Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than the bluish-gray coloring of Pinot gris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Holman Ranch is producing some outstanding wines from its scenic estate in California’s Carmel Valley. In particular, their Pinot Noir is expressive and offers flavors distinct from say a Sonoma Coast or Willamette Valley Pinot.
Holman Ranch is about 12 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and has thin rocky soil. The valley is warm, but a cooling marine layer helps create a perfect microclimate for Pinot Noir.
The 2010 Hunter’s Cuvee is a limited production wine that is only available to wine club members. It is aged 50% in new French oak and 50% in neutral French oak barrels. I must say, I like this approach. Rather than an oak toasty Pinot, the Hunter’s Cuvee has flavor ripples of blueberry and red fruit.
An herbal, eucalyptus note sets this apart from other Pinot Noirs. Green Dragon and I had to sample several glasses to tease out this unique flavor dimension. The finish is long and strong.
This is a wine to enjoy with a Pinot Noir lover. I would suggest drinking it with a bottle or two from other AVAs to compare and contrast. Of course, this would be a delicious pairing with chicken, fish or lighter meat dishes. It retails for $40.
Full disclosure: We received this bottle as a marketing sample.