Do you love Pinot Noir, but find yourself put off by the price for a really good one? Or, are you tired of the ubiquitous, affordable Meiomi and would rather put something more unique on your dinner table when you seat your guests? Then, look to winemaker Joe Wagner’s new project, BÖEN.
Wagner is a fifth-generation winemaker whose grandparents founded the famed Caymus Cabernet. As the winemaker for the Belle Glos Pinot Noir portfolio, Wagner also built the stalwart Meiomi brand, which he sold to Constellation in 2015. So, to say Wagner knows what he is doing with Pinot Noir is an understatement!
A translation of ‘The Farm’, BÖEN offers three unique Pinot Noir selections that take your palate on a journey along the Pacific Coast, from Santa Barbara to Monterey to Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. I recently had the opportunity to taste this Pinot Noir trio at Primo, a local wine retailer in Fort Lauderdale, and I was intrigued how each one had its own special flair. Here is how I would personify the three:
Santa Lucia Highlands — Sultry and Sexy
Of the three, this was the standout for me. Decadent, complex and a bit mysterious, it is characterized by expressive dark fruit and a beautiful, lingering finish. I wanted to keep drinking it!
Santa Maria Valley — Warm Embrace
This one actually reminded me of a Pinot version of the cult Caymus. It features toasty vanilla and caramel-laced fruit that, to me, is representative of the quintessential Caymus finish. In fact, a friend who also attended the tasting who loves Caymus found this one to be her favorite.
Russian River — Youthful Exuberance
It’s hard not to like a solid Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and this one did not disappoint. It is bright and juicy, and a bit lighter on the palate than the other two. I couldn’t help but think of it as Meiomi’s bigger sister.
The BÖEN wines retail for about $3o. For more information visit www.boenwines.com.