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Caliveda Pinot Noir 2020 – Review

The 2020 Caliveda Pinot Noir is a juicy, easy-drinking red blend from Napa Valley offering bold dark fruit flavors with notes of oak and spice at a reasonable price point.

Producer: Caliveda Cellars
Region: Napa Valley, California
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Type: Red wine
Style: Dry, medium-bodied, fruit-forward, and elegant.
Vintage: 2020
ABV: 13.5%
Aroma: Dark fruits, earth, spice, vanilla
Flavor: Blackberry, cherry, plum, oak spice
Body: Medium
Price: $15 – $25

Crafted in the renowned Napa Valley wine growing region, the Caliveda Pinot Noir 2020 delivers an enjoyable fruit-forward drinking experience. Read on for tasting notes and pairing recommendations for this California Pinot.

Caliveda Pinot Noir 2020 Tasting Notes

My first impressions of the wine involve its appearance – it shows a deep ruby color in the glass with garnet hues along the wider rim, indicative of a young Pinot Noir.

Swirling coaxes forth an inviting fruity nose, as aromas of fresh blackberry, blueberry and cherry mingle with vanilla and light oak influences. Behind the overt fruit there are hints of licorice, red candy and black pepper spice.

If you're looking for a classic, elegant Pinot Noir, this might not be the best choice. However, if you enjoy fruit-forward, easy-drinking wines, you might like it.


  • Bold, fruit-forward style
  • Easy drinking and versatile
  • Good value for the price
  • Food-friendly


  • Simple or lacking complexity
  • Slightly sweet for some
  • No major awards
  • Not a classic Pinot Noir


  • Drinkability 4.0/5
  • Food Pairing 4.5/5
  • Value for Money 5.0/5
  • Personal Preference 4.5/5

The initial sip floods the palate with flavors of mixed dark berries – ripe juicy blackberry, cherry and plums led by a raisin-like sweetness, with subtle notes of fragrant smoke and spices layered beneath. It’s nearly full-bodied for a Pinot yet retains a smooth, velvety texture thanks to modest, finely-grained tannins.

Flavors of toasty oak emerge through the finish but ultimately give way to lingering red and black fruits.

While perhaps less complex than age-worthy, terroir-driven examples from vaunted regions like Burgundy, this youthful Caliveda Pinot emphasize forward fruit in a crowd-pleasing style. It forgoes subtlety for generosity of flavor, its sheer drinkability taking center stage.

Food Pairings

The ripe fruit-driven nature of this Pinot Noir makes it versatile when pairing with foods. Being an expressive fruity red, it calls for equally bold flavors. Herb-crusted rack of lamb, beef tenderloin with chimichurri sauce, or rosemary skewers of cherry-soaked chicken hearts would make delightful pairings.

Equally, baked brie en croute, aged nutty goudas, or salty Manchego sing alongside the spice-tinged dark fruits.

While incompatible with strongly spiced ethnic cuisine that might overpower its nuance, the wine fares better with tomato-based Italian dishes like chicken Parmesan, vegetarian lasagna or bucatini with Sunday gravy. Finally, make an unexpected match with five spice roast duck, the citrus glaze contrasting the Pinot’s plummy core.

Occasions to Enjoy

Forward and fruit-driven at a reasonable rate, pop the cork on this casual Caliveda Pinot Noir to unwind after work or energize a relaxed dinner with friends.

Its smooth nature pairs nicely to conversations that meander from lighthearted to substantial. Equally, bring it to impress at benign dinner parties or celebrations that don’t call for opulent wines yet deserve something uplifting.

While enjoyable now in its youth, further cellaring between one to three years would allow spice notes to integrate and fruit profile to gain complexity.

By 2025 the wine will hit its stride, more terroir coming to the fore alongside concentrated cherry cordial flavors. However impatience is understandable – beyond the cellar this versatile Pinot drinks nicely alongside life’s simple daily pleasures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Caliveda Pinot Noir sweet or dry?

It leans slightly sweet for a Pinot Noir, with a raisin-like ripe fruit character rather than dry or earthy. The sweetness adds a smooth, easy-drinking quality.

Should I cellar or drink Caliveda Pinot Noir now?

Approachable now, cellaring 1-3 years would allow more subtle flavors to develop as fruit integrates, hitting its peak by 2025. But the forward-fruit style is enjoyable at any point.

What flavors does Caliveda Pinot Noir have?

This Pinot Noir leads with bold flavors of dark fruits like blackberry, blueberry, cherry, and plum. Hints of oak, spice, smoke, licorice, and red candy complement the dominant fruit notes.

In Summary

As a fruit-bomb Napa Pinot Noir emphasizing drinkability over complexity, Caliveda Cellars succeeds at a difficult balancing act – retaining regional identity through dark fruit flavors with a signature touch of California opulence, while pricing accessibly for everyday enjoyment. An easy-sipper gratifying on its own terms.

So for those seeking an affordable new world Pinot brimming with layered berries and spice, delivered in a smooth velvety package – pop the cork on a bottle of Caliveda Cellars without hesitation.

Though certainly not a classic Burgundian expression, the wine forms an easy-going companion to casual gatherings with friends. Sometimes fruit-forward exuberance trumps subtlety, as flavorful generosity fills the glass.