Gorgeous bright ruby with garnet edges. Volatile nose, showing KMBS in and around the deciduous forest floor and a nice shot of extremely ripe black cherry fruit. This thing is an interesting juxtaposition. On one hand ripe and round and alcoholic, and on the other: funky and barnyard. There really isn’t enough of either to go around and each is slightly overt in its own way and the wine comes off very unbalanced. Green stemminess doused in bark.
I have wanted to try this wine for many years, but the thought of giving 65 dollars to a winery famous for 10-dollar barely-drinkable Merlot–the darling child of every BTG programme within 30 miles–just gives me the shakes. But then, Gallo Signature and Sonoma are awesome. So, through the magical intervention of industry discount and a friend, I got a bottle of Cheval Sauvage. Finally. Be interesting to now where the fruit comes from in SMV. They already make a Garey in their regular (which happens to be 100% RESERVE) roster. A couple hours in on this thing and the nose is not improving, despite my initial “Burgundian” pronouncements. Here’s the dealio, Americans: If you want to call a Pinot “Burgundian” because it is funky and possibly unrepresentative to #womenwholovewine, it needs to GROW in the glass to something a snob can appreciate. This does not.
Flat and still in late air, flabby almost, and with severe match-head. In the mouth, rather thin for the volatility I experienced in the nose. I was expecting a sort of Riverbench or Cambria Reserve sort-of concentration and it does not exist. Briary and ripe, yes, but without the sort of *verve* I would expect from something at this PP. Thin in the middle and dissipating into simple tannin.
2012 WILD HORSE Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 14.1