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2012 Shea Wine Cellars Estate Pinot Noir

2012 Shea Wine Cellars Estate Pinot NoirUnlike the less expensive wines available at Costco and reviewed here (like the well-regarded/excellent Schug), this is a complex and full-bodied Pinot Noir.  While Shea’s vineyard and estate fruit hearkens from the same area in Oregon as Domaine Serene (the wineries are only about 5 miles as the crow flies) and Ken Wright (who uses Shea in their staple wine), there are some faint differences which rule in favor of Shea.

Compared to those pricier and more well-known wines, Shea’s namesake production simply manages to be better. Upon opening the bottle, it begins as an incredibly smooth wine. There is little to no discernible oak and the Pinot fruit shines right through the nose. There is the traditional black cherry, earth, and some floral to mix it up – all which changes given the time in which you let the bottle open (Pinot Noirs don’t really need decanting, and with no sediment, it would be wrong to use one).

The taste is terrific with continued smoothness from the earlier experience coupled with a richness unlike anything similar in price or origin. As the wine opens up, it yields some light spice (depending on your palette), cocoa, and more berry. It lacks the significant acidity which its peer wines are often overburdened with, but also is devoid of too much fruit which would disrupt pairing with food.

Costco appears to be all about wines which are drinkable now, and this is no exception. Sure, this isn’t a single block wine nor the choicest fruit as in Shea’s $86 Homer version, but it’s a definite winner.  The only burning question is whether it’s worth the premium over the other excellent wines sitting next to it at Costco.  But given unlimited funds, I’d buy a case of this tomorrow.

— Reviewed by Josh L

Price: $34.99

Rating: 91

(would be higher if not for the price premium)