When I first smelled this pinot, with its aromas of cherry candy and cough syrup and peppery, almost-Moroccan spice I thought there might be some non-pinot in there. Maybe even a hybrid like De Chaunac or Noiret. But according to former Casa Larga winemaker Mark Patterson “It was 100% pinot noir from the Turk Hill Road Vineyard. This site always produces a bit of a peppery/spicy character that some people believe is from something else, but it’s not. No one ever believes me when I tell them, but I made the wine, and made the blend, so I know what I put in it.”

On the lighter-bodied side of things, there are a bit too many oak tannins here. They stand up well to food and would probably shine with fatty beef, but they overwhelm the slightly candied cherry fruit qualities and the spiciness on the mid-palate leading into the finish, which is disappointingly short as well.

Producer: Casa Larga Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 12%
Price: $17*