As a general rule, wines embellished with a celebrity name aren’t particularly well made. Relying on their fame to sell the wine, they siphon schlock into a bottle and call it a profitable day. (Read my blast of this trend from a few years ago.) But I have to admit that the pop group Train at least tried to make a decent Pinot Noir. Jimmy Stafford, the quiet lead guitarist for Train, is a huge wine fan and teamed up with California winemaker, James Foster, to make their line of Save Me San Francisco wines last year. James is Senior Winemaker at The Wine Group, the same company that introduced generic Flip Flop Wines, Franzia and Big House to the wine drinking public. Not a huge endorsement for making great juice, so I didn’t have major expectations when I popped the (fake) cork on this bottle of 2011 Soul Sister Pinot Noir.
At $10-$12 price point, Soul Sister 2011 Pinot Noir from California is a pound-not-ponder Pinot. Light-hearted, fruit-forward and chock full of red fruits like raspberry and cherry. Very little of anything else going on except a soupçon of earthy mushroom that peeks out and then gets bludgeoned by the sweet, high alcohol finish. It’s drinkable, but not sophisticated at all.
But hey, the proceeds are all donated to charity… and that’s something. More info here.