Martin Ray 2003 "Angeline" Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($9.99)
This is a clear reddish-purple wine, rather dark by Pinot standards. The first sniff is a bit offputting as a whiff of high-toned volatile acidity blows off, but it soon gives way to more appealing wild-cherry fruit. Ripe and juicy fruit continues in the flavor, cherries and berries and a light lemon-squirt of acidity to provide balance to a touch of fresh-fruit sweetness. Typical of modest Santa Barbara Pinot, it's made in a dark, fruit-forward, somewhat one-dimensional "Shiraz" style, but there's Pinot Noir character in there, unusual for an under-$10 wine, and it makes for pleasant sipping.
US Importer: (Feb 11, 2005)
FOOD MATCH: Smooth and fruity enough to make a nice red-wine aperitif; food-friendly as you'd expect of Pinot, it was a fine match with a roast free-range chicken.
WEB LINK: http://www.martinray-winery.com/
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com
Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We publish Wine Lovers' Page tasting reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the WineLoversPage.com name, logo and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.
Our tasting policy:
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.