First Look: 2012 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

After a couple of challenging California vintages in 2010 and 2011, I'm looking forward to the 2012s coming to market.

In the grand scheme of things, quibbling about vintage variation in California is a bit ridiculous. The weather there rarely presents the challenges seen in other regions.

But when you hear and read stories from winemakers about record heat spikes after cool growing seasons - where leaves were pruned to increase sun exposure then resulted in over exposure - you tend to think only the best producers will put out quality wines.

And indeed that's been the case in my experience. Reliable producers put out outstanding wines in 2010 and 2011. But the average quality of wines hasn't been as good as it was in better vintages like 2007 and 2009.

And that's fine by me. As consumers we need a chance to take a breather to drink wines from from our collections rather than growing our stashes. When I was on the fence about purchasing pricey 2010s and 2011s it was anticipation of better wines in 2012 that talked me off the ledge of making large purchases from producers I wasn't personally familiar with.

So far, the majority of 2012s available in the market are rosés and some white wines. My experience has been mixed, but admittedly I'm more of a red wine guy. So I was looking forward to trying a bellweather California Pinot Noir in the form of Belle Glos Meiomi.

Here are my thoughts...

2012 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir
13.8% Alcohol
$22 Release Price

It's amazing how quickly they release these wines. A 2012 Pinot Noir in June? They're released along with rosés!

Anyway, I thought it was amazingly well formed for being so young and in line with the house style. Which is to say - luscious and fruit forward, a crowd pleaser that's hard not to enjoy. 

I've seen more variation from bottle to bottle of the same vintage than from vintage to vintage. 

This stuff is like Budweiser for better or worse - always about the same no matter where or when you pop it. For the most part it's tremendously appealing - even if it isn't the most terroir driven Pinot Noir in the world. I like it and I always want to have some on hand.

89/100 WWP: Very Good


Check 'em out:

Question of the Day:

What are your thoughts on recent vintages in California? Have you been buying less or only from trusted producers? Are you looking to buy a lot of the 2012s?


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