Tasting Notes: Cardwell Hill Cellars Pinot Noir

The Facts

  • Producer: Cardwell Hill Cellars
  • Region: Willamette Valley, Washington State, USA
  • Vintage: 2011
  • Variety: Pinot Noir
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $30
  • Eyes: Almost a raspberry red color. Darker than the majority of pinot noirs I have seen. Had a beautiful maroon color while pouring into my glass.
  • Nose: I had difficulty getting much of a nose on this one. I should probably invest in a pinot noir glass mentioned in my glassware post. Anyway, I smelled red berries first, something akin to strawberries, and then something I deemed "unidentfiable". My nose was familiar with the smell, but I couldn't pin point the word to associate with it. It was earthy, but not musty. Maybe iron? Or wet rocks? That is the closest I came to recognizing it.
  • Mouth: Full bodied for a pinot noir. Fruit forward with a hint of sourness.
  • Thoughts: I really enjoyed this wine, especially for a pinot noir as I typically shy away from the varietal. I'm glad this blog is forcing me to try new things and to broaden my wine horizons beyond big, bold cabs and red blends. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but not sure if I'd get it again as an everyday wine at its price point, but I will definitely be looking to try more Pinots from the Willamette Valley region.

I compared my notes to what Total Wine had out of curiosity and was surprised to find that I had hit some of the same things they had published, likely from the producer. Their notes were: Raspberry, cherry, cinnamon, green tomato & mineral notes on finish. Other descriptors were: elegant, raspberry, cherry, full-bodied.

Disclaimer: This is the first "tasting notes" I have done both on the blog and personally. I have never kept track of what I drink beyond maybe writing the name of the wine in my Notes on my iPhone and then never referencing it again. I have never had any formal training on how to taste beyond a Wine 101 class at my local Corkbuzz (post on this place to come later) and the tasting section was pretty generic, so needless to say, this will not be even close to perfect. But the trick to getting to perfect? Practice! So that is what I'm doing.