2008 Hamilton-Steven’s Pinot Noir

Price: $8.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2008 Hamilton-Steven's Pinot NoirPer the bottle Deep garnet red with spicy sweet aromas of dark plum, cedar and anise. Rich, complex flavors of cherry pie, spice and bittersweet chocolate finish silky smooth.

What I Think:

I think I was able to track this one back to Grove Street Winery who are affiliated with Windsor Vineyards where the Russian River Pinot goes for $28. I’m not insinuating this is the same wine by any stretch of the imagination but I think it is fair to say that there are resources being shared across this effort that give this bottling, at a third the cost, the potential to be a value play. Can the juice match the potential?

Great light, red strawberry color with the same on the nose coupled with cedar and spice. This one is on the attack bringing a full mouth feel straightaway. Lively acidity and brambly fruits turn juicy on the mid-palate leading to tart, under ripe fruits that mesh with barrel spices and warm tannins on the finish. Though it seems a tad nitpicky there is a bit of a hot spot toward the back of the mid-palate that throws this one momentarily out of sorts. That is enough to keep me from loving this wine but it is still a pleasant, smooth drinking Pinot Noir for $9 which leaves you nothing to complain about. Not to mention it is light years better than the Chateau Chevalier which goes for a buck more. If you are looking for a go to Pinot in this price range you should give this one a try. Otherwise if you already have one I’d love to hear all about it!

Rating: Buy It