‘12 Kutch, SC, PN?

I just opened my first Kutch from this vintage. Not sure, but this might have been some years too early. So I’ll go back to the SVs from ‘09-‘11.
Wine is showing some cola and orange with cranberry in the background. Palate is a bit too prickly and not yet integrated.

I thought it was drinking well last summer, but I don’t drink much PN.

Arv, very interesting and completely different from my bottle.

Btw tried over two nights now with identical impressions.


After buying and tasting them young, I left some to age and have had the same experience as you after several bottles late last year. Needless to say I divested from Kutch as they just weren’t my style.

Though Peter seems to be describing a wine that isn’t quite ready yet, rather than one going downhill, which is what I might have guessed for a Kutch 12.

It’s also worth keeping in mind this is a SC blend which still sells for $39 to this day.

Not at all disputing your experience or saying how you ought to have felt about the wines, but just offering some other thoughts. Kutch is a pinot that can be polarizing. I love it, but I get that it will always have a decent number that just don’t click with it, and that’s fine too.

I don’t think this wine was heading downhill, but like you, I too stopped buying. 2012 was my last vintage and this coincided with me getting back into Rhys, which I seem to enjoy far more.


I don’t actually think I said they were going downhill, that wasn’t my impression, for me I just didn’t like what they were aging into. Not my style, same with Rhys, if you like them, buy them and enjoy them, for me just not my thing…

Jason, what would you say they were aging into? I’m also holding these back because I’ve yet to have a Kutch that I’ve felt was quite ready, but I also can’t help but think that now that we’ve found a CA pinot that seems to really hold up to some age we’re all deciding that wasn’t what we wanted afterall.

Again, this is only my preference, I’m not putting down the winemakers or the wines…

To me I find the cola mixed with bitter orange a turn off, some people really like those traits or taste past them, to me it’s just not enjoyable. It sort of reminds me of the issues I have with the 03’ Burgundy vintage, there are a few nice wines but the majority have this cola like fruit with a bitter orange acid finish that reminds me of over ripeness.

I’ve had a bit of aged Cali Pinot; Peay, WS, Hanzell, Calera, so it’s not that I’m averse to Cali Pinot, but those producers mentioned, typically don’t carry the cola trait when aged and are really pretty to me.

Didn’t mean to imply that you were, was just curious to hear your thoughts as I’m in a similar place in trying to form an opinion on how I feel about the wines with an approproate amount of age. Appreciate the detail on specific notes that don’t appeal to you. I don’t have much experience with the other wines you mention, but I also like Rhys quite a bit so it could just be palate preference. I guess we’ll know in another 4 years or so…

Didn’t mean to imply you did, I just try to add the caveat when getting into a conversation about wines and winemakers, I respect what they do and don’t want to slam them because of personal preference…

When kutch was release I started buying with the 09’ vintage and liked what Jamie was doing, I found the wines bright and cherry focused. As I tried the wines in recent years I just didn’t prefer the way that they were aging. Same with Rhys, I know that they spare no expense and are talented people, but they just don’t ring my bell, especially for the price.

As I’m paring back my collection and getting rid of 40 or so cases I just don’t have time or space to try every new producer anymore.

I would happily give Rhys or Kutch another shot in the future to see where they are at, in just not going to build up a cellar full anymore.

Great discussion.

It is definitely an interesting exercise investing in ventures like Rhys and Kutch, which seem to many of us to promise and to some extent to need aging, but not having the track record to see what that will be like and when. As opposed to, say, buying Arcadian or Mount Eden, when you can see how the wines have done at different ages.

And even as earlier vintages of Rhys and Kutch (and Ceritas, Arnot Roberts and whoever else you might put in this category) get to age 10 or beyond, those producers will still adjusting their methods at and after those vintages, so a 10 year old Kutch or Rhys may have aged better, worse or differently than a current release will.

I find that an interesting experience, and hopefully one that won’t end up being a disappointing one, though I undertake it knowing there is some uncertainty. On those two, I’m enjoying the journey so far, but also eager to hear other impressions along the way.

Good point, and one that occurs everywhere. I can’t think of a more dramatic example than Faiveley, who’s wines/winemaking has changed so dramatically that there’s barely any intersection between old and new. Yet, new Faiveley is well made and folks buy/age it assuming, reasonably I’m sure, that good things will happen.

Looking forward to trying the '11 McD later this week.

Apt observations, particularly given how many producers have swung from big and ripe back towards balance, or even lean wines. Pax as an example in California. His 2004’s bear almost no resemblance to the wines he’s making today.
Many Australian producers…we could make a long list.
Past performance not always an indicator of future results for many reasons.

So I had my second bottle of this tonight. It seems to have emerged from whatever stage it was in. Some earthy secondary notes, palate more integrated. Could smooth out a bit more on the palate, but very pleasant with dinner at my local hangout. [cheers.gif]