Mark West Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2013

Mark West Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2013: Maroon color; cherry, cranberry nose; cherry, cranberry, red apple, strawberry, pinch of plum,

hint of earthiness, dollop of vanilla on the palate. This is step-up from Mark West’s high-volume supermarket/chain restaurant California pinot pour and reflects the greater refinement and elegance possible from the enchanting Willamette Valley in Oregon. Light style, which is where pinot should be (please, do not add zin to bulk up the body, people), restrained tannins, adequate acidity, food friendly unless you get into slap-you-in-the-face red, blood-oozing meats. Mark West is a Constellation Brands effort, which means wide distribution (Constellation is third largest wine maker in the world, behind Gallo and The Wine Group), and you can count on it being consumer-focus-group-targeted for taste and price. Until the movie “Sideways” tsunami, winemakers shied away from pinot, fearing it only worked in small-unit production and variety was notoriously fickle, meaning mass production was too problematic to pursue. Then came the movie (and book before it) and everyone wanted to be Paul Giamatti and capitalism being what it is, even when it comes to wine, supply followed demand. Thus, Mark West. Constellation succeeds in providing mass-market pinot at lovely price, something Burgundy and last-century California did not think possible. This wine is simple and delicious. It does not achieve the etherial delights pinot is capable to achieving, but you can buy two or three bottles of this for the price of one of those. Your call. $24 Mark West Pinot Noir Willamette Valley