How is it that so many inexpensive pinots can be absolutely horrible and over-the-top with oak, alcohol and over-ripe fruit and appear to actually command the greatest market share, while an incredible value and downright delicious pinot such as Esser Cellars Pinot Noir can seem to be overlooked? Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing sexy about it’s package but what a wonderful wine!
This wine displayed a beautiful red transparency which only hinted at some loss of color around its edges. This is traditional pinot at an incredible price. At first its nose was straightforward red fruits (raspberry, cherry and some strawberry) but as the wine opened up (which it needed time to do) it rewarded with subtle cola, licorice and the most judicious employ of oak. This wine is beautifully balanced from its start to long finish and is made in such a purist style that I fear many will quickly dismiss this wine as too simple, too plain. Fresh fruit flavors and enticing aromatics were all at threshold and held my interest throughout dinner (and after)!
Perhaps wines such as these are best enjoyed privately…..as if you wouldn’t want your friends to know that something so inexpensive could be so well made and UNDERSTATED, dare I say elegant? This is certainly not the Hawaiian shirt of pinot (like so many others from California) but rather the simple, plain white linen, pressed-crisp and worn loose on a cool summer’s evening, classic. Highly recommended!