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February 20, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

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SeaGlass Pinot Noir Picmonkey

2012 Pinot Noir

 

SeaGlass

Santa Barbara County

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $12*

 

“The 2012 SeaGlass is clearly a Pinot Noir. You wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. Lighter in color than most California red wines, it shows aromas and flavors reminiscent of plums and cherries in a way that no other variety would. We bought it in a supermarket for $9.99, which is a little less than the average pricing nationally.* While there are examples of Pinot Noir for ten dollars and less,  most of them have just the generic ‘California’ appellation listed on the labels. One could deduce that their fruit comes from warmer, interior regions of the state—o.k. territory for some grapes, though certainly not ideal for Pinot Noir. But this SeaGlass indicated it was made from grapes grown in Santa Barbara County, a prestigious region for this variety. Could this be that vinous example of the Holy Grail (a good bottle of Pinot Noir available for cheap)?

“Would that we could say it was. Our disappointment was more about what this SeaGlass was not, rather than what it was.  While there was absolutely nothing wrong with the wine, it didn’t exhibit any of the subtlety and nuance that can make wine made from this grape—whether grown in France’s Burgundy, California or Oregon—a sublime experience. But how could it? Really good red Burgundies and ‘New World’ Pinot Noirs don’t come cheaply. There are, however, bottles beginning around $15 to $20 that show hints of what this most beguiling of wine varieties can be. While the SeaGlass fell short of that standard, we’ll keep on the hunt for inexpensive examples of this variety.”

Food Affinity: “We drank the SeaGlass Pinot Noir with grilled New York steaks bought on sale for $3.99 a pound at the same store. Nothing really wrong with the meat either, but overall, a reminder that you usually get what you pay for.”