Rex Goliath Pinot Noir – Shockingly good for the “El Cheapo” bottle of the competition

  Price: $6.99 at Total Wine  Style: The "Anna" (Medium body with fairly simple and straight-forward fruit flavors.) Rating: “Ok” Recommendation: “Have a glass or two” Review: Ok... Let's get real... it's a $7 bottle of Pinot Noir. If your expectations are high for a $7 bottle of PN, I question your expectations. I personally approached this bottle with very …

Continue reading Rex Goliath Pinot Noir – Shockingly good for the “El Cheapo” bottle of the competition

Beringer Vineyards Founders Estate Pinot Noir 2014 – A good nose let down by a flabby body

Price: $7.99 at Total Wine  Style: The "Anna" (Medium body with fairly simple and straight-forward fruit flavors.) Rating: “Ok” Recommendation: “Have a glass or two” Review: Started off really well with a nice medium nose led by candied cherries. Unfortunately, the palate couldn't back it up. It came across as a bit thin and flabby with no discernible tannin or …

Continue reading Beringer Vineyards Founders Estate Pinot Noir 2014 – A good nose let down by a flabby body

d’Autrefois Pinot Noir 2015 – Better structure than most $10 pinots, but lacking in flavor

Price: $9.99 at Total Wine  Style: The "Anna" (Medium body with fairly simple and straight-forward fruit flavors.) Rating: “Ok” Recommendation: “Have a glass or two” Review: Mild nose of black cherries and strawberry with hints of smoke. More structured than most Pinot's at this price with a bit of tannic presence to remind you that this isn't just juice. Unfortunately, …

Continue reading d’Autrefois Pinot Noir 2015 – Better structure than most $10 pinots, but lacking in flavor

Cloud Break Pinot Noir 2014 – Average and non-descript Pinot Noir

Price: $8.99 at Total Wine  Style: The “Anna” (Medium body with fairly simple and straight-forward fruit flavors.) Rating: “Ok” Recommendation: “Have a glass or two” Review: I'm giving this one a "meh". A totally average and non-descript value Pinot Noir with a pleasant structure but muted generic flavors. The little aroma and flavor that I was able to pull …

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Underwood Pinot Noir Oregon 2015 – Available in a can…. if you’re into that kind of thing

Price: $8.47 at Total Wine  Style: The “Anna” (Medium body with fairly simple and straight-forward fruit flavors.) Rating: “Ok” Recommendation: “Have a glass or two” Review: A nice moderate nose leads things off with an earthy mix of raspberries and underbrush. Palate reflects the same, but is pretty subtle and dilute. Nothing really changed with time or air. It …

Continue reading Underwood Pinot Noir Oregon 2015 – Available in a can…. if you’re into that kind of thing

Forever Vineyards Pinot Noir Lodi 2013 – Smooth and easy-drinking, but boring and tight

  Price: $8.99 at Total Wine and More Style: The “Anna” (Light to medium body with simple straight-forward flavors.) Rating: “Ok” Recommendation: “Have a glass or two” Review: Our first Pinot Noir of the challenge is a ho-hum offering from the Lodi region of California (due East of San Francisco in the Central Valley.)  Although this bottle was smooth and …

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McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2015

Price: $9.49 at Total Wine Style: The “Lady Edith” (Lighter body with some interesting tastes beyond basic fruits.) Rating: “Ok” Recommendation: “Have a glass or two” Review: The McManis offers fair value, but has some minor imperfections even at this price.  First, it's definitely got a bit of tingling acidity right in the mid-palate. Great for a Pinot Grigio, …

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