Weekday wine - 2020 Cep (By Peay) Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

2020 Cep (By Peay) Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Annapolis, California

Usual price: $45 per bottle

Sale price: $30 per bottle

You’ve likely heard the term before; second label. A second label wine is a wine that, for various reasons, is produced under a different, yet often similar, name as the first label. Wineries have different motivations in producing a ‘second label’; perhaps it's made from younger vines or it doesn’t spend as much time aging before release. Some wineries choose to keep the production of their ‘first’ wine under a certain level, therefore in prolific vintages they release a second wine that is all but identical to their first wine, but at a lower price. Regardless of the reasoning, many second label wines have a devoted following and are sometimes even preferred over the ‘first wine’.

Which brings us to Cep, the second label of Peay, the first-rate producer of cool climate syrah, chardonnay and pinot noir from the north-western Sonoma Coast. Peay is quite upfront about Cep; it's meant to be a lower coast, and more easily accessible version of their more expensive and age-worthy wines. The Cep wines are culled from the Peay wines after undergoing exactly  the same production process, from grapes from exactly the same sites. Only the very best wines are labeled as Peay, all others are labeled as Cep. Bottom line…the Cep wines are pretty damn good.

This is an elegant and rich Pinot Noir that seduces rather than overwhelms. Bright with dark cherry aromas and flavors, it also shows savory notes of fresh herbs and orange peel. The wine finishes with refreshing acidity, luring you towards another sip. But, most importantly…this wine is a sensational value, even for a second label. Usually $45 per bottle, we have the wine on sale at $30 per bottle, until we sell out (which is likely to occur quickly). Don’t delay, this is a fabulous wine at a fabulous price, regardless of the label chronology. (PW)

Insider’s tip

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