Very dark ruby with more of a purple hue than the expected garnet of Pinot. Muddy and weedy in the nose–but not a sharp briar; newsprint and squished bug and kefir with a flat note feeling like oxidation. Rather closed-in on the nose, the oxidation isn’t showing up as prune, rather just a flat almond with a hint of nutmeg and a bit of coal-fire.
This wine just doesn’t smell like pinot. It doesn’t act like pinot. It doesn’t feel like pinot. It is not Burgunidan, it is not Californian, it is not Sonoma Coast or Oregon.
The weight of the world pretty much hangs on the mouth. Dried cranberry hits hard, almost immediately rinsed with sharp, bright, intense acidity. A bitter demon clangs up from below, gloriously green and ragged, thinning the fruit to watery-cherry and drying out the whole palate. The spectre of black cherry appears solemnly to announce the finish, and the sum-of-all-parts *almost* pulls this thing together.
I can see this wine possibly being popular in a ridiculously natural scenario alongside sans soufre and orange-wine specimens flawed, unbalanced, and old before their time; none-the-less nodded at and praised by the palate-less denizens who cheer such offerings based on theory & politics and not taste, but there is an awry-ness to the whole package I can’t quite endorse. I would like the record to show, however, this is the FIRST wine from this producer–of probably 20 in the past few years easily–that I have not smiled upon. And there is not a single other producer of “naturaler wine” in America with that kind of track record with me. I can almost see this one, but it’s just a little too weird for my demographic.
2018 DEUX PUNX Pinot Noir Mendocino Co. California 12.5