Casa Dorinda Pinot Noir: Unless you are one of the privileged senior citizens who live in Casa Dorinda, or friends with any one of the cool, wise cats behind Los Cinco Locos Winery, then you’ll have to take my word for it: The pinot noir that the Locos made for this tony retirement complex in Montecito is top-notch, on par with the many dozens of pinots I regularly taste every month from up and down the Central Coast. After sneaking it into one of my usual blind tastings, I smelled plump blackberry, graphite, and uncrushed peppercorns, and then enjoyed the velvety mouthfeel that carried swarthy mulberry fruit, minty tarragon, and savory chicory notes. I scored it a 92. I didn’t try the cabernet sauvignon, but the syrah was solid, too (89-90 points), with aromas of roast pork, ginger, and orange rind and flavors of pepper and lavender.
Adding to the fun, the labels were done by Casa Dorinda residents Barbara Hume, Lucille Mayer, and Polly Griscom.