find between $17 and $25. Overall, this is a very pleasing bottle of wine to enjoy on its own or at the dinner table with family and friends. Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 14.5%, 13 months in 100% French oak barrels, 35% new, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned -- more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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