Consumer Reports
Pinot Noir, 2019. Root Cause

Pinot Noir, 2019. Root Cause

Item #: V0122R2DC
Vintage: 2019
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Appellation: California
Color: Medium Magenta
Nose: Lavish Cherry Blossom
Palate: Rose Petals, Spice
Finish: Long, Slow
Rating: 96
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2024/Fish, Fowl/13.5% Alcohol by Volume

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  • Description
  • Reviews

We're always a bit chagrined at fanciful names, but Root Cause caused us to smile. It is one of those play on words that doesn't play around. After all it is the root that causes any flavor in the grapes and resultant wine.

Steven DeCosta is the talented young winemaker at O'Neill Vintners, one of the most heralded and diverse wine operations in the state. It was founded just 18 years ago by Jeff O'Neill and became one of the top 30 largest wineries in the US. His focus was to build a facility that would house many different small wineries who couldn't afford their own and take advantage of O'Neill's state-of-the-art equipment and support team.

They also create their own wines as they have access to many of the finest vineyards in the state. DeCosta focuses on creating wines of character from premier appellations. Ensuring the highest level of winemaking standards, he also oversees research and development and introduces new technology that is implemented across the winery. Pinot Noir is a finnicky grape and causes fits in most of the winemakers who attempt it. Its skin is very thin and susceptible to mold and mildew. It also tends to brown quicker than almost any other grape, so winemakers ae constantly monitoring its progress.

Fortunately, that's what is done here. This is classic Pinot Noir offering enticing rose petal, anise and cotton candy extracts both on the nose and palate. It can complement scores of dishes from swordfish with tomato and celery or roast chicken stuffed with garlic and herbs.

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