Shrill green and briar in the nose, a wintergreen pepper shockingly bright with edges of 5-spice showing. Equally shrill ruby, perfectly transparent with a wide clear rim. It kinda smells like the sort of Syrah I am attracted to most. Now, everyone wants their Syrah compared to Pinot, but I fully realize the danger in comparisons the other direction. This is in a good, peppery, spicy, way, without chubby fruit or cloyingness. This is NOT the usual “Oh man that pinot is basically a syrah” as is so often the case. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog and CERTAINLY: NEVER a pinot-review of mine. North-coast, dripping redwood, acidic loam, finely ground white pepper in a fruitiness almost stupid in its youthfulness. A heavy decant brings up a lot more balck cherry and elegance, but still, the exuberance isn’t quite ready to wear off this one into straight ‘Pinot’ nuance yet.
There’s one thing Donald Patz’s wines will never be accused of, and that’s lack of complexity. These things are NEVER a simple cookie-cutter affair you can throw darts at and come up with a tasting note. Well, you CAN, but that’s not really doing anyone justice, now is it. That wasn’t a question.
In the mouth, there is no mistake it is pinot. But still, it is not a fat round luxuriously velvety sumptuous version of pinot. Immediate plum, bergamot and blueberry quickly turn a bit more acerbic–sharp on the tip of the tongue and acerola along the sides but dusky fuzzy wool prevails over the top and into the finish, warm and comforting, clean and fruit-driven, just a touch savory–no sweat or barnyard–and I’m calling it at 14-4. Straight black tea in the finish, fruit a dusty antique.
The saddest part is having to drink these so young. But somebody’s got to do it. A considerably different beast than the last one I had in this triple-offering for 2018. Pinots are like snowflakes. If you’re drinking the RIGHT ones.
2018 MARITANA ‘Le Russe’ Pinot Noir RRV Sonoma 14.5