1997 Castalia Pinot Noir

($22): Castalia is from the Russian River Valley. Interestingly enough, it tastes like a slightly smaller version of Rochioli’s Estate Pinot. Why, you ask? Mainly because it’s made by the assistant winemaker at Rochioli, from Rochioli grapes at Rochioli Winery. ‘Nuff said? Pleasant cherry and spice aromas with a bit of beets and herbs. Decent enough in the mouth with medium bodied fruit and a dash of oak. Hasn’t developed a lot of that silkiness that I like so much in Pinot but it may down the road. I like it enough that I bought half a case for drinking over the next year or two.

JD (3/99)