WINE REVIEW: Knotty Vines 2018 Pinot Noir, California ($15)
by Andrew Chalk
Knotty Vines is a line of wines produced by Rodney Strong Vineyards to serve the ‘value’ section of the buying public. Rather than denigrate these lower-priced wines, however, I rather stand intrigued about how they do under such tight constraints. In this case, a major constraint is that the whole line be priced at $15, a tough mandate with an expensive, finicky grape like Pinot Noir. This is a price range where ‘oak treatment’ consists of showing the vat of wine a picture of an oak tree.
In this case the winemaker has made judgements about compromises as adeptly as the guy designing the Kia Sportage to go to the dealer lot at or near the lowest SUV price available, producing a package that is type-correct and good value for money.
Pair with pork barbecue. Not a bad choice for a party wine.
Appearance: Light, translucent ruby;
Nose: Savory, ripe raspberry fruit, a hint of stems. Oak chips or staves may have contributed to the vanillin. Definitely fruit-driven and straightforward;
Palate: Bright acid, lush raspberry flavors, a hint of black pepper, a little sweetness on the palate.