Been kinda jonesin for a roadtrip up the coast to Mendo so pulled this small-town find out to VIRTUAL visit. Discovered this little winery many years ago in shops and restaurants up north of Jenner and they remain an inexpensive, sleeper secret.
Transparent garnet with heavily bricking edges, the nose takes the well-known green coastal nuances of Ft. Ross-Seaview down into murky B-12 tertiary goodness. Buttery ripe fruit, match-head and cedar mashed down into something which almost feels oxidized at first, but with air merely shows off all the almond and seagrass aspects of the fruit. This is extremely Burgundian, and that is a word I almost NEVER use in reference to California Pinot–unlike people who throw it around like gummi-bears at a Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party. One of the first qualifiers of a *Burgundian* pinot is the fact the 99% is NOT GOING TO LIKE IT, and this fits well there. The concentrated plum and fig clamors for your attention, but cloaked in a wrapper of soil and funk Belle Glos drinkers will find outright offensive. Newsprint and latex grip to a spicy background, the whole thing round and full in bouquet, but dangerous oddities abound.
Sharp and dark on the tongue, the brevity of your first perception of concentration causes a “Wait a minute” moment before serious re-thinking begins. Pie-cherry–delightful in its bite–pulls an almost-7-Up move from the center, moldy tangerine fuzz and grainy tousled wood mere side-pieces, both contributing to the introduction of structure. Clean and pure over the middle, the buzz of tannin impossible to ignore–along with a peppery bit of alcohol. Rich cherry dominates the finish–awash in crushed velvet and dusty curtains–a cat’s-tongue lick on a soft cheek.
Not the sexiest label on the shelf; definitely no marketing; small production hometown goodness: if you have not had an introduction to these wines HERE’S YOUR SIGN.
2012 WILD HOG VINEYARD Pinot Noir Ft. Ross-Seaview Sonoma Co. 13.5