WHAT: The Pali Riviera Pinot Noir 2010 is a delightful, refreshing, pleasant wine perfect for sipping by itself or with light summer meals.
It is a light ruby color, with a mild cherry aroma containing hints of spice. The flavors are fruit-forward, with black cherry, blackberry, spice and raspberry. Although there are layers of flavor, it is not an overly complex wine.
The wine has light tannins after spending 10 months in new French oak.
Pali also has a nice 2010 Charm Acres Chardonnay from grapes grown in vineyards on the Sonoma Coast. The color is golden straw, with aromas of lime and honeydew melon. The tastes are green apple, pear and some pineapple, with the most intense flavors coming early. The cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean allows the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, giving them more flavor.
WINERY: After building a successful insurance and actuarial consulting company, Tim Perr and Scott Knight founded Pali Winery in 2005, naming it after their hometown of Pacific Palisades, just west of Los Angeles. Many of their wines are small lot artisanal Pinot Noirs that carry the names of various neighborhoods in the town.
The winery and tasting room are in Lompoc, Calif. The winery produces a line of less expensive wines under the Tower 15 label, which focuses on Cabernet Franc/Merlot, Barbera, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Grenache Blanc and a Rose. All the wines except the Proprietors’ Reserve and large format bottles come with screw caps.
GOES WITH: We tried this with pizza while watching a hilarious movie, French Kiss, with my wife, Teri, her sister and brother-in-law and two of their friends during a trip to Kiawah Island. We were laughing so hard we almost forgot about the wine.
It went well with the spicy pizzas but also would pair with lamb, duck or roast pork, especially on a grill. It also would go well with hearty soups and stews. And it would be perfect for sitting around the deck with some munchies such as cheddar or gourmandise cheese and walnuts.