Moonshiner’s Revenge

Light crimson with a hint of amber at the wide, clear rim. The Diam-30 is a nice touch… and these wines–while beautiful now–have the stuffing and balance to probably go that distance. Full, round cherry in the nose, touches of clean horse-stall and the wet earth just outside: crazy cinnamon and cigar smoke flushing and filling the gorgeous fruit. It’s just beautiful to smell: there’s really no other word for it. Beautiful. And SO pinot. A dark, rich version–sure–meaty and dense with lush oak and a peachy, candied calmness alongside classic nuances of–albeit faint–barnyard and briar.

Tasting it proves both nothing and everything. Everything translates seamlessly onto the tongue: from the rich, sweet entry dedicated to the fullness of berry; through a middle churning with acid, peppery spice and savory artichoke meat; finally culminating in pinot’s version of tannin: a grapefruit mineralific tincture abrasive enough to open your eyes–still magnificently weighted with ethereal raspberry and plump plum.

Structural tension doesn’t let you cast this bottle into the Syrah-clone pile of dark-red offerings from the *usual suspects* of SRH, SLH, RRV and even (recently) AV: those user-friendly jam-bombs hi-roller Napa Cab and super-Tuscan devotees like to trot out as Pinot trophies. No, THIS wine–while concentrated and lush–contains all the ingredients of a great California Pinot Noir. Between the bouquet and the finish, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more textbook example.

2019 MARITANA Pinot Noir Moonshine Ranch Russian River Valley Sonoma Co. 13.5

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