Transparent medium garnet, more noticeable towards the wide clear edge. Big brambly fruit in the nose, perfect halved cherries, sweetened strawberries, a singing array of dried floral–but not rosy: thick and dense and brooding. Cedar pencil and hot sand brew sweet tea with pine pitch and just enough barnyard to make sure everyone knows it its Pinot Noir. The nose has changed so much in the hour I’ve had the wine in the glass. Even now it is headed toward sultry dried fruit and the sandy-stone settings are intensifying. A fresh swirl just cranks up the fruit brightness all over again.

This guy is known for a couple things: Making small lots of Pinot from everywhere: RRV, SRH, SLH… did he make an Oregon a couple times? I can’t remember; SCREWTOPS: I think I actually own some cork-finished Lorings, but they are OLD… I think he is possibly getting close to 20 years under Stelvin. Just one of those adamant devotees who decided early on to go that way and never faltered. And he does it across-the-board–not saving cork closures for the more expensive wines like someone down the street. Oh: And for making GREAT PINOT that ages incredibly. Okay, that’s THREE things.

I can’t wait to taste this thing–I don’t drink NEAR enough SLH pinot. Shockingly fruity. Deep aching dark fruit, so unbelievably clean and rich and ripe. Gorgeous *pinotisms* slough off on all sides: sharp acidity one way, dull funk another, grating green briar over the middle and stony mineral etching the sides. Full and luxurious THROUGHOUT, though–just like pretty much every SLH I have ever tasted comes across. But don’t get too comfortable: A shrill harsh rubber-band moves in late-middle, arching the back of your tongue and making every pinot-bud on your body erect. It carries itself into the finish, drying out to intense tannin, but always dragging that sweet fruit along.

Literally a California Pinot DREAM.

2018 LORING WINE CO. Pinot Noir Boekenoogen VYD Santa Lucia Highlands 14.3

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