Monticello Pinot Noir Estate Oak Knoll 2013

This, Hermione, is not your supermarket pinot noir. From the producers:

I find expressive and appealing aromas of strawberry, cola, cinnamon and hints of graham cracker on the nose. On the palate, the wine lunges onto the palate, conveying richness and a full-bodied texture. I find ripe red berry flavors balanced by light vanillin oak notes, transitioning into a bold finale of bright fruit.

No graham cracker for me (was that a MacGuffin to see if we’re paying attention?) however, the rest is accurate. The overwhelming feeling of this wine is that it is BIG. I’d say it might be somewhat too large to pair with a light white-protein dish – so much so that red meat dishes, or anything rich would be a better thought. As the producer opines:

Ham as well as duck and goose.

Which is all of academic interest. The fascinating thread through this glass is the boldness of the alcohol, to the point where there are some brandy-like characteristics. Yes, that and the dark licorice element help lend a zinfandel-like quality, which is quite some trick given the base fruit.

The more we taste, the more we find. After a day’s air, the structure remains with the addition of a woodsy earthy stratum, which is completely in keeping with the conceit of the glass. All of that leads us to the acids: they’re great. I find little to zero spice, but in light of all else that’s here, it’s hardly worth mention.

$29.99