Home DrinkWine Castle Rock Pinot Noir – a terrific wine for $10!

Castle Rock Pinot Noir – a terrific wine for $10!

by Laura Duffy
According to the movie “Sideways,” pinot noir is the elite red varietal. Miles can be heard shouting “I am NOT drinking any fu@k!ing merlot!” in preparation for a double date. Later in the movie, he carries on to his date, Maya, for a few minutes about the many exquisite qualities of pinot noir.
After hearing Miles’ alluring description of pinot noir, I tried for awhile to make myself like it. But, I was disappointed more often than not. Almost every pinot noir I tried was too watery or too acidic for my liking. It left me craving a red wine with more body and better balance, like a zinfandel or syrah.
But remember, I said almost every pinot noir. In this post, I’d like to introduce you to the one pinot noir I’ve met that I like: the Castle Rock 2013 California Cuvee Pinot Noir.

This wine is a rare gem among pinot noir that costs $10 a bottle because it’s actually good! It’s acidity is more subtle than overpowering, making it an incredibly smooth and easy-to-drink wine. The rest of it’s flavors I would describe as delicate and quintessentially Burgundian, (as described by Wine Folly). As a mom that appreciates good wine, I am struck by the earthy mushroom and spice in the nose and flavors of plum, cherry and fresh red fruits on the palate. It is these qualities and its reasonable price tag that make this wine such a gem!

Here is what the professionals have said. On the back of the bottle, the Castle Rock winery says about the 2013 California Cuvee Pinot Noir,

“Our Castle Rock Pinot Noir is produced from grapes grown in a carefully selected group of Californian vineyards, at which the climate and soil quality provide excellent growing conditions for the Burgundian style varietal. The wine is elegant and medium-bodied, offering aromas of cherry, tea and herbal spice. On the palate it is smooth with silky texture and mild tannins, giving flavor of black cherry, plum and spice, and finishing long and harmoniously. This versatile food wine pairs well with lamb, veal, salmon and light pasta dishes.”

Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2013 Castle Rock California Cuvee Pinot Noir 87 points, calling it a Best Buy:

“This light but firm style of Pinot shows spicy, slightly herbal and oaky aromas. The palate is fresh and fruit-forward, with a medium body and enough concentration to create a lingering finish.”

Wine Spectator featured this wine in their May 31, 2016 issue, awarding the Castle Rock 2013 California Cuvee Pinot Noir 88 points. It showed up in Wine Spectator again in the September 30, 2016 issue after the editor included it in his Top Value recommendations.



The blogger at Cheap Wine Curious also recognized the Castle Rock 2013 California Cuvee Pinot Noir as one of the rare budget pinot noirs and wrote a very funny article about it. You can see that the Castle Rock 2013 California Cuvee Pinot Noir has really earned itself a reputation for being one of the rare pinot noirs around $10 that is really good!
I find that this pinot noir is perfect for Fall. As the evenings start to get crisp and the days start to get cooler, I start craving the red wines that I love to drink during winter. Hot days have persisted here though, making a lighter-bodied wine such as the Castle Rock 2013 California Cuvee Pinot Noir appealing.So there you have it, a smooth pinot noir with great flavor that costs around $10 a bottle. It is widely available and widely recognized as being a fantastic bargain by experts and novice wine drinkers alike. It is liquid proof that you can drink good wine without spending a fortune!

Let me know what you think of this wine in the comments below!

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