Pelerin Wines2005 Pinot Noir, Rosella’s Vineyard
(Santa Lucia Highlands)
Pelerin Wines (“pelerin” is French for “pilgrim”) is a small brand based in the Santa Lucia Highlands, producing primarily Pinot Noir and Rhone-style wines from well-known vineyards such as Rosella’s and Paraiso. Owner/winemaker Chris Weidemann worked at Newton Vineyard with John Kongsgaard before moving to the Monterey area, where he worked at Morgan Winery. He makes his wine now at Paraiso Vineyards, where he also works part time.
The usual style of Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is big, ripe and bold, but this one shows more elegance than many of the others. (In that respect, it’s a bit Morgan-esque.) The wine, which sells for $45, offers plenty of ripe cherry and crushed strawberry fruit, some spicy cola notes and a silky, supple texture. The grape source, Rosella’s Vineyard, is owned by Gary Franscioni, who farms it meticulously. The grapes Weidemann used in this wine were Clones 777 and 828, along with the so-called Pisoni clone. The wine spent about 15 months in French oak, 40 percent of it new, with the balance being 1- to 3-year-old barrels. All in all, it’s a very satisfying Pinot Noir.
Reviewed May 30, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.
Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.