A couple of weeks ago we had the years last tasting in our tasting group. HW poured the following wines for us, double blind as usual. An interesting lesson in Pinot styles from the US.
2012 Pinot Noir Elder Shally Loam, Lutum
This is really the new kid on the block, established 2011. It has a light, herbal, fine nose with notes of lingonberries, rasberry candy, liquorice and thyme. Very good. As far from a blockbuster you could come. A had it firmly placed in France and Burgundy.
The taste is medium bodied and pure with notes of herbs, raspberries, forest floor and rosehips. The fruit is a tad warmer on the palate than on the nose. Very good. A fine laid back sweetness. Should evolve nicely with 2-3 years in the cellar.
89p (tasted 2015/12)
Another new producer to me, and this is a Winner. The nose is cool, fresh and nicely structured with notes of imaginary mix of blueberries and lingonberies alongside a fir forest, dusty earth, cigarr smoke and warm herbs. Very, very good.
The taste is young and racy with notes of dried strawberries, fir needles, cigarette ashes and herbs. The finish is long, lively and dry. This is fine. Will probably get even better with 2-3 years in the cellar.
92p (tasted 2015/12)
2012 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault, Hirsch Vineyard
A big, warm nose with notes of bakelite, raspberry jam, scorched earth and warm liquorice. Compared to the two earlier cool wines. this feels like a bruiser. There are nice things here but it a bit clumpsy.
The taste is young, tight and seedy with notes of ripe lingonberries, warm forest floor, bakelite and warm roses. The finish is medium long with a high acidity. A bit of bloodgrape in the end. A bit unfocused, wait and see.
84p (tasted 2015/12)
2012 Pinot Noir Sebastiano Vineyard, Bonaccorsi
A fresh, juicy, peculiar (in a goodway!) nose with notes of unripe wild strawberries, smoke. rubber, dark fudge and fir. Very, very good in its own way. A nice intensity and refinement. Really fine.
The taste is young, tight and focused with ripe raspberries, lingonberries, salmiak, thyme and wood smoke. A long, caressing finish with a lovely acidity and a sturdy backbone, that guarantee that this will mature nicely.
2012 Pinot Noir Bucher Vineyard, Williams Selyem
In the past I have had some remarkable bottles from Williams Seylem but the 2012 Bucher will not join these ranks. The nose is all over the place with lots of sweet raspberries and additional notes of resin, rubber tires, ski wax and raspberry liquorice. Big and rowdy.
The taste is big, warm and spicy with notes of raspberry truffles, cherry candy, undergrowth, pan fried herbs and some oak. The finish is long, juicy and steady. Ends very good. A bit of in-your-face Pinot but it grows on you. Very good, but again, I have tasted far better bottles from this producer.
88p (tasted 2015/12)
2012 Pinot Noir, Merry Edwards
Again, a new producer to me. And this is a fine bottle of Pinot. The nose is warm yet focused with fine notes of raspberries, chocolate biscuits, forest floor and warm gravel. A creamy character. Very, very good. A meaty Pinot.
The taste is big and seedy with notes of raspberry coulis, liquorice, wood smoke, warm herbs and rosehips. The finish is long, firm and with a sturdy backbone. A very fine warmth. Very, very good. This is for drinking now and the upcoming 5+ years.
91p (tasted 2015/12)