The color, a little brickish-brown, gives the appearance of older wine. Cola with a splash of birch beer is the dominant flavor. Tart red fruits, cranberry, wild strawberries, and rhubarb follow on the mid-palate. Acids and a streak of minerality give it a lot of life and the ability to cut through rich sauces. It lacks the classic Pinot arc – an initial attack, a gentle mid-palate, and a finish that grows and glows and goes on forever. Instead, it has a big attack, followed by a bigger mid-palate, then a fading finish – more typical of syrah. Drink this with pork medallions with shallot and red wine sauce.
WHO: Lucas & Lewellen
WHAT: Pinot Noir
WHERE: Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California
HOW MUCH: $19