2013 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

At a glance:

Country: USA
Region: Santa Barbara County
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Year: 2013
Maker: Nielson (by Byron)

Price:  14.99

I like pinot noir and I also happen to be cheap, so I have bought my fair share of inexpensive pinots hoping for a miracle. The truth is that we have not had the world’s best luck with inexpensive pinot noir. Aside from a few good bottles from Oregon under $17, most of our ventures into the inexpensive wines of that varietal have been a little dodgy. So, when I brought home a $15 Santa Barbara County pinot noir, expectations were decidedly low.

Can’t remember what we ate with this one (why did I not take better notes?!), only that we were listening to Hinds while we drank it. And you know, I’m going to blame Hinds on the fact that I didn’t remember, because that band is so damn good (link). We saw them a few weeks back, and it’s been a while since I have been so stoked to be at a show. Afterwards, starstruck, we bought their record on vinyl, and asked the lead singer (sheepishly) to sign our poster, which she nicely did. Haven’t framed it yet, but rest assured the record has been played plenty of times already, and the poster is ending up on our wall. Maybe my favorite Spanish band at this point – just great garage/surf rock, and put on a great show as well.nielson pinot bottle.jpg

But on to the wine. Bottom line? Tasted good. It was darker than most pinots, with some berry flavors – something like the average between a strawberry and blueberry in scent, but more like huckleberry in the flavor (and not at all jammy). Huckleberry, by the way, is awesome. I have fond memories of picking them and eating during hikes, which maybe kept me from whining about being tired for a few short minutes. A classic PNW fruit, and well worth a try if you’re ever out in that part of the country.

In addition to the fruit, there was something floral (I could make up a specific flower, but couldn’t think of anything, so I’m keeping it vague), with just a little bit of spice towards the end. There was also just a little bit of a carmely-ness (not a word, but you know what I mean) around the edges of the wine, but it still finished clean and not at all sweet or syrupy. Conclusion? A good wine (and also, go listen to Hinds).


2013 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

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