Estancia Pinot Noir 2005 Tasting Notes
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Estancia Pinot Noir 2005 Tasting Notes

The Estancia 2004 Pinot Noir looked to me like—well—a Pinot Noir; it's purple with a ruby core and presents a delightful clarity that commands the eye to savor it, to dapple light through it and play with it a bit before nosing. This is 100% Monterrey County Pinot Noir, dry, low acid, with gentle tannins, cherry and strawberry, some darker fruit but none I want to stick my neck out by naming. I could taste a little dirt, though I wanted a little more. I could taste some wood (of the tongue-depressor and popsicle stick variety) and wanted to taste a bit less, though as I gave the wine a chance I started to call the wood spice, maybe vanilla, maybe nutmeg.

The fruit here is really nicely conveyed: the red fruit is patiently ripe, without dried or candied fruit notes that would tend to fight with the wine.

For my Dionysian purposes this Pinot Noir performs well; I call it “drinkable,” in the sense that I would readily reach for it at one of those pot lucks where the wine is so uncertain; I might even corner the bottle, hover over it in a protective sense. This is a convivial wine, the kind that can make people feel good about each other, rather than the type I would recommend for those needing a good dose of introspection using the wine as medium (and perhaps mediator.) At $17 to $19 a bottle, further possibilities may present themselves.

Verdict: Convivial
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I always try to keep in mind that I'm dealing with an agricultural product. The fields are the front lines.

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award


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