Here’s a pair of wines from Wente, two big reds built for the winter.
2017 Wente Pinot Noir Riva Ranch Vineyard – This Arroyo Seco (Monterey) sourced wine is quite intense and rich, a punchy wine that builds on a rather jammy base to showcase notes of fresh raspberry, some violets, and a touch of rosemary. A cinnamon toast note emerges with time in glass — and as the palate settles down a bit. It’s not particularly redolent of classic pinot noir, with a richness and some floral notes that feel closer to a big merlot — but it’s approachable and enjoyable all the same, particularly when paired with a bolder dish. B / $35
2017 Wente Cabernet Sauvignon Wetmore Vineyard – Unctuous and almost gooey, this cabernet comes across as both weedy and pruny, with notes of canned green vegetables and overripe red fruit. The beefy finish is lengthy, with an edge of balsamic that takes it even further out of balance. C- / $27 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]