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I was looking at some recent tasting notes on this wine and I definitely have a different view. There are those that record the gradual loss of fruit in a white/rose wine as a marker of the descent into oxidization and eventual fault. I don’t understand this thinking. Wine does not need to be a fruit bomb to be appreciated. In many quality wines, bottle age promotes balance and softens structure – qualities I enjoy very much. Apparently, this thinking does not follow the palate of many wine consumers. I prefer some bottle-age on fine whites and rose! Take a well made white/rose with solid acidity, nice texture, lower alcohol, a minimum of oak and without any one characteristic overpowering the other… put some age on it and I am sold! Doesn’t matter whether white, rose, or bubbly. The right wines almost always do improve. So, this one knocked my socks off! It is a different tasting experience than the first bottle back in 2011. Beautiful, delicate nose of strawberry, hay and herbal mint. The palate is losing the fruit, but still begins with tart strawberry and now just a hint of watermelon. A touch of butter comes through from the lees. The huge acidity has toned down a bit, but still assertive enough to surpass most of the rose I taste. This is wonderfully dry, with enough fruit to mask any bitterness. The texture on this rose is wonderful! What the winemaker did with leaving this on the lees to age for a time before bottling, is almost god-like in its brilliance. IMO, the optimal window for drinking this wine is 2014-2015. Don’t let it sit much longer, or too much of the fruit will resolve. What a great value in Rose! Oregon shines again!
The 2006 was a prettier vintage. It was a bit more fruit forward and a little more balanced, but this is still a wonderful effort. The nose has aromas of sour black cherries, dark chocolate, minerality and a minor floral note. The color has picked up a brownish tinge showing some age and the freshness is gone, but the palate is still showing strong acidity – making the wine still very lively in the mouth. The tannins are very subdued and the alcohol is very well integrated. The texture is gorgeous – very soft and pleasant. More old world style, focusing on balance and complexity, but not quite hitting the mark. The fruit is in front but subtle, moving to a mid-palate with vanilla, oak, leather and some mineral aspects with a medium-long finish of bitter chocolate. I enjoyed this California Pinot that didn’t follow the crowd.
The nose has red fruit and earth, with a floral influence. The palate begins with fresh red cherry under-pinned with a delicate floral note. The mid-palate transitions to black cherry and spice, then a medium short finish of earth and bitter chocolate. Medium-high acidity with slightly dusty tannins. The texture was initially silky, but became watery quickly on the mid-palate. You notice the alcohol on the finish. This wine needs more time in the cellar to reach its potential. There was a lot more going on here than a simple, fruity new-world pinot. This was very feminine in character, with a solid backbone. Another 5 years of bottle-aging and I would expect this will be very elegant and composed. I can envision this as a 10 year old pinot reaching its drinking window… add a little barnyard on the nose and Burgundy comes to mind!