Going the Distance

I recently had the good fortune to travel to California for business. Between my innumerable tours of mega-wineries and the hundreds of miles I spent driving from the Sierra Foothills north through Lodi, on to Napa Valley and eventually to Sonoma, I made time to explore a wine shop or two along the way. Yet, I had to limit my frenzied pace of wine acquisition and get real selective toward the end of my one week stay. So this W.H. Smith half bottle was attractive not only for its smaller price tag (when compared to that of a 750ml) but also for its smaller size: half bottles fit very nicely into backpacks and the like!

W.H. Smith Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir was a deep and translucent garnet in the glass showing rich concentration of color. Ripe cherry, blackberry and plum fruit flavors were delivered in a frame of ample soft tannin and lingering acidity. Beneath this dense layer of ripe fruits were nuanced cedar, leaf and cocoa flavors. I even detected an interesting menthol quality and some chalky minerality which contributed greatly to this wine’s depth of palate. Powered by good grip and tart acidity, this pinot shined most with its long and powerful finish.

While W.H. Smith’s Sonoma Coast Pinot is certainly a fuller, more plush style of pinot noir, it offers power AND finesse in a rich, satiny-style. More importantly, this pinot has what it takes to go the distance in the cellar. Recommended!

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