Friday, November 11, 2011

A Stellar California Pinot

2004 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard
(USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley)

I drink a lot of California pinot noir. I know it's trendy and frequently overpriced, but I can't help myself. Especially when it's a pinot noir from Anderson Valley. And especially when it's from a great producer like Radio-Coteau. I drank this wine with my girlfriend over the course of an evening while we were just hanging around the house. It was not tasted with food, and I think that's what I like about this wine: it was just so wonderful to sip alone.

This wine is a beautiful dark ruby color in the glass. It smells wonderful, with lots of black cherry fruit to start. There's a real sense of earthiness on the nose, with loam and rich soil. I seriously smell some venison in this wine as well, and I love it. (Initially, the aromas were closed down but with some time in the glass, the wine really opened up beautifully.)

On the palate: The first thing that hits me about this wine is its mouthfeel. The fruit is pure and bold, but the wine is full of tannins. It's really like biting into a fresh black cherry, with that dense, pulpy fruit along with a shot of acid. The acid keeps it all balanced and fresh while the waves of fruit roll in. The fruit almost tastes cool, like it's been chilled, it's just that fresh. There's some currants, plum, and a slice of minerality. The tannins and fruit in this wine stand up and demand attention. The finish is long, with slightly toasted oak.

It's showing very well now, but this wine could sleep in the cellar for a few more years and open up a bit more. I'd love to revisit this wine in three years or so.

My totally subjective and meaningless score would be 93. Not bad for a bottle I picked up for $30.

It's wines like this that keep me coming back to Anderson Valley pinot noir, year after year.

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