budget friendly california

Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2009

A couple of months back my cousin introduced me to the Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2009. It’s a pretty popular glass at his bar, and he thought it would be a nice starting point for the evening. I did enjoy it, and have bought several bottles of it to share with friends, as it fits into that general “crowd pleaser” category. It does need to open a bit before drinking, but otherwise it’s a sound investment for the cost. The fresh fruity smell of raspberry and strawberries is inviting, as is the purplish-red gem like colour. The heart of the glass is found in the medium-full body of grape jam flavours which smooth their way into rich plum notes. The hint of black cherry adds a bit of drama and depth. The finish is rather short, but pleasingly oaky and woody. It’s a simple, satisfying bottle that loves an appetizer at the bar or a weeknight dinner party at a friend’s house.
* I think what makes the wine pleasing is that the producer set out to make an affordable tasty wine; they sort of aimed for the middle of the road and successfully delivered just that. As they say: “Castle Rock buys grapes from approximately 40 grape growers, all renowned for their expertise and consistency…. the wines are made in accordance with Castle Rock’s winemaking standards, and are bottled at wineries, boasting state-of-the-art equipment, located in Napa Valley, Sonoma County. Castle Rock’s business model aims to please, lovely on the palate, easy on the wallet. By virtue of having a low overhead…Castle Rock is able to funnel all their capital into making the best possible wine for the best possible price.”
100% Pinot Noir
Sonoma County
13.5% alcohol
Cellared and Bottled by Castle Rock Winery

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