2003 Row Eleven Wine Company Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,200 cases, $30. Predominantly Pommard clone from the Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills vineyards in Santa Maria Valley. Aged in primarily 3 to 5-year-old Remond and Francois Fréres oak barrels. · The nose is thick with rich oak and pepper. There is a decent core of dark cherries, but again toasted oak takes center stage. The mouth feel is full and opulent. The finish is slightly astringent with vibrant acidity. The heavy oak influence is surprising given there was little new oak in the élevage. Match with grilled fish and meats. Reviewed April 6, 2006

Winery: Row Eleven Wine Co.