Alta Vista Vineyards, Carneros, CA; 14.6% ABV
$8 at the Berkeley, CA store on 8 July
This is a very ripe pinot noir that I find syrupy and rather unappealing. There is no obvious oak, which is a plus of sorts, but the grapes were just picked too late and it is pretty flat and lacks any energy.
My experience last night supports his statement. The fruit is very ripe and syrupy, without that much acid, and pretty full-bodied. While this is not my kind of Pinot, either, in an effort to be kind to the wine, let me note a couple things. First, many people like this character in a Zin or a Syrah, maybe even in a Cabernet. Second, the flavors of the wine — medium to dark red cherry tending toward darker cranberry, earthy spice, ripe orange peel — are actually pretty nice Pinot flavors. So there probably are people out there who would quite like this wine and, to them, I say have at it. Thanks to seedboy’s warning, I drank this with spicy Indian take-out, and it went reasonably well. I found it improved as it cooled outside in the foggy Berkeley evening. However, it won’t be a repeat buy for me.
The back of the bottle lists Michael Medeiros as “winemaker, proprietor,” but the producer’s web site (back label: “grown, produced and bottled by Mulas Family Vineyards”) lists the winemaker as veteran Steve MacRostie.