Medium thin garnet with orange-brownish edges. Big match-head, sweet sweet oak, warm-mulled-wine Christmas-spice, quite intoxicating nose. A touch of earthy barnyard and asphalt and the intital *maybe too much age* bouquet burns off into definite Pinot loveliness. Full, round entry with the dark cherry puncuated with crushed peppercorns and acid. The taste definitely reflects the colour in it’s regard to age more than the nose. Initially I pegged this one as past it’s prime, but as it breathes, it reveals true pinot nuances and loveliness polished considerably into something drinking at the prime age. Anything longer I feel you might run into the toasted-almond, flabby situation of decade-old pinot just not designed to sit around that long. But at this juncture, it is a full, round polished bottle of wonderfulness, complimented with the retailer’s decision to discount it heavily as it nears one decade of age. 20$ at Old Town Market in Orcutt–probably close to 50% off the release/full retail price. This is a solid pinot from a superb vineyard and made by true stalwarts in the class (Tantara). THIS is the part which scares me just a little bit from going back and purchasing the rest of the lot for my cellar.
NOT that that is scary or anything for pinot fresh OR aged… juuuuust… it’s headed South. Colour never lies, but with Pinot it is harder than other varietals to instantly peg something based on colour. Most of us have had Pinots far younger which were already this colour. Tannins are firm but not so lively and the fruit is fading, but don’t get me wrong this thing is drinking just absolutely WONDERFULLY right NOW. But as solid as the producer and maker is, it could shock me and ease itself into something even more lovely in the next few years–I just wouldn’t bet on it. If you are a shopper in the area I highly recommend snagging some of this and enjoying the CRAP out of it NOW. 14-7, which also tells you GOBs about where it is at and where it is heading. Today: ♦♦