I’m horsing around on a Tuesday with this 2015 Wild Horse Pinot Noir Central Coast. Located in historic Templeton, Wild Horse Winery was named for the wild mustangs that roamed the hills east of the vineyard estate. Founder Ken Volk selected the Templeton vineyard and winery location in 1981 for its low vigor soils, proven ground water table, proximity to Estero Bay, and rustic vibe. Situated at a midpoint in the Central Coast, this location is ideal for sourcing fruit from vineyards north and south of the winery.
The Pinot Noir comes from California’s Central Coast and is sourced from more than 4 million acres of vineyards, from Santa Maria Valley to Edna Valley to Monterey County. The grapes are exposed to a variety of climate and soil conditions which add to the flavor profile.
All vineyard lots were hand-harvested and fermented separately in a mix of small open and closed-top fermenters. Lots were inoculated with yeast after a three- to four-day cold soak to develop color and flavors. During fermentation, the open tops were punched down two times daily, and the closed-top fermenters were pumped over at the same frequency. Pressing occurred at dryness. The wine was settled in tank for two days before going to barrel for aging. The wine was aged for nine months in 100% French oak, with 30% new cooperage, including François Frères, Dargaud et Jaegle, Remond, Sirugue, and Treuil.
The Pinot Noir is medium burgundy in color and has earthy and cherry aromas. It’s smooth with a bit of a silky mouthfeel. It has notes of black cherry, spice, and vanilla. It’s balanced and not acidic. I paired it with steak and grilled vegetables. You can find it at Total Wine & More for $16.99. I’m not rushing to buy it again, but it’s not shabby for the price point. 3/5.