This wine received the highest accolades from Wine Enthusiast magazine. Let's see if they know what they're talking about.
It has dried herbs-lots of dryness-and acid-too much acid, and they forgot the fruit except for a hint of sour cherry. I dunno, maybe it was there a couple years ago. Not too bad with a meal, but not very pleasant on its own.
The wine was thin and nondescript. I wouldn't call it pleasant or unpleasant, but I also had no idea I was drinking a Pinot if it didn't say so on the label. I also won't finish it as I was no longer interested after one glass with dinner.
This was a disappointing wine. I guess I had my taste buds set for a $30 wine. Thin body, not a lot of fruit. The lack of fruit would be okay, but the wine finished with unpleasant oak and acids. Not a wine I'd want to drink again. No wonder it was selling for $13.
Summary from Parts 1 and Part 2
I suppose the best way to rate these Pinot Noirs is by asking myself which ones I'd buy again. This is pretty easy. It would be the French Rabbit, Kenwood, MacKenzie, and Mark West. That's four out of the nine I sampled. Not so good of an average, but all except the Kenwood (that I've had before) were picked "blind" off the store shelf.
So it means even with a "hot" grape like California Pinot Noir you can find bargains, but you have to be careful as there are a few turds out there with the good finds.