Medium garnet with definite ruddiness at the rim. Clean, pure pinot funk and nuance flows easily from the glass, sharp chalky mineralific shards cutting the ripe cherry and moldy fruit-basket with plentiful graphite, cedar dust and muddy cured green olive meat. Not effusively fruited–and at the same time not ridiculously Burgundish, it manages a low-profile even keel transported on a base of wet newsprint and garden-hose water.

Tasting it reveals a rather one-dimensional wine, sharp and bitter: peppery and heated, the light cherry thinning to nothingness in the middle and overwhelmed throughout by a structural component rather out-of-its-league. The argument for tannin exists–brash and abrasive as it is–as it overtakes the late-center and finish with straight orange-zest and green walnut skins. The light berry and pleasant plum and strawberry linger respectfully in the shadows, never caving in completely to the rash of raw briar-sap, but not offering much in terms of complexity. The fruit is round and simple, and the acid and tannin ridiculously off-the-charts in the opposite direction, creating a wine torn between two masters. It would be very interesting to taste this on release. It would be very interesting to taste this in 10 years. At 5, I am forced to call it awkward and unbalanced. And I honestly don’t think the 10-year thing is gonna work out well for you.

2015 HALLECK VINEYARDS ‘Hillside Cuvee’ Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 14.3

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