Every now and then I’ll pick up a bottle of wine that I later realize I had no intention of buying. They might be wines I had seen before but for some reason passed over, or bottles that just didn’t make the cut in the case I purchased. This happened last week, when I bought a bottle of 2013 Poppy Monterey County Pinot Noir. (The Poppy name was brought to life by the Silva family in 2003; the clan has been in the industry for more than 45 years, based in the Salinas Valley.) If you are looking for a straightforward Pinot Noir that will appeal to almost anyone, this is for you.
The immediate thing that jumped out at me after the first taste was the mouthfeel, which was very soft, soft and calm. The color was deep ruby, typical of Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir (this is 100 percent from that appellation). Alcohol is at 13.5 percent, and the acidity is proper, making this wine a perfect companion for wild mushrooms, pork roast, lamb or pizza (we drank the Poppy with a sous vide duck breast). Buy it for about $11 at your local wine purveyor.
Looking for more wines? Here you go!