Monday, April 25, 2011

Parducci Surprises Me With Their 2009 California Pinot Noir!

One of the fun aspects of writing about wine is that you get samples to taste and share with whomever reads your blog. Like many bloggers, I really enjoy getting these samples of wine, be they $5 or $100. For my purposes, it's a chance to hone my skills as a wine evaluator and share something I'm passionate about with anyone who clicks on the google/yahoo/bing link to my site. The point is that getting wine samples is great, no matter what price they sell for. For example, you're about to read of a Parducci pinot noir that has a suggested retail of $12, an actual retail closer to $9, yet blows other pinot noirs that cost twice as much clean out of the water. It's almost not fair how superb this wine is, considering it comes in at way under $20.

The tech sheet/winemaker's letter I got with this states that Parducci produced 26,900 cases of pinot noir for this vintage. Also, this pinot truly is pinot, 100% of it to be precise. Of all the juice used to make the 2009 vintage, 69% of the grapes came from Mendocino County. The rest, well who the hell knows? Since the label says "California" that could mean that pinot noir is grown on the majestic Interstate 5 corridor that runs through the middle of this fine state. Nah, that's where the valdigue is grown that goes into all the Two Buck Chuck shit you see people drinking.

Parducci's 2009 pinot is light, a soft ruby color and pale too, I can see right through the glass. There's none of the burnt garnet I see in Burgundies but still, when I look in my glass, I don't doubt that Parducci's winemaker did not add any other varietals. That and it states in the nice letter that there is only pinot noir in the..well..pinot noir.

Aromatically this is textbook pinot noir. Great spices combined with a sour cherry and red currant note, rhubarb and a tiny bit of oak present as well. When I sniffed my glass for the first time, my face lit up. While it's not going to make your nose twitch with unbridled pleasure the way an aged Burgundy will, the fact that Parducci's pinot noir is so true, so varietally pure can't help but entice us to taste it.

Certain wines, really good wines, hit your palate in a way that I struggle to put into words. Better authors than myself can do this with ease and it makes for great reading. What I'm trying to describe is a combination of things, a sense of depth and weight in my mouth coupled with a savory quality that can be described as lip-smackin' good. It's when the voice inside your head tells you the wine is just damn tasty.

So describes the 2009 Parducci. I enjoyed the bright red fruits and vibrant acidity. There was a tiny bit of oak present, doing a great job tempering the acidity and lending some length to the finish. I enjoyed the taste and mouthfeel, and the pairing tonight worked out great too. I picked up a frozen mushroom and black truffle flatbread from Trader Joe's, figuring the earthy mushrooms and creamy cheese would be a great contrast to the bright acidity, lo and behold it worked!

It's clear Parducci's winemaker, Bob Swain, did a wonderful job with this vintage. At nearly 27,000 cases made, there is plenty to go around and I've seen Parducci at Bevmo and local supermarkets if that fails, check out the website I've linked throughout this blog. Easily a B+ (88+ pts) and a STRONG BUY recommendation. Do yourself a favor, taste this and you'll realize what pinot noir used to be like and that sometimes it really doesn't have to cost $20 or more to be wonderful.

This wine was received as a sample for review purposes from Parducci Winery via Boss Dog Marketing.

Beau Carufel


  1. Chris I like to use to find the best prices. Good luck!