Sea Monster

Orphan time. Opening orphans is a love-hate thing. And I’m not talking about your LAST bottle of several (unless you have forgotten about it in the cellar for years), I’m talking about a little lonely one-off you find on a shelf, maybe clearance, last bottle, or something you just bought out of curiosity some time ago and don’t really have any reference-point to it. Of course you want it to be good–often they are disappointments–but there’s no chance of running out and buying more, it’s just a singular little charmer. An orphan. I’ve tasted many of this winemaker’s wines–and various labels–and I rescued this loner a few weeks ago from the shelf of a local shop going out of business.

Beautiful shimmering clear light garnet with a definite amber glow. Nutty fruit nose, thick and rich, far out-weighing perceptions of color density–as good Pinot usually does. Green grime, chalky barnyard, a pillar of funk and stem roiling in muddy, poopy greatness, eraser-head, flint and gear-lube grasping at the thick cherry filling.

Viscous on the palate, the 8 years of age showing a calmness of fruit, a thickening, a tertiary spicy goodness advancing beyond the fruit’s territory and turning still-tannic in a finish tinged by a berry-faded heat. All that briar and match-head chime in late-middle, cut with acid and lively angst, bitter and green and absolute HEAVEN for true pinot lovers.

I’m not going to trot out *Burgundian Style* because you can only cry “WOLF” so many times, but man oh man are Sea Smoke and Belle Gloss lovers gonna hate this one. It literally tastes like a decent burg about twice this age. Which is pretty much what I expect from California, and I know that statement is gonna muss with the 99 hardcore but the rest of you know exactly what I mean.

2012 SEAGRAPE Pinot noir Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara Co. 13.7

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