2009 De Angelis Wines San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

Mission Codename: The Pinot of the Angels

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to De Angelis Wines, a San Luis Obispo winery whose previously-featured Viognier was exceptionally popular with our Operatives. This time around, secure an allocation of their 2009 Pinot Noir, a high QPR beauty that drinks above its price-class.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: De Angelis Wines

Wine Subject: 2009 De Angelis Pinot Noir – San Luis Obispo

Winemaker: Jerry and Marsha De Angelis

Backgrounder: Earlier this year, we featured a superior San Luis Obispo Viongnier from De Angelis Wines. We loved the wine. So, too, did our Operatives who snapped up the wine in record numbers, making it our top-selling Viognier to date. For today’s wine, we sent Agent Red back to De Angelis to procure their much sought-after 2009 Pinot Noir, a wine that is very popular with the winery’s own wine club. Don’t miss out on this great wine.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Darkest ruby red hues, with a slightly darker core. At the edges of the wine, a fine ring of light ruby encircles the glass. After swirling, slow-moving, wine-colored legs start high up on the glass wall.

Smell – Full, fragrant, spiced and sweet, with Bing cherry, wild strawberry, cranberry, spiced boysenberry and violets. As the wine breaths, it opens up nicely, to reveal subtle aromas of dried orange peel, cedar, subtle rhubarb and subtle spice.

Feel – Soft and round on entry. Then, the wine settles onto the mid-palate where fine-grained tannins and soft minerals introduce a gentle, gradually spreading dryness.

Taste – Black cherry, wild strawberry, dried orange peel and dark boysenberry take a lush and delicious lead. As the wine opens up, it reveals flavors of dried red flower petals, brown spice, black cherry, toasty oak and subtle dried earth.

Finish – Long and lush with dark red fruit yielding to the earthen flavors of flower petals, forest floor and dried orange peel. At the tail end, subtle flinty minerals and soft spice linger for a long time.

Conclusion – Today’s high QPR wine is delicious. This2009 Pinot Noir – San Luis Obispo, from our friends at De Angelis Winery, is a dark, extracted, balanced beauty that delivers great, dark fruit with a rich, earthy quality. Decant for best results and you’ll be rewarded with more authentic fruit flavors. Pair this darkly delicious wine with a grilled pork tenderloin or grilled salmon. Either one, with a cherry reduction sauce. The combination is absolutely divine.

Mission Report:


AGENT RED: Greetings, Jerry & Marsha. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 Pinot Noir – San Luis Obispo today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

WINEMAKERS: We are happy to be a featured wine in Wine Spies. We feel that this is a great opportunity for us, and for folks to access a handcrafted wine made in very small lots.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

WINEMAKERS: Like many winemakers, we started with a small personal winery and vineyard. As our knowledge grew, and our wines became more appreciated, we were asked to make wine at a number of wineries, and eventually to become the winemakers and general managers at a larger winery and Custom Crush facility in Paso Robles, CA.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

WINEMAKERS: We have had a number of great teachers and colleagues. Probably the most influential was Harold Osborn. Harold was, and is, an incredible resource, as well as a fine winemaker. During his many years in the field, he has made wine in California, and consulted to wineries in New Zealand and Australia.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

WINEMAKER: We make wine for wine drinkers! Also, for ourselves – De Angelis Wines – and for a number of clients. These clients are located in Northern and Southern California, and as far away as New York. We handcraft our wines paying great attention to detail, and to developing wines that are true to the variety. The wines we produce taste like they should taste and reflect the region, and the terroir of that region.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

WINEMAKER: This Pinot Noir was released in July of 2011. The fruit for this wine was sourced from both warm and cool weather vineyards, and the resultant wine is a 14.1% classic Pinot Noir, that exhibits a terrific mouthfeel, a long finish, and fruit both on the nose, and in the mouth. This was accomplished by carrying out two separate fermentations and using different yeasts in each. One yeast developed this wine’s intense foremouth volume and mid-palate tannin structure . The other yeast provided the jammy, cedar and spice overtones that are subtly tasted whenever one drinks this wine.

This wine was aged in both Hungarian and French oak barrels for 14 months, was allowed to develop slowly, and was bottled in mid-February, 2011. From the time this wine was in barrel, it was clear that this wine would be a great De Angelis Wines Pinot Noir as barrel tasting throughout aging was very successful. This Pinot Noir is as good as a Pinot Noir should be both now and in the future.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

WINEMAKER: Like many well-made Pinot Noirs, this wine goes very well with any meal made with mushrooms, lamb, steak or veal. We particularly enjoy it with boned and rolled stuffed rabbit. We have also paired it with well-seasoned poultry dishes, and a variety of both hard and soft cheeses.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Central Coast so special?

WINEMAKERS: That’s always a good question! Many folks do not think of the Central Coast as a Pinot area. They are wrong. The area around Paso Robles, especially the higher elevations grow excellent fruit. The long warm days, coupled to the cool nights most of the growing season are ideal for the style of Pinot Noir we make. The weather in the area allows us to extract all of the flavors that one expects from a Pinot. What we especially enjoy is the deep color we obtain in our Pinot Noirs. That is, in my opinion, is due to the area, and the weather coupled to the terrific farmers we have who grow amazing fruit for us to use..

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

WINEMAKERS: Actually, we are just finishing bottling our wines, and the wines of clients that we serve. We recently bottles our 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (250 cases) and our 2010 Pinot Noir (125 cases.). We are just beginning g the process of readying the winery for the 2012 harvest. Toward that end, we are checking equipment, supplies, materials, and the total tons of fruit we will convert into wines. Additionally, we are assisting clients obtain the fruit needed to make their wines. There is a lot to do at this time of year, as what we do now will greatly impact how well the harvest goes.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

WINEMAKER: We recommend that people approach our wines, and wines in general, with few, if any, preconceptions. There are thousands of labels in California, many of which are produced in small lots by dedicated winemakers. What makes winemaking so interesting is that there is no singular way to make a particular wine variety. That is there is room for many wines and wine styles.

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

WINEMAKER: That’s about it! Thank you for the opportunity.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

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