Moobuzz Pinot Noir 2013: Translucent light ruby color; raspberry, plum, violets on the nose; black raspberry, sour cherry, strawberry, mocha on the palate, red currant tang, spice on the finish;
smooth tannin, nice acidity (3.68 pH); 90% Monterey pinot noir with 5% petite sirah and 5% syrah added for some structure and spice notes. It is difficult to make an authentic pinot noir for under $25-30, but The Other Guys (the name changed in late November to ‘3 Badge Beverage Corporation’) succeeds in making a nicely quaffable wine. It is not evocative of the lyric heights of Washington or Oregon pinots nor does it command the veneration of a Burgundy, but it is an easily drinkable effort with some complexity and interesting twists as it evolves on the palate and in the bottle. The Other Guys/3 Badge is a fascinating story. Its president, August Sebastiani, is a fourth generation California winemaker. The company is a negotiant operation, meaning they act as middlemen by buying grapes or juice, then produce wine (rather than having vineyards of their own). Other Guys/3 Badge has flourished since beginnings in 2010, now making more than 300,000 cases a year with a clear marketing focus on millennials in both their wine styles and labeling. Moobuzz is a transition wine with a more serious price and flavor than entry level stuff in boxes and cheap bottles, but less palate and pocketbook challenging than what winemakers eventually shoot for. Those so shooting include Other Guys/3 Badge, who recently introduced a luxury brand, Gehricke, positioned to sell in the $50 range. Moobuzz—the label alludes to cattle (and a land of milk and honey)—goes for a non-cowing $15-20.
3 Badge Beverage website