After being on hiatus for the last several weeks, Pinot & Popcorn returned this past weekend and to our surprise we hit some really nice Pinot Noir: Sterling Vineyards’ 2008 Central Coast and Castle Rock’s  2009 California Cuvée. Perhaps we’re on a “hot” streak now that the “pretenders” are out of the way.

Of the two, the Sterling was our favorite, with richer fruit and more complexity both on the nose and palate. Rich black cherries and berries with background hints of wet leather on the Sterling side contrasted with less complex, sweeter and silky cherry/berry Castle Rock. I was really surprised at the complete lack of detectable tannins in the Castle Rock while the Sterling got silkier after being open a while. In hind site I should have decanted the Sterling.

Overall the Sterling got 88 points while the Castle Rock garnered 83 on the enjoyability scale. I would have no problem purchasing either wine again but would prefer the Sterling. Oh, and the movie – The Way Back via Apple TV.

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