MANDOLIN PINOT NOIR 2001, Morgan Hill, California, 13.5%, #590596 $14.95
The vintner describes his wine: "Made with fruit sourced from the Santa Lucia Highlands, where the cool windy microclimate encourages a long growing season leading to intense, fully developed flavours. The wine spends 12 months in oak (70% American and 30% French). It features bright cherry and raspberry fruit with hints of spice leather and cedar". My notes: 'Intense' is too intense but more than subtle. An initial mustiness passes quickly to leave a cherry/vanilla and peppermint nose. Medium-bodied, a full cherry colour, the flavour is red cherry with a pepper edge; a bright acid should carry through most meals. blackened fish, grilled butter/garlic shrimp, honeyed ribs..... or just sip. Vintages release March 5, 2005. Stemmell rates this an 88. I think so too.
WOLF BLASS YARRA VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2001, Victoria, Australia, 13.0%, #611509 $16.95
LCBO: "Deep ruby with garnet; plum, black cherry, red licorice, cinnamon and spice aromas; dry, with rhubarb and ripe berry fruit, soft tannin, toasty finish". My notes: A rich deep ruby for sure and a nose fuller and more complex than the Mandolin. Cellaring from October 2003 the flavours have developed a dry cherryberry softness on the palate. Has an acid highlight and a short dry cherry finish - a dry sipper. Wolf Blass says it can cellared up to three years and suggests meal matching of: bacon omelette; pasta with mushroom-tomato sauce; 'meaty' fish dishes. Gotta be a 90 now. A General listing.