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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wine Tasting - Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir

"Remember gentlemen, it's not just France we are fighting for, it's Champagne!"
 - Winston S. Churchill, 1918

May your day be pleasant, productive and conclude with the sweet nectar of wine upon your lips.  If not practical, then perhaps may it conclude with visions of soon uncorking some vino.  If this too not practical, may you simply sit back and look forward to that day you become 21 years of age (legal drinking age).

Chucky and Tiffany have been on another quest, my friend.  Ne'er have two 4-foot plastic characters been on so many dawggone quests, huh?  'Least it keeps us busy and out of trouble?

What has this particular quest been?  <Oh, no!  Chucky's about to go onto one of his wild tangents again!>  Short, sweet and brief...  To find that most beloved Carrabba's Italian Grill house wine, "Copper Ridge".  It's a Gallo wine sold exclusively under private label to restaurants.  "Purportedly" sometimes available on supermarket shelves.  So far, no success.  Thus, our quest.

We purchased this wine (along with a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon) hoping it to be a pseudonym of their Copper Ridge private label.  As nice as it was, it was indeed not the Copper Ridge we seek.

Chucky's Point Score:  84
Tiffany's Point Score:  84

Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir
Appellation:  Modesto, California
Grape Varietal(s):  Pinot Noir
Retail Price:  $5.00
Vintage:  See Note 1/
Producer:   Gallo Family Vineyards
Alcohol:  12.5%
Calories:   88 per 4-ounce

Note 1/:  Young wines that are meant to be drank when they are purchased typically do not include a vintage.  There would be no relevance to include a date.  It's not the style or type of wine that can be aged in the wine cellar nor should it be re-corked and shelved upon opening. Although most vintners include the vintage, it is not a requirement on US labeling laws.

Tasting notes as follows.

Chucky's Tasting Notes

Tiffany's Tasting Notes

The label reads as follows:

"Gallo Family Vineyards is proud to celebrate over 75 years of family winemaking.  Since 1933, our family has had but one single purpose:  To craft the finest wine that skill and care can produce.  Each bottle of Gallo Family Vineyards reflects four generations of our family's passion.

Our Pinot Noir is medium-bodied with aromas of cherry and sweet fruit flavors with a smooth and light finish.  It is a very approachable wine that is as fun to share as it is to discover.

Our family promises to consistently deliver exceptional wines to celebrate life's joyful occasions with friends and family."

Oh... We can mail order Copper Ridge wine but it's simply not economical for a wine of it's stature.  The Carrabba's Italian Grill house wine is most excellent but not of the $15 to $20 bottle merit.  Although mail order wines can be had for a most excellent price, the costs of shipping and handling quickly diminish this route of procurement.

"But what about this Gallo Family Vineyards wine, Chucky?"  Oh yeah... the wine.  I almost forgot the wine (Ha!  That'll never happen.)  It isn't an extraordinary wine but it's not purported to be.  It's the family's "standard" label and representative of a very palatable wine at a bargain of a price.  If willing to spend, the Gallo family has alternative wine worthy or a few more bucks.

All in all, both Tiffany and I liked this wine.  Certainly $5 very well spent!  It was certainly similar to the Copper Ridge labeled wine that I seek but the slightest bit made from a lesser crop (or source) of grape.  This wine was contrived from those grapes grown "out back behind the barn".  Perfectly good grapes, have you, but not of the same character as those grown over there on that hillside.  Someday soon these vines may have struggled and aged enough to become "Copper Ridge label worthy".  But, until that date has arrived (if it ever does) we'll just continue to market it as Gallo Family Vineyards wine.

This wine grew on me.  Maybe it's simply the affect of the alcohol but the last glass was even better than the first.  But, this is true of the majority of our wines.  Buy a bottle, allow it to breathe, sip, enjoy, and realize that you got one helluva bargain for around the $5 price point.  I would not be ashamed to serve this wine to a group of friends whatsoever.  However, if these friends were "affectionado vino extraordinaire", I might move up a price range or two.

Hi-dee hi-dee may-you-stumble-upon-a-decent-and-affordable-wine-today-ho my friends.

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