Loring+Clos Pepe+Decade=Magic

Slightly milky and tawny-port garnet in colour all the way out to tiny clear edges.  Explosive ripe pinot fruit, nutty and warm, with most of the expectant 10yo Pinot nuances.  A significant typical toasted-almond and heady match-head.  Barnyard and concrete.  On the tongue, shockingly sharp and acidic, but still more crisp, bright fruit–far brighter than some of the recent 05 and 06 PN openings around here.  It definitely shows signs of polish, but nothing’s going ANYWHERE in this bottle and the balance flows luxuriously from nose-through-finish.  Luxurious and elegant, but with that *edge* only Pinot of a certain quality can pull off.  Still-vibrant, somewhat bitter, wild-lettuce tannin wrap things up and still, all the sweet opulence of the juice carries through.  This is one of those Pinots which makes you glad you drink Pinot.  Glad you drink 11’s 12’s and 13’s for the marketable information they give consumers, but *glad* goes on heroin when you pop a bottle heading into teen-age years with the finesse and balance of this wine.  Not all pinots can do this, and far more care has to be given to these-shaped bottles than high-shouldered BDX-based offerings of an equal age.  There are SOOO many crimes a cab-based offering can polish out in 10 years and still show interesting gusto, but with new-world pinots, they just can’t all do it.  Props on ‘clean’ and ‘varietal correctness’ go out to the winemaker, and ‘depth of fruit’ and ‘structure’ props go out to the vineyard.  You’re gonna really sit back and stutter at this one, but this is a 15-2 bottle of wine.  Upon reading this, I am forced to go back and test whether AL bursts my bubble in nose or taste.  It really doesn’t.  If anything, it contributes to the spicy finish a tad.  As you all know, I am a low-AL freak and an extraction party-pooper, and this is EXACTLY why I never read AL until after tasting and making up my mind about a bottle.  If I had read 15-2 a hour ago, I would have shit on this thing til the cows come home, but here we are, truly enjoying a 10yo Pinot knocking on 16% AL.  Greater crimes have been committed I suppose–and there is not any crime evident in this evening’s wine.  ♦♦  Yeah, THAT good.

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