Medium ruby, thinning to wide pink before distinct clear edges. A blast-furnace of French oak greets your face–beautiful and sexy–and roiling inside gobs of ridiculous carrot-cake and pumpkin-pie spices, plum and praline, Roquefort mold and petrichor. A certain dog-park earthiness grounds everything in play-ground-bark dust and hot summer bougainvillea and oleander. Late-breathing brings salsa, tortillas and India ink alongside locker-room cinder-block walls.
I love Carneros. I don’t drink as much of it as I should. Probably like a lot of you, I drank heavily from the Carneros pinot well back in my more *budget* days of wine-experimentation. Now I probably drink more Merlot from Carneros than anything, having cast it aside undeservedly for sexier appels like RRV, Anderson Valley, and Sonoma Coast. But I think it is time to revisit Carneros. And this wine certainly presents a strong argument for that rendezvous. It’s big, rich and ripe–no doubt about it–but alongside it brings plenty of pinot funk and wisdom. And a bit of oak.
In the mouth, gritty fruit attacks early, never quite relinquishing its grip as it transitions over the middle, full and ripe and sticky with preserves, then going sarsparilla and cut-grass–still almost obnoxiously ripe-fruited–before all that wonderful pinot tannin comes sashaying in, calming all with its acidic gravitas and sweaty, sexy sway.
I could drink wine like this all day long.
2014 SOLAMENTE Pinot Noir Terra Blanca Carneros Sonoma Co. 14.5