The Angeline Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 is produced from vineyards in coastal Mendocino County, along with a smaller portion of grapes from the Russian River AVA and the Carneros AVA. Angelina is a family owned and operated winery and vineyards headquartered in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma. They produce another Pinot Noir, the California Pinot Noir, which is a mix of Central Coast and North Coast grapes. Mendocino County is located just north of Sonoma and has many of the vineyard advantages as coastal Sonoma County. But Mendocino County is not as well known to the average everyday wine enthusiast because even though Mendocino has great vineyards and fantastic wineries, it was California’s outlaw marijuana growing capital. It seems the same out of the way hills and valleys that grapevines love so much are also ideal locations for the weed industry. Instead, Mendocino isn’t known as Burgundy on the California coast, but for Mendocino Greeno.
Angeline was founded 29 years ago, and here is a quote which is maybe their founding statement, “I love the challenge of creating incredible wines that over deliver. That’s where I like to play.” Angeline’s wines are affordable but they are not ordinary. Their website shows a list price of $20, but I found it on sale for $12.99. (Winery websites often show a list price that is higher than what you would find on store shelves because they do not want to directly compete with the wine shops that sell their wine.) The 2017 vintage in California was the first vintage after the extended drought and had a growing season lasting from mid-March to Mid-August. This Pinot Noir is aged in French oak barrels for 9 months, 40% of the barrels are new. The alcohol content is a robust 13.9%.
The Tasting Notes
The color is garnet red with black highlights, see-thru, but on the darker side for Pinot Noir. The nose is dark and brooding, there is cherry, but also herbs, spices, smoke from burning autumn leaves, followed by sweet strawberry and vanilla. The Angeline Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 is a smooth, but intense Pinot with solid acidity. It tastes of black cherry, Dr. Pepper, black pepper, and spice. The mid-palate offer dusty tannins, orange zest, strawberry and a cooling hit of vanilla. The acidity is very well controlled and the finish is full (especially for a well priced Pinot) and long.
- The Angeline Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 is an excellent, slightly higher alcohol, Pinot Noir. It has a sense of place, it isn’t a pale version of the more expensive stuff.
- In the past there was high priced Pinot Noir and whatever the heck they were doing with the value-priced wine. Cheap Pinot Noir did’t really have any relation to the pricey stuff.
- Today, value priced or more affordable Pinots are delicious and unique in their own right.
- So, light up or drink up, Mendocino has it going on.