Pouring this into the glass, it sure does look like a young wine: bright, purplish red in the glass, there’s almost a cloudiness to it as well. At first smell, it smells kind of stalky or stemmy – it doesn’t smell like straightforward pinot noir by any stretch of the imagination. There’s also a distinct sweet sappiness there, almost like an imaginary pancake syrup you think you remember from your childhood visit to IHOP: and then there’s some sulfur dioxide there as well. Hrm.In the mouth, it’s medium bodied, distinctly fuller than most French pinot, and there’s a sort of sourness there, just a bit, that balances it oddly. And still, sulfur dioxide or something else unpleasant – some kind of reductive note, perhaps? Did I open this one too soon? Or not? There’s also a meatiness here, something like landjäger almost… perhaps that’s what I’m mistaking for sulfur dioxide? It could also be a nearly nitrate sort of feel… Odd.Going back to it again, there’s now a distinct tannic underpinning to the entire adventure, and again a sort of sweet, smoky, meaty goodness there as well. Over the course of an hour, the wine funked out just a bit, and started to get an almost menthol edge to the nose, as well as something approximating Japanese plums. The finish is fairly long, weaving back and forth between somewhat unruly tannins and a (dare I say it) minerally edge to it.I know the winemaker’s been trying to making something that exhibits terroir for years… and I think he may have done it. This isn’t “good” wine if what you’re used to is straight-ahead, jammy sweet California pinot noir, but it’s exceptionally good wine if you believe that grapes can transmit something about the site where they were grown. I’d be very, very curious about where this wine will go over the next decade, but I couldn’t find it in me to wait that long – I’ve already shared my entire stash with friends.
Price: US $30
Date tasted: January 2008