Dark bloody garnet with sherry-edges. Considerable funk, some classic old-pinot toasted almond and celery with *just* a touch of TCA blows off after a bit and the whole thing ripens up to a fairly-well-packed ensemble of concentrated black-cherry fruit tinged with over-ripe citrus and oak. An oily, kinda fried-egg situation presides over a firm strain of crisp minerality.
This is a tired wine, there is no doubt, but the side of me which relishes old wines–even those somewhat past their prime–can be patient and listen to the things it has to say. A powerhouse of woodsy and still elegant, this one gains spice and coffee-ground complexity each minute, and a fresh swirl consistently reveals bright smoky dust.
In the mouth, not quite as opulent as I expected as the aged fruit becomes a background for layers of velvet briar, cat-tongue acid, and Pendleton wool. Grainy and bright, it lacks the one-dimensional focus on disgustingly decadent fruit so many Pinot producers shoot for in this niche. Don’t get me wrong: I won’t kick Goldeneye or DuMol or Riverbench outa bed, it’s just… *sometimes* it is nice to get a bit of perspective on Pinot. Real Pinot. All burnt rubber and meadow-muffins and cut-grass. If you don’t like brett & vegetal, YOU ARE READING THE WRONG JOURNAL. Go follow Wine Folly or @womenwholovewine or something and learn how many grapes fit in a stemless glass of Apothic Red. This wine is nowhere near perfect. But its close. Or WAS. Is there perfect Pinot?
The chocolaty fruit just keeps blossoming and rewarding while nubile acids argue with mellow tannins for mouth-lining superiority. Maybe it’s the Ave Maria in the background but seriously, people, go find some old wines this holiday season. Stop drinking this 2013 Cabernet bullshit and go find something with a little hair on its chest. Well, except Pinot is a woman, so maybe we can skip the hair…
2005 DREW Pinot Noir Fog Eater Anderson Valley 14.6