As readers to this blog can attest I have a fickle relationship with Pinot Noir. In theory I’m a huge fan. In fact if you force me to choose a favorite varietal, Pinot Noir is in the running, with a fighting chance to win. Sadly though there are a lot of Pinot’s from California, especially in the under $20 category that don’t live up to what this great grape should be. These subpar examples often have other varietals blended in to darken the hue or add something. The trouble is they take away more Pinot character than anything they add. So when I find an example in this price range that acquits itself nicely, I find it a reason for a minor celebration. Today I’ll look at one from Irony Wines. This 2006 Irony Pinot Noir is produced from fruit sourced in Monterey. This wine is aged in a combination of both new and old French and American oak for eight months. 24,000 cases were produced and the suggested retail price is $15.99.
Wild strawberries dominate the nose along with touches of vanilla and an inherent and appealing hint of cream. Throughout the palate, cherry and raspberry characteristics are on the forefront and underpinned by subtle spice. Earth, wild mushroom and white pepper are all part of a medium length finish. I found this wine went quite well with pork loin and rosemary roasted potatoes.
As I hinted at above what I like about this Pinot Noir is that it’s both true to the varietal and well priced. This is a genuine wine that’s widely available and sold at a reasonable cost. When it comes to California Pinot Noir those traits don’t intersect very often. This wine is made to drink now and will be enjoyable for the next couple of years. As far as everyday drinking Pinot goes, this is a solid choice.