For Easter Sunday, one of my brothers brought a bottle of (I believe) 2006 Seghesio Pinot Noir Costiera from California's Russian River Valley. He's a big fan of Seghesio wines, primarily their zinfandel bottlings, and for good reason. Although I wasn't so fond of the basic 2007 zinfandel bottling, Seghesio has long been a terrific producer of old school, delicious zinfandel from the Dry Creek Vally.
So here was my first taste of Seghesio Pinot Noir, and while I found it perfectly delicious to drink, it tasted like zinfandel. Well, not entirely. This is clearly pinot noir, with the rooty sweetness you only get from this grape. The British call it "beet root" and mean it as a compliment. Some Americans refer to it as "I don't like pinot noir." It's that distinctly earthy, often tantalizing quality of any pinot noir-based wine that some people simply don't like.
At 15% alcohol, this Seghesio Costiera was clearly made from grapes harvested well past what I would call "ripeness." There are raisiny tones that give the wine richness, but to me detract from the varietal nature of pinot noir. The alcohol gives lots of body to the wine's texture, and some burn on the finish. In a zinfandel, that's not entirely a bad thing, in a certain balance. In pinot noir, it's just not right. Call that snobbish or whatever. I'm just being honest.
Yes, I happily tasted and drank the wine. I would have had more if my brother hadn't pounded the rest by himself (joking!). This wine was like an action movie with noise and explosions that satisfied, in that idiom. Not classic film, but highly enjoyable. Thanks bro.