I'm becoming intrigued by the Pinot Noir appellations of northern California. The north coast from the village of Mendocino south, along the coast and inland a few miles, is beautiful country and apparently excellent for Pinot Noir--sunny days, cool nights, morning fog, good soil. The best appellations--Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley--are hard to find in Michigan and very expensive when they do show up. I was shocked to see a Russian River Pinot discounted for $14.99 (from $28) at D&W Market.
Medium light Pinot color. Laid back aromas of cherries, berries, light spice and earth. Pure and clean fruit presence--still young. The cherries and berries have a bit of that special quality that comes from wild fruit. Gets better with every sip with a sweet rather than earthy turn on the finish. There is also a hint of smoke. Oh yes, 2008 vintage. Forest fires along the coast. Maybe that's the reason for the discount, but the smoke is not enough to turn me away. I'll go back for more.