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A Rare Sighting – Excellent Pinot Noir for $12

There are a lot of excellent wines in the $10 – $15 range.  You can generally find a decent bottle of just about any wine varietal or blend in there somewhere, and in some cases even discover exceptional wines.  One varietal can be a bit tricky though, and tends to elude the bargain hunter.  This is Pinot Noir.  Finding a really good Pinot Noir under $15 is a lonely journey.  Certainly there are many perfectly drinkable Pinots in that range, they’re just usually rather boring.

Fear not, for there is always hope, and here is an example:

mandolin pinot 2014Wine:    2014 Mandolin Pinot Noir

Winery Location:   Monterey, California

Tasted By:     Neil & Cheri             Date:   March 2018   

Tasting Notes:  The wine is a medium ruby red, that tends toward garnet with some air time.  The nose is full of red berry and cherry fruit, and opens with additional complex notes of tobacco, oak and earthy tones.  It is medium bodied on the palate and very fruit driven at first, the second day it turned more Burgundian, and the earthy tones and spice became more prevalent.  It has noticeable tannin that builds at the end, and great acid balance.  The finish is long and clean.  This is really quite good, and at the price is exceptional.  If the fruit was a little fuller in the mid-palate it would be crazy good for the money, but still it is a case buy.  You don’t find delicious, fruit driven and complex Pinot Noir for $12.  As least not very often.  This is made with fruit from the Santa Lucia Highlands, but it doesn’t carry the price tag that usually goes along with that.

Price Point –    $11.50

Would We Buy It?   We did, and would again.  Actually, it is almost certain we will.  This is a pretty off the charts value here, and on the Value List it goes.  

Mandolin makes a series of varietals sourced from Monterey County, as well as an old vine Zinfandel from Lodi.  If this wine is any indication, the others are likely to be great values as well, and we look forward to trying them.

A votre santé!

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