“Wow. Holy cow, that’s good.” That was my first impression of this wine. Most times when I’m getting ready to taste and take notes on wines it’s all business. I get things set up, get my computer ready for my notes take a sniff of the first wine for that day and go to work. But today I had poured this wine and got distracted by other things, I casually took a swig from the glass without really thinking about it and it stopped me in my tracks. And that’s what I said at that moment. But perhaps I should have said, “Holy cowboy, that’s good.”
It’s not super complex and it’s not an out of this world wine, but it’s solid. It’s really good. It’s easy to drink and it’s enjoyable.
You may have never heard of California Cowboy Red or other wines from Sumner Vineyards. I hadn’t until I tasted this one. They’re a relatively small producer in northern California focused on pinot noir and pinot gris. But if they keep making wines like this, me thinks their name will become more well known.
Surprisingly, in addition to being a wine that wowed me, the California Cowboy Red is the low priced wine from Sumner’s portfolio at just twelve bucks. Although all of their wines are under $20 a bottle, a fact that makes me like this producer even more.
The nose of Cowboy Red offers cherry, strawberry, cedar and new leather wallet smell aromas (side note: I love the new wallet smell. It’s also one of my favorite descriptors of aromas in wine, although I haven’t used it in ages.) On the palate this wine is just plain delicious. It offers ripe cherry and raspberry flavors with bright acidity and just the right amount of sweetness (which is not much). The flavors are vibrant and lively. The mouthfeel is good too. And it finishes with lingering ripe cherry flavors. This wine is delicious on its own but also great for pairing with everyday foods like burgers.
Wine: Sumner Vineyards, California Cowboy Red
Varieties: Pinot noir
Average price: $12.00
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.