Dang this is gorgeous stuff. Brian’s wines always tend to claim that sultry version of California sunshine in pinots still remarkably dirty and pungent with varietal splendor. Many people say his wines are chubby, that they’re too ripe and too flush with sumptuous berry. Grainy, strained, vegetal Burgundian versions they are not, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a fool move. This is California–nobody’s arguing that–and from the myriad of AVA’s on the Central Coast he sources from: you can CHOOSE the amount of lush berry you want in a wine. I’ve been drinking these wines for 20 years and find them religious to typicity, a near-perfect litmus for the vineyards they are sourced from. Here we have Santa Rita Hills showing the kinds of things SRH is famous for.
Clear amber-garnet in the glass, a nose showing the *settling down* early age tends to do in Pinot. Only 4–with decades to go (yes, I have dranken his wines with decades on them)–it’s a sullied bouquet, pumping muddy ire along deep berry lines, a soiled green tinge to the funk reflecting oiled canvas in rain and well-worn cotton dungarees. Sharp match-head and graphite pull a weedy mineral to the forefront, a bit of warm latex and hot asphalt making their claim.
Tasting it forgets everything you got bogged down on in the nose. Just lie back and love this wine. It’s a simple equation. Thick and beautiful, while managing that classic pinot brevity of lushness the classics are famous for. Rich melon and black cherry invigorate and compel, while peppery acid churns on all sides. Is this my favorite Loring??? The levels on which this thing hits at are a strong argument to that end. Velvet elegance rides daddy’s knee of abrasion and all the points coming in are sharp and focused on lifting that experience to levels only Pinot can achieve. It’s thin. It’s sweet. It’s fruited in ways difficult to explain. It’s composed and angular and polished and indifferent. These are the things making pinot something hard to put into words. And this wine is the poster-child for that complexity.
2018 LORING WINE CO Pinot Noir Ranch La Vina Vyd Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara Co. 14.3