Thursday, May 29, 2008

Black Mountain Pinot Noir and Muenster

The other day I received the Black Mountain Pinot Noir as a gift. Having heard nothing about it, but the giver saying its good, I decided to try it with my good friends Mr. and Mrs. Luce. I looked up what cheese pairs well with Pinot in search of something grocery store worthy and was surprised to see Munster. So, I picked it up and was on my way, hoping both the wine and the pairing fared well. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Luce are good friends so even if it didn’t all would be ok- but still, who wants to bring over bad wine? Certainly not this winelush.

And…it was good. Really, the pinot was yummy and the cheese went very well with it. Both are fairly mild, so its not like either one really “set the other off”- but they complimented each other very well. I would completely recommend the pairing, particularly if you’re looking for a mild cheese that has mass appeal.

But this Black Mountain wine from Cali intrigued me. How can I have never heard of it? I mean really, as the HeadWino of a wine club and a lush, one would think I had heard something about most California wines. I decided, of course, to look it up. What I found, surprised me. Black Mountain Wine is owned by Bronco Wine Company, the #4 wine producer in the country, Bronco makes wines under a vast number of labels. Many, like Charles Shaw, were acquired by Franzia from distressed companies. The brands include “Two buck chuck” Charles Shaw wines that Trader Joes carries, ForestVille Vineyard, Montpellier Vineyard, Hacienda Wine Cellars, Napa Ridge, Forest Glen, Estrella, Napa Ridge, Sea Ridge, Coastal Ridge, Silver Ridge and on-premise brands like Salmon Creek and Domaine Napa, and a new super-value wine for independent grocers, Crane Lake. Hmm. Who knew?

The funny thing is the owner’s name is Fred Franzia. Who, despite the name and the connection to cheap wine, has nothing to do with Franzia wines, but he is the nephew of EJ Gallo Wines. (so he didn't fall far from the cheap wine tree)

So, basically I found that I would normally have never ever purchased this wine knowing it came from such cheap roots. Snobby? Maybe, but I’m glad I got it and my misconceptions were wrong. I’m fairly sure it’s a reasonable price, although surely higher than Charles Shaw, but we’ll see next time I find it.


LucyinStLou said...

Interesting. I can't guarantee that I was tasting at 100% when you brought it over, but I thought it was pretty good. After all, an unknown Pinot can be such a risky proposition in these dangerous post-Sideways days. This one was solid and Pinot-y. I'll be curious to learn how much it cost should you encounter it in a store.

Muenster, yum. Mr. Luce & I are still wondering why we haven't been eating more of it all along.

Anonymous said...

The Black Mountain Pinot is could you be so snobby due to the cheap price??? If yoiu really new about wines, price would'nt make a difference!!!

WineLush said...

I said I liked the wine, I simply wouldn't have purchased it knowing where it came from, because I don't like that family of wines.

The entire post's point was that I was pleasantly suprised. I really enjoy finding wines that are good deals!

Bertrand said...

Was this a faux, Muenster or a nice smelly one with an orange rind and very soft inside? You can't get the real stuff at most grocery stores except Whole Foods.

Anonymous said...

It is $5.50 at Trader Joe's-not bad. Good for large crowd.