Shandel’s Oppenlander Vineyard 2006 Pinot Noir

red wine stock pic

Type: Dry Red
Made With: Pinot Noir
Plays Well With: A nice steak, maybe some short ribs, grilled salmon

If we eat/taste first with our eyes, then this pinot noir from Mendocino County has it going on.  The wine was a dark rich red.  The nose could be a little scary.  Yes, Michael found some earth scents and berries (perfect for a pinot noir), but he also caught a hint of brett.

Brett is short for brettanomyces, a bug that in tiny, tiny, parts per million, amounts can add a certain something to a wine – usually, the hint of a barnyard smell that just adds some nice complexity.  Although, if you’re sensitive to it, as Anne is, or there’s too much in the wine, it can be pretty off-putting.  The good news is that the tiny amounts usually blow off and it seldom shows up in the taste.

In this case, there was a rich mouthfeel, with just enough tannins to get a little astringency – the sort that plays off food really well.  Kind have to figure they were there, what with that nice red color – tannins being a big part of making that happen.  The acids are nice and refreshing, but not overwhelming, making for a nicely balanced wine, in spite of its relatively high alcohol at 14.8 percent.