Mirassou California Pinot Noir 2014

Bright, translucent burgundy-ruby color; cherry, strawberry nose; red cherry, raspberry, strawberry on the palate;

full mouthfeel, rounded; oak and vanilla are present but not overpowering; lighter acidity (3.72 pH). Very fruit-driven, some tang on the medium finish (at least in the beginning), some complexity for the price, 100% pinot noir.

Winemaker Victoria Ferguson strives for affordable, fruit-driven, consistent wines that speak of the vintage. She carries on a 150-year tradition. Mirassou is a sixth generation California winery, and the first California winery to bring in pinot noir grapes 150 years ago.

The story begins with Pierre and Henrietta Pellier sailing to California with precious grape cuttings—including pinot noir. When their ship’s water supply ran low, the Pelliers purchased potatoes onboard and inserted the cuttings into the potatoes to keep the cuttings alive. Pierre’s daughter, Henrietta, married a young Frenchman and neighboring vintner, Pierre Mirassou. Pierre died suddenly at age 33, leaving Henrietta and her three young sons to develop the vineyard. And Henrietta did—passing on vine and wine knowledge of her father and husband to her children. The family is foundational in the Central Coast growing region. Victoria Ferguson continues the female leadership tradition today as head winemaker.

This is nice, entry level pinot noir. It is not over-oaked or candified. It drinks like a true pinot, not some concoction of 75% pinot with a load of other spare reds (especially zin) to tart things up. Easily works as a tasty, easy drinking, easy-on-the-wallet, every day wine, especially if you like an abundance of fruity sweetness (not the same as sugar sweetness). Significantly better and much truer to pinot noir than Mark West at comparable price. $12

Second photo: Winemaker Victoria Ferguson

Mirassou California Pinot Noir 2014Winemaker Victoria Ferguson