Very clear ruby–even at considerable depths–with wide garnet edges. Amazing perfumed nose packed with brier and barnyard, chocolate-chip cookie-dough, and huge massive plush very-ripe Pinot fruit.
Here’s where I have to be careful, because even though I have railed against Belle Glos and SeaSmoke; I managed to cut Riverbench a little slack on some of their riper offerings and I am going to do it again for Etienne as this thing is a huge ripe fruit bomb of luxurious proportions, but somehow manages to pique my interest with all of the crap going on in the background. The fennel and earth and cola and bitterness. It’s just such raw Pinot–even at a ripeness level which invokes a little alcohol and ‘perceived sweetness’. And since it is my blog, I can dump on one person’s over-ripe wine and gush over another’s. I do it with Syrah all the time, why not Pinot?
In the mouth it pulls off this touch-free carwash absolute inundation of massive, jam-packed, black cherry fruit but almost instantly a slight edge begins to poke you and gradually transforms into a positively lettuce-sap finish. This is an amazing wine start-to-finish and a wonderful argument against drinking 20-dollar Pinots. Seriously, there just isn’t any reason to drink Cambria and Meomi and Decoy and anything else on the top shelf of the supermarket or entry-level offerings. Just say no. There’s no there there. I just WORSHIP Mr. Terlinden’s Syrahs and honestly did not know what to expect in his Pinot, but I like it.
2012 CORDON Pinot Noir Les Jameaux Santa Rita hills Santa Barbara Co. 14.1