RECOMMENDED: Two by Acacia. 1. “A By Acacia” 2010 Pinot Noir, California. $14.99, available for as little as $11.99. 13.5% ABV. 2. Acacia 2009 Pinot Noir, Napa Valley/Carneros, CA. $19.99, available online for as little as $16.95. 14.4%.

1. “A BY ACACIA.”

COLOR: Clear garnet. Legs!
AROMAS: Cedar, orange, tea, cola, a little bit of cherry pie.
MOUTH: Medium-bodied, moderately mouth-filling. Smooth.
FINISH: Long, slightly spicy finish of tea and tannins.
CONCLUSION: An approachable, yummy example of the lighter style of Pinot Noir.

LABEL NOTES: At Acacia, we have an intimate relationship with Pinot Noir. Even after more than 25 years of experience, we remain intrigued and enticed by this ethereal grape. A by Acacia brings to life Pinot Noir’s subtleties by blending grapes from California’s finest Pinot Noir growing regions. The result is an elegant wine with strong black cherry flavors and an unexpected hint of violet and spice that we believe conveys the essence of California Pinot Noir.

2. ACACIA 2009 PINOT NOIR, NAPA VALLEY/CARNEROS.

This wine is one step up from the “A By Acacia,” costing about $5 more. (Acacia also makes several higher-end Pinot Noirs costing $40 and more that have been rated as high as 93 by Wine Spectator.) This mid-range model has similarities to the “A”—the appearance, nose, and taste are similar, although the nose on this one is more peppery, the mouth is a little more tannic, and the finish is spicier with white pepper. In addition, this one is slightly more full-bodied—with the paradox that the aromas and tastes, at first, are more subtle than the “A.” After opening up for a while, it’s well-balanced and more pleasant and flavorful than the “A” if you like a bigger, more mouth-filling style of wine.

However, the $17-19 price point signifies a Special Occasion wine for the Frugal Wine Snob, and for that price we believe the Meiomi 2009 Pinot Noir is the better choice than the Acacia. Meiomi (Belle Glos) is produced by the Wagner/Caymus family. To read our review of the Meiomi, please visit http://www.thefrugalwinesnob.com/?p=279

Still, we are recommending the Acacia because it IS quite good and it’s probably easier to buy locally than the Meiomi Pinot Noir. (We live in Ocala, Florida, a small city in an essentially rural area, and our wine shops do a great job but don’t carry particularly large inventories.)

LABEL NOTES: Acacia Pinot Noir is the standard in Carneros, with its lush aromas of blackberry and cassis, supported by hints of spice and earthiness. It finishes with long-lasting flavors. We achieve this by blending Acacia’s estate-grown grapes with wines from long-established surrounding vineyards. Lone Tree Vineyard contributes depth of flavor, while Winery Lake Vineyard gives the wine its floral characteristics, creating a wine that is a true expression of Carneros Pinot Noir.

WEB: http://www.AcaciaVineyard.com.

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