Monday, April 12, 2010

Summerland Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2007


A recent Saturday took us to not one, but two movies.  We're not talking Netflix here, either.  These were bona fide, real live, sit-in-the-theater movie shows.  The Square was a bit of a disappointment.  Some Aussies took the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple and threw it in with some "movie helper."  They came up with a product that had plenty of the Coens' quirkiness but little of their inventiveness.  We saw it at one of the single-screen artifacts of Hollywood's past that dot Westwood Village, so it was worth a lot in the "experience" category.  Next, to Hollywood for some film noir at The Egyptian.  Broderick Crawford and Richard Conte in New York Confidential was the offering of the night.  We were very troubled that the audience laughed at some extremely inappropriate moments during the film.  It figured that a full house, which turned out to see a 1955 noir that hadn't been viewed since shortly after its release, would be somewhat reverent.  The misplaced laughs and hoots might have been more suitable at a midnight movie.  It's too bad they were allowed to ruin the event.  One of the actresses who appeared in the movie was present in the audience, as was Richard Conte's son.  I wonder what they thought of the crowd's reaction?

Aah, there.  I feel better now.  Let's go have an apres-noir snack at the venerable Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard.

Musso & Frank has a menu that runs the gamut from the extremely affordable to the ridiculously expensive, with not too much in between.  The wine list tells the same story, running from Beringer to Opus One.  By the glass, their selections are varied enough to suit a number of tastes and not terribly expensive.  At $14, the Summerland Pinot Noir is one of the more expensive by-the-glass choices at Musso & Frank.

The nose on this Pinot has a rather lovely floral component.  I smell violets and some really ripe and lucsious plums.  The aromas don't give fair warning of what to expect on the palate, though.  A bit of darkness surrounds the flowers, but the brambly, earthy, meaty taste really comes as a surprise.  A very pleasant one.