A Bear in a TuTu. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

SMV has such a distinctive set of nuances.  This one is no different, although I’m feeling this is my first Rancho Ontiveros.  I am familiar with the location and name and–like any reputed Pinot Noir vineyard–its nearly incestuous plethora of makers and bottlers.  I have also had this label before, and I do not remember being wowed beyond something clearly average–a C or B.  This wine is different.  And while age certainly plays a part in the glass in front of me, I taste things which tell me this wine is–in large part–untouched by almost a decade.  Thin-clear and garnet:  That part is aged.  Haricots verts and briar in the nose–along with considerable alcohol (something which caused me to peg this at nearly 15-o) but sweet rich oak and polish of age.  It really is quite an remarkable nose.  And then that SMV-stuff sets in.. So distinctive.  That perfect balance of bell pepper and barnyard and crisp acidity.  So in love with SMV.  Such a distinctive taste.  Yes, there is a touch of age on this one but none of the sulpher/matchstick/burnt-almond sorta thing when PN has turned the corner.  Still vibrant and lively.  Gentle acidity transforms into serious tannin in the finish still at this date.  Such a lovely wine.  Like most of my SMV vineyard-designate bottles:  From Old Town Market in Orcutt.  And not expensive.  14-3.  ♦♦

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