2009 Asuncion Ridge Pinot Noir

As I continue on my quest to wine expertise awesomeness, I’m definitely tasting a lot more wines than I used to.  And yes, I do mean tasting.  I may have several bottles of wine in the fridge that I’ve tasted at any one point, and I love the fact that sometimes I’m able to find the 375ml sizes.  I don’t mind actually *drinking* one of those, but I can’t drink an entire bottle (or two. or more.) of wine, especially when I may open a couple of bottles of the same varietal to compare.  I’ve gotten into the habit of planning impromptu tastings with friends so that I can finish the wines!

That said, I decided that I needed to do more reviews.  I’m rarely running into terrible wines since I’m focused on getting those that are true to the varietal and there’s little room for experimentation at this point. Actually, there’s no room for experimentation.  That’s what my budget told me.

My current quest is to sit for the California Wine Appellation Specialist exam, and I’ve been tasting a lot of California wines during the last few weeks.

While tasting through California wines, I thought I’d drag out the 2009 Asuncion Ridge Pinot Noir which I’ve coddled for the last several months.  In a word, I love this wine, but is that a surprise? Do you think I’m going to say bad things about a well-made example of my favorite varietal? I think not.

This wine is beautiful to look at with its clean, clear, deep garnet color.  On the nose, I detected blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, smoke, black cherries, and meat.  To be specific, a whiff of uncooked brisket.  It’s brief, but I picked it up.  On the palate, it’s silky on the tongue, with well-integrated gentle tannins, medium acidity, and the aromas carry through to the taste.  The smoke component is not pronounced in the mouth, and the wine is very dry with little residual sugar. However, there is a definite sweet component on the longish finish.  Nice.

In the video I indicated that I’d be having this with salmon.  While the salmon was a good choice, the small steak that I had was a better one.  The silky tannins and the meat component made it a very complementary pairing.  Unfortunately, this was my only bottle, so I’ll have to wait to continue the wine and food pairing experiments. Dammit.

This wine is still available, and can be purchased either at the tasting room on 12th Street or ordered directly from the website. I understand that’s pretty unusual for me since I love tasting wines that I’ve had a while. I’ll try to do better. Promise.

As I write this review I’m enjoying a glass of Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese.  A nice wine to drink at the end of a busy day.  It’s so good, I took a little time to review it!

Asuncion Ridge
Paso Robles, CA

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