Get out your Che Guevara t-shirt, it’s time for a revolution. Pinot for the People is the latest slogan from Mark West Winery, a companionship that is all ears on making excellent, cheap Pinot Noir. I like this concept and I like this wine.
You may have noticed that I occasionally allusion the marketing in the rear the wines I taste. Well… I do more than drink wine, I’m a marketing guy. And as such, I pay particular attention to how wine producers market their products. I have to say that in the case of Mark West, I like the product and the creative. (I know some of you non-marketing folks reckon I just made a typo, but I didn’t. In the marketing world we call the end result of what you see ”creative.” It’s a noun in my world.)
I like the marketing that I’ve seen for Mark West, but that’s not to say I don’t have some critique http://1000-facts-about-wine.com of it. The whole Pinot for the People revolution-esque marketing campaign is fun and fascinating, but only appears to be on their website. The theme isn’t carried out in their packaging. The packaging is very neutral, safe and more dignified than the website. Perhaps they don’t want to scare people in store with a mark that’s too kitchzy.
My additional complaint is that their website seems incomplete. Too much stuff isn’t working. There’s no link on the logo to get you back to the Home Page. There are several items listed below “propaganda” (bottle shots, logos, etc.) that just aren’t linked up. It’s close, but they need to spend a few days tapering things up.
Who Is Mark West?
There doesn’t seem to be a real dude named Mark West that has anything to do with this wine. Alex Cose and Derek Benham run the show there. These are also the guys in the rear Rock Rabbit Winery and Avalon Winery, all below parent The Purple Wine Companionship. Who is Mark? It’s http://1000-facts-about-wine.com not a who, it’s a where.
The Mark West Winery has no vineyard, they buy grapes from various growers and have released both Californian and French versions of their Pinot Noir, so pay attention to the mark to see what you’re getting. I’ve read fantastic reviews of the California 2005, but I can’t find it anywhere in my area (Cincinnati, OH) and it seems the distributor in this province (Wine Trends) isn’t carrying it. The one I’ve been tasting is The Mark West Pinot Noir Vin De Corse 2005 (French).
The Mark West Pinot Noir Vin De Corse 2005 has nice complexity all around, starting with smoky, red raspberry and cherry aromas. The palate is set alight and fruity with complex berry flavors. A hint of pepper, but not much. It goes down velvety-smooth with an nearly creamy mouth feel, but a rather small end.
The weird thing is that it nearly doesn’t taste like a Pinot Noir. It somewhat lacks varietal character, but it’s subdue excellent.
I http://1000-facts-about-wine.com picked this bottle up for $10.99. That’s a bit on the high end of cheap wine, but I’d say it’s worth the fee. I gave it an 88.
Wine: Mark West
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Designation: Vin de Corse