The term *burgundian style* is thrown around WAY too much in regards to California Pinot. 99.999% of it is nowhere NEAR that style, and yet, the marketing people have spoken and THOSE WORDS are how you sell Pinot Noir. And it is such a farce and a joke. CA pinots are chub-rubs and reach-arounds nowhere NEAR approaching Burgundy. But once in a while, one transcends. Maritana makes several pinots, but this one IMO is the cleanest, most fruit and acid-driven pinot from this producer, more purple in the glass than garnet, looking far more like young syrah than a classic muddled pinot color. But smelling it enforces all things pinot. And an old-world version of modernity. Luscious cherry drags a dirty litany of funk and produce behind it, rich berry, cinnamon, espresso and fresh-cut grass over a positive vanilla oak programme and absolute supple elegance. Full of round plum and spicy green nuance, the match-head and graphite bring Burgundian beauty to a rich California RRV base-line of richness.
Light and delicate on the palate, causing immediate thought-direction into pinot type-frames. Spicy, raspy and engaging, the clean, cool comfort of decadent Sonoma fruit butters up the distinct acid and tannic burn. Not overly concentrated, no obtuse fruit flabbiness, lean and beautiful in a package wracked with bitter gorgeousness.
ALL of the Maritana bottlings will cause thought, but this one for me seems to pull all the things I like into one package. So brilliantly young. Is this the lowest AL of them all? Dying to try this in 10 years. Pinot Noir is so personal with each wine-lover. If you like them big and flabby, this one is NOT for you. If you like them lean and bitter while still showing JAM-PACKED fruit, this one might just be for you. The finish is absolute heaven, where all the amazing fruit in this transparent package goes tête-à-tête with the rough barnyard and shocking structure and the pores of your tongue will never be the same.
Gorgeous RRV pinots can run together. Trust me, I have tasted literally hundreds of them in a row together. But this one, man. This one stands out.
2018 MARITANA Pinot Noir Martaella Vyd. Russian River Valley Sonoma Co. 13.5