Review: 2018 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) by Martin Ray

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) by Martin Ray.

Bright rich ruby color. Beautiful nose out of the bottle characterized by wet sandy loamy leather. This quickly pulls to the back and gives way to berries and sweet cherries. There are faint tertiary herbal notes as well as a touch of sweet cola and the faintest hint of warm cedarwood. Swirl vigorously to revisit the whole affair. Nice!!!

Body shows good balance up front with a slightly milder acidity. Oak quickly moves to the front, as tannins introduce good structure. The oak is just enough to tease out a velvety, buttery, mouth feel. Berries and sweet cherries play secondary notes. It is fairly dry but this is initially masked by the oak play and fruit notes. A graceful transition to finish culminates in slightly dry tannic grip and a noticeable dose of spice.

This is a well made wine. My favorite part is the nose. I absolutely love that Sonoma dirt, and it shines through in this Pinot. I’m not the least surprised coming from this winemaker. At this price point (currently listed for $19.99 on wine.com) it punches above its weight and presents good value. It is a pleasant (and slightly playful) wine to sip and should appeal to a broad spectrum of palates. For the advanced palate, the nose and finish should tickle your fancy. Buy 6, buy a case. You can’t go wrong having a solid every day Pinot on hand. Nicely done Martin Ray.! 🍷😁👌🏽

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Wine Review: 2016 Pinot Noir by Bailarin Cellars

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Black Knight Vineyard, Sonoma Coast) by Bailarin Cellars.

Beautiful floral aromas accompanied by sweet cherry, a hint of oak and mineral terroir on the back (clay comes to mind). Once opened up, there is an unmistakable cigar-like tobacco on the nose. A well balanced body characterized by slightly tart plum. The fruit forward nose does not translate into a fruit forward body however. I like that. A hint of leather lingers in the background. Once opened up, a subtle black currant emerges. Creamy transition leads into a smooth finish capped with gentle spice. This is a high quality, well built wine. It is a classy medium bodied Pinot Noir. It is very interesting now and should be even more so given a few more years to rest.

Their tasting room is in the heat of downtown Sacramento. A refreshing option for the discerning palate looking for something a bit more refined. I will be posting more on them soon. Well done Bailarin! 🍷😁👌🏽