Smoking Loon Malbec 2013

I am madly attempting to catch up on my movie and TV watching because we are right in the midst of the awards season.  I’m using the SAG Awards nominations as my bucket list.  One of the shows I hadn’t watched on HBO until recently – despite having a subscription – was Westworld.

I saw the old movie with Yul Brynner on TV when I was a kid.  For some reason it just didn’t tickle my fancy.  I’m not saying it was a bad movie, it just wasn’t what interested me at the time.  Thus, I think that memory kept me from clicking over for HBO’s treatment.

Then one of my colleagues was singing it’s praises at work – the new series, I mean.  He just couldn’t say enough good things about it.  While he didn’t know it was a remake (He’d never even heard of the movie or of Yul Brynner.), he did recommend the series highly.  And then, of course, it made the SAG Awards nominations.

Good grief!  What had I been waiting for?  I am really quite impressed with the new series.  It is an entertaining show!  Be aware, though.  It’s definitely not for young viewers or those who shy away from shoot-em-ups on the screen.

And, yes, I decided to enjoy a glass or two of vino as I began my exploration of the new Westworld series.  I suppose I could have gone more Westworld and had a few shots of whiskey, but that wasn’t what I had handy.

oenophilogical_smokingloonmalbec2013Winemaker:  Smoking Loon
Varietal:  Malbec
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  Valle Central, Chile
Price:  $8.99

Notes:  A very dark purple color, this loon exhibited lots of earth, menthol, pine and forest berries in it’s bouquet.  Medium-bodied with nice acidity, the tannins were what I’d call medium.  Flavors I detected included blackberry/mulberry, tobacco, some hints of spice and a touch of mint.

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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