It has been several weeks since my wife and I got away for a short weekend vacation to Southern Maryland. The two highlights of the overnight trip were a visit to the Port of Leonardtown Winery and a $6 wine tasting at Blue Wind Gourmet.
Blue Wind Gourmet was a wonderful surprise as they were featuring a wine tasting of ten or eleven selections - I stopped counting after the third Chardonnay. Among the wines were some offerings which I'd never tasted before including the Whale River, Pinot Noir.
I tried "googling" up some information about Whale River and could not find a single hit: never a good sign. I am left to assume that Whale River is a brand without a vineyard. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. The French have a tradition of negociants bundling wine from anonymous vineyards and creating wonderful products. I'd just appreciate it, were this the case, with Whale River that the negociant be up front with that fact. Anyway, on to the wine...
My impressions: Dark cherry in color, not as deeply hued as most Pinot Noir's I have sampled. Medium body. Silky. Muted berries first on the nose with berries and a slight vegetal note mid-palate. Prominent acidity and a hint of tannic astringency at the brief cherry finish.
A good - but not great - Pinot Noir such as the Morgan "Double L", Pinot Noir - my current gold standard for the varietal.
$13.00 at Blue Wind Gourmet, Lexington Park, MD - a good value.