JK Carriere Anderson Family Pinot Noir 2006

After a drink of this and a long, slow exhale I turned to my partner and said “yeah, this has it all.” A distinctly groovy blackish red, straight out of a 1960s steakhouse, the color itself is appealing enough to make me want to overfill my glass. Beautiful, really, and enough to telegraph the intentions of this pinot: rich enough and ripe enough to be New World, yet distinctly holding back before going off the Californian deep end, it suggests you’re in for a best-of-both-worlds kind of experience – and you are.Wonderfully complex on the nose, I’m having trouble keeping track of it all. Rich, ripe red fruit is seamlessly counterbalanced by politely serious French oak, but only just enough to support the fruit; this is not one of those oaked-to-death, overripe pinots that are all too easy to find here. The wine also smells incredibly youthful: at this point, I don’t see any secondary aged characteristics, but I get the sense there’s enough stuffing here to last at least a decade.At first sip, the wine is shy, hesitant, refusing to offer much of anything up save for a brief, surprising wallop of acidity. That’s quickly replaced by a wonderfully lush, silken, voluptuously textured ribbon of sensible red fruit with hints of roasted coffee, caramel, and violets. Not as dirty as Burgundy, the overarching effect is of a very smooth customer: however, what really sets this wine apart is the balance and elegance of an incredibly well crafted, peculiarly Oregonian experience. The finish does go on for quite some time, again subtly meandering between refreshing acidity, soft earth, and that wonderful, spicy red fruit peculiar to Oregon.Look, I’ll be honest here: if you wanted to try the best the USA has to offer, this is probably as good a pinot as you’re going to find, full stop. Less tannic and earthy than Burgundy, fuller and richer than Otago, and perhaps most resembling Bass Philip pinot noir, this is for my money one of the best wines made in North America. Best of all, it’s the kind of wine that doesn’t take a lot of explanation to enjoy: pace Parker, this really is a hedonistic experience in the best sense of the word. My only complaint is that I only had the one bottle and that I won’t get to try it again ten years from now. J.K. Carriere
Price: $65
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

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