Feeling a bit blue I was approached by my friend Bacchus and invited out for a drink. Upon reaching the establishment (location to remain a secret because if people found out he was showing up they would crowd the place) we decided to sip something delicate and deep to reflect the mood.
First up was Handley 2006 Pinot Noir "Anderson Valley". Anderson Valley in California’s Mendocino County now ranks with the top Pinot Noir regions in North America so expectations were high. The wine was a deep cherry red in color with lovely legs as I swirled the glass. The nose delivered cherry with hints of chocolate and spice (cloves perhaps). The wine is light-to-medium bodied, fruit forward with smooth tannins and nice acidity culminating in a medium-length finish. Definitely a "New World" Pinot, quite enjoyable.
The second wine for the evening was Perfecta 2006 Pinot Noir "Edna Valley". California's Edna Valley is located in the southern corner of San Luis Obispo County and developing quite a reputation for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. AGain the wine was cherry red with nice legs on the glass. The nose was not as fruit forward as the Handley but there was a hint of cherries, but I also detected a slight something that I will call "vegetalness" that while not off-putting didn't stimulate me positively either. There was a bit of "heat" translating through the nose, perhaps due to the fact that the bottle was not chilled. The mouthfeel was more full than the Handley which was nice, but then something strange happened... I got almost nothing from the taste. The tannins were extremely soft, there was some acidity, but when it comes to fruit it seemed like I wasn't getting anything. My friend Sarah described it to me via text as "red water" and in a way it did seem like colored water that had been through a water softener. Given the reputation of the AVA I won't give up on it and will try it again, but this time it made me terribly disappointed.
Wines reviewed in 2009: 132