I have enjoyed this mid-priced brand for several years and was somewhat taken aback last year when the logo for this brand changed. The formerly politically incorrect
logo featured a prominant loon with a big stoggie in it's mouth: as a cigar smoker, I found the logo irresistible. I note with some regret that the smoking loon seems to have been victimized by a new logo which renders the still present loon and its cigar to a very, very small image on a large yellow background. Enough marketing.
My impressions: Great color (deep, deep red), huge cherry nose with some bitter herbal notes on a long finish. It is pretty much what I expect to find in a low to mid-priced pinot - nothing special, but also no critical faults which would stop me from buying it again. At $9.99 for a 750 Ml bottle at my local grocery store is a good value, and not a great value.
I paired the wine this past Monday with a Salvadoran Cherizo and fresh cheese sandwich. I fried the cherizo and sliced it sidewise and topped it with fresh Mexican cheese on a small toasted baguette. The wine stood up very well to the spicy Salvadoran sausage.
Despite the move to an uber PC label (minus the stoggie), I still find Smoking Loon to be a solid mid-priced wine which is reliable and available across multiple varietals.