January 10, 2008

Flowers Pinot Noir

Bill Dowd photo

I tasted this Sonoma Coast red at a rustic buffet meal -- roast chicken, grilled vegetables, salad vinaigrette, honey-topped spaghetti squash -- prepared by Larry Schepici, chef-owner of Tosca Grille, the Illium Cafe and La Marché Vert, all in Troy, NY.

• Flowers Pinot Noir 2006:

This is a bold yet nuanced California red, with intense raspberry and stone fruit flavors evident from the first sniff.

It's a product of Walt and Joan Flowers' winery where wines wirh a crisp acidity and full, lingering tastes are produced. I found it more than held its own throughout a meal that ranged from savory roast chicken to sharp vinaigrettes and pleasantly charred veggies hot off the grill.

Hints of pepper, violet and spices give way to supple tannings with touches of anise and toast. Should continue to mature in the bottle for the next few years,

Retail price runs all over the place, from $49.99 to $58.

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