Sonoma Hills Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2011

Recommendation: Recommended as a buy.

Winery/Producer:Sonoma Hills; Manteca, California.

Grape Variety: Pinot Noir.

Geographic Origin: Russian River Valley, California.

Vintage: 2011

Price: $17.99

Purchased From: Wine Merchant; Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Pared With: 1st Tasting:Grilled Salmon, garlic mashed potato, cucumber salad and peas.
2nd Tasting: (10/2/2013 Tuna casserole, spinach salad with sweet potatoes and vinegar and oil dressing


    He said: 1st Tasting: Clear ruby red. Aromas of oak and alcohol and hints of damp earth. Strong damp earth and mild dark berry flavor followed with a short dry finish with lots of zest. Tannins are just a tad sharp. Overall it’s OK (not memorable) and a reasonable quality/price Pinot Noir.

    2nd Tasting: (10/2/2013) It’s still pretty much as described from the first tasting. It did go well with the tuna fish and sweet potato salad; but was a but disappointing after the dinner. The tannins are just a little to strong for my taste. It’s still just an OK Pinot.

    She said: 1st Tasting: If some one asks you to compare two wines, don’t do it. I was asked to compare a French Pinot with a California Russian River Valley one. Both wines were the same price, but I appeared to be the bad guy because I did not agree with the other two tasters. So here’s what I think: this California wine was my favorite between the two. I love the smokey bouquet and flavor, and firm tannins that last into the long finish. The standard for Pinot is for low tannins so I realize I am not into Pinot Noir. I can also see that we are drifting towards bland dinners so the wine is the featured item. At $18 it is a good buy but does not qualify as a bargain.

    2nd Tasting: (10/2/2013) I have been positive about this wine before and continue to like it. It was very pleasant with this family style dinner from start to finish including the salad. The smokey flavor subsided as we progressed through the dinner which was disappointing. I enjoyed the high acidity, medium body, tannins and pleasantly long finish. This is not a memorable wine but it is good. At this price we have had better so I would shop around before buying it again.

    Comments: For this dinner we opened two bottles of Pinot Noir that cost the same price. Vicky liked this one better and I liked the Gabriel Billard Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009 better. We gave both of them a Recommended buy.

Bar code: 082242010818