The Four Graces Pinot Noir 2011

Work receptions and dinners are often disappointing when it comes to the wines being served.  Know what I mean?  I suppose it’s understandable.  Everyone has a budget, and businesses have to concern themselves with the bottom line.  No surprise, then, that at a recent business function I was offered a glass of red wine (Merlot) from a winery that was clearly a “house wine” for the hotel we were in.  The Chardonnay and Rosé they were serving were from the same vintner.  To be honest, the Merlot was OK but not at all remarkable.  Finishing our dinner, the group at my table lingered to chat.  Having not really been bowled over by the Merlot, I pondered whether to bother with a second glass.  But as the conversation continued in lively fashion, I decided I would go ahead with another glass to keep up with my colleagues.  lol  When I went back to the bar, they didn’t have a bottle of the Merlot available without going to the stock room (which they were willing to do, but wasn’t worth the effort in my opinion).  So I asked what else they had on hand that was open.  I was rewarded with a different experience altogether.  More serendipity, I suppose.

Vineyard: The Four Graces
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2011
Appellation: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Price: $24.99

Notes:  The color of this Oregonian was a pretty cranberry red.  On the nose I smelled redolent dusty earth and red berries.  Acidity was quite bright and the body was very light.  [I almost feel like I should write a poem the way things are starting to rhyme!]  Back to the wine ….  It had moderate tannins, and alcohol was at 13.8%.  Flavors that I managed to catch were a gentle ripe strawberry underlying pepper and oak with a zing of quinine on the finish.  This Pinot Noir had a controlled, refined style to it.  I enjoyed it as I was enjoying the company of my colleagues – all of us in a downright great mood.  So the night ended on a very good note.  Now that’s nice!

Since I didn’t buy this at the store, I did a little research online.  I found the prices varied, but $24.99 repeated a few times and was listed as what I would pay at the Total Wine in my area.

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