The Anderson Valley Grand-daddy

Fairly dense ruby–no garnet at all–bright purple ruby out to wide pink edges.  Smooth buttery calm rises out of it, vanilla cake frosting and Grape Nehi.  Rich and nose-filling, in a big, ripe nutty way with very little of the twerky nuances which trademark Pinot Noir.

This is a rather pedestrian wine.  For decades I have gone back and forth between Lazy Creek and their neighbor Navarro, debating their Pinot styles.  Anderson Valley is so interesting that way.  Navarro always managed to capture a raw, green bitter edge and Lazy Creek always made *prettier* wines.  More of a–while we’re on the subject of Anderson Valley, I’m sure everybody’s friends and won’t mind a little cross-branding–Goldeneye style, fruitier and sweeter, more robust in caramel and root-beer, but at half the price.  Lazy Creeks Pinots always seem richer and more approachable, where in some years the Navarro can turn away all but the most devoted Burg-fan.  It doesn’t look like much has changed with the purchase by Ferrari-Carano.  If anything, the wine has become more refined, more velvet and padding.  User-friendly nectar.

In the mouth, we’re back to the edginess of Anderson Valley.  A bit.  Not too much.  But definitely a visit back to Burgundy a bit.  Initial thin-ness tells you this is indeed real Pinot and not Belle Glos.  Delicate plum mingles around dancing acid, titillating everything it touches.  An agreeable middle-section, packed with candied oak and sweet jam, doesn’t go off-the-rails with concentration–it stays demurely in its place, but unavoidable in the room.  Green tinges of that reason we ALL drink Anderson Valley come twisting in mid-palate, gorgeous brier, back-hoe diggings and green sapling bark, see-sawing with sweet tannins for definition of finish.  No one wins.  Except the person holding the glass.

This is a smart wine, there’s no doubt about it.

2015 LAZY CREEK VINEYARDS Pinot Noir Estate Anderson Valley 14.4


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