Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wine Review: Left Coast Cellars Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir 2014

Left Coast Cellars Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir 2014

Left Coast Cellars of Willamette Valley, Oregon was founded in 2003. With 350 acres of land and 130 acres of vineyards, they use sustainable viticulture to produce only estate-grown wine. They're LIVE Certified Sustainable, Salmon Safe Certified, and are one of fourteen wineries to complete the Oregon Environmental Council's Carbon Reduction Challenge. All of the power for the guest cottages, the front gate, and the vineyard irrigation is run by solar power, and use a big chunk of their land for their Oak Savanna Restoration Project. They are very environmentally conscious. 

A few days ago I reviewed their 2015 The Orchards Pinot Gris and now I'm doing their 2014 Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir.

NOTE: In advance of moving to a new house and the arrival of a new baby, the reviews for March, April and May were all written in February and may be much quicker and to the point than you expect from this blog. Foolishness will return this summer.

This Pinot Noir is named after Cali, a daughter of the Left Coast's founders. It's made from 100% Pinot Noir. Well, seven clones of Pinot Noir; Pommard, Wädenswil, Dijon 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777. It was fermented in open-top stainless steel tanks, and aged for nine months in 10% New French Oak, and a balance of two, three, and four year old French Oak barrels. It has a 13.5% ABV.

The color of the wine is a dark garnet; much darker than I expected. I try not to read anybody elses tasting notes before I make my own but while reading the tech sheet for the information above, I saw that they mention "mossy forest floor". There is no better description for the aroma that first hits your nose than mossy forest floor. There's also that copper smell that I get oh-so-often with Pinot Noir, blackberries and worn leather.

In the mouth it's light to medium bodied with soft tannin, balanced acidity and a meatiness factor. Hmmm. With that and the dark color it's more like a California warm climate Pinot than the Oregon Pinot you would expect. But it's important to note that this is their introductory "drink-now" Pinot so it's going to be more mass-approachable. There's flavors of blackberries, juicy plums, brown spices, and it finishes with plums and iron.

Left Coast nails it on the head when they call this wine "food versatile". From salmon to chicken to steak, it's got you. And if you want to bring a wine everybody will enjoy with whatever is being served, it's got you there too. In the end, I'm going to give it a 3 out of 5 for $24, so that puts it at Satisfying. Basically, it's not going to blow your mind like their Pinot Gris will but you're not going to feel like you wasted your money.

Someday I hope to give their Latitude 45 Pinot Noir a try because I bet that sucker is the bomb.

Price: $22
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

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


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