The latest *big* Pinot from one of the newest–and most prolific–young wine producers on the Central Coast, taking the area by storm with quality, well-priced labels from all over the region. Bold beginnings: putting his name on a single $75 Paso Robles cab maybe 5? 6? years ago, to pumping out four different labels spanning the breadth of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County varieties and price-points. And now a Radian. OMG who doesn’t love Radian.

Medium-light Gamay-ish purple-ruby, clear-pink edge showing a surprising lack of garnet. Meaty and angry in the nose, the bruise of oak backing up solid foundations of graphite-tinged black cherry and green raspberry. Cellar–and varietal–funk take a back seat to rich fruit, a fruit mired in waves of cedar, dessert-spices and slight vegetal.

Tasting it doesn’t check a whole lot of *old-world* boxes: this is NOT Burgundy or even Sonoma Coast, but a richly-nuanced SRH offering guaranteed to please fans of the style. A California Pinot Noir through-and-through–robust and decadent–while thankfully avoiding too much Syrah-like composition and cloying sweetness. Though unmistakably Pinot, it enters with SOLID *red wine* stuffing, not completely ignoring the shitty, grimy things that make Pinot great, but relegating them to background variety-quantifiers in favor of sunny California cheerfulness. Adolescent black-walnut and black-tea ire sully the middle favorably–for this reviewer: always on the prowl for structure–and the finish comes back around to luxurious berry against a raspy wall of dry tannin.

Let’s be honest: This wine’s probably gonna insult Burg-bro and those lining up for the dirty-baby-diaper, match-head, and citrus-vegetal WC hipster-offering from North Coast or Oregon. They’re going to roll their eyes at the cherubic lush fruit and black-rich nuances. To each their own. This is California sunshine filtered through coastal fog and the final effect is quite luxurious–without being slutty. It doesn’t take anything anywhere NEAR Belle Glos, Twomey, En Route or Golden-Eye areas of tooth-achy decadence, but it IS a yummy, ripe presentation of Pinot. One you’re probably going to love. And it’s got the balance to blush in the cellar over the next decade–of you can keep your hands off it.

2020 DUSTY NABOR Pinot Noir Radian Vyd. Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara Co. 14.0


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