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Best California Pinot Noir QPR Ever?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quietly included in a Wine Spectator article highlighting 14 Outstanding Wines from Santa Barbara was an epic value in California Pinot Noir. They rated the 2011 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir a whopping 92 points. With a release price of $22 and massive 92,000 case production this wine is widely available and often nicely discounted. It's not hard at all to find this wine for $16.

Past ratings from Wine Spectator for this wine:

  • 2011: 92
  • 2010: 88
  • 2009: 87
  • 2008: 87
CellarTracker community averages for these wines:
  • 2011: 87.7
  • 2010: 88.8
  • 2009: 88.3
  • 2008: 88.5
My ratings:
  • 2011: 91
  • 2010: 91
  • 2009: 89
  • 2008: 92
Putting the metrics on the 2011 through the wwpQPR Calculator (what's that?) and using $30 as the baseline price where it becomes not-too-hard to find an outstanding bottle of California Pinot Noir, and a $16 purchase price, I get: 

2.98: Very Good Value

This is certainly one of the best California Pinot Noir values on the market right now.

My note on the 2011:

Dark in color. Aromatically present with grape hard candy notes. Slightly sweet in the palate. In keeping with prior reliably delicious vintages. These guys have found a house style and keep cranking it out. How many weeks does this wine age in barrel?

91/100 WWP: Oustanding

Guidance:

If you've had and enjoyed prior vintages of this wine, buy more of this one to qualify for mixed case discounts/reduce per bottle shipping costs. If you haven't tried it before, and you like luscious, fruit forward, California reds definitely give it a try. It's consistently delivered and then some across a number of bottles.

iconPrice check/find it on Wine-Searcher.com

Or buy this wine now on Wine.com with 1 cent shipping through 12/11/2012 (click/tap the label image):
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Question of the Day: Have you had the 2011 Meiomi yet? If so, what did you think?

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Massachusetts Lawmakers Comment on Wine Shipping Laws

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking to get wine shipped to MA? You might find this post helpful:

Reader Question: Can I ship wine to a friend in Massachusetts?

As we learned earlier this year another Massachusetts legislative session has come and gone without enacting legislation that would enable the direct shipment of wine from out of state wineries to Massachusetts residents.


It's a shame since (1) the state continues to be non-compliant with a 2010 federal court ruling and (2) the state is leaving significant revenue on the table by barring shipments.

The two bills failing to make it out of committee for a vote are HB 1029 and HB 1882.

An interesting piece by Colleen Quinn of the State House News Service sheds some rare and precious light on the issues holding up passing of direct shipment bills.

Representative Speliotis comments:

Rep. Theodore Speliotis (D-Danvers), who chairs the Consumer Protection Committee that gave the wine buying bill an unfavorable rating this week, said Thursday that while he favors removing the buying restriction, the state needs to find a way to protect local sellers
“The biggest fear is package stores will go by the wayside like hardware stores,” Speliotis said. “The object is to try to allow new technology into an old profession without costing Massachusetts jobs. 
Speliotis said he hopes the wine industry and the local package store owners will reach a consensus on a bill. They frequently discuss the issue to come up with a solution, he said.

This commentary is interesting to me because in my view the central issue in this battle has always been out of state entities (wineries and to a lesser extent out of state retailers) against Massachusetts distributors. But here the issue is painted as out of state wineries and in state retailers.

Next time you're in a wine store ask the owner whether they're concerned about the direct shipment of wine. The ones I've asked couldn't care less. The primary concerns I've heard from in-state retailers are laws which prohibit them from shipping out of state, high markups from Massachusetts wholesalers relative to other states, and wine being sold at an increasing number of nearby grocery stores.

Further, the commentary is eerily similar to the protectionist stance that got the state into trouble in the first place by limiting shipments to small out of state wineries. The reason Massachusetts should allow wine shipments is simple: Because a federal court said they need to. It shouldn't be a negotiation that involves the concerns of in state retailers.

Here's commentary from Frank Anzalotti who collectively represents the package stores in the state:
Frank Anzalotti, executive director of the Massachusetts Package Store Association, said that if online purchasing is allowed, they want local brick and mortar stores to be able to sell online too. Otherwise, he said, they would be at a disadvantage. 
“We are not, in general, in favor of online purchasing,” Azalotti said. “The obvious reasons are we want a reliable responsible party doing a face-to-face transaction to make sure it is legal.” 
This is another strange misdirection. Massachusetts retailers are split on whether they want to sell online. Many old guard package stores don't want things to change, while other retailers are already selling online - albeit limited to shipping only to Massachusetts addresses.

I agree that Massachusetts retailers absolutely need to be able to ship out of state in conjunction with allowing out of state wineries to be able to ship to Massachusetts. But at the same time out of state retailers should also be able to ship to Massachusetts - a provision that's never been any bill proposed to date.

Finally, check out this quote from House Minority Leader Bradley Jones - who's on our side as wine enthusiasts since he's the one who sponsored the bill:
Jones said only a handful of residents have contacted him upset they cannot buy wine out of state. But he added, “There are court cases that say we should change this.”
Our call to action is pretty clear: We need to write our representatives.
Don't know who your representative is? A list can be found here.

An authentic, personally written email with your address goes a long way towards getting the message to our legislators that this nonsense has gone on for long enough. Let's Free the Grapes!

Related Reading:
Subscribe to The Wellesley Wine Press and I'll keep you posted on this issue.

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