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Lazy Pinots for Summer

Sometimes you just want a no-brainer drink to relax with outside in the patio on a warm day. The wines below all take to a little chilling making them refreshing to drink. They are not wines to contemplate so you don’t have to take any notes. Priced right, they will please your neighbors and relatives and will make a perfect companion for barbecued hamburgers or grilled fish and vegetables. These wines are readily available.

2007 Undone Rheinhessen Germany Pinot Noir

12.0% alc., $11, screw cap. Imported by Valcenberg Intl. Inc., Tulsa, OK. · Very light ruby color. Aromas of strawberries, cedar and grass. Light-bodied tastes of red fruits with a hint of orange peel and pomegranate. Close in flavor to a red popsicle. Very smooth and drinkable. Hip label showing a woman’s corset being “undone.” (

2007 Fly Catcher California Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $15. “Ribb-It, Drink-It, Ribb-It.” · Moderately light color. Ripe strawberry, old wood and hayfield aromas. Lightly fruited with strawberries and raspberries leading to a crisp, citrus finish. A slight vegetal tone surfaces. Very cool package. (Bev-Mo retailer)

2007 Becker Estate Germany Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $17, screw cap. Produced by Friedrich Becker in the Pfalz region of Germany. The grapes grow on limestone soil near the French-German border. Imported by Cellars Intl. Inc., San Marcos, CA.. Label looks like a kid’s doodle. · Decent Pinot Noir scents of black cherries, herbs and violets. Dark fruited with moderate richness and a vein of herbs and green tea flavors running through. Soft and smooth and easy to sip. (

2005 Wente Vineyards Estate Grown Reliz Creek Arroyo Seco Monterey County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $18. This wine is named after the creek that runs through the estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey. There are several blocks dating back to 1963, which are planted to the old Pommard and Martini clones. Neighboring these are more recent, high-density plantings that include a variety of new Dijon clones. Fermentation is done in small, upright, stainless steel fermenters. Pump overs were done twice daily. The wine was aged for 14 months in a combination of American, French, Eastern European and neutral oak barrels. · Aromas of wine cellar, cherries, strawberries and grass. Flavors of black cherries, char and Asian five-spice. Welcoming elegance and refreshing acidity. (Markets)

2005 Pirie Estate Tasmania Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 800 cases, $35, screw cap. Imported by American Estates Wines Inc., Philadelphia, PA. · The nose is quite alluring drawing you in to a pleasing perfume of cherries, berries, new oak and a touch of celery stalk. Very tasty earth-kissed dark fruits with gentle tannins and perfectly matched tannins and acidity. Very well crafted and a real surprise. This is a unique wine to stock up on for summertime. (

2004 Eric K James Daniela Block Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $15. From Napa-Sonoma Vineyard Group, Inc., Napa ( · The dark side of Pinot with aromas of black fruits, earth, smoke and ash. Brambly dark berry fruit that is rustic, rusty and well-oaked. Notable structure and backbone for a wine in this price range. (

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