2006 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $18. Not a name that comes to mind when you think of Pinot Noir, but the last two vintages have been quite good and this is a label to seek out. The Reserve in 2005 was particularly memorable. I received no specific winemaking information, but from the website it would appear several days of cold soak is followed by fermentation in 18-ton stainless steel fermenters with pneumatic punch downs. Some 25% whole cluster is used. · Deep, dark ruby color. Brims with lovely aromas of sweet crushed berries, black cherries, and dried roses. Dark red and black fruits cascade nicely through the palate with complimentary flavors of mocha and oak. Nicely balanced and offering an appealing fuzzy texture. Impressive wine for the money and the best for drinking now in the Diageo lineup. Reviewed August 4, 2008

Winery: Beaulieu Vineyards
From article: Sampling of Pinot Noir under Diageo Ownership