The Dark Lady

Brilliant dark garnet with clear edges.  Toasted oak and dried apricot bouquet huge and nose-filling, fat and ripe and massively Syrah-like with *just barely enough*  Pinot nuances to keep it grounded.  Effusive spice and earth, but clean and round and terribly extracted, showing deep cassis, vanilla, and chocolate.  A glimmer of alcohol combined with full-flabby roundness tells me this is North of 14.  In the mouth, green spicy oak and cherry preserves flushed out with alcoholic heat.  Just a huge, ripe, round over-ripe bomb.  Concentrated cherry syrup and lavish oak all around.  If you are a fan of the whole Sea Smoke/Riverbench/Bella Glos style of Pinot–and to be honest, it IS a rather yummy style–then this is your bottle for half the price.  Crowd-pleasing through-and-through, with just enough Pinot-smarminess to alert you to the variety.  There is so little barnyard or funk or match-head or ANYTHING relevant to a connoisseur’s Burgundy, it is all California flushness and extraction.   This style of Pinot is certainly fun to drink, and it will DEFINITELY have fans, but I need a little more shit.  14-2   ♦

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