Thursday, January 17, 2013

Comfort Pinot Noir Under $20

When this wine first hit the market, it had a pink label, was from Sonoma Coast, wasn't called Meiomi, and was only available by the glass at certain restaurants.  As with early Meiomi bottlings, there was speculation that the label was a dumping ground for surpluses of Belle Glos' higher-end, single vineyard bottlings.  If you were paying attention back then, you knew to scoop this wine up in quantity. 

Since then, the label has become the occasional target of winos' ribbing, derided as JAFPN (Just Another F&%$ing Pinot Noir).  But the 2011, notoriously difficult in Northern California, is a return to origins for this wine.  Whether sourced from the famed Talyor Lane and Clark & Telephone vineyards (Belle Glos' sources for their higher-end Pinots) or not, delivering a wine like this for under $20 is a noteworthy achievement. 

2011 Belle Glos Pinot Noir "Meiomi" $19
Deep, dark, and extracted, this dense, powerful, fruit-extrovert is as concentrated a Pinot as you're likely to find at any price.  Far from shy, it still manages to keep its oversized components in balance without getting jumpy.  Shiraz lovers will rejoice in its potency, while drinkers of all preference will find warmth in its comforting, blanket-like embrace.  A stand-out value from the founders of Caymus.

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