Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Martin Ray Angeline Mendocino County Pinot Noir, 2004

This is a delightful Pinot Noir from cool climate vineyards in Mendocino County. The winemaker reports that his goal was to preserve the bright fruit flavors by "cold soaking" the crushed grapes and fermenting them at moderate temperatures.

Three years after its release, the wine is showing well. It's a brilliant light ruby color with delicate but persistent aromas of cherries, red raspberries and pomegranates. Classic Pinot Noir. It's silky smooth on the palate without harsh tannins. Very ripe but with enough tang to keep you coming back for more. The 4% Sangiovese in the blend may account for this racy quality on the finish.

Whether the winemaker intended it or not, this wine seems to be made along the lines of the very fine Louis Latour Pinot Noir Valmoissine that I reported on earlier (February 3, 2008). At $10 to $12, both are excellent Pinot values for every day or special occasion drinking.

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