Thursday, October 16, 2008
The Wooden Guys flat out loved this wine.
The nose of this wine, just after it was opened, had serious funk, barnyard funk. There was also a lot of chocolate and coffee. Imagine the smell if a goat ate nothing but coffee and cocoa beans and you will have some idea what I am talking about. Some people might find the smell that comes out of the wrong end of a barnyard animal a bit of a turn off, but believe me, it is often a promise of good things to come. As the funk settles it turns into burned butter and dark toast. After fifteen minutes in the glass there was still no sign of fruit on the nose, but a hint of hazelnut was just starting to peek through. After thirty minutes a strawberry, one small lonely strawberry, peeked through. Now it was time to taste it.
Okay, that is interesting. This will sound odd, but stick with me and try to imagine it- strawberry marmalade. Strawberries are there, but with the tartness and richness of marmalade, rather than the pure sweetness of jam or jelly. That was the first taste up front, on the attack, along with truffles and a touch of bacon fat. This showed the classic pinot noir arc, with a mild initial attack, then huge growth through the finish. Through the evening the wine continued to evolve, later showing a more typical California pinot taste profile, with cherry pits and strawberries, but also offering up earth and meat, depth and richness.
The tannins are obvious on the finish, drying but not leathery. The finish is long,very long, even continuing to grow and evolve after drinking. Long after the sip, half a minute or more, the first taste of licorice shows up and lingers.
The mouth feel is silky, even a little oily in the way it coats the mouth and tongue.
The nose on Night Two is different from Night One. It was intriguing, opening with the sweet smell of Jolly Rancher watermelon candy, then ripe strawberries and cherry pits, plus river rocks and smoky sage. There was as much sweet fruit as you could ever desire, but all well balanced by mineral and smoky herbs, a full-bodied but balanced wine rather than an over-extracted fruit bomb.
The palate did not see as big a change from Night One to Night Two. What I described on Night One as "strawberry marmalade" might better be described on Night Two as a blend of strawberries and rhubarb pie, sweet, tart, and rich. The mid-palate added new layers to the flavor profile, rather than replacing it in waves of different flavors. It added limestone and a meaty flavor best described as the crispy salty end slice of a good prime rib.
Again, the pinot arc is there, flavors continuing to grow, even glow long after the last sip. Licorice and beef appear, for the first time, at least thirty second later and remain for minutes more.
This is really good wine, even great wine. I am going to buy a whole lot more of it. You should, too. Then invite me over and share yours with me.