This label is always going to push the envelope on California versions of varieties, and this bottle is no exception. Not perfectly clear–alive with color–a deep opaque ruby thins out to a narrow clear edge. A spike of poppy grape Crush jabs at the nose, peeling off layers of graphite and green wet leather for juxtaposition. Definitely fruity, a bright, fresh fruit, going almost Beaujolais Villages in stemmy vibrance and slight funk.
This wine needs plenty of air. It morphs right in front of your face from high-note juiciness to deeply brooding firm cherry body. Everywhere you look, it compels thought and contemplation, and while never going chubby California lush-life, it produces a yin-yang ripeness alongside youthful spunk and spirit.
Pomegranate and Ocean Spray vie for dominance in the mouth. Raspy body takes a moment to let you grasp the tart fruit, before expressing teeth-wiping grit and gumption in the perky finish. Bright tannins swell the ending–bending toward a touch of heat, but I don’t think it is alcohol, just the pure granular texture of heavenly bitterness and an acidic wash.
Is this the wine I panned earlier in the year? Pretty sure it is. Amazing what 6 mos can do. I have very few complaints at this point in its life. It’s not for everybody. If you drink Belle Glos and En Route and Sea Smoke and any of a million other bling-bro syrahs from California, you will absolutely HATE this wine. But if you’re a mid-tier Burg fan, or find the newest crop of Sonoma Coast naturals more your speed, this is your jam. There’s no jam though. Just spunky unadulterated pinot itchin to rub your taste-buds the wrong way.
2018 DEUX PUNX Pinot Noir Humbolt Co. California 12.5