Until Next Year…

Moshin Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery located on Westside Road, the Healdsburg scenic byway famous to Sonoma County wine pilgrims the country-over. You see, Westside Road is dotted with wineries the likes of Rochioli, Davis Bynum and Gary Farrell. It’s a good thing! Moshin Vineyards has been selling fruit to Sonoma County producers for many years including Russian River Valley pinot pioneer Davis Bynum. Recently, Moshin has added wine production to his family’s estate and is now in the process of building a modern, quality-focused winemaking facility. I can’t wait to visit as I do expect great things to come. However…..

What a difference a year can make! Or should I say what a difference something in the winery can make? I was really impressed with the couple of bottles of 2002 Moshin RRV Pinot Noir I enjoyed in the past. It was lean, aromatically interesting, very well-suited to the dinner table AND a great value at $13.99! Yet, I found the 2003 vintage to be washed-out!

2003 Moshin Vineyards Pinot Noir presented a transparent reddish-orange hue appearing washed-out as if from another vintage…..and not from our current decade either! This pinot noir was clearly showing the strong brickish-tones associated with five or more years of bottle age. Although some cherry and raspberry, leaf and light oak were evident, and while this pinot is made in a lightly-extracted and honest-style, it was oxidized from start to finish. Normally I would have attributed this to having an off-bottle had I not had it before at a restaurant and thought the same thing. Moshin’s 2003 pinot had good acidity but lacked fresh fruit, was thin and watery on the palate and offered no fruit tannin whatsoever. Sadly, I found this bottle to be dull and disappointing.

Perhaps I’m wrong to dismiss 2003 Moshin Pinot Noir as lifeless but I believe this vintage fell victim to poor handling either in the winery or in it’s bottling, a fault that does not lie with the vineyard (the 2002 was REAL good) as oxidation isn’t typically caused by growing conditions. So, until next year: not recommended!

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