There’s no real reason to group these two together, but they’re both on sale now and I opened them together last night. I stored half of each of them in a 375ml bottle with stoppers and drank the rest. The only problem is that we sucked them down so quickly, I think one did not have time to fully air, so consider this a preliminary report.
2010 Red Door Cellars Pinot Noir
Oregon; 13.5% ABV
$8 at the Oakland, CA, store on 8 Nov. Also at Berkeley.
I hadn’t been sure I wanted to try this but (1) RB found the link to this review by Paul Gregutt, which says, “Pleasant, light scents of pure Pinot Noir fruit lead onto the palate that has a brambly strawberry flavor. Tart and showing a hint of rhubarb, this is a clean, fruit-driven Pinot Noir.” and (2) I’m assuming that there won’t be a whole bunch of new stuff after the sale, so I thought I might as well get a few more interesting things to review.
The short story is that I agree completely with that review. The wine showed nice flavors of tart and ripe cherry, light red roses, a little dried orange peel and oregano / rosemary, in a lighter body and with enough acid to make it a good food wine. It’s not the most elegant wine, but it’s pretty good Pinot for $8 and definitely a good buy at the sale price.
2007 Monk’s Gate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, OR; 13.5% ABV
$15 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 6 Nov. Also at Oakland.
I was going to avoid something this expensive, but Darrell, a fellow GO wine enthusiast who happened to be there, gave me a sample pour in the parking lot. 🙂 It was good enough to entice me to get a bottle.
I gave my wife a taste of each of these wines, asking her to pick the one that sold for almost twice what the other one sold for. She picked this right away and asked for a bigger pour. It has riper, more complex fruit in a silky, viscous, slightly fuller body. Its dark red cherry, heading toward plum, had complexities of allspice, cola and orange. However, the pour in the parking lot, after a bit of shaking and swirling, lost that viscosity and became delicate, floral, and ethereally elegant (and persuaded me to buy it). I suspect our bottle last night would have done the same with enough air, but we had already finished it after about 75 minutes. I’ll update this after we open the second half. Update 11 Nov:[ The second half bottle did not become “ethereally elegant” as I had expected and hoped it would. It remained in the “silky, viscous, slightly fuller body with nice complexitites” vein, smoothing out very nicely into something akin to hard candy. While my taste tends toward the lighter style of the Red Door, the Monk’s Gate is the more elegant and substantial wine.]
In summary, these are both are pretty good Pinots for the money, selling for about 1/2 – 2/3 of what I’d guess you’d pay elsewhere, and even less at the sale prices.