That moment you take a sip of wine and realize instantly you are drinking it way too young. I mean–it happens all the time with cab, but we do it knowingly and brush it off as *research* and enjoy the yumminess. But with pinot, it’s a little different. In White Hunter, Black Heart, John Huston’s character says, “Killing an elephant is not a crime, oh no it goes way beyond that. Killing an elephant is a SIN.” And drinking a Pinot like this–this young–is a sin. And you know it instantly.
The green reedy elements of tight latex and sapling bark are apparent in the nose, but the pear-sauce and cherry fruit mask it well.
In the mouth, however, the lack of composure is obvious. The fruit goes pie-cherry and rhubarb, Shasta-berry light and uncloned, gritty as nails and uneven as the adz-smoothed timbers they’re in. It darts one way and then another, trying to fill big California shoes with baby steps so darling you’ll want them for sure in the album. Miraculously light in the center–a waifish breath of sweet strawberry mired in stupendous acid and the virginal sunniness of daybreak. It builds into the finish, puffing on graphite, cedar box and match-head to make the old-timer’s proud but it’s just a kid in a big hat. The fruit recoils from the tannin, then attacks again.
The 99% have no idea what’s going on when I talk about Pinot this way, but you do. It’s yummy–don’t get me wrong–oh boy is it yummy, but the potential OMG the potential. Not something you see everyday in Pinot, especially RRV, but everything’s here. If I stay friends with Dr. Pinot, can I taste one in 10 years? 20?
2017 MARITANA VINEYARDS Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Sonoma 13.5