3-way taste-off: Castle Rock, Mark West, Ch. de la Montroye - Printable Version

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- newsguy - 11-12-2003

with the holidays coming up, i decided to try two cali pinot noirs and one red burgundy, all from 2001 vintage and selling for $9.99. both the pinots already been touted on this board, and the burgundy is a favorite of the owner of my regular wine shop. in this three-way battle there was a clear-cut winner. here are my notes:

Castle Rock Sonoma County: bright purple color. good nose of cherries, berries, spicy earth and vanilla oak. tastes of same, with very good concentration, and a finish that builds on the tongue, going on for 40 seconds. medium body, good acidity and very light tannins. 13.5% alcohol. much more wine than you have a right to expect at this price. if you don't mind a little oak with your pinot (14 months in french barrels), by all means go out and get a bottle or case of this. drink through 2005. 90 points, and a great value.

Mark West Edna Valley: salmon color, with lightening at the rim. light nose of grass, earth and cherries; light tastes of same. after 90 minutes of air time, a strawberry note chimed in. decent acidity (but less than the castle rock) with fine, drying tannins and a 30-second finish. 13.9 % alcohol. thought after a night with the vacu-vin this wine tasted a little better and more concentrated. probably best in '04 and '05. bumped my score up to an 86. worth a try at the price, and perhaps more of what you'd expect from a pinot noir than the castle rock, which to me seemed a little like a mini cab.

Chateau de la Maltroye: sort of a thin sienna color. sorry, have a little art in my background. [img][/img] a light nose of cherries with a slight barnyard note. very light flavors of cherries, barnyard and spice, with strawberries adding to the mix over time. light acidity, medium, drying tannins, with a decent finish. 12.5% alcohol. the owner of the shop rates this an 89 and writes ""you will not find pinot noir from anywhere this good for 10 bucks.'' heck, i was 2-for-2 finding a better one on his shelves (thanks to this board). a decent wine, but very thin and nothing at all special. 83 points. wouldn't recommend.

[This message has been edited by newsguy (edited 11-12-2003).]

- Auburnwine - 11-12-2003

Glad to have the affirmation of the Castle Rock. I have some but knew nothing about it.

- Drew - 11-13-2003

Keith, If you liked the 2001 you'll LOVE the 2002 Castle Rock...(DeLoach premium fruit)


- newsguy - 11-13-2003

thanks drew. i'll keep an eye out for that.

- JohnG - 11-17-2003

I've enjoyed the Castle Rock as well -- and at $9.99 around here, the price can't be beat. I tried their SB a few months back, and it too was good wine for little money.

- quijote - 12-06-2003

I just tried the 2002 Castle Rock--Gorgeous!

Most of the PNs I've tried so far have been fairly watery to my humble palate, but this is a powerful juice with lots of layers of flavor. I love it, and thanks to all who recommended it.