The Paring Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 2017

Medium ruby color; cherry, raspberry, cranberry, blackberry on the nose; red cherry, plum, raspberry, strawberry, crushed gravel, sandalwood on the palate.

The Paring Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 2017

Dry; very well behaved tannin; tart, balancing acidity. Clean, smooth, very easy drinker. Medium body. Fruit forward, but the fruit is restrained. This struggles a bit to be distinctive, but there is nothing incorrect. Ethereal rather than excellent. Somewhat tasty, but more inoffensive than memorable. That said, this easily is nice enough pinot noir for this price point. There definitely will be peeps who will appreciate this pinot; 13.4% ABV.

Matt Dees is the winemaker. The Paring website notes: “Armed with a degree in Soil Science from the University of Vermont and vintages at Staglin in Napa, California and Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, Matt has an intrinsic feel for wine, from dirt to glass. Curious and experimental by nature, Matt’s approach to winemaking is grounded in the vineyard first and foremost: attuned to the vines, the weather, the soil, Matt seems almost to be a part of the vineyard itself.

The Paring winemaker Matt Dees

“Matt comes to wine with an untethered philosophy, a mindset embodied in The Paring. At the core of these wines one finds a wide-ranging exploration of style, vineyards and blending. When he’s not working with The Paring, Matt can be found making the wines for its big sister wineries—Jonata and The Hilt.”

The Paring Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 2017 is polite, very easy drinking Santa Barbara pinot noir. No flaws, no exceptional elements. Excellent QPR. Pinot noir is excellent food wine, and this certainly fits that profile. Pair with salmon and other fatty fish; roast chicken; turkey; pasta dishes, especially with white sauces, but pasta dishes in general; beef bourguignon; duck and game birds; lamb. $22-26

The Pairing website

The Paring vineyard