The parents were in town this past weekend. Dad likes wine while Mom has never been a big fan. But suddenly Mom has become a Pinot Noir drinker - she had a knee replacement recently and a subtle dry wine settles the pain at the end of the day without upsetting her stomach.
While I shy away from American Pinot Noir - it is always a crap shoot - I REALLY shy away from California Pinot for it tends to be thin and harsh on my palette. Additionally, the price point is too high for me to continue to wager on one disappointment after another. And why bother when generic Sonoma Zin offers such a burst of the best of CA wines???
However, Dad and I stopped by a wine shop on the way back from my workplace on Friday and picked up two bottles of wine, one being a Pinot Noir from CA and the other a Riesling from the Finger Lakes. The Pinot was truly superb - and a bargain at 15 bucks.
2005 Angeline Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley
Wine was clear and bright - a diluted burgundy hue.
Bouquet has a sharp alcohol component mixed with generic berry - I suspected the worst at this point.
Taste: Sharp notes of smoke and cherry that was front and center - the wine snapped your tongue to attention without being harsh. Strong alcohol component worked nicely with the smoke and cherry notes and filled the mouth with a warm body - it filled the mouth without coating it. Finish was dramatic in how quick the strong notes left and the subtle note of oak lingered on. Tasteful use of oak at this price point (particularly with Pinot) is rare indeed. Very easy to drink - this is not silky but the wine is very, very smooth.
Would pair perfectly with herbed pork or a tangy grilled chicken.
Quick summary: Cabernet Sav Lite - all the best that a Cab Sav varietal has to offer in a breezy, light package. A perfect wine when having company over. Pinot this integrated, at this price point, and from CA is a rare trifecta.
2006 Dr Konstantin Frank Semi Dry Riesling
Color was a clear strawish with a hint of light green
Bouquet was light in acid and green notes, it gently wafted up the nose
Taste: Very soft and even across the palette - the light notes of muscat and berry were delicate and nuanced but definitely not wimpy. The wine had a warmth that lingered long and a sweetish finish of granny smith apples. This is not a crisp wine. Thankfully, the acid lingers in the background to give some tension. A wine that lures you back for another taste so you can put your finger on what it is that is so good. Dad couldn't get enough of it.
Paring would definitely be with a milder cheese or quiche and could stand up to a grilled scallop nicely. Too delicate and ephemeral for substantial food, but perfect for a brunch with fag food on a warm Sunday morning.
Summary: Where Granny Smith meets Gala