This is one of those wines I picked up at the little wine shop in SFO (San Francisco airport) a year or so ago on a whim. I remember somewhere, at sometime, possibly reading about Hartford Family Wines and figured maybe that tidbit I read was a good write up and as such bought their pinot noir I am about to review. Heck what is $40 bucks on a bottle with no knowledge at all? So as I looked into what I bought the next day I was quite pleased to see that this bottle in particular had been fawned over by all those types that are suppose to matter. As someone who writes reviews, I take them all with a grain of salt (and sometimes cheese), and as such I often times find ratings to be misleading. If you are a regular reader here you will well know I am tough on wines. With the bulk being rated by the CWG-SR system in the 80s. Generally I will rate based on my own overall experience and not hover in, or pin point one reason or another why I did or did not rate a wine well, maybe that is why I call it the CWG ‘subjective rating’. With that small detour we bring ourselves back to this Sonoma Coast pinot, and instead of going into detail about the winery (you can read that on their site) I am going to dive into the tasting notes.
We decanted this out of habit and while the aeration in the end helped the wine a tad, it will not be necessary if you are using the correct stemware as the bowl of a pinot glass will give it more then enough. Intense cherry with hints of wood will hit your nose immediately. Swirl it a few more times and then settle in for a few sips. That cherry will stay consistent but casis and vanilla will creep in. This is a nice firm, chewy pinot noir. Good balance, even finish and firm tannins yield a wine that even a Burgundy hound would love. I was pleasantly surprised as a great many of the Californian pinot noirs I have had recently have disappointed. As we progressed through the bottle the flavours and quality remained, there was no fading or disappearing, a good sign for a great wine. This wine will go well with most entrees with pork tenderloin, marinara pasta or veal coming to mind. While I paid $40US for this, the 2006 vintage is on sale for $33 at the LCBO, which is odd, as even the vineyard has the the 2006 listed for $45. While this review is for the 2005, if the 2006 is even half the wine, the LCBO price will be worth the purchase. If you can get your hands on the 2005, I highly recommend buying at least 6 as this wine will age, most probably for the better. I have to say, for once I agree with the lofty reviews, this wine is one of the better wines to have been released from the region recently!
The CWG SR is 92 out of 100.
Mrs CWG & Bacchus say
I hope we have another of these!