Belle Glos Pinot Noir
I first tried this Pinot on a trip last fall to the Monterey Wine Region. I was really impressed with the depth and smoothness of the 2006 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot--it was a really gorgeous bottle, and one of the most well-done I tasted in the region.
I received a few sample bottles of Belle Glos in the mail last week--all single-vineyard Pinots, one from Monterey, another from Santa Barbara, and a third from Sonoma county. We tried the Santa Barbara bottle first, and I wasn't as impressed as I had been with the Monterey. There was a very strong "barnyard" aroma, which only got stronger as the wine remained in our glasses. I know that Pinots, including some high-end Burgundies, can get this funky aroma, and often I find it attractive. But in this instance it was a bit too pungent for my taste.
The next night, we opened the Monterey County Santa Lucia Highlands bottle that I was so impressed with during my trip, and enjoyed it with some cedar planked salmon. The consensus at my dinner party was that it was a perfect match, with dark berries, spice and just a bit of earth.
One interesting aspect of Belle Glos wines is their packaging. The top of the bottle, including the cork, is encased in red wax. Very dramatic and pretty, but to be honest, it doesn't always come off so easily. Luckily, you can put the corkscrew right through the wax.
These bottles retail for between $50 and $60.