Fairly dark ruby through and through, *maybe* just a hint of garnet wide in the edges. Little tinygreen-briar funk blows off quickly, morphing to fairly straight-forward oak and spice. Full and round, definitely alcoholic–I’m guessing 14-4. Big burnt Santa Lucia Highlands fruit with that crazy juxtaposition pinot loves of a thin forwardness, clean purity of apple and plum, while dwaddling on clean sidewalk–and the whole time throwing meaty burnt rubber texture in your nose. Somewhat warm and flabby late-breathe, but this will appeal to a LARGE portion of Pinot drinkers. This is not a small wine.
Here’s the great thing about Tolosa. I have an international audience, and a HUGE portion of them are familiar with Tolosa. Unfortunately, this brand has established themselves as a low-price supermarket stalwart Pinot & Chard bottling. Alot like being an actor on a famous comedy sitcom. Typecast. But Tolosa makes GREAT wines! They are on the website and in the tasting room and obviously available to club-members, but look them up. There’s the 1772 stuff, head and shoulders above the 14.99 supermarket stuff but then there’s a solid line-up of single-vineyard stuff! NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT THIS STUFF!!! This is one of them. There are MANY! Check it out.
In the mouth, perfect entry, sweet and full, generously fruited and supple. What you mistake for a nice thin middle suddenly explodes into a ridiculous cut-weed briar–think: CALTRANS mowing along the freeway–incredible Chinese 5-spice and a bacon-wrapped-date cacophony of ripe and meaty, bitter and savory. A touch of heat impossible to avoid in a pinot this voluptuous slowly grows alongside the velvet tannins in the finish.
This is huge beautiful stuff, balancing the dessert-fruit with all Santa Lucia Highlands has to offer. A TEXTBOOK luxury offering of Pinot Noir, ranking up there with the usual suspects at this price-point and pulling ahead in the varietal-correctness game. It’s straight pinot. No candy.
2015 TOLOSA Pinot Noir Apex Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Monterey County 14.2