Another pick from Trader Joe’s. This wine was purchased for $9.99, a steal for a Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley, which is near Santa Barbara California. For those of you who remember, this region was part of the Sideways journey. I am pretty picky about Pinot and this is one of the growing regions that I think produces some of the best Pinot Noir in California. My fave is Russian River and the Santa Maria Valley isn’t far behind.
Like a number of Trader Joe’s wine, it isn’t easy to dig out the provenance. To keep costs down, Trader Joe’s carries a great deal of private label wine and close-outs from larger wineries. From what I could dig up, the Caretaker label is Trader Joe’s only. But, Caretaker is produced by the Central Coast Wine Warehouse out of Santa Maria. Central Coast Wine Warehouse is a facility where winemakers crush their grapes, vinify the wine and age it. Apparently, the folks behind The Hitching Post make their wine their as well. I am a big fan of the Hitching Post wines.
This wine is from a great vintage. It’s a great every day Pinot. I know that’s like an oxymoron but it’s true. Stock up now while the 2009 vintage is still around.
Here is our tasting notes for the 2009 Caretaker.
Appearance: clear, bright, medium minus ruby with viscous legs.
Nose: clean, developing, medium intensity of cherry, raspberry, strawberry, violet, earth, vanilla and sweet baking spices.
Palate: dry, medium plus acidity, low tannin, medium body, high alcohol, medium plus intensity of cherry, currant, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, violet, earth, vanilla, sweet baking spices and cedar. Medium finish.
Rating: Very good wine. Showcases Pinot Noir’s best characteristics in its better growing regions in California. Bright, refreshing acidity with intense flavors of red fruit and a hint of earthiness.
Photo courtesy of The Wine Cask Blog