Estancia Pinot Noir

For this review of Estancia Pinot Noir I enlisted help from a friend we’ll call Mr. Dan.  He’s given his opinion on previous reviews and his tasting abilities can always be counted on.  He’s generally not a Pinot Noir aficionado, so having his perspective was great!

This wine, Estancia Pinot Noir 2011, comes from Pinnacles Ranches in Monterey County, California.  Alcohol content of Estancia Pinot Noir is 13.5% by volume according to the bottle.

According to Estancia, their Monterey based winery lets them give similar detail and attention as they do to their California estate vineyards.

Open top fermenters are used along with small basket presses to create the handcrafted artisan Estancia Pinot Noir.

Estancia Pinot Noir Review

Estancia Pinot NoirIn the glass we observed the wine to be light to medium ruby in color with slow falling legs.

On the nose we found the aroma to be light to medium.  I noted that it was quite noticeable when pouring.  My friend noted hints of raspberry in the aroma.  For me the predominant aroma was cherry.  The Estancia Pinot Noir tasting notes confirmed both our opinions and also suggests hints of baking spices, cigar box and oak.  I didn’t pick up on the baking spice or cigar box.

To me, the wine’s taste was what I call “pure Pinot.”  In other words, the unique fruit flavor of the Pinot Noir grape.  In addition, we did notice a bit of tartness, similar to cranberry or the skins of purple grapes that you would eat.  The wine was not dry, nor was it sweet.

I found the wine’s mouthfeel to be milky.  We both felt this was a smooth wine.

The Estancia Pinot Noir finished short to medium.  I found the tannins to be round and mostly noticeable on the tongue.

Overall, I enjoyed this wine a bit more than my friend.  Although, he did feel that it opened up and improved with air.  He called it an average Pinot Noir and said its best qualities were its fruit.  Less enjoyable was the tartness.  From my perspective, I thought it was a good smooth pure Pinot sipper.

I’d suggest giving this a try and form your own opinion.  Please share in the comments below if you’d like.  Pair this wine with any meal.

Estancia Pinot Noir price $12.99.

Special Note:  I’ve also reviewed the 2013 vintage of this wine:  Estancia Pinot Noir 2013


  1. My first time trying wine. to me it taste bitter and like alcohol. Estancia is not for me. I think I would like a sweet wine. instead

    1. Hi Esther, thanks so much for visiting Honest Wine Reviews and commenting.

      Sorry to hear your first wine tasting experience wasn’t so great. But, glad to hear you’re already getting a feeling for what you might like (a sweeter wine).

      I might suggest trying Apothic Crush. You may find it to be sweeter and smoother than Estancia Pinot Noir and its mocha and black cherry help to mask the alcohol taste.

      It’s easy to find in stores, too.

      Here’s my review of that wine: Apothic Crush Wine Review

      Best of luck on your wine tasting journey… Cheers!

  2. I opened a bottle and first saw the Ruby color. I smelled a hint of raspberry. What popped to me was the almost instant bitterness then spice following. I myself like spice but this one for me was a bit overwhelming. I feel as though the spice led to a strong taste of alcohol.

    My wife took a sip. Then swallowed and gagged. Claiming she was not expecting such a strong spice . For her she didn’t enjoy it due to the spice.

    Overall for the price of the bottle and myself not caring too much for pinot wines. I give it a 2.9 of 5.

  3. Thanks for the notes here. I agree . The wine needs to breathe and warm for its flavor to appear. The tartness is a little too strong and impedes anything higher than a medium rating. The cherry flavor is solid, but it is of overripe cherry fruit with a edge of decomposition–that’s the influence of the tartness. The finish is as you note, too short to recover.

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