Listen to the Field

Purple-blue ruby with wide clear edges. Incredible saline pickle-juice vegetal flows out of the initial pour, weedy smudge, cut stems, spring mowing headed into peat and cedar pitch around bruised strawberry and red licorice–the former decreasing ever-so-gradually with each swirl as the latter fruit becomes visible.

An interesting Pinot, to be sure. Anyone who was intrigued by the Clos Tita Santa Cruz Mountains or anything fairly well over the Burgundian cliff beyond saving–at least in California terms–should seek this out. An incredibly intriguing Pinot and I haven’t even tasted it. Going on 45 minutes in the glass and with a nose like this, I’m in no hurry. And let’s be clear: most of you know I do not dangle the *burgundian* descriptor lightly. The bottles which get a “Burgundian-style” tag by moronically-programmed attendants in tasting rooms and equally myopic wine-directors on restaurant menus in the U.S. are almost always hilarious. A 14-8, 3.9, 5.2, 0 WC, 30-day mac, 16mo 80% new is NOT burgundian style. But hey, it makes Americans feel worldly and important and no doubt sells wine, so carry on–but it gets harder and harder to stifle the giggle when I hear it. But this wine. This wine I would definitely put in a European grouping. Weingut even. And the only reason I hedged my bet with that term is because I just tasted it.

In the mouth, thin light deep-cherry fluidity washes the tongue. Ripe, definitely, but that green hasn’t gone away thank Dog. My brain is already spinning on an alcohol-guess on this one. Remember: this is Derbyshire, a stupidly cold, foggy ocean-view vineyard with all the shot, shatter, and fungus issues that come with that. I have heard rumors of miserable yields so far below what any of you have ever experienced in all your dry-farm, hillside, dropping nightmares. I’m gonna guess 12-5. Every time I put this thing to my mouth, I forget what I am doing because I just want to smell it some more. I could smell this all night. Not necessarily because it’s brilliant, but because it is interesting and evocative. Cardamom, nutmeg and a big ol’ chunk of black cherry fill the mouth, causing me to re-consider my ABV-guess. Could this be riper??? They got a TON of fruit in this thing considering the nose, and it’s dense. And it is so clean and refreshing on the palate–hence the word “wash”–supple and bright all at the same time and then that green which I was worried was gone forever comes flooding back in the finish, a celadon rinse tying ends together, succumbing to the sandiest of tannins but still carrying gobs of sweet fruit.

So…. we’re all used to Field Recordings by now. Not exactly the Paso Robles norm, but a fun label I don’t think a lot of people feel capable of stupidly-good and world-judge-able wines because of the marketing and canned programme and thinnish low-cost entry-level bottles commonly available at stores and restaurants. You need to seek out their single-vineyard stuff. I had to visit the tasting room to buy them–and you know how I despise tasting rooms. But I was really curious, had heard great things and this Pinot supports all that. If you are at all a Pinot-phile, seek out this wine.

2017 FIELD RECORDINGS Pinot Noir Derbyshire Vineyard San Simeon San Luis Obispo Co. Central Coast California 11.9

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