The Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is another wine brand that was a part of the Constellation Brands sale of its value-priced wines to E and J Gallo. The sale was finalized in early 2021, so these brands will not be fully Gallo wines until the 2021 vintage. These are brands that are currently caught in between.
The 2018 vintage was produced under Constellation Brands ownership, but they are no longer Constellation wines and not yet E & J Gallo wine. It looks like Constellation’s wine distributors sold off its stock of these orphan wines to Binny’s in the Chicago area. The Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 lists for $12.99 and is on sale at Binny’s for $5.99.
This is a legit Monterey County Pinot Noir, using state-of-the-art production techniques and five to 10 months of aging in oak barrels. I am not sure of the 2018 vintage technical notes since only the 2016 and 2017 information is available. Binny’s also has the Estancia Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon for the same $5.99 price.
Since the exact future of the Estancia brand is not known, this review is only for these orphan wines. The vineyards the Constellation used for their brands will not likely be the same as Gallo will use, and the Constellation winemakers may or may not come along with the sale.
The Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 used whole-cluster fermentation, meaning that the entire grape bunch, stems, and all went into the fermentor. They used the basket press method to crush the grapes, a traditional technique that is 1,000 years old. The winemaker also incorporated open-top fermentation, which leaves the lid off the tank and allows heat from the fermentation process to dissipate.
Leaving the top off can allow bacteria and other nasty things into the tank, so the winemaker must stay on top of things. The method has risks, but when done correctly, offer a bright, alive, detailed wine. The Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 underwent Malolactic fermentation. That is something that happens in most Red wines and is an important technique for Chardonnay. For Pinot Noir, it means that the wine should be smooth and silky.
What I just described is a proper Pinot Noir and not a wine that sells for $5.99. Monterey County AVA is a large growing area with varied growing conditions. They seem to have a climate for just about any type of wine grape, but they have excellent conditions for Pinot Noir. There is a spot on the coast in the Pacific Ocean that contains the coldest water in the entire ocean. Oceans winds blow cold breezes into Monterey’s vineyard locations.
These orphaned wines are being sold at closeout prices, and they are wines that are good values at full price, so if you are interested, here is another link to Binny’s. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 Tasting Notes
The Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is a bright, spicy Pinot Noir with plenty of flavors. The color is clean, clear, see-thru garnet red. The nose is cherry, herbs, black pepper, oak spice, light smoke from the grill, mushroom, plums, and licorice.
The Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 tastes complicated, which can be very attractive for a Pinot Noir. There are flavors of cherry, exotic spice, raisin, Dr. Pepper (not sweet), vanilla, and black pepper. The mid-palate adds orange zest, a soft, salty sensation, raspberry, tart cranberry, and a more sharp-edged spice.
The tannins are part of the flavor profile, but they do not bite, and the acidity is well-balanced; this inexpensive Pinot has excellent length.
- At $12.99, the Estancia Monterey Pinot Noir, 2018 is a solid Pinot Noir that drinks above its price point. At $5.99, it is silly good.
- I am from Chicago and I never by wine on the interent because I have 40 or more wine shops within a five mile radius and the Binny’s where I bought the wine is leass than a mile away.
- This deal at seven bucks off would tempt me to buy wine on-line.