2006 Castle Rock Mendocino County Pinot Noir

Price: $9.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery “Our Castle Rock Pinot Noir was produced from grapes grown in Northern California’s beautiful Mendocino County, where vineyards were first planted in the early 1860’s. Here, the headwaters of the Russian River carve a fertile and rugged landscape. The warm summers, cool springs, crisp falls and wet winters make ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir grapes, in a climate similar to that of the Burgundy region of France, where the grapes were first established. This elegant and medium-bodied wine has delicate aromas of violet and rose petals, complex flavors and long silky textures, with layers of strawberry and raspberry leading into a long refined finish.”

And from the Wine Spectator, “Aromas of ripe cherry, tree bark and wild raspberry are elegant, stylish and balanced, with nice focus and a lingering finish. Drink now. 110,000 cases made.” (86 points, $12)

What I Think:

After having my friends treat me to a few bottles of the Castle Rock from Willamette and Monterrey I figured I could invest in this Mendocino on my own. Given Mendocino is the home of my beloved Navarro expectations immediately escalated and I was sure I had a winner on my hand before I even made it home…

So a few evenings later with salmon on the menu this wine found its way to the table. The bouquet showed some light fruit and floral notes on top of woody overtones. On the tongue it started with cherries and then shifted towards cola type flavors. The mid-palate had a twang (perhaps orange rind) before heading on to a smooth finish. This wine is good but not stunning. That leaves the question, at $10 is that enough for a Pinot? I am personally on the fence so will answer “sometimes”. It sure would be interesting to try all three of these side by side. Furthermore, given that I have tried three it would seem foolish not to grab the California Cuvee offering as well. Has anybody else had that one? If so, what do you think?

Rating: Pricey

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5 thoughts on “2006 Castle Rock Mendocino County Pinot Noir

  1. I found this in my cellar and didn’t know where it came from. After totally enjoying it…….I googled it and found out the price and reviews. Loved it and will buy it again!

  2. I have had several of the Castle Rock Winery Pinot Noir wines over the years. They have always struck me as good representations of this varietal. Usually medium bodied, balanced, fruity, some layers but unassuming, very good by itself or with food. Some bottlings from certain parcels have a bit more substance (Sonoma). Tonight, I opened the last of my cache, a 2006 Mendocino County Pinot Noir. Dark ruby colored, a bouquet of earth, berries and herbs, fruity on the palate with a nice soft texture. As usual, balanced with tannins and acidity. Wish I had bought more, the 2008 are now available so I shall try that.

  3. @gina Obviously been a long time but hope you have enjoyed many more bottles of the Castle Rock over that span!

    @Richard Glad to hear your take. All of the Castle Rock Pinots I’ve sampled have at least been fairly valued and some have exceeded expectations. I’ve am also a fan of the Sonoma. I’ve yet try the ’08 but fingers crossed it delivers to the levels this one did!

  4. I neglected to mention that the 2006 Castle Rock Mendocino Pinot Noir was selected as a Gold Medal Winner in the 2008 California State Fair Wine Competition. I can understand why, and should have bought more at the time. It was great alone but outstanding with the braised pork shoulder I cooked, and also the lasagna that was another dish we had with it.

  5. i tried the 2010 mendocino pinot noir tonight. i’ve been away from red wine for a while, and this was a good re-introduction. i would buy it again, though i like the deeper reds personally.

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