Ethereally strong dirty spice right out of the first pour, the kind of sublime Pinot expression buffeted down on rich fruit concentration but elevated with the magical funk only this variety can produce in stellar examples. Calm, deep cherry anchored in beautiful barrel-treatment and careful vinification where the vitamin C and ridiculous dessert are at one with dank briary greenery and earth. Light ruby in the glass, clear garnet at the rim, the dirty-baby-diaper clinging to supple berry in ways hard to explain.

In the mouth, the grand equation of all things marketed as “Pinot Noir” we have all tasted and wondered at people’s attraction to comes blasting forward. Why on EARTH people would drink Belle Glos and some of the other sweet-tooth incantations so popular when something like this exists: so pure and radiant, so rich while restrained and acidic, so packed with pinot-nuance straight from Burgundian loins, the mind is boggled. Cutting and visceral, sure to burn that open cut while yet so deeply elegant and complex: a light vision dancing on action-packed foundations of classic beauty. I mean: it’s a big wine–let’s not prevaricate about the bush–nearly 15-oh in proof and gobs of disgustingly-rich fruit. But contained therein are sacred admonishments of the grape many fail to muster–or appreciate. This is a 20-year wine, and I have old Pali’s in my cellar to prove it: gorgeous now, and with the balance and stuffing to go the long run. Tannin runs a lip-smacking dearth of sugar and spice, a steely finish unforgettable in the way it grabs black fruit and crams it into infinity.

2020 PALI WINE CO ‘Summit’ Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara Co. 14.8

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