Clear thin garnet purple. Light and beautiful with just the right patina. Effusive brown sugar and burnt rubber rise up in the nose, backed up with sopping wet forest weeds and bitter cherry eluding to a crimsom-ness of spirit you can’t WAIT to taste. Brilliant myrrh and musk perfume ride a ripe floral wave edgy with mineral into a chalky-cherry awesomeness fairly leaping out of the glass.
I discovered these in a grocery store on a recent Mendocino road-trip and fell in love with the back-woods marketing, the kitschy label and the bargain price-point. Pretty sure it was Duncan Mills, but it might have been Jenner. These tiny Ft. Ross labels are just kicking ASS in the Sonoma Coast Pinot contest, and big names–and big prices–continue to over-shadow them. These things are all gems you NEED to search out–and they present a welcome contrast to the mono-palettal landscape I get here on the Central Coast where Every. Single. Pinot. from Santa Maria, Santa Rita, and Santa Lucia tastes EXACTLY the same–all root beer and cherry and cake frosting and 14.5 decedance. Vagaries of shallow barnyard is about all you can define these wines by, and it is just sad. Sonoma Coast Pinots are a completely different bird altogether, green and vibrant, acidic and rife with dirt and weather.
In the mouth, shockingly acidic based on the voluptuousness of the nose. Vitamin C dances all around raw ground chestnuts and eucalyptus, burying the fruit for a moment before it all comes clawing back into the sweat and pepper of the bitter-cherry and 92% cacao finish. Vibrant and youthful, maintaining an elegance of fruit keeping just ahead of the shrill blood-orange-peel minerality and chalky tannins.