$6 each at the Richmond, CA, store on about 20 Dec; neither still there
2012 KW Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA; 14% ABV
The 2012 (non-vineyard-designated bottling) Mignanelli Pinot Noir was discussed a bit here and following. Of this bottling, Seedboy commented: “This single vineyard wine was out of balance and lacked the body or fruit of the blend.” and “Not sure if it is bottle variation or what but the second bottle of this single vineyard wine was really good, SLH fruit but elegant, good balance.” Emphasizing the bottle variation in this wine, one regular customer told me this was quite good Pinot Noir for the money, while another told me after some consideration that it was the worst wine he had ever had. So it was with some trepidation that I finally opened my bottle.
I decanted the wine off a lot of sediment to find a very tasty California Pinot Noir. It was quite good right away, but smoothed out further after about an hour to show ripe, tangy red cherry / strawberry, red brick / rusty earth, nice Pinot funk, and a little orange in an elegant, smooth, and softly textured taste. My bottle, at least, was very nice wine for the price.
The saved, single-glass, screwcap bottle was pretty much the same. Thumbs Up for this bottle! YMMV.
2013 Santa Lucia Highlands, CA; 14.2% ABV
This wine was initially less appealing to me because it did not have the funky, aged complexity of the 2012 KW Vineyard bottling. However, it did seem more solid, like it would have a longer life and perhaps develop into something ultimately more interesting. It showed a fresher red / slightly purple cherry that seemed to have more solidity to it, but was not showing as much complexity the first night as the 2012 KW Vineyard.
However, the saved half bottle (375ml) showed greater complexity of darker red cherry, blue-ish fruit, and some of the tangy, earthy complexity of the 2012. This is probably a more solidly made wine than the 2012 KW, but for a bottle to drink immediately, I slightly preferred the 2012. Thumbs Up for both.