2007 Willowbrook Mendocino County Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $26)

SKU #1048170

Bryan and I found another beautiful wine from Willowbrook. The first wine we offered you, the Willowbrook "DuNah Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir made by Joe Otos, blew us away with its quality and price. Now we've been offered their 2007 Mendocino County Pinot Noir. This wine is medium-bodied with a lovely nose of cranberry, Bing cherry and just a hint of cedar. The mid-palate is balanced with bright red fruit, cocoa and a beautiful streak of minerality. The wine finishes long and fresh. $16.99 is an unbelieveable price for this wine and, once again, production is very limited. This is by far the best Pinot Noir under $20 I have tasted this year. Thanks again Joe. We are looking forward to the next wine you have for us. (Mike Jordan, K&L Wine Merchants) We are going back to the well with Willowbrook. After most of you gobbled up the DuNah Vineyard bottling like a Billy Mitchell-controlled Pac-Man gobbling up ghosts, we figured why not? After all this is another under-priced, over-delivering, lip-smacking bottle of Pinot that will please the masses with ease. With a fresh, fruit-driven nose of pomegranate, cranberry and black raspberry, and sassy flavors of dragonfruit, ash, sour cherry and cola, this packs plenty of punch for well below $20. Again, like the DuNah, we have a limited supply of this wine (to the tune of 150 cases) so expedited action would be recommended. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $16.99
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Staff Image By: Jeremy Bohrer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/28/2009 | Send Email
Mendocino is one of my favorite areas for Pinot Noir. I find that the climate there makes true to varietal wines. This one is no excepetion. Medium-bodied with a great nose. The mid-palate is balanced with bright red fruit and an excellent finish.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/12/2009 | Send Email
This is another great summer pinot that is easy to sip by itself but also pairs well with food. This is elegant and medium-bodied with no sense of over-ripeness or heaviness all too common in Pinots at this price range. With its bright fruit, great balance and beautiful minerality, it drinks like a $30.00 bottle of wine. Not for Syrah lovers who saw the movies Sideways-this is real Pinot.

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/28/2009 | Send Email
When talking about Pinot Noir, it's often extremely difficult to find a varietally correct, wonderfully crafted, well balanced example for less than $20. This is where the Willowbrook pinot takes center stage. Exactly what you would expect from a Mendocino County Pinot Noir; earth, cedar and the classic bright red cherry fruit.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2009 | Send Email
Here is another pinot noir under $20 that tastes like real pinot. Follwing in the footsteps of the Alcina and the Loma Prieta, you've got the Willowbrook: a soft, juicy, and cherried wine with depth. At that price, there's nothing better on the domestic market.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).