Another one of these gorgeous labels I’m thinking of turning into a belt buckle–except my name isn’t H anything. Nice color, bright ruby and dense–not much garnet to it. Good pinot muddy funk, saddle-soap and curry-comb and stained leather with calm, round notes of dark chocolate, rich oak and cola. An obvious blockbuster of fruit stands waiting, easily toeing the barnyard with a dusty boot.
Equally seductive in the mouth, an acid-tinged entry highlights tart berry before unraveling down to condensed smooth cherry and plum. A streak of grassy citrus is the only true point to Oregon–otherwise, this could be any of many rich SLH or RRV offerings. *California* glows all over this one–as many “Reserve” Willamette bottlings increasingly demonstrate. Sharp and green mid-palate, the layers of initially-decadent fruit slowly peeling back to expose a wiry Pinot Noir, sublimely fruited, tannins VISCOUS at 4, a match-head finish killing off any fantasies of flabbiness.
Pretty much the best of both worlds here, but good pinot always offers juxtapositions of content. Just a flat-out beautiful wine, a bit dis-jointed here and there, but I’m stopping far short of calling it “unbalanced”. It sooths and softly rubs, purring and nuzzling, then hits you with a cat’s-tongue of spirit and ridiculous aging potential. Probably the most tannic Pinot I have had in recent memory, but the fruit is there–and that’s what counts. You’re never going to see this at a store or Pinot-Festival, but find some if you can. Nicely done and YEARS to go.
2016 HUETT CELLARS Pinot Noir ‘The Gold Lot’ Willamette Valley Oregon 13.5