Santa Barbara County, CA; 13.8% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 8 March
I’ve liked previous bottlings of Soldiers of Fortune Pinot Noir at higher prices than this, so I thought this seemed like a good bet. It was!
The wine is pleasant enough at first, but I thought it really benefited from being decanted for two hours. Then, the wine showed the soft, ripe, dark red cherry fruit typical of Central Coast Pinot Noir, nicely delineated to orange, herbs, and slight, stemmy earthiness. I agree with Seedboy that the wine could have used a little more acid, as it’s a little on the fruity side for me, too, but I still think it’s really good Pinot for the price. The wine developed well for the next two hours after that, slowly becoming darker and richer, with a flavor that I could best (although probably still not very well) describe as pomegranate syrup. The orange flavor became completely submerged, and the herbs flavor darkened to something like rosemary.
The saved screw-cap bottle was also very good for the price, maybe better, to my taste. It had more delicateness and subtlety, less overt fruitiness and more stemmy Pinot funk. Maybe I just didn’t give it as long to air as I did the first bottle, so maybe it would develop as the first 2/3 of the bottle did with more time, but I really didn’t see the need to.