Another project from Collin Cranor in Livermore which I dearly love. And the only vineyard in the country not called a vineyard. Transparent ruddy ruby in the glass, shy in nose but brooding with that SLH magnificence of deep berry and elegant concentration. Sultry notes over-play some dirty-baby-diaper gloriousness and the funk is kept to a minimum on this one–trading it instead for sharp minerality and wet sawdust sweet-savory. There’s a green edge to the herbal, though the whole thing is cleanly ripe.
In the mouth, more SLH becomes apparent: an edgy chubbiness of fruit casting a bit of heat in the background. Sweet and powerful, the blackberry a tarnished sort patina-ed with spicy cold-weather fog drenched with coastal influences. The Highlands are an amazing place, where east-facing hillside vineyards absorb the morning sun while thick fingers of obscuring cloud roll over the ocean-facing ridge and climb down to earth with amazing force. Almost daily. It differs from SRH, where south- and flatland-vineyards absorb the fog coming up through the valley. The pinots from these two regions on the Central Coast CAN be compared, but with heavy asterisks. The ‘fullness’ and density of SLH can not be argued with, and the way it makes Burgundian varieties come alive is second-to-none. Thin in finish and achingly tannic, fruit-bomb notes pop up at various places on the palate, causing conflicts of predictability in balance and substance. A bit of heat dodges things about a bit at likewise various points along the mouth-feel. It’s a spicy heat though, and I am reluctant to even mention it, as the match-head and graphite do a great job massaging it into the fruit. Pinot of this quality will never be easy to review: the absurdities contained in this grape DEFY categorical definition.
2018 TYPICITY Pinot Noir Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Monterey Co. 13.8