Rex-Goliath Pinot Noir

I have to admit that the first time I saw a Rex-Goliath wine, I was curious about the reason for naming a wine label after a big rooster.  After reading at the winery’s website that HRM Rex-Goliath was billed as the “World’s Largest Rooster” in a Texas circus at the turn of the 20th century, I was confused.  Texas?  A giant chicken?  Circus?  What do they have to do with a winery in California?

But their website goes on to say, “Our wines are a tribute to Rex’s larger-than-life personality, with bold, fruit-forward flavors that are sure to please. In essence, Rex is all about letting BOLD fruit flavors express themselves in an easy-to-drink, worry-free fashion. Bold Wines. Fun Times.”  Oh …  I suppose I see now.

Winemaker:  Rex-Goliath
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Vintage:  NV
Appellation:  America
Price:  $5.49 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  The color of this non-vintage Pinot Noir was a medium garnet.  On the nose I caught whiffs of oak, earth, red plum, and pepper.  It was medium-bodied with bright but not racy acidity and medium tannins.  The tannins were pretty aggressive in attack and long in duration, but they did settle some with time to breathe.  Alcohol was at 12.5%.  Flavors I tasted were cola, sweet plum, lots of pepper and oak, and a green herbal note on the finish.  This was an unusually feisty selection for a Pinot Noir and a surprisingly interesting bottle of wine for the price.  Yes, I would call this a good value.

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Turning Leaf Pinot Noir

With the turkey-in-the-oven season firmly upon us, I have been sipping a few Pinot Noirs.  I mean, I’m totally doing research toward finding the right wine for Xmas dinner.  It is completely out of a sense of duty to friends and family that I am tasting these wines.  Right?  Uh … right!  So, putting shoulder firmly to wheel, I opened a bottle of this Turning Leaf.

WInemaker: Turning Leaf
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: NV
Appellation: California
Price: $8.49

Notes:  The color of this one was a light purple in the glass.  It was light-to-medium in weight on the palate with somewhat low acidity and no tannins to speak of.  With alcohol at 13% it wasn’t a completely dry Pinot but definitely not sugary.  Flavors for me were sweet cherry and raspberry with dashes of pepper and just the slightest hint of earthiness.  There was absolutely nothing to hate here, but there was nothing to bring me back, either.  I mean, I think lower acidity can be nice in a Pinot Noir if it makes way for that silky, velvety mouthfeel some achieve.  I didn’t find that.  And with a lack of acidity and/or tannins, I’m not sure that this wine would pair extremely well with many foods.  Unless … unless maybe you were having bread or soup in advance of a meat entree (beef or game) for which you are saving a hearty, tasty red to knock everyone’s socks off.  Or, if you have other plans for dinner, it could serve as a simple, easy sipper while you wait for the turkey to finish roasting.  Anyway, I picked this one up on sale for $5.99.   At that price, although this won’t be my Xmas dinner companion, you might find it fits the bill for your celebrations.

Barefoot Pinot Noir

This was originally posted 11/29/2010 at Blogarhythms.
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Tried yet another Barefoot beverage – this time their NV Pinot Noir.  Speaking of NV … I’ve been wondering just how you can tell which bottling of their products you might be drinking.  You know what I mean?  If anyone knows for certain, please enlighten me.  The only date I could find on the label was a copyright date of 2008.  Wasn’t exactly sure what that pertained to, but I’m going to assume it was the label which has notes about this particular bottling, so ….  Maybe this was bottled in 2008?  Anyway, here are my notes.

Vineyard:     Barefoot
Varietal:       Pinot Noir
Vintage:       NV
Appellation: California
Price:          $6.95

Notes:     Better than I hoped as I have found inexpensive Pinots to be disappointing in the past.  This wine had a nice solid core of cherry and strawberry with vanilla and spice notes.  The finish lingers quite nicely, and I could swear I tasted cinnamon.  The tannins were a bit more present than in most Pinot Noirs, but I didn’t find them troubling.  In fact, I enjoyed them.  And I think they are precisely why the finish lingers so.   Overall, it was an enjoyable wine.  I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.  Is it a refined glass of Pinot Noir?  No.  But it’s tasty.


Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.