Mark West pinot noir review: 2011 update

9 02 2013

Let’s check out the 2011 vintage of California’s Mark West pinot noir, shall we?  It’s $8.99 at Total Wine, a slight price increase.

This wine is a rock star, because of its past.  I raved over the 2008 vintage here and proclaimed it a “Best Buy”.  Mark West’s achievement:  dramatically lowering the price at which a wine could taste like actual pinot noir.  Others on the Internet have disagreed, saying that Mark West was always non-pinot-tasting sweet stuff.  They are wrong.

But now, they’re right.  This pinot has turned into generic California sort-of-pinot (meaning: sweet for a pinot noir, with lots of vanilla, cinnamon and cherry).

But let’s be honest, almost ALL affordable California pinot noirs have that generic taste.  Is this one worth $9?

Yes.  If you like pinot noir but you really don’t want to spend more than nine bucks, Mark West is a clear option, although it is no longer a Wineguider Best Buy.  Another option is Cloud Break, which is lighter, more cherry-cherry, and just $7.99.  Because Mark West remains very drinkable and very affordable, it is:

2010 Mark West California Pinot Noir 750ml Front Label (Standard_Final_JPG) [CA-ECM2030183 Revision-2]Recommended.

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One response

9 02 2013
Glenn

Finding a satisfying or good value pinot for less than $20 is no easy task. Much like being the guy with the responsibility of throwing himself on the barbed wire during WWI trench warfare. Hang in there.

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