The Wine Idiot Reviews: Mayhall Tibbs Pinot Noir, 2013 ($9.99)
This one is another friend recommendation. A coworker, whose opinion I trust because he actually makes his own wine, told me to go get this right away--apparently, quoth he, Santa Rita pinot noir is hard to find under $40 a bottle! That's exactly the kind of thing I like to hear.
I realized, in reading other people's reviews of the wines I've been tasting, that I haven't said anything about how the wines smell. I should probably be doing that, right?? So I tried with this one--and then immediately decided I'm gonna shelve that idea until I know a little bit more about what I'm looking for. I'M NOT SELLING OUT, don't worry, I'm not gonna go drop hundreds of bucks on a wine course. But I should probably learn a little bit, at least. Because all I can tell you about how this one smells is--and this is 100% true, this is literally what I wrote down in my tasting notes--"this smells like delicious jammy wine." I actually think my nose might be a little broken, because sometimes I have a hard time smelling stuff.
So, you're on your own with smell on this one. The taste, however, is FABULOUS. It's sweeter than the other reds I've tried--fruity and juicy, but not flowery. It's the tiniest bit spicy (again it's not overly sweet), but that just makes it a little interesting. It actually sorta tastes like the classiest peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich I've ever had. It's got a short tangy finish that begs you to take another sip. This wine is why pinot noir is my go-to red when I don't know what I'm ordering.
Honestly, this is totally drink-alone wine. And I don't mean "drink while you are alone," although who am I to judge your wine-drinking habits. But I mean you don't need food with this one--this would be great for if you and a friend wanna sit out, enjoy the sunset, and kill a bottle. Natasha. I'm talking to you. When are we hanging out?
What the bottle says: "The now famed Santa Rita Hills appellation is our proud home and has earned the reputation of crafting the finest wines in California. Located just twelve miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the ocean's cool breeze that funnels along the rolling hills into our valley moderates the warm days thus creating an excellent environment for growing our Pinot Noir."
What the Wine Idiot says: Well, they're not giving you any tasting hints, are they? GUESS THAT MEANS I'M RIGHT. Also, I'm pretty sure the grammar is off in that sentence. I guess technically they could in fact be saying that the cool breeze is located just twelve miles inland, but I thiiiiink "the Santa Rita Hills" should be the subject of that sentence. But who's counting.
ABV: 14.4%, making this bottle an excellent value, by my accounting.
Who's responsible for this? "Vinted and bottled by Mayhall Tibbs Wines, Buellton, California." I love Buellton!!
Do I need a corkscrew? Yessir.
What do smarter people say about it? Joe over at Good Cheap Vino says, "I do think this wine passes the Pinot Noir test; it smells and tastes like a Pinot Noir. It is a little heavier than most, but I think that just might be the characteristic of Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills. The wine is not terribly complex. I give this wine 87 Points and I do believe it is worth a try for folks who like Pinot Noir and have a budget pocketbook." Trader Joe's says, "Mayhall Tibbs Pinot Noir is a smooth, soft, and luxurious Pinot, aged for 10 months in French oak. Flavors of Bing cherry and subtle baking spices are complemented by a bit of minerality, which is a direct result of the mineral-rich soils in which the grapes are cultivated." I'd say I did pretttttty good!
Should I bring it to a friend's house? Absolutely. And tell them the Santa Rita Hills are really making a name for themselves in wine circles, you'll sound super smart.