Monday, October 24, 2011


Row Eleven Vinas 3 Pinot Noir

Another movie, another wine at The Wine Bar.  The bar next to the AMC theater in the Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles makes it desirable to show up a bit early for the film.

In the image, that blur of light in the upper left corner is the display which shows how long until the next movies start.  That's a good idea, because the wine list at The Wine Bar is not what you'd expect at a mall.

This time, waiting for "Senna," the documentary about the Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, I had the Row Eleven Pinot Noir, Vinas 3.  I had sampled this wine at a tasting event a couple of years ago, and was impressed then.  I'm still impressed.

Row Eleven makes three Pinots, one from the Russian River Valley, one from Santa Maria and the Vinas 3, which is a blend from vineyards in Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties.

The '08 Vinas 3 blends not only different vineyards, but different Pinot Noir clones - Pommard, Dijon and Martini, for the wine geeks among us.  I had the '09 this time, and I am making the assumption that it is blended in the same configuration.

It's $11 by the glass and turns in a 13.9% abv number, which is fairly old world for California Pinot.  The nose shows cranberry and smoke, with a very lovely expression of earth.  Smooth, full and rich in the mouth, flavors of red fruit are abetted by mocha and a nice minerality.  The tannins are nice and round, so there are no jagged edges on the palate.  It may not be indicative of any one terroir, but it's a great way to pass twenty minutes or so until the movie starts.

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