Home > Daily Glass, Pinot Noir, wine ratings > Daily Glass: Wonderwall Pinot Noir

Daily Glass: Wonderwall Pinot Noir

I had to settle for this simple title of the post after a few futile attempts to be clever. “Don’t judge the wine by the first sip”, “Give it some time”, “Patience, the most important virtue of Oenophile” were all contenders, but none of them where hitting the spot, so I went for a simple, not catchy title for this post, just with the name of the wine.

But we have to talk about first sip, time and patience, as we have a great case in point. 2013 Wonderwall Pinot Noir Edna Valley (14.9% ABV) is made by Field Recordings, one of my all time favorite producers from California – I wrote about Field Recordings wines many times in this blog. I don’t think I ever had a Field Recordings wine I didn’t like.  Or such was my very first thought after the very first sip of this wine.

On the first sip, the wine was simply … sweet. No, nothing is wrong with the sweet wines – but not when the wine is called Pinot Noir. The wine had tons of nice fresh fruit – but more in the compote flavor profile. Well, this is the young wine, very young – it is 2013 vintage, and probably was bottled just a few month ago – so the first thing to do, before declaring the wine been no good, is to give it time. Which I did. In about 30 minutes, the sweetness subsided, and acidity increased. The longer this wine was opened, the more restrained it became.

The next day the wine converted itself into a powerful, full bodied California Pinot Noir, with the hint of smoke on the nose, and ripe plums and hint of blueberries on the palate, with good structure and very good balance (Drinkability: 8 -). I was really glad that Field Recordings came around for me, and I can still call it a favorite producer without any afterthoughts.

And the general lesson(s)? Don’t judge the wine by the very first sip – in a lot of cases, freshly opened bottle might not taste as you expect it, especially if the wine is young – you should really refrain from judging the young wine until it had an opportunity to breathe and open up. And be patient. I’m sure this wine would show itself quite differently in the 4-5 years, so quite often, waiting for the wine to be ready, to be at its peak, makes a lot of sense.

Have you ever been in situation when you declared the wine “not good” based on the first sip, only to find out (or not) that the wine considerably improved after some breathing time? Comment away! Cheers!

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  1. August 2, 2014 at 9:28 am

    So glad you are still loving Field Recordings and that the wine did not disappoint even though delayed. I just had a similar experience with a cab franc.

    • talkavino
      August 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks for the advice – I will stay away from the Cb Franc for a while then : )

      • August 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm

        It was not bad actually was good after it sat for a few hours. It was even better the next day. I marveled at how it changed aromas depending in how long it breathed. I had also read that cab franc can be good slightly chilled, not he case here. It was a finicky wine and I am bit used to that

  2. August 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

    content is more important.

    • talkavino
      August 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks! 🙂

  3. caspernick
    August 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Murrieta Y Gay Grand Reserva was my ‘nearly poured down the drain’ wine that turned out to be one of the most complex, hedonistic wines of my entire wine drinking life. I can’t remember the vintage, but the label is burned into my memory bank.

    • talkavino
      August 10, 2014 at 7:37 am

      Yep. Still learning with every bottle to be careful with the quick conclusions on the first sip… Keep surprising myself every time…

  1. September 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm

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