I was surprised to find this wine at the extraordinary price of $6.99 a bottle at the Redwood City Grocery Outlet. The Patassy Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir from the Green Valley AVA, a sub AVA of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Sadly, I learned that Frank Patassy and his son Stephen have sold their vineyard property in a private transaction. This undoubtedly prompted the Patassys to unload the wine to the Grocery Outlet. My history of drinking Patassy Pinot Noir goes back ten years.
I recently received an email from the Grocery Outlet listing the Patassy Pinot for $6.99. I immediately shot down to Redwood City and purchased a few bottles to sample. I sat down with Vintage Wine Taster Mike and we sampled a glass of the Patassy Pinot Noir together. Mike and I chatted over the course of an hour, slowly sipping the Patassy Pinot Noir. At the first sip Mike stated, “The flavors are not expressive of Pinot Noir, very disappointing.” But, to our amazement, this wine changed dramatically over the course of the hour. A half hour later, we tasted red fruit and the wine came alive with character. Mike and his wife later had the rest of the Patassy Pinot Noir with dinner. According to Mike, “The wine displayed aromas that were not there at opening. At first, I could not tell you that I was drinking a Pinot Noir. Two hours later I was drinking a very enjoyable and classic-tasting Pinot Noir. Give this wine time to breathe and it will change immensely.”
Many years ago I discovered the Patassy Pinot Noir at a wine shop in Millbrae; the owner was touting it as a great value. I enjoyed that first bottle so much that I purchased a case for $12 a bottle, directly from Frank Patassy. The wine was delivered promptly to my home. A couple of years later, an unexpected coincidence occurred. In February of 2008, I drove up towards Santa Rosa to watch the annual Amgen Tour of California cycling race. The race went through the backroads of the Russian River Valley and then on to Santa Rosa. I parked on Occidental Road. As the crowd was waiting for the cyclists to arrive, I began chatting with two men. It turned out to be none other than Frank Patassy and his son Stephen. When I told Frank I had purchased his wine and enjoyed it very much, he was thrilled. Frank showed me his vineyard and a building nearly completed that soon was to become his new winemaking facility.
I will head down to the Grocery Outlet in Redwood City and buy a case of this wine. At this price, how can you lose! This a fairly big style Pinot Noir and has a tad of heat going down. The fruit flavors are overall rich with raspberry prominent. I think it may age very well, and that could tame the heat and mellow the wine.
Vintage Wine Taster Bruce was at the Grocery Outlet in Redwood City on Saturday and reports that there are about 60 cases on the floor. We have no reports of this wine at any other Grocery Outlet, but I am sure some must be stocking the Patasssy Pinot Noir 2010. I am rating the Patassy Pinot Noir 2010 at 88 Points.