Wine: Red Tree California Pinot Noir.
Grape: Pinot noir
Region: Central Coast, Calif.
In the glass: Red Tree Pinot Noir is a dense ruby-red color with a semi-opaque core going out into a fine purplish-red rim definition with medium viscosity.
On the nose: There is rich, forward and wonderful fruit with red cherries, raspberries, stewed strawberries, aniseed, spice, earthy minerals and hints of wood.
On the palate: The wine shows ripe, richly endowed red fruits with dominance by mixed berries, powerful phenolic undertones, then ripe supple tannins on the powerful midpalate, with hints of crushed red cherries, vanilla, red currants and earth-driven minerals. The finish is fine and longish with good balance and hints of wet stone coming through.
Odds and ends: Marketed as Red Tree Pinot Noir, but made by the well-regarded Cecchetti wine company, this is a fabulous value for the money. Cecchetti is known for sourcing great fruit from the abundant Central Coast vineyards and it shows here. There are a slew of California pinots that sell for more than $30. If you lined them all up and stuck this Red Tree into a blind tasting, you’d be surprised how well it would show. This wine needs a good hour out of the bottle to really open up and show its full spectrum of flavors, and it is still quite a young wine that can use some aging. Try it with pan-fried, lightly herb-dusted fillet of salmon. Drink it now through 2012.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.