firefly ridge pinotThis is a private label wine produced for Safeway. I bought it because it has an AVA listed on the bottle unlike most under $10 wines. At least the grapes come from the Central Coast a portion of which is conducive to growing good Pinot Noir. But at $10 a bottle rest assured the grapes are not from the best sites. Pinot Noir for under $20 is difficult to find; under $10 well it’s highly unlikely.

So did it meet my low expectations? I suppose.

Candied black cherry with hints of freshly turned earth in the background, and some green, herbaceous notes form an unremarkable nose. The palate is soft and smooth, and shows a bit of sweetness, with just enough acidity to refresh. Medium weight with shy tannins that don’t provide much length, it’s low energy and ordinary but drinkable and if you must have Pinot Noir this will calm your nerves.

This happy little ditty from K. T Turnstall “Suddenly I See” captures the mood of this wine.

Score: 84

price: $9 (purchase at Safeway)

Alc: 13.5%