Maranet 2012 Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley, CA; 14.1% ABV
$7 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 17 June

Maranet_2012_PinotNoir_RRVIt’s always exciting for me when a Pinot Noir with the Russian River Valley appellation shows up, and MrVino had praised this wine, writing about it: “good length, some smoke, light oak, nice mouth feel/glycerin.”  I thought it was pretty tasty, too, but also a little unusual.

I decanted it before running an errand, so I first tasted it after it had been open for about 30 minutes.  Then, it was delicious, tasting of intense fruit (black cherry, dark red and maybe black raspberries) driven by zingy acid, and the smoke and supporting oak MrVino described.  I didn’t really get the glycerin mouthfeel, although it is relatively full-bodied for a Pinot Noir.  While it tasted like Pinot Noir, the darker flavors and intense, tangy fruit almost made me wonder if it contained some Zinfandel.  (Not likely, I think.)  As the evening went on, the wine did not change all that much, softening and filling out only a little, and eventually falling apart slightly.  The back label says is was “bottled exclusively for fine restaurants and private clubs,” so probably it was made to be delicious from first pour.  My reaction is that, while it’s pretty good, I think the 2010 Swami is a more complex and substantial wine (and a dollar less) as long as I am able to give it 2+ hours of air before serving.

The saved single-glass, screw-cap bottle was at first still tasty in a tongue-catching way (taste equivalent of eye-catching?), but was thinner and more acid, less complex and a little more cheap candy-like.  After a couple hours, however the fruit darkened and filled out and was very nice.  For scientific comparison purposes only, of course, I had also opened a saved single-glass screw-cap bottle of the 2010 Swami Pinot.  It also exhibited a similar transition about the same time, and was slightly better.  Thinking back on it, this wonderful transition these wines exhibited is suspiciously correlated with when I managed to get the kids to bed.  🙂


15 thoughts on “Maranet 2012 Pinot Noir

  1. philinoakland

    ” For scientific comparison purposes only, of course”

    I think I’m going to steal that line …..

  2. David Andersson

    I’m quite fond of this pinot noir, especially since it’s a Dumol second label. Try putting the phone # from the cork into Google and see what comes up. Great value for the $

  3. EHL

    Hey, Darrell…your Maranet PN experience sounds very familiar…like the comparative assessment of our respective bottles of the controversial Steltzner Malbec.

    Same bottles of the same wine and same vintage…but dramatically different conclusions…lol.


    1. permiesworld

      You know, I’ve noticed over the years that the “different conclusions” happens a lot. Some of it is bottle variation (or bottle handling that causes variation)…but a lot of it is just our own personal taste preferences. For me, when someone recommends a wine, if they’ve listed flavors I know I dislike, I won’t try it, even if they like it. And if they dislike a wine but list flavors I like…I may throw caution to the wind and try it. On here there are some reviewers and guest reviewers that my personal taste seems to flow with, much better than others (and I will likely grab a wine they like without hesitation) I think that’s pretty normal. But I appreciate that most will go beyond “I liked it” to a description…so that we are able to draw our own conclusions. It’s a great community here…and we’d never be able to afford wine if everyone liked only the same one. LOL!!

    2. Darrell

      EHL, I haven’t experienced variability within a bottling of one variety from Steltzner, at least not yet like this Maranet You might be right that we have different tastes and perceptions, but when I read some of the evaluations on PN and there are differing opinions, I am beginning to think there seems to be a difference in the bottles and not the tasters. Many of the GO PN’s of the same bottling can be fickle as I have reread some evaluations, one of them the Swamis.

      1. EHL

        Hey folks…yes bottle variation is definitely a major factor with GO wines, amongst them the Swami PNs and too many others to mention, from my relatively brief firsthand observation.

        I know most of the commenters here on the blog have pretty refined and sophisticated
        palates, and when they post their positive conclusions regarding a particular bottle of wine, there are definitely good reasons for their thoughts.

        Unfortunately, the experience of that wine may often not be replicated when others buy it thereafter, for whatever myriad set of reasons.

        I guess that is part of the hunt and adventure when pursuing GO bargains…it can be frustrating sometimes but when it pans out, it can be truly exhilarating…


  4. Darrell

    The third bottle opened was better than last night’s gassy one by far, but not as fine as the first. It didn’t have the mouth feel of the first, but was way better than the gassy bottle. All had the same bottling date also, 7/23/13.

    1. Darrell

      Had a couple bottles of late. The fourth bottle was extremely gassy, but still didn’t smell or taste too different from the first bottle. The fifth bottle was exquisite though with no gassiness, a rose petal, strawberry nose. Just a pleasure to drink and smell.

      1. seedboy

        I tasted one recently that was pretty good, too. I did not buy much of this, wish I had more than one bottle left.

          1. Darrell

            I wouldn’t worry about it. If you notice there is a slight CO2 pressure and I guess a less than usual exchange with external air. With decent cellaring it should be OK within a two year window is my guess.


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