Sunday, October 23, 2011


Oyster Bay Pinot Noir at Mirabelle

A few vacation days afforded my wife and I the opportunity to depart from our early-to-rise schedule and enjoy life the way the night people do.  Oh, the freedom!  Stopping in at a restaurant - way after 11:00 p.m., mind you - for a glass of wine and a late snack.  We both had lived this way before, in previous lives, and we agreed we could get used to it again if we had to.

I opted for a popular New Zealand brand, Oyster Bay Pinot Noir.  This 2009 Marlborough effort was $10 by the glass at Mirabelle on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.  Oyster Bay is probably best known for their Sauvignon Blanc, a staple on nearly every restaurant wine list.  It's a very distinctive wine, and their Pinot Noir turned out to have its own unmistakable identity as well.

A remarkably meaty nose whet my appetite immediately.  Minerals on the palate play into a rich meatiness there, too.

Extremely dark aromas and flavors are the rule for this Pinot.  It's smooth and mellow, but after the initial impressions it seems a little one dimensional.  It does pair nicely with Mirabelle's flatiron skewers, but a little more tannic structure would be appreciated with the beef.

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