Date Tasted: 2/13/13
Price: Suggested Retail is around $12.00 (purchased for $8.00)
From The Winery: 13.5% alcohol. California AVA.
Impressions/Notes: Castle Rock Winery has become well known for its low-priced, readily available Pinot Noirs. Several of America’s top Pinot AVAs are represented in their bottlings, including the Russian River Valley, Willamette Valley, and Mendocino County. The California Cuvee is a blend that features fruit from multiple California AVAs. Let me start by saying it’s a very drinkable wine. My biggest criticism is that it lacks a Pinot identity. The savory strawberry fruit and oak are Pinot-like, but the notes of Black Forest ham, black licorice, tea, and leather provide some varietal confusion. There’s not a lot of depth, but I wasn’t exactly anticipating that characteristic in a $12 Pinot. Look to the Mendocino wine for better quality at a nominally higher price.
Rating: Not Too Shabby (84), 3/5 Value