Maker: Don Sebastiani & Sons, Napa County, California
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2005 is the second installment in this brand that we’ve sampled. We liked Smoking Loon Merlot 2004 reasonably well. The Pinot Noir seemed slightly lacking in character. The nose was mild and mostly cherries. The wine was smooth on the palate, but even for a Pinot Noir (which I often consider too light) this one was a bit bland. Cherry and strawberry notes dominate the mild fruitiness, and there’s just a hint of spice. Overall, this wine doesn’t offend in the least – it’s quite drinkable. It won’t be on our shopping list, though.
Opinions among wine bloggers varied on this Pinot Noir. In Vino Veritas thought, “The initial taste wasn’t bad, however. But that’s as good as the wine got,” and scored it a mere 5 out of 10. The Wine Cask Blog called it “nice” and “simple”, and a good buy on a “basic Pinot Noir.” WineWaves found it to be a “lightweight Pinot Noir” but a good value for $8.50. With this diversity of opinion, if you are a Pinot Noir fan, you might want to snag a bottle and try it for yourself.