Great Pinot Noir can be found in California outside of the strongholds of Carneros and Sonoma. Case in point: this Pinot from Carmel Valley.
Grapes From Scenic Carmel
We have news for you. Carmel, California, isn’t just a scenic California seaside destination. There’s some mighty good wine from this region too. Some of our favorite wine from the region comes from Holman Ranch, a stunning 400 acre property that includes a fully restored historic stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards and wine caves, olive grove, horse stables and two tasting rooms.
The winery on the property was completed in 2012 and is completely underground to take advantages of the natural cooling and humidity. The 3,000 square foot area maintains 58⁰ F temperature year-round.
Ideal Pinot Microclimate
Holman Ranch is located 12 miles inland from the Pacific. The warmth of the inland valley and the cooling of the marine layer provides an ideal microclimate for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The vineyards are between 950 and 1,150 feet in elevation on soil with good drainage.
No pesticides or herbicides are used on the vines. Holman Ranch is certified sustainable and organic – all pluses in our eyes.
Last week Green Dragon proclaimed that we were going to have pork chops for dinner and I needed to select a good wine to pair with the meal. Kelly’s Press seemed the ideal match.
The meal included stuffed pork chops with sage stuffing with brandied apples and baked potato. Pinot Noir is a great pairing with pork. A heavy red like Cabernet Sauvignon can overpower a pork dish and a white wine, if too meek and mild, could disappear.
Kelly’s Press is the lightest of the Holman Ranch Pinot Noir offerings. I previously had sampled, and greatly enjoyed, the Heather’s Hill and Hunters’ Cuvee. It was time to see if Kelly’s Press was a good match with our meal – and how it stacked up to other Holman Ranch Pinot.
In the glass the wine is light garnet with a medium body. The flavor profile is herbal with cherry highlights. As you might expect, the tannins are very light. There is good acidity that gives the wine a playful spirit.
Together, Kelly’s Press and the pork chops bonded perfectly. The sage dressing pulled out the herbal notes in the wine. The brandied apples weren’t a very good pairing – and probably wouldn’t be with any wine. The apples, though delicious, were too sweet and we needed to munch on another part of the entrée before sipping the wine again.
Holman Ranch offers an enticing portfolio of Pinot Noir. In addition to those mentioned above, it also offers a very good Estate Pinot Noir. If you are rambunctious, you can purchase a vertical of 2010, 2011 and 2012 Pinot Noir. The pinnacle of their Pinot Noir is Jarman, which prices out at $80.
Kelly’s Press retails for a nice price of $26. It represents a great value and is a super addition to your dinner table.
Full disclaimer: This wine was received as a marketing sample.