Wine – 2004 Belle Glos Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

09262006.jpgLast weekend, I had my 20th high school reunion… it was ODD, so odd – surreal really. Lots of faces I remembered and many I should have, but didn’t along with others I never really wanted to see again. My buddy Graham and I have known each other since those days, so we decided we’d go and use it as an excuse to get a few bottles of really good wine, hang out and drink them in the midst of all the suburban mingling and maybe run into a few people we both liked back in school.

First up was the 2004 Belle Glos Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir. The Belle Glos label is owned by the Wagner family of Caymus Vineyards fame. Caymus acquired a portion of the historic Santa Maria Hills Vineyard in the 1990’s. The vines there had been planted to Pinot Noir in 1972-1974, makin’ them OLD by California Pinot standards.

I had really wanted to try this wine for a while… It’ a gorgeous package – from the great minimal label with script font to the somewhat phallic wax-dipped top. It looks like an expensive wine.

Inside the bottle, the age of the vines really showed. It was inky dark with a sweet cherry, blackberry, tar, cinammon and brown sugar nose. This is a big wine. The palate fulfilled the promise of the nose with some good tannic backbone, which stood up fantastically to the pizzas we had picked up – I know… I know. You’re thinking “Pizza with Pinot???“, but this actually stood up in my test sips. I did save the majority of the wine for after I had eaten. Each sip had a great medium-length finish with dark berries and maple sugar lingering on my happy tongue.

Both Graham and I were blown away by this wine. It almost earns the 5-star rating. It’s on the cusp, but I reserve that for wines that offer just a bit more… something magical. This one’s close to that, but it rates a solid 4.5.

If the price was less than the $49 CDN it is, I’d buy this all the time. Damn good.

Now if reunions were only as much fun as the wines. 🙂

4 1/2 stars

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