Bishop's Peak 2003 Central Coast Pinot Noir ($18.99)
This is a very dark reddish-purple wine, the first hint to the wary that it may not be typical Pinot, since classic Pinots often tend to be light in color. The aromas are fruit-forward but rather simple, plummy red fruit, with a high-toned, brandy-like note that betrays its hefty 14.2% alcoholic content. Full and ripe in flavor, fruity if one-dimensional, it hits the palate with a first impression that's soft and nearly sweet, but develops tart acidity and alcoholic heat in a not overlong finish. US Importer: (Dec 30, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: A Lyon-style dish of quick-sauteed calves' liver with caramelized onions, finished with a dab of butter and meyer lemon, would have been a great match with a Burgundy or even a more restrained New World Pinot, but this brash blockbuster wannabe overpowered it badly.



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