Clear light garnet, headed out into pinkish-amber edges. Probably a good 75% of Pinots produced in California are darker than this wine. Big sweaty spice funky and twiggy, crammed with unctuous barnyard and sweet earthy fruit, Band-Aid, asphalt and slight alcohol burn.
I’ve been a fan of this wine for quite a few years and think it the best wine Clendenen makes. Yes, I realize what heresy that is, but I’m used to it and am standing by it. Vegetal and bretty to a fault while still burning the candied-fruit-candle at both ends, it is NOT for everyone. It is a wine constantly negotiating for its sins. It pulls you hard in the funk direction and compensates for it by granting you gobs of acid, then swaps everything around the other direction, atoning for something way too yummy with green stemmy bits. I suppose in some minds, this could creat friction, but here, everything works perfectly.
In the mouth, bright bitter acerola attacks with full back-up of nectar reduction. Bretty oak combats a near-spritz of acid, tangy and tingling seamlessly into a medium tannin. Gorgeous in mouth-feel and generous of spirit AND substance, it immediately puts a smile on your face, the dankness tethered to green notes and the austerity tied into ripe fruit in such a beautiful relationship you can’t help but call it balanced.
2012 CLENDENEN FAMILY VINEYARDS Petit Verdot Bien Nacido Santa Maria Valley Santa Barbara County Calilfornia 13.5