The Wine Idiot Reviews: Liberté Pinot Noir, 2013 ($9.99)
I think of this as "cheap hipster" wine. Why? Because before I really threw myself into wine-drinking, I had a cheap hipster boyfriend who would only purchase wine at Trader Joe's, and this is the bottle we would regularly take to hipster dinner parties in Silver Lake (he also rarely paid for dinner but was happy to let me pick up the check). Now, clearly, I mostly purchase wine at Trader Joe's. But then, I've already impressed myself, and I'm not trying to impress my dog. So you'd think this boyfriend would have bought us a fancy bottle once in awhile, but nope. Acknowledge red flags when you see them, my friends.
Anyway, this was a default bottle because the label really is pretty awesome. If people don't know any better, it looks like it could be a pricey bottle, sitting there on a reclaimed wood table surrounded by flickering candles and plates of bacon brussels sprouts. And honestly it's not bad wine, despite my negative associations.
It smells really pinot noir-y, not like wet bread but it has a very strong wine smell. And it tastes really pinot noir-y, too. It's quite peppery, and not overwhelmingly juicy, with a great tartness that really cleans cheese out of your mouth. I definitely didn't notice much sweetness--I would call this a more "earthy" wine. It's a richer spicier wine than some of the lighter pinot noirs I've reviewed. As a pretty middle-of-the-road wine, it goes fine with most food. And it gets better the more you drink--perfect for a hipster dinner party.
What the bottle says: "With its elegant red hue and finesse this 2013 Pinot Noir delivers an exceptional bouquet of cherries, vanilla, and rose petals followed by opulent flavors of strawberries and black tea. Serve with spanakopita, Epoisse de Bourgogne cheese or lobster bisque with seafood paella."
What the Wine Idiot says: Goddamn. That's a lot of adjectives, and kind of like a horoscope, I'm going to say that you can find all of that if you're really looking, I guess. But do you see what I mean? Most wine labels are all "serve with fish" or "pairs well with red meats." Not Liberté. No, you must serve this with SPANAKOPITA. Come on, wine. Major eyeroll.
Who's responsible for this? "Vinted & Bottled by Familia Nueva Vineyards, Creston, CA" Interestingly, I'm pretty sure I've seen some Familia Nueva Vineyards wines bottled as TJ's Reserves and Petit Reserves. I suspect this is just a TJ's "vineyard."
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes, that's how you know it's fancy cheap hipster wine.
What do smarter people say about it? Honest to god, nothing. Some commenters on CellarTracker liked it well enough, but the most info I could find was from the Fearless Flyer: "The grapes are all from the winery's own vineyards in San Luis Obispo, whose four growing regions are known for their Pinot Noir. Our winemaker is extremely fond of Pinot Noir, and crafting this particular wine is a labor of love for him—you can taste that love in every sip. Smooth, dry, and fruit forward, the wine tastes of strawberries and black cherries, with hints of vanilla and tobacco on the finish. Enjoy it with ourRoasted Vegetable Lasagna, or Pork Tenderloin." THANK YOU, TRADER JOE'S. Yes, I would serve this with lasagna. It's that kind of wine.
Should I bring it to a friend's house? Yes, if your friend and her cheap hipster boyfriend just broke up and she's moving out and she's promised to order pizza if you'll come help her pack up.