2007 Greg Norman Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

Rating: Thin Pinot, smooth and light.  Not as full-flavored as in past vintages.  Not bad for the price, but not great, either.  $18-ish.

The rest of the story:
Full disclosure: This wine was a gift from Todd and Adriene, Winethropology friends and readers. Thanks, guys!

What do golf and wine have in common?  Not a damn thing as far as we can tell.  But don't tell that to golfing legend Greg Norman.  Since starting his own brand several years ago, his wine enterprise has expanded to several regions in both California and his native Australia.  And it's safe to say that year after year has been a raging success.

Consider that Greg Norman's first release of Cab-Merlot got 91 points from Wine Spectator. In the year following, three vintages of the same wine appeared on retailers' shelves.  Wow.  Talk about demand.

Is the demand deserved or are that many golfers out there looking for the shark on a label?

Could be a little of both, but one thing you can't deny - his wines are low risk - even occasionally great finds - and always fairly priced.  Gotta love him for that.

If he even has anything to do with it any more other than marketing.  Greg Norman Estates is now owned by beverage super giant Fosters.

We've tasted this Santa Barbara Pinot in years past, so we were eager to see what the 2007 vintage yielded in this now super famous Pinot Noir region.

On opening the fruit is very, very thin and the aromas are subdued, but odd.  The wine smelled like a wet towel.  But as with most Pinots, air time is key with this one.  After three hours decanted, the nose improved notably, becoming really enjoyable to smell.  There's no spice to speak of in this wine and it's smooth in the mouth.  Light on it's feet, it's got no real depth, but that doesn't make it any less fun to drink.

We've seen it on retailers' shelves for $17.99 and for sale online as low as $13.  At $13 we would've bumped this up to four stars.