As the label suggests, this wine offers up smells and flavors of dark cherries and plums. The dominant theme, though, is black pepper--the kind of pepper you would expect from a Southern Rhone wine. I like it, of course, but it doesn't fit my preconceived notions of either New World or Old World Pinot Noir.
The 2010 Clifford Bay is now on the market, also selling for about $10 a bottle. Is it equally peppery? I'll have to pick up a bottle and check it out.
As for the 2009 Clifford Bay, it's a nice enough Pinot for the price but clearly not in the same league as the Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast Pinots I've been drinking. Where are the wild berries?