The Mirassou Pinot Noir 2015 is sourced from vineyards in Sonoma County and the Lodi Delta in Northern California. Sonoma County has several well-respected Pinot Noir growing regions and while Lodi isn’t the first place you think about when talking Pinot, the Delta is filled with river valleys that funnel cool air from the San Fransisco Bay to the vineyards. Mirassou has/had a very long history in California wine, it was founded in 1854 when French immigrants brought vine cuttings from back home to plant, in the 1960’s the Mirassou’s were the first people to plant a vineyard in Monterey, California. Very few companies started in the 1850s are still a going concern today and the original Mirassou winery is no different. In 2002, E & J Gallo (the largest family owned winery in America) bought the brand name, but not the winery or the vineyards and the old property is now a suburban subdivision. So Mirassou lives on with Gallo and that is not a bad thing since Gallo owns large portions of Sonoma and some of the best properties thru-out California’s premier growing regions. The 2015 Mirassou is 100% Pinot Noir which is getting to be rare for value priced Pinot, so often you see Petite Sirah or even Zinfandel blended in to give the wine body. Wine Enthusiast gave the 2015 vintage 90 points which is crazy good for a Pinot Noir that can be found in supermarkets and that I found on-sale for $6.99. The alcohol content is 13.9%.
The color is a dark but still see-thru garnet red. The nose is raspberry and cheery, herbs, mint chewing gum, faint smoke from a grill, licorice, and perfume. This is a smooth, somewhat silky, fruit-forward Pinot with a nice contrasting slightly rough edge on the mid-palate. It starts with ripe, not tart cherry, plum, bitter chocolate, and raspberry. The mid-palate adds black pepper (mild), herbs (not so mild), and a late slap of blueberry. The tannins are soft and the acidity is balanced. The finish is subtle, but stays with you.
The Mirassou Pinot Noir 2015 is solid, real solid. Smooth and silky and value-priced Pinot Noir do not often end up in the same sentence. More expensive Pinot Noir’s can be ethereal, with layers of delicate flavors and that ain’t happening here. What the Mirassou Pinot Noir 2015 does do is give you a huge portion of the Pinot Noir experience (maybe not the whole experience, but enough to satisfy) at a price few other producers can touch.