2006 Inman Family Pinot Noir- USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/2/2010)
14.1% alcohol. Beautifully open, with flowers and black cherry on the nose. In the mouth, the pure fruit and floral notes are joined with baking spice. Bright acidity. Long finish. A terrific wine, pure and elegant. A-
2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley- USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/2/2010)
14.2% alcohol. Opened three hours before drinking but not decanted. This is the best RRV blend Kosta Browne has ever made. All the best of these wines was in display in this bottle. Black cherry color. Gorgeous nose of vanilla-laced cherry, baking spice, and minerals. In the mouth, concentrated and plush, but with a greater sense of elegance than this wine has exhibited in past vintages. Loads of cherry fruit, as you would expect, with a touch of cherry pie, bright acidity. Long finish. Positively delightful. A-/A
2002 Arcadian Pinot Noir Fiddlestix- USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Rita Hills - Sta. Rita Hills (1/21/2010)
14.5% alcohol. Absolutely delicious. Red cherry color. On the nose, flowers mixed with red and black cherry fruit, with a lovely earthy note. In the mouth, laser-like, cutting a straight line of fruit across the tongue. Bright spike of acidity underscores the complexity of the wine, and the finish just sails on. A-
I did mean perceived styles … and also that, of these three wines, I like the “ultra-ripe” KB the best. Just meant to stir a bit of thought about what style is. If you tossed these wines into a lineup blind, I think you could pick out who made them. But style is so fluid (ha! haha!) in wine, that this was a good reminder to me that, any ideological preferences aside, it’s about what’s in the bottle and what tastes good when you drink it. And all these tasted good.