Produced and Bottled by Lost Canyon Winery, Cloverdale, CA; 14.4% ABV
Whitton Vineyard, Russian River Valley, CA
$7.99 at the San Diego (Oceanside), CA, store on 31 December
What’s this? Low production (<300 cases), single vineyard, 100% legit, 100% true to Russian River Valley AVA and varietally correct Pinot at a phenomenal price point?
This wine, for me, is one of the first wines from GO in a very long time that epitomizes GO deals of old (or maybe that certain Bay Area stores still get in limited quantities but that San Diego gets very little to none of) – $40-50 MSRP bottles at 10-20% of the cost, that actually drink well at their original price point, and when you taste it, feel like you stole money from the local GO operators. Right…the wine…
The wine is reasonably structured throughout with a touch of cherry cola and smoke on the nose and is pretty full (really medium) bodied. It tastes predominantly of dark fruit – cherry? – with quite a bit of acid and light to low-moderate tannins to balance what is a nice, smooth (yes, the wine descriptor of the year) mouthfeel. It reminds me strongly of Iron Horse from what I have had. It is not overly complex but it is integrated beginning to end and if anything, it is a bit high acid for me (though mouthfeel is fairly soft) and a touch sour. The fruit could definitely come through more (there is no juiciness or fruitiness here) but this isn’t overly muted, nor is the wine compromised by my wishing for a bit more fruit in the mid palate. It makes me think and ponder the last time I had a RRV Pinot this good (I don’t buy $40+ wine, period). This is a very well made wine for what it brings and at $8 is a screaming bargain.
I wish I could report how this fared after 2 or 3 hours but it lasted 30 minutes and did not transform much in that time, aside from most of the heat blowing off the nose having been vinturid into glasses. I blew off houseguests to write this review quickly. If you’re looking for defects, they are there but they are almost not even worth discussing given the price point. I’ll be returning Tuesday to buy a case immediately, and I haven’t done that from GO in years. I’m excited to hear any and all opinions by our loyal contributors if any of you finds this and look forward to any and all discussion that follows.