Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Angeline California Pinot Noir, 2008

I'm nearly always disappointed by the Pinot Noirs I order from the wine list at the Common Grill in Chelsea, MI. But this one has the smells and flavors of real Pinot Noir and is a good match for the always excellent fish dishes at the Common Grill.

After a few sips, I realized that this is the same Martin Ray Angeline I enjoyed several vintages ago. Martin Ray's Pinot vineyards are a mixed bag; as I remember, I always liked the Sonoma better than the Mendocino cuvee. This California appellation bottling apparently is a blend of produce from Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Barbara. And I like it.

The smells are classic Pinot---fragrant flowers mingled with ripe strawberries and cherries. And there is Pinot earth as well as fresh fruit on the palate. This is a wine worth looking for on retail shelves. The earlier Martin Ray Angelines sold for about $15; I suspect this one, with the broader appellation, is a bit cheaper.

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