Tit For Tat

Medium garnet out to wide amber edges. Beautiful gamey nose, sharp and stemmy, wonderfully refrigerator-crisper, icy mountain air, rocky as all get out,and fat cherry reduction glowering over it all. There is a level of vegetal and clear, crisp barnyard you do not see from many Santa Barbara Pinots, but it has that chubby California fruit smiling down on all your transgressions.

This thing has fattened up–I feel–in the few years since release. It definitely has matured, and with it something I am going to call ‘fattened up’. Rounded off. Chubbier. Way more user-friendly to the 99% of Pinot drinkers. But right below the surface is all the weingut angst and bitterness us die-hards crave. I don’t recall where this fruit is from. I think he told me, but I have forgotten. I think he made a 13 and it was absolutely unobtanium and then a bit more 14 and a few of us snagged some. 15 became vineyard-designate at Duvarita as I believe 16 was as well, and with it he went from hock back to a proper burg bottle and also doubled the price. I tasted the 16 or 17 at an event this past summer and it was GLORIOUS.

In the mouth, rich and sweet, and if you go back to my past reviews of this wine, I do NOT think you will find anything indicating “rich and sweet”. Age is definitely polishing this thing, but don’t get the idea it is flabby. Oh my no. Green and briary over the middle, shocking tannin climbing into the picture mid-palate and overwhelming the finish with a touch of heat. Raspy graphite and weedy sap drip everywhere, the slowly-maturing rose and persimmon a heady juxtaposition to all that alpine rage.

You won’t be able to find any of this, but definitely check out his current offerings. I mean–when someone from Weingut Knoll locates to California to make Riesling and Grüner and then throws a spätburgunder into the mix, you should probably sit up and pay attention.

2014 TATOMER Pinot Noir Santa Barbara Co. 13.5

tatomerwines.com

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