- 2016 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Bulldozer - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (2/26/2019)
A Berserkerday wine. Popped and poured, except that it's a screw cap, with a client and his financial adviser at Smith and Wollensky's for lunch. Weird, in a good way. Obviously pinot, but there was something else. More fruit forward. Could this be Brian Loring playing the ultimate joke on us . . . mixing two grapes that should never go in the same bottle . . . pinot and zin? No, that's not it. Not "in your face" enough, although there was that red fruit. 5% Sangiovese to add some serious back end acidity and bite? There was that acidity tell, but it doesn't seem right. Maybe he snuck into the James Berry Vineyard late at night and stole some Mourvedre for extra body? Too risky and not worth the jail time. So I sent Kimberly Loring an email right from the table and she responded in minutes, thereby impressing my client (thanks KL). 100% pinot, but from a warm climate vineyard.
I cannot remember ever having a pinot like this. Non-Burgundian, without being anti-Burgundian. I'd like to hear what a committed Burg-head thinks about it. For me, it was nice right out of the bottle. Enough flavor to go with steak or burger with blue cheese and caramelized onions, but not so much that it swamped a Branzino. A great first vintage for this wine. I will buy more. (91 pts.)
Post script - The financial adviser brought another guy who worked at the same firm. I pulled out the wine and he immediately pulled out his cellphone and proudly showed that he had found the wine on Vivino. He neglected to realize that it was a different Loring bottling. He was showing off his [limited] wine knowledge to the others at the table but when we were discussing the blend possibilities, he fell off the edge of the earth when he four times referred to "red zinfandel." I wanted to be a good guy, so I never asked, "You mean as opposed to white zinfandel?"