August 25, 2009

Tasting Note Tuesday - Keesha Vineyards Pinot Noir (8/25/09)

Mendocino County is one of the lesser known wine regions in California. It's not as prominent as Napa or Sonoma, and probably not even as well known as more recently popular regions, like Paso Robles, Santa Barbara (Sideways), etc. However, it's a region that should not be over-looked.

Mendocino is located about 3 hours North of San Franscisco and has been producing wines since the gold rush years in the 1850's. Prohibition almost destroyed the wine region (as it did most of California's wine regions) and it wasn't until the late 1960's and the wine boom did Mendocino County start to flourish once again.

It is home to mostly small, unknown wineries (over 75 in total), but there are some bigger names that call Mendocino home including Fetzer and Parducci. This wine, Keesha Vineyards, is one of the lesser known wineries and they specialize in pinot noir, petite sirah, and cabernet franc.

2006 Keesha Vineyards Pinot Noir - USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County

Right out of the bottle, I thought to myself, "Wow! This is Welch's Grape Juice... only with alcohol." But after about 10 minutes, the glass improved. Dark ruby in color, the nose reminds me of grape jelly/juice. There was more going on with the flavors including hints of sweet strawberries and vanilla/oak. But the 'concord grape' note was certainly dominant. More of the same on the palate, but I got more of a 'strawberries and cream' note than anything else. The tannins were smooth, and the finish short... meaning drink this one ASAP. This is a sweet/fruity wine and would appeal to those looking to get into red wines.

My Take: Good
Cost: $11/bottle