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Sebastopol Hills 2009 Pinot Noir

2011 April 6

I try a lot of inexpensive wines and unfortunately, I end up with a lot of wine reduction—hey, I hate to dump marginally good wine so why not boil it down. The truly bad wines, though, need to go down the drain. Even reducing it won’t help in that case. But I digress. Inexpensive wines are really the only way someone like me can afford to enjoy wines on a regular basis. One of my favorite cheap wine retailers is Trader Joes. They carry a decent selection with prices from under $5 to well over $50. That’s quite the range and the taste of the wine is often reflected in the price…but not always. I’ve found several inexpensive deals and this is one of them.

The Sebastopol Hills 2009 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is a pleasant surprise. It’s unlike many California Pinots that are sometimes over-extracted and flabby. I’ve had some cheap and expensive Pinot from the Sonoma Coast  and if I didn’t know otherwise, I would have guessed that this was an Oregon Pinot. It has a light mouthfeel and a good acidic balance that makes it a great accompaniment for food. I opened it and tried it with some pizza tonight. It might have been a bit cold when I first opened it since it was a bit reluctant to reveal itself, but after several minutes in the glass, I was getting some nice cola and bing cherry aromas with hints of violets. Granted, it probably didn’t get much oak treatment so it’s not overly complex, but what could I expect for a wine under $10. The color and intensity were reminiscent of a fine Burgundy and on the palate were smooth flavors of raspberry and strawberry, however, it lacked any of the earthiness I’ve come to expect in a nice Pinot.

Hey, it’s only a $10 wine and it works in an everyday kind of way. I wouldn’t have any problems serving this with a quick pasta dish or even something that, dare I say it, came from a plastic tray out of my freezer. Hey, I can’t cook gourmet everyday…nor can I afford to drink a $40 Pinot everyday either. Thank goodness for Trader Joes.

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011

    There are lots of folks out there who can’t afford expensive wines….especially on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing your find with us. I need to pay a visit to Trader Joe’s!

  2. Mark Thomasseau permalink
    May 17, 2011

    I work in a wine shop here in Seattle, but when I am visiting family in CA, TJ’s is a great place to fine wine for the table. It may not always be “up to my standards”, ie. complex, but for 5-10 $ I truly can’t complain. Keep up the good work.

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