PN is Key. Just Not This One.

I made lamb tonight and just really wanted a good Pinot.  now when I say “good Pinot”, there is this massive range of acceptability stretching from thin little Monterey’s to sophisticated RRV’s to nutty Carneros’ to briary Anderson’s to tarry SLHs’ to funky Edna Valley’s to monster SMV’s to elegant SRHs’.  Hell, I have been known to suck down a filthy Oregonian from time to time.  So with all that range how do you fail, right?   Bright medium ruby with pink edges.  Obnoxious soaking-beans, raw asparagus, bell pepper soaked in Grape Crush immediately.  And then I tasted it.  A shocking early-acid COMPLETELY off-balance high note surrounded with chemically watermelon-Jolly-Rancher.  This thing was definitely a bit outside my range of acceptability in Pinot.  I don’t think I have ever decanted a Pinot, but this time decided an intervention was required or this almost-40$ bottle was going into the *Cuisine Mélange* or *Cucina Mista* or whatever you call it at your house.  And I served the lamb shanks.  About 45 minutes later, this wine really settles down.  But not enough.  Searing alcohol burns nose and tongue.  The initial awkward vegetal is gone–replaced with still-firm plum, Double-Bubble and AL.  Warm and fat on the tongue, it quickly disperses all of the fairly-ample fruit into an AL-and-oak-tinged vat of 7-UP acid.  It almost seems effervescent.  Bitter and sharp on finish, this is either the most brilliant would-be monster PN ever made but in absolute infancy or it really is an unbalanced, hi-AL, weirdly-crafted MISS.  I know what it tastes like today.  This is actually a pretty dreadful little PN.  Unbalanced and uninteresting is the final verdict, and even the unbalance can’t make it interesting–although I gave it every chance in the book.  Guess: 14-8.  Label: 14-6.   ◊

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