An Elusive Wine

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Rodney Strong.

Wine drinkers often speak about an under $20 Pinot Noir that’s worth drinking, but rarely find one. Pinot is, many times, more expensive than folks are willing to spend a wine for a Tuesday or Thursday night. You often have to spend well over $20 to get a bottle that’s going to taste like Pinot and not some overly sweet structureless blah bottle of wine. I see this bottle online for as little as $14. At $14, this is just a fantastic steal for a Pinot. Even at up to the $19 I see it for, it would be worth your time if you are on the hunt for the elusive under $20 Pinot.  We opened up the 2008 Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir tonight, which clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I found the wine to be smokey, with lots and lots of cherries, cola, earth, herbs, more smoke, and cocoa powder. In the mouth I got cherry, raspberry, herbs, red fruits, chocolate, and smoke. Nice acidity, good structure, and an overall bargain at the price point. At first in the glass, the wine was wound really tight…I might even go so far as to say that if you wanted to, you could let the bottle hang in your cellar for a bit. However, if you’re looking for a Pinot Noir for tonight, this is a good bet.


5 Responses

  1. Good to know!!

  2. I recently came across a very good California Pinot for under $20 — the 2008 Sean Minor Pinot Noir. I work at at a wine shop, and my boss bought about 6 bottles of this Pinot to try in the store, and it’s been a big hit. It really can be challenging to find a good Cali Pinot in this price range, so I feel like I struck gold when I tried this one! Out here in NC, it retails for about $16.

    Another really nice value Pinot I’ve recently had (a few times!!), is the 2009 Alfredo Roca Pinot Noir from Argentina. Very nice, and about $14, but drinks like a Pinot costing more; well worth trying!

  3. This is an excellent Pinot. Thanks for sharing. Cheers Dan

  4. Hi – thanks for the post. I never know what I will come across when I scroll these blogs. But just wanted to let you know I really liked yours. Keep it up.


  5. On a random note love your blog and love to see a fellow C. Donatiello fan out there…

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