2012 MacMurray Pinot Noir

Soccer Mom Sommelier: 2012 MacMurray Estate Vineyards Central Coast Pinot Noir

I wasn’t planning on reviewing wine tonight, but after an exhausting evening I figured it was a good excuse to have a glass!  When I was studying for my sommelier exam a few years ago, my hubby (just boyfriend at the time) brought me a bottle of his favorite pinot noir: MacMurray Ranch (also known as MacMurray Estate Vineyards).  To reward myself for hours of reading and memorization each night, I would taste different wines to help better understand what I was learning…seriously!  I was studying! 🙂

Back to the wine: hubby used to work at an Italian restaurant and often got to sample wines as they were added to the menu.  At the time, MacMurray Ranch was newcomer to the wine industry, but Matt thought their pinot noir was something special.  Fortunately, so did a lot of other people, as today it is pretty easy to find.  Not only is it widely distributed, the Central Coast bottle is inexpensive– we can usually find it for around $13 at the local grocery store.  But don’t let the price fool you– this is a quality wine– better even than some for which I’ve paid significantly more.

This is one of the richer pinots I’ve had, full of fruit, notably black cherry, raspberry, plum, strawberry, and blackberry.  A touch of oak adds a spiciness not often found in pinot noir– it reminds me a little of a syrah in that sense.  In very basic terms: this is fruity, yet complex wine bursting with flavor.  It is smooth and well-rounded– easy to drink for red-wine “beginners,” but interesting enough to please sophisticated palates as well.

This is our go-to red wine at the Rodriguez house.  Every time I open a bottle I am surprised by how much I like this wine and just how good it really is.  It tastes like a splurge bottle, but you can fit it on a soccer mom’s budget.  What’s more to love?

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