The theme of this blog is “the search for reasonably priced wines of character.” Wines of character are found all over the world, at a variety of price points. The most exciting finds, of course, are those that deliver at a high level of quality and enjoyment for a relatively low price.
For years, I have recommended particular wines as being bargains at their price point. Some of those are widely available, like the wines I’ve identified in my grocery store Chardonnay project. Others are very limited in availability, often obtainable only through the winery itself or a limited number of retailers.
In the case of really great, characterful wines that are also real bargains, I’d like to provide a service to my readers in helping them access those wines in an easy and cost effective way. Toward that end, I’ve been talking with a longtime friend who has been in the wine business for years, Michael Carpenter. I’ve known Michael since he was a manager at Wally’s in Los Angeles, and then when he ran a very cool wine bar and retail store operation in Culver City.
Michael ultimately closed his store/wine bar in L.A. and moved the business and family to Sonoma County, so that his operation, The Redd Collection, is now exclusively online. He has an importer’s license and good connections with a lot of distributors. He also has the same affinity I do for balanced, characterful wines, and for discovering little known producers who craft amazing wines. On top of that, Michael has long been one of the most reliable and conscientious wine retailers I know.
Our intention is that when I come across a characterful, well priced wine that is available in the marketplace, The Redd Collection will add it to inventory so that a link can be included in my tasting note. For this project, I will be specifically focused on identifying wines that drink well above their price point that aren’t widely available.
The first wine I have identified that can be obtained through The Redd Collection is a complex, savory Sonoma Pinot Noir that is only $20 a bottle. It drinks like an Oregon or cool climate California Pinot from one of my favorite producers that would typically sell for $40 to $50 a bottle. It’s the 2013 David Noyes Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
Here’s my tasting note:
Medium ruby color; aromatic, cranberry, tart cherry, beets, sous bois, earthy, talc nose; silky textured, complex, cranberry, berry, tart cherry, earthy, mineral palate with grip and good balancing acidity; medium-plus finish (14.2% alcohol) 92 points (great value: drinks like Oregon and cool climate California Pinots costing twice as much)
I tasted this wine over a period of three hours recently and greatly enjoyed how the nose and palate deepened, displaying different aspects of its complexity over time. David Noyes is a Pinot Noir specialist whose winemaking career began in the cellar at Ridge Vineyards. He started his own label in 2001, focusing on Pinot Noir, and a few other varietals, from vineyards in Sonoma County. He aims for wines of balance that complement food, and it’s hard for me to think of another Pinot Noir at this price point that I have enjoyed as much.
This wine is available for order through The Redd Collection. Shipping is free for purchases of a case or more.