We're pairing a light red with Hollywood nostalgia today. The wine is a pinot noir produced by MacMurray Ranch — as in Fred, the star of My Three Sons and the original Absent-Minded Professor. How we wanted Flubber of our own way back then!
Today we'd rather have good wine, which is just what the 2009 MacMurray Ranch Central Coast Pinot Noir is. It also is easy to find, running about $18 on supermarket shelves.
Let's start with a note on the 2009 growing season, which was marked by drought and then an early-season frost. The result was fewer grapes per acre but those grapes, as often is the case in low-yield years, offered more intense and concentrated flavors.
The first swirl releases nuanced aromas of cherries and briar, a promise delivered on at first sip. Right up front are cherries and blackberries spiked with briar. At mid palate, gingerbread asserts itself as a grace note. Briar and cherry pop up again on the long finish. Bottom line: a luscious, medium-bodied pinot with a delightfully silky mouth feel in counterpoint to the distinct bramble edge.
We'd happily pair it with roast pork and fig preserves in a pomegranate sauce or a grilled sandwich of white cheddar and thinly sliced ripe pear.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Tampa Bay Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to www.pictograph.com.