This weekend I began to study for the Master Sommelier exam of February 2010. It is a long hard haul so I decided this past weekend would be a good time to get a jump on studying (studying means blind tasting a ton of wine). It is impossible to blind taste yourself so I have to recruit Shauna to rummage through the boxes of wine in the basement or invite over a cork dork. This week it was a cork dork and we happened upon a wine that both made us sit up in our seats: Storrs Winery, Pinot Noir, Santa Crus Mountains 2006.
Winery: Storrs Winery
Grape: Pinot Noir
Origin: Santa Cruz Mountains
Website: Storrs Winery
Retail: $34 to $36
Fun Fact: 3 acres of the 50 acres the family owns are devoted to growing organic heirloom Newtown Pippin apples that are sold to the local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
Tasting Notes: The color of this wine is beautiful. A translucent ruby red that catches the sun like stain glassed. The nose of the wine is what captured me with aromas of sour cherries, red currants, red raspberries, cranberries, black tea leaves, dried hay, button mushrooms, and a kiss of baking spices. This is a wine you will want to find a giant novelty glass and fill it up with the whole bottle, stick your head in and take a giant deep breath.
Once you have gotten your fill of the nose your palate will be caressed by one of the most balanced Californian Pinot's I have ever tasted. The fruit aromas are directly translated on to the palate with a pronounced sour cherry note peeking above the rest. Unlike many of its contemporaries this wine shows plenty of earth through a dried hay, tea leaf and dried flower characteristic that gives this wine a depth sorely lacking in most Pinots from California. What also caught us off guard was the structure. Its bright acidity and supple tannins play on the palate in a tug of war performed by ballet dancers instead of football players. The harmony between all the flavors, acidity and richness make this a wine worth a long and in-depth search. Due to its elegance and structure this wine has an array of pairing possibilities for any dietary need. If you are not into meat try mushroom or root vegetable based dishes. Conversely if you are an omnivore this wine can go with roast fish, chicken, pork, lamb, or steak. The wine deserves an elegant preparation that highlights subtlety over power....if you do this...you will be very happy.