In keeping with what seems to be a theme, I have yet another California wine for you. I present, the Noble vines 667 Pinot Noir out of Monterey (Central Coast). This is a label I’m fairly familiar with. Yet again, this is another wine by the glass at work. If anything, I think this just points out how much I enjoy the quality of wines that we have available. Not only that, but they’re affordable, too, for the average joe (like myself, expensive taste be damned).
My understanding of the winery itself is limited. I do know, however, that they base their wines around the six noble grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The first five originate in France, so big surprise why I enjoy them so much. The French have a “horrible” tendency to make just about everything good and delicious in the world. The latter, Riesling, comes out of Germany but found plenty of notoriety in Alsace, France. The term “noble grapes” is a term used to describe the grapes that are known for creating the best quality wines available. they have a reputation to back it all up. Not only that, but they are easily grown outside of their home regions, which makes them even more popular and valuable as varietals. From what I can tell, Noble Vines Winery focuses solely on the production of these 6 varietals. Each vine has a name and this one is “667”. The name is indicative of a Dijon clone vine stock out of the Cote d’Or in Burgundy, France. The “667” vine is unlike any other Pinot Noir grown out of California, as it has many more layers to the tannins and a far deeper, richer color. Even for a Pinot, which has a thinner skin and usually gives off a lighter color, this is relatively dark. According to the wine makers, this varietal does great in San Bernabe, as the climate and soil are reminiscent of Burgundy and it’s because of the strong winds there that the Pinot skins thicken slightly, thus leading to the deeper color and softer tannins. All I know, guys, is that it’s delicious.
I think in a previous post I mentioned how much I love Pinot Noirs. I’ve always found them to be delicious and the wines are almost always some of my favorites. This wine is no exception and, for the price, a steal. The nose is soft, yet fruit forward, with a hint of florality. There are lovely notes of black cherry and plum intermingled with the underlying aroma of soil. I love a good “earthy” Pinot Noir, which is why I mostly drink wines from Willamette Valley in Oregon. California Pinot lovers prefer their wines to be much more fruit forward. The earth in this wine, at least to me, is a welcome addition and adds a subtle complexity I feel it would otherwise lack. Lastly, the hidden caramel notes point to the wine makers use of toasted oak. Just the aroma alone and I’m sold.
The palate is a similar story. The acidity is very well-balanced, as are the tannins. I’m not a huge fan of overly tannic wine and this has just the right amount to keep me drinking more. That IS what I want to do, after all. Overall, the palate stays rather light, but I found more red fruit here (red cherries and cranberry) than I initially found in the nose. This is what will grab all of those California wine lovers and get them hooked. The wine is very well balanced, with medium acidity and body, but finished short. I felt like something else needed to happen. I can’t quite describe what, just that it needed something. I don’t feel like it took away from the overall wine itself, as I’d still be more than happy to continue drinking this wine. It’s delicious, end of story. This wine is well balanced, so it can go as well with beef as it does with fish, say Salmon because it’s a heavier flavored fish. That’s what I love about Pinot Noir, it’s versatility.
Thanks again, as always, for taking the time to read through my posts. Next week, I suppose I’ll just pick up another one of their labels and go to town. I’m thinking the “337 Cabernet Sauvignon” for the steak I’ll most likely pair with it. If I can find the time, I’ll even do a pork loin. It’s been a while since I’ve made one of those and that will go beautifully with the wine and vice versa. I’m currently at work on something BIG in my life and I cannot wait to share it all with you when the time is right. Until then, I’ll be keeping my head down and over a stove/oven. Keep your eyes peeled for more great stuff coming out of my kitchen. Also, if you have a favorite wine or label you think I’d love, SEND IT MY WAY!! Shoot me a message and tell me about it. I love broadening my wine horizons, so to speak. Happy drinking, all, and I’ll see you next week (at least for the wine)!