Smacked right in the nose.

Rich stewed cherries, sandalwood, sage and rosemary attack upon opening the bottle. This is not going to be shy. Fascinating that I can sense the acid on the nose with balsamic tones.

Pours translucent red-black. Certainly extracted, but crystalline filtered.

Ripe black cherry compote hits the palate but almost immediately gives way to that high-toned balsamic thing which carries through the finish. Faint touches of mushroom and wet earth lay in the undertones. Sage, sandalwood and vanilla spice the back-palate.

Silky in the mouth until the acid races across the back-palate and leaves velvety tannins in its wake.

With very few exceptions, no one is even trying to make this style of Pinot Noir in California, much less, Russian River Valley. It’s certainly extracted and sage-y (nothing new there), but the acid takes this to, at least, Willamette Valley territory if not Echezeaux. Makes me wonder why so many winemakers in CA insist on cramming Pinot Noir torte into their bottles when this kind of balance is possible.

Gorgeous. The finest California Pinot Noir I have had in years. Drinks beautifully on its own, but is pairable with nearly anything from fresh spinach salad to barbecued spare ribs. Greg La Follette is one to watch.