2012 Pinot Noir, Ancient Oak Cellars

It’s National Wine Day and just taking a moment to commemorate. Here is the 2012 Pinot Noir of Ancient Oak Cellars–you’re always on solid footing with a Russian River Valley Pinot, and this is a refreshing, light beverage after all the big red I’ve sampled as of late. Hope you’re celebrating with a favorite and readying for the long holiday weekend…

2012 Pinot Noir, Ancient Oak Cellars, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, USA.

2012 Pinot Noir, Ancient Oak Cellars, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, USA.

…and excuse the brevity on this one. Notes will revisit this delicious wine again soon and share a full run-down. Enjoy the day and thanks for following!

2013 Bela’s Selection Pinot Noir, Buena Vista Winery

This bottle arrived September 2015, and I’ve shown restraint by saving it these past 18 months. I am fond of Buena Vista wines for many reasons, some that I’m glad to share in these pages, and some are just for me. This evening I was searching for something more, some grander purpose, and, having not found elsewhere in my Saturday, decided to explore greatness (again!) through a glass of the 2013 Bela’s Selection Pinot Noir.

2013 Bela's Selection Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA.

2013 Bela’s Selection Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA.

It’s a fascinating drink. This Pinot Noir is light on the tongue, yet shares dark fruits in ample supply to your nose and tongue. I decanted this Russian River Valley wine for an hour, and served in the right Riedel stemware. I’m not saying those steps make the difference, but they do eliminate some potential pitfalls and put you in position to experience the grapes like the winemakers envisioned.

My thoughts on the 2013 Bela’s Selection evolved over the evening. At first I noticed its little spice hints and blackberry flavors. It had many of the qualities I favor in a California Cabernet Sauvignon, but with less tannins and less velvet on your tongue. Over time I tasted red fruits (perhaps some cherry?), but none of the vanilla and strawberry that I like less in my Pinots. A better mouthfeel and better overall experience than the Masterpiece I had recently tried. The 2013 Bela gets all good marks from this taster!

Here the impression from Buena Vista: “Cranberry and cassis layered with blackberry contribute to this Pinot Noir’s rich, spreading finish.

So there you go. This is bottle number 546, one solid soldier from among 800 cases produced. Thanks for continuing to follow Notes and have a great evening.

2014 Migration Pinot Noir, Duckhorn Wine Company

I’m here at Fleming’s having a great late night dinner, and the 2014 Migration is only a part of the fun. My first choice was actually the MacMurry Pinot, but the bartender just doubled back to notify me that they’re out–the Migration is his recommendation of a similar red from the Russian River Valley and I’m up for it.


2014 Migration, Duckhorn Wine Company, Russian River Valley, California, USA.

The Hornets game went to overtime before spilling disappointed fans into the streets, but my prospects are on the rise here at my favorite Charlotte steakhouse. The lighting is mellow, the buzz calming, and good folks are here having good times. Since the hour grows late I’ve decided not to steak it up but picked out instead a seared ahi tuna that is cooked just right for me and has some cool ginger dressing drizzled on the plate to go alongside the funky little salad served with the fish.

The Migration probably shouldn’t accompany the tuna, but what the heck, right? It’s a pretty layered drink, this red, and I’ll share with you for sure notes of cherry (most dominant), cranberry, and strawberry. I do not quite taste orange in this 2014 Pinot, but it does have an aftertaste that I’ve come to regard as orange (which is not quite the same thing, is it?) as I swirl this in the glass and consider. This vintage is barrel aged in French Oak (100%) for 10 months, and the taste is worthwhile.

Excuse the brevity of this one but I am indeed spent. I’ll keep the Migration top of mind for some time–just one small part of trying to get the most out of the day and hope it does for you too.