Lucky Star Pinot Noir: A "Safe" and Inexpensive Pinot Noir (a.k.a. Burgundy)

“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”
                                                                                                                ---Benjamin Franklin

Recently, I did a restaurant tasting for Heritage Wine Distributors. Among the wines I sampled was an inexpensive Pinot Noir. Pinot grapes are thin skinned, susceptible to disease, difficult to manage and difficult to make into delicious wine.  All that difficulty translates into cost. And Pinot varies so much in style (we’ll talk about why later) that you might hesitate opening the number of bottles necessary when several people visit.  Opening multiple bottles of Pinot Noir can get expensive. And some people (usually newer red wine drinkers) find Pinot Noir too dry.  But Pinot is such a joyful wine to enjoy as the weather warms, how can you go without it? 
So I was very lucky to open a bottle of Lucky Star 2009 Pinot Noir for the tasting.  I call it a “safe” Pinot Noir because it is inexpensive and offers a good compromise in profile so that both the experienced and novice red wine drinker can enjoy it. Lucky Star Pinot Noir is a cuvee (blended) wine from grapes grown in Sonoma County and the Napa Valley (California) to the Sacramento River Delta.  It is 100% California grape.
What makes this blend interesting is its inclusion of Zinfandel (7%) and Merlot (3%).  The Zinfandel powers up the red fruit notes and the Merlot adds silkiness (called suppleness) and length to the finish. Those that find Pinot Noir too dry will enjoy the fruit that the Zinfandel adds. More experienced red wine drinkers may not find this Pinot as complex as they would prefer, but will enjoy the finish that the Merlot adds.  Result? Everyone’s happy, especially you - because the cost comes in at only $11.49 a bottle!    
While offering samples, some people said they were not fans of Pinot Noir and didn’t want to try it (there were several wines to sample). But being determined as I sometimes am, I suggested they sample at least a small pour. In every case, people were impressed and several bought a bottle or two.  In fact, looking at my notes from the tasting, I see that the Pinot Noir sold out!
Enjoy it with grilled chicken, or thin crust pizza with wild mushrooms, caramelized onion and Taleggio cheese. Add a salad (for health’s sake) with fresh tomato and extra virgin olive oil.
A Votre Sante!


  1. Love Lucky Star Pinot. First tried it in Washington D C. Did not know it was from Ca. When I got back home to Az. I looked for it and was pleased to find it from Ca. and sold in Az. Now it is my favorite easy drinking wine and very inexpensive. Mesa, Az.

  2. I'm glad you found the review helpful, and thanks for reading my blog. You may also want to "like" me on facebook (Wine Mizer) where you'll enjoy mini-reviews of wines, general industry news, recipes and sometimes a "funny" or two. Cheers!

  3. I'm enjoying a glass right now... "Not complicated" is the perfect description. It's easy to drink but not sweet, smooth with a nice finish. I first tried this after ordering it from out of state, but just found it at a local store, so I'm a happy oenophile! Thanks Wine Mizer; I enjoy your reviews!

  4. There are so many styles of Chardonnay, it can be an issue looking at bottles on the shelf and wondering what you'll end up with. For the price, I think this is a good value and a realistic compromise between those so acidic they peel the enamel off your teeth and those so oaky you need beaver teeth to chew them. Thanks for following the "Wine Mizer" and cheers!