These are such delicious wines. Across-the-board–through his myriad of vineyard-designates–they may not be the geekiest and arguably not even particularly Burgundy-ish, but Brian’s Pinots always deliver a resounding value and hardcore varietal beauty. This one is no different, showing clean, clear garnet in the glass, an amber transparency at the wide edge. Briar and barnyard fill the nose, the bouquet rife with warm green vegetal and SOOOO much juicy cherry and plum. Earthiness churns throughout, just SOLID, textbook California Pinot with just enough funk to ensure you have the right variety in the glass and win the pro over but enough fruit to woo even the most die-hard Pinot-hater.
Tasting it is a thin excursion across tight varietal characteristics. The punch and WOW-factor lies solidly in the effervescent berry and stone-fruit, the charm of the grape blossoming through in all its compost-y savory notes. The cherry cola of the nose transfers seamlessly onto the palate, a rich, zingy elixir ripe and sweet, and, well–at the expense of repeating myself: just DELICIOUS. There’s no other word for it. Match-head and graphite morphs from the acidity into perfect bitter balance against the fruit, the flush finish carrying so much WIN there nearly isn’t reason to look for tannin. There’s a bit there, and it dries the memory of this wine out perfectly.
It’s round and full-flavored, while still maintaining all the garnet nuances earmarking good Pinot and Grenache. I don’t know where Peterson Vineyard is, but this isn’t a flabber-gasting black Santa Lucia Highlands monster, but rather a classic Monterey County charmer akin to Carneros or a few other regions where the Pinots run classic and pure in their delicate-ness. Order one from everywhere and add a bunch of solid Loring bottles to your cellar.
2018 LORING WINE CO Pinot Noir Peterson Vyd Santa Lucia Highlands Monterey Co. 14.3