Wine never stops to be fascinating for me. In recent weeks I've been doing my wine tastings a bit differently. Instead of tasting them on the day I opened them, reviewing them and rating them, I'm holding off on giving final scores until I've re-tasted them again the following day.

I like to taste and review wines the same way that people actually drink them, and the fact is, a bottle of wine may last a few day or longer in many people's homes. It's been an interesting exercise and I've discovered that more wines improve by day two (and even day three or four) than I originally thought.

Other wines, like this McGregor Vineyard's 2006 Pinot Noir ($28), are at their best the day they are opened.

When I first opened this wine, I was worried that I had a bad bottle. It's a light brick red, which one often sees with pinot, but there was a orange-brown tint at the rim that might indicate an older wine. Obviously this is a 2006, so it shouldn't look aged yet. It wasn't a bad bottle though, that's just the color.

On the nose, I get a lot of brown spice — clove and allspice — and cinnamon candy with plenty of toasty oak and vanilla. The fruit is actually in the background with strawberry and cherry liqueur aromas. With an hour or so in my glass, some sage-like herbal notes revealed themselves.

The light-bodied palate offers sweet strawberry and plum fruit up front, but the fruit is a bit overwhelmed by the spice, cedar and vanilla notes from the oak barrels that once housed this wine. I love the spice component, but there isn't quite enough fruit here to be truly balanced. It's a bit disjointed in that sense.

I know that 2006 was a cooler year in the Finger Lakes and not one that was great for red wines. I think the fruit just couldn't handle the amount of oak here.

Producer: McGregor Vineyard
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 12.5%
Rating:   20 (2 out of 5 | Average)

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