I received my bottle yesterday and opened it in the evening, consuming half of the bottle and saving the other half for tonight to see how it evolves (pushed the cork back in and put it in the refrigerator). My plan is to have my parents come over and try it because they are potentially interested in buying some.
For context, my palate is pretty accustomed to high acid, AFWE Oregon pinot noir. I drink a bit of Burgundy but rarely anything above village or 1er cru wines. I try to branch out to CA pinot producers I read about but often find them too sappy for my taste. So with all the formalities out of the way, here goes.
Popped and poured the wine through an aerator/pourer spout into Riedel XL OR pinot glasses. My Thermapen showed the wine at 62 degrees. I would describe my initial whiff from the glass as earthy, with a bit of spice (cinnamon?), dark cherry, and a slight bit of sulphur or reductive character. This latter characteristic faded away very quickly over the time I sipped a couple of small glasses.
The wine is a dark ruby color that is silky smooth upon entry and has a relatively full mid-palate for an Oregon pinot. It is exceptionally smooth, so much so that I was concerned that it may be too soft for me, but right at the end a nice bit of acid brightens things up. Whether it's bright enough for me may be my only quibble with this wine.
I would say the core of this wine, consistent with Jim's blending comments, is a dark, brooding wine that is lifted by some red fruit (raspberries) on the back end. There is no doubting this wine is from Oregon. There is the faintest bit of a "graham cracker" note in the mid-palate that I find off-putting in even moderate doses, but this is quite restrained. It just sort of rounds out the wine a bit both aromatically and in the mouth. As I said, the wine finishes on the brighter side but there is a wisp of smoke that lingers at the same time.
Is this wine worth $19? Absolutely. I drink a fair amount of entry level Oregon pinot and they are often very linear and don't have the elegance of this wine. If went out to a restaurant I would gladly pay $45 for the wine, and if I owned a restaurant I think it would be a big hit by the glass, appealing to a broad swath of consumers.
I also think this wine will appeal to many wine geeks on this board. It's elegance and silky character will strike a chord with many, and it has a nice signature Oregon flavor profile. Only those who really prize acid over other characteristics are likely to be indifferent to this wine. But at the price, it's a very different animal than what's on the market. It's delicious.
Finally, the previous tasting note mentioned barnyard and someone asked about Brett. I didn't pick up any Brett at all. It is a really well made wine in a style that will appeal to most. Some people describe wines as "coiled" or "energetic" and I would say this wine is not in that camp. Jim suggested the wine was all about that bass, but I think it's all about the smoothness.
Thanks to Jim for letting me play.
Night 2 update:
The wine is even better tonight. Exceptional balance and great flavor profile. Still in for at least 2 cases, probably more.
Last edited by rfelthoven
on March 10th, 2015, 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.