Watery clear-thin garnet with wide amber edges. Explosive delicate floral, pretty and pink, backed up with generous briar, wet cardboard, horse stall and bright cinnamon. See, there’s long reviews about great wines and there’s short reviews about great wines. The long reviewers feel the need to cram every possible nuance of a fabulous wine into one of their 40,000 Delectable entries to keep the Apothic and Cupcake drinkers who read them happy and wishing for more. I am blessed with a different readership and this review will be short. You KNOW how incredible this producer is. You’ve had the flowery thin briary goodness that has defined Swan for 30+ years and you don’t need me to tell you about it. I want to stop typing and go back to drinking this with a leg of lamb and herby cous-cous. You think I want to stand here and tell you about it? This is not a vicarious-living blog–this is a JOURNAL. In the mouth, a blast of General Tso herbaceousness and volatile green structure FAR out-weighing the visual perception in the glass. We’re all so programmed to associate density and color with intensity on the palate and with world-class Pinot, that just doesn’t fly. This thing is firm and packs a whallop, green briar and nutty barnyard filling–NYET–attacking the mouth and daring the elegant fruit lying underneath to get past. The middle swells with dark rich cherry, pencil-lead growing with many other barely-describable layers. But remember? This was going to be short. The incredible green tannin takes over, running the nutty, round voluptuousness of this thing into the ground.
2012 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Saralee’s Russian River Valley Sonoma