This right here, boys & girls: THIS is what pinot dreams are made of. Dark dank forest floor humus, wet leaves and meadow muffins and tobacco smoke and liverwurst and decomposed granite, lanolin and a cashmere scarf in a light rain. All the bread and brilliance of dark cherry, a shmear of cream cheese on a warm everything bagel–or maybe peanut butter–the dull thud of north state timber, drizzle on firewood, brewer’s yeast climbing out shyly, a green streak keeping quiet, hushed while the leather boots tramp by.
Dr. Pinot has FOUR new Pinots for 2018 (I know I have announced previously there were 3, but have been corrected and recently located the fourth). This is the third on I have tasted and quite confident this is my favorite. Not saying any are necessarily *better* or purer or anything, just THIS matches what EYE really like to see in a pinot. Pinot is so fickle–no, not so much like what #influencer likes to maintain is a difficult grape to grow and produce wine from–I’m talking about WHAT DIFFERENT PEOPLE LIKE. It’s important to know your reviewer. You may like completely different wine than them. In that regard certain reviewers may be useless to your tastes. THIS–for me–represents everything I look for in a California Pinot. But let’s taste it.
Probably the thinnest and least-concentrated of the group (CAVEAT: I have not tasted the fourth), the initial mouthfeel is cool and refreshing. Juice flows in, coats the mouth calmly and confidently and with subtle aplomb, and then things start POPPIN. Gorgeous pie-cherry and dirty acid pry their way into nooks and crannies, gradually exploding any judgments you may have had about the bright ruby transparent color. It wears a dessert-like hat jauntily atop a skeleton of pure structure and sinewy fruit muscle. All your pencil-box hopes and dreams quickly start coming true, fire bristles underneath, spice churns all corners, pepper punctuates the middle after greenbriar jostles the entry. The slight opaqueness in the glass translates easily to vibrant mouthfeel, while the wide clear rim commands clarity all the way up through the rubber-band and Craisin. Tannin makes a coy appearance, never really asserting itself, just making sure you know it’s there, flirting around with the cast iron in the nose.
Yup. This is my favorite. You’ll see.
2018 MARITANA VINEYARDS ‘Jenkins Ranch’ Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Sonoma 13.5