Medium garnet with pink edges. Really funky-burntish nose reminds me of Pinotage. A little mineral down deep under the screeching burnt-tire and electrical-fire nose and early taste–but not in a great Syrah way–just a funky unclean way. Dark fruit in the mouth–very dark–I wouldn’t say “raisin” really, it’s not in that realm because it is quite bright and fresh, and steely and sharply acidic to match the late bouquet. I’m a little torn on this one. I mean… for 20 bucks it is far and away the most nuanced and interesting Pinot Noir I have had in some time, and I keep drinking this and going all, “Yeah, ya know it is interesting and nuanced and not terribly expensive” but then that whole Chile Thing sets in–at least that’s what EYE am calling it–and you have to admit, unfortunately for this bottle–there are so many 20$ bottles of SMV, SYV and even RRV PN which are ‘truer’ to a clean varietal fruit and far less weird. PALI comes to mind. Picket Fence comes to mind. Frickin Laetitia ‘Central Coast’ comes to mind. Cambria Julia’s. Hundreds of them. I just can’t get over the burnt ripe fruit. It just has a horrible nose–and it blows off into an oxidized bad barrel mustiness. It tastes better than it smells, but the shocking, biting citrus acid burning at the edges of your tongue give a strong argument for not appreciating the taste either.
2012 RITUAL Pinot noir Casablanca Valley Chile SA 14.5