Clear-medium garnet with amber edges. Steely-harsh nose with green pepper and massive spice. Velvety crushed wet rocks. A sharp uprising of blood orange makes it an unforgettable bouquet. Initially, a touch of pruneyness spelled doom for this not-terribly-expensive Pinot teetering on the eve of a decade. The maderization I detected really had me worried.
I wish I had a dollar for every bottle of 10yo PN I have had which was over-the-hill. But this one just miraculously blew off into this gigantic spicy nose with traces of brier and structure, alcohol and acid–and no signs of age beyond the assumed polish. Taste heads back into the deep recesses of ultra-ripe fruit and briar. No too much classic Pinot muskiness or barnyard to find here. Heavy earth and acid bouncing off still-rigorous–but sexy–tannins.
Wow what a juxtaposition in a bottle. Fruit is a bit thin. There is no denying that. The fruit which exists is a dark-blackberry, somewhat astringent version. And fruit is everything. But a truly amazing wine capable of… what?!? Seriously this is where I am stumped. Where does this wine go from here? It is beautiful and intoxicating RIGHT NOW and has the chops to continue. See now I just poured another splash and the nose has changed into something showing a tad more Pinot. It just keeps surprising. This will be an interesting one to watch for a couple more years.
2005 CHALONE VINEYARD Chalone Pinot Noir 14.2