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Wine of the Day

2008 Waterstone Pinot Noir Carneros

Waterstone is a Napa Valley winery known for making solid wines that offer very good value. Waterstone doesn’t own vineyards, or even their own winemaking facility. That’s very common these days and can allow for the flexibility and efficiencies required to provide very good, yet affordable, wines on a consistent basis. Waterstone wines are available for consumer tasting at Taste at Oxbow, a multi-winery tasting room in downtown Napa.

The 2008 Waterstone Carneros Pinot Noir is a well-made, fruit-centric Pinot Noir. Upon first opening, it has an effusive nose of candied strawberry and raspberry with coconut accents. On the palate, it's medium-bodied with satiny texture. There are flavors of juicy black cherry, vanilla, oak and a light scattering of herb. The alcohol is gently warming but not unpleasant. This wine will be very popular by the glass at restaurants or at a party; smooth and easy to drink with plenty of attractive fruit.

After the first tasting, which consumed about half-a-bottle because I was tasting with a few peers, I vacuumed the remainder and put it in the fridge. I retasted the wine the next day after having allowed it to come up to proper temperature. Now the wine was less brightly fruited. The nose featured black cherry and herb, as the palate had previously. There was much less vanilla and the coconut was virtually gone.

In both cases, the wine was pleasing. If you want to get your party started, or simply relax, with fresh, bright fruit flavors and cheerful coconut, the 2008 Waterstone Pinot Noir Carneros delivers. Serve it with anything from grilled salmon under fruit salsa to glazed meatballs. If you’re looking for Pinot that’s more somber and introspective, yet still silky, decant the wine for up to an hour. Given it's retail price of $22, meaning you should be able to find it for less than $20, it is also quite a good value. Drink now through 2013. Recommended.


2008 Waterstone Pinot Noir Carneros
Rating: Recommended
Drink: Now through 2013
Bottling Date: December, 2009

Retail Price: $22.00
Winemaker: Philip Zorn

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Origin: Carneros

Aging: 11 months in French oak barrels, 35% new
Alcohol: 14.5%

Closure: Cork

The wine was provided by the winery for review. It was tasted blind with two other North Coast Pinot Noir.

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This article is original to Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.