A lot of things come in threes, and the wines that we receive four times a year from our wine club “A Taste of Monterey” also has three to the carton. The third wine that I will discuss is from Carmel Road Winery based in Soledad, California. I have had wine twice before from this winery, once courtesy of the wine club and once with dinner at a restaurant in Pacific Grove. As I was doing some additional research and I went to their website, and two things I was surprised about, that was glaring by omission was that they have a joint business with the actress Drew Barrymore for her wine line, and that the winery is part of the Jackson Family Wines group.
Carmel Road claims that their name is for the back road that stretches from Carmel-by-the-Sea through the Arroyo Seco and the Santa Lucia Highlands, which I am sure would be a lovely road to discover, when one has a free afternoon for a nice pleasant drive in the country. The Salinas Valley and Monterey County have long been known to have the coolest climate in California and that is why the Pinot Noir varietal does so well there. The first vintage for Carmel Road Winery is 1998, so soon they will be celebrating their Twentieth vintage.
The Carmel Road North Crest Pinot Noir 2015, is the newest wine for me to discover. The wine is pure Pinot Noir from the Panorama Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA. The wine spent thirteen months aging in French Oak, of which twenty percent was new. According to the tasting notes from the winemaker, the wine offers aromatics of cherry, strawberry and framboise, and delivers juicy red fruit flavors on the palate with subtle hints of vanilla bean and cocoa. Bright acidity leads to a clean and balanced finish. That is not the way I describe wines, but eventually I will have my chance to do so. The suggested aging potential for this wine is five to six years.