Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wine Review: Mossback Russian River Valley 2013 Pinot Noir

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on!

Mossback Russian River Valley 2013 Pinot Noir

Mossback is an old nickname for a farmer. The wine is Matchbook Wine Company's label for their stuff out of California's Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and their surrounding Central Coast. You can read all about Matchbook's great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Matchbook's winemaker Dan Cederquist actually spent most of his career in Russian River Valley before coming to Dunnigan Hills. With this Pinot Noir he uses his old connections and buys the best grapes from his favorite grape growers in Russian River Valley. 98% is Russian River Pinot Noir and 2% is actually Syrah from Dunnigan Hills. That splash of Syrah leads me to believe that this will be a  Pinot Noir for casual wine drinkers that don't fully grasp Pinot Noir, rather than the delicate, intricate complexity kind. Let's see if I'm right, shall we?

The label is the same as the Chardonnay; the leather patch for the brand of denim jeans. It works for the Pinot Noir because with Pinot, much more than any other varietal, you want to get that feeling of dirt and hard work. You'll notice many American Pinot labels have that kind of thing going on as opposed to, say, American Merlot which are usually sheet white and clean and classy.

A selection of the wine was actually cold soaked for 72 hours with the grape skins before it was fermented. This gives it more fruit flavors. After 72 hours of cold soaking, the temperature is slowly brought up so fermentation can begin. The rest is fermented in small open top containers, the skins punched down by hand daily to extract as much flavor and color as possible. Then they're combined and spend nine months in French oak. So I was expecting a darker Pinot Noir and that is exactly what I got in the glass: a beautiful ruby red with much more density than your average Pinot. There's an ABV of 13.9%

The nose reminds me of Skittles. I'm right now smelling the rainbow. Candy shell and berries. On the palate it's cranberry juice, raspberries and chocolate. It's a heavier bodied Pinot Noir with a little bit of present acidity on the midpalate and a little bit of present tannin on the finish. I'm going to quickly move on.

This is the tough part about writing reviews. Sometimes you're not going to like something from somebody you respect, and who am I to shit on somebody else's livelihood because I have time to write stuff at night? Matchbook is truly one of my favorite wineries out of California and they were nice enough to provide me with an entire months worth of wine to dedicate a whole month to them on this blog.

I can PROMISE YOU we're about to get into some killer stuff this month but the Mossback 2013 Pinot Noir is not my thing. It really is that Meiomi-style fruit juice that I feared it would be and that just doesn't fit the asking price of $25 for the varietal that it is.

Buuuut... if you're a regular reader you probably already know that I have a hard time these days being impressed by Pinot Noir in general, especially those from California. This one in particular I have to give a 2 out of 5 for price vs quality. Not Impressive.

Price: $25
Rating: 2/5 = Not Impressive. (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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