Pinot Noir is the next release I'm tasting from Barra of Mendocino. Along with Chardonnay, this Burgundian varietal is one that can be very hit and miss for me. While I love both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir when they are well made, there are way too many poor examples out there clogging up wine shop shelves. These poor examples often bastardize the grapes by over oaking them. In the case of Pinot Noir some wineries blend in Syrah or even Petite Sirah to darken the color. All that said I approach every Pinot with a combination of great anticipation and little bit of fear. The 2006 Pinot Noir from Barra of Mendocino is 100% varietal. This wine was aged in small French oak barrels. Just under 2,000 cases of this offering were produced and the suggested retail price is $22.
Aromas of wild strawberry and cola fill the nose of this wine along with lighter vanilla notes. Throughout the palate black cherry dominates along with spice notes. The finish lingers and provides light mushroom as well as continued cherry and a hint of cedar and mocha. This is a very well balanced wine with terrific acidity. Decanting this wine for 45 minutes is recommended to get it to really open up and shine.
What I like best about this Pinot Noir is its balance. Truth be told that has been a hallmark of each wine I have tasted from Barra of Mendocino. I retasted this wine after it had been open for a full 24 hours and found it to be even more expressive. It's drinking very well right now, but some earth should emerge over the next couple of years, if you're patient enough to lay it down. Another lovely wine from Barra of Mendocino.
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