Ever since Raj Parr’s Evening Land project, I’ve had a soft spot for Spanish Springs. But–like almost every large, widely-sourced vineyard–a plethora of styles emerge. One of California’s coldest-climate spots, this little sloped valley is only a couple clicks from the Pacific, and gets buffeted by fog from the west and sunshine from the east, making it an ideal palette to paint Burg and No. Rhone varieties from. But–like almost any vineyard–they can run green and shrill, vegetal and funky, to ripe and round, flush with chubby fruit, and this bottle is definitely the latter.
Thin, transparent garnet in the glass, a nose nutty and warm, packed with concentrations of rich cherry and briary berry. Warm cigar-box and crushed velvet bring savory spice and sweaty leather to the forefront, delicate musty barnyard of Pinot carried across all fronts.
Tasting it refreshes all the reasons we love this grape–for all its occasional crimes and varied consequences. This is ripe, lusty and full-fleshed, the fruit approaching Grenache-like flaccid distillation, but with crispy edges barking at elegant vegetal hints and roasted pepper delineations. If there’s tannin, it’s merely coat-tailing crispy acid, though wines like this don’t need tannin to polish deliciously in the cellar for a decade–but from experience: not much more. A mouth-feel more generous would be hard to imagine, and it’s PURE Pinot–unlike supermarket “Pinot Noir” offering generosity at the expense of lean typicity.
2018 LORING WINE CO Pinot Noir Spanish Springs Vyd Arroyo Grande Valley Central Coast 14.3