Thin ruby dancing with pinot-perfect garnet out on wide edges. Packed with brambly blackberry fruit, the nose is sweaty and sexy dripping with earth and farm-funk on a smooth backbone of alcohol and rich barrel cellar and latex.
This is my favorite Velvet Bee–I’ll make no bones about it. But then again, I am an un-abashed wonk for Bentrock. My favorite vineyard in Santa Rita Hills. I just love what it does to Pinot and immediately gravitate toward it when I see it on tasting lists. There’s a clarity, a brilliance, a focus I can’t quite put my finger on (like a LOT of things Pinot) but it WORKS.
In the mouth, clean nutty clarity (there’s that word again) rife with acid and early tannin. There’s a warmth–and it’s not from alcohol–and a bite layered over a foundation of perfect light cherry and intense saline that makes it impossible to not only take your nose out of, but you return sipping and sipping, looking for more and finding things almost impossible to put into words in all its nuances but at the same time it is a simple wine. That’s the thing about good Pinot. This isn’t a blockbuster label you can just bang off “blackberry, cherry, rootbeer, chocolate, leather” like a lot of the almost-dessert offerings hanging around these days. *Simplicity* is not an immediate disqualification with this variety. There’s nothing simple about Pinot Noir, despite how clean and easy it is in the mouth–or nose.
This thing is just flat-out GORGEOUS–a nose you can just barely pull yourself out of and a clean, streamlined mouth-feel riddled with acid and tannin but not brow-beating or over-whelming. A lovely green streak is just polishing out at 4 years and no signs anywhere of slowing down.
2013 VELVET BEE Pinot Noir Bentrock Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara Co. 13.9