Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2012

Some mysteries are important to unravel and solve.  Others, however, are perhaps better left to the mists of the unknown.  Take for instance the question, “What is a smoking loon?”  Seriously!  I know that a loon is a type of bird, but I don’t think they smoke – certainly not cigars as is suggested by the fun illustration on the winery’s colorful labels.  I have to admit that the name is catchy.  And, honestly, what I really want to know is what’s inside the bottle.  So, of course, I popped the cork on this Smoking Loon.

Winemaker: Smoking Loon
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2012
Appellation: California
Price: $11.99*

Notes:  I was surprised at how pungent the bouquet was on this Pinot Noir.  Although not hugely complex, it was vibrant with cedar and dark berry aromas.  Acidity was bright while tannins were on the moderate side but still players.  Alcohol was at 13.5% in this light-bodied selection, and there was a pleasant slightly plush feeling to this wine as it traversed the palate.  Flavors I found were a bit darker than many Pinot Noirs I’ve had, hewing to dark currant, cherry and oak with a medicinal/camphor zip when the tannins bit. I would think this Pinot Noir could pair well with a variety of dishes.  I appreciated this selection even more because I was able to grab it on sale for $6.99.

*  at Trader Joe’s for $7.99

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2 thoughts on “Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2012

  1. We have loons at my cottage and some are smokin’ hot. Others do partake in a little toot out on the lake. So, Smoking Loon a great name.
    Seriously, I’ve found a tendency lately for Pinot to be darker like you described this one.

    • Well, some might argue that we have loons living in my house – at least one. You’re right, Smoking Loon is a great name. Is the darker character “in” currently or does it have something to do with the crop/vintage that’s in release now?

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