Early impulses tell me of a very ripe wine aging faster than it should. Creamy and round, flush with that pithy, piquant aroma of tired pinot, a sharp varnish over dusty chubby fruit rife with tertiary barnyard and cellar-floor. After my first sniff, I had to check the label for vintage, and yes, it is a 2014: and at 6, showing the patina of wines double this age. Clear garnet in the glass, it thins to pure amber at the edge. Beautiful and rich, the sweaty leather and sullied briar have polished themselves down into velvet mildew and wet newsprint.

An interesting project by Asian businessmen with Cary Gott at the helm, it feels far older than the label indicates, already showing powerful nuances of pinot we pull from our cellar at twice this age. I’m gonna guess a solid 14-5 and tasting it will be the final call.

Rich, decadent Pinot fruit on entry, everything tinged by age. The oxidation felt in the nose is kept to a minimum in the mouth, as heavy acid churn things around for a positive mouthfeel. Still that patina is there: the roughened steel of rusty pitchfork, the dank moldiness of hay bedding, the drip of faucet-water into a muddy puddle, not-attractive cats lapping the spill. Bracingly tannic, fruit nearly obfuscated, everywhere the tired influences of age: creating a dull miasma of murky fruit creased by wrinkles and riding on a layer of acid, alcohol and tannin far out-weighing the capacity of its fruit.

If this were 20, I could possibly rationalize my notes into beauty. If this were a 10YO $9.99 Carneros negociant, I could probably muster a “Good Job, you.” It’s an interesting wine: dark and pithy, probably trying quite hard to be Burgundian. But it is sweet and flabby, fruit erased long ago and obscured by structure, smelling and tasting fatigued beyond redemption.

2014 CALLA LILY ‘Ultimate Red’ Pinot Noir Carneros Napa Valley 14.5


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