2013 Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
We drink a lot of Pinot Noirs, ranging from domestic California, Oregon and Washington State, to “old world” versions from Burgundy and “new world” iterations from New Zealand.
And in all of the Pinot Noirs, from all the places in the world, of all vintages, cork vs. alternative tops, blends or single-vineyards (even single blocks), the 2013 Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is our favorite. I can’t remember anything similar since the now impossible-to-find Bishop’s Peak Pinot from 2006.
Having sampled over a case of this Schug vintage and paired with all sorts of food, every bottle has been incredibly fresh, starting out with the classic Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir blackberry and raspberry nose, then paired to an equally tremendous black cherry finish. And this is what differentiates the Schug – this is the first (and only) California Pinot under $40 to deliver on the promise made when first approaching the wine. For veterans, you might miss oak or earth (it’s faintly discernable), and acid is kept to a bare minimum. Call this the diametric opposite to its northern acidic Oregon and Washington State brethren.
Folks should seek it out for the balanced experience. While some lower-cost wines open with a terrific nose, they’re let down by an acidic finish due to a mix of grapes or varied sourcing of juice. Conversely, higher-end Pinots offer a terrific journey of flavors, but it’s tough to take in the nose
On price, it’s interesting that Costco is actually a touch more expensive than other retailers at $17.99. But based on the consistency of bottles, I have no trouble spending more to assure reliability.