Sunday, June 8, 2008

Carmel Road Pinot Noir Monterey 2006

It was hotter than hell and the air conditioning was not working. Nothing was in the fridge, so what to drink? Something lighter, maybe a fairly fresh pinot. This mid-priced bottle seemed to fit the bill.

The color was a medium garnet, translucent, very pretty. The nose was bigger than I expected, since newer pinots often seem to be closed, hiding their odors. It offered black cherries, raspberries, black tea, and, if you kept your nose shoved all the way in the glass long enough, just a touch of cocoa. The palate was similar, with black cherries and raspberries up front, followed by a touch of sweet cocoa powder and tannins. The tannins were surpisingly soft. The finish did not fall right off but lingered a few extra seconds.

The next day. The wine spent the night back in the cellar (the A/C was out and I did not want to cook it) under the Vacuu-Vin. The next night it was far more earthy, with mushrooms and earth added to raspberry and darker cherries on the nose. The palate wa still fruity, showing strawbery and raspberry, black tea and, as odd as this sounds, a hint of somethin reminiscent of ginger snaps. The finish was softer and far longer, more obviously teeth-coating. This improved a lot over night, telling me (as if I didn't know, heck, it was an '06) it would actually improve with some cellar time or long decanting.

The first night's overall impression was a pretty typical mid-priced Cali-Pinot, mostly cherry and black tea, with enough mid-palate secondary development to justify a "pretty good, I'd drink it mid-week if the restaurant marked up the good stuff beyond reason" rating. In Parker-world that is probably about 84-86.

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