Wild Horse Winery in Paso Robles is one of the larger producers in the Central Coast of California. They source their fruit from a diverse array of area vineyards. In my experience they make quite a few wines that are widely available, fairly priced and true to the varietal in question. Today I'm looking at their 2006 Pinot Noir. As with a lot of Pinot Noir fans I'm particularly finicky about this varietal. I was curious to see how Wild Horse was doing with this notoriously difficult grape. The 2006 Wild Horse Winery Pinot Noir is 100% varietal. This wine spent 10 months in French Oak, with 30% of it being new. Just over 56,000 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price is $25. Wine-Searcher shows it can often be found priced in the upper teens.
This Pinot opens with wild strawberries, bing cherry, vanilla and nutmeg in the nose. While the first sip I took proved this wine to be immediately appealing and accessible, time in the glass or a decanter does wonders to make it even more inviting. The wines palate is filled with light lavender notes and continued strawberry and cherry characteristics. Mushroom, earth, and spice, particularly lingering nutmeg are the starts of this offerings above average finish. This is a well balanced wine with good acidity. It'll match a wide array of foods.
What I like best about this wine is its true varietal character. Oak influence is apparent but never overshadows or diminishes the fruit. Finding well made Pinot Noir around the $20 price point can sometimes be a difficult chore. The 2006 Wild Horse Pinot Noir makes it a little easier.
Up Next: The Wines of Summer: Half a Case of Whites.
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