Lucia Highlands Vineyard
Santa Lucia County
Salinas, California, USA
$24.98 -- Wine Library, Springfield, NJ
Color: Medium to deep garnet
Nose: Cherry, heat, port, plum, chocolate
Body: Medium to full
Front: Cassis, orange peel
Middle: Licorice, black cherry
Back: Charcoal, with lighter fluid and attendant smoke
Burns clean?: Mostly
This is a big wine: hot, fruity, dark, heavy, and sweaty. I'd have pinned this as a good Zinfandel if I'd been tasting it blind. It's not charming, and it's not elegant. This is that friend of yours who's really good at heart but a bull in a china shop, or too loud in conversation in public, or accidentally hurts people's feelings all the time.
I had to eat some almonds with it, to calm it down a bit, and that helped thin it out and bring out some of the more meaty and herby flavors. I think I really like it; I'd put it in the category of the Hamilton Russell, inasmuch as it's an unusual set of flavors for a Pinot, and I'm really curious to see what it tastes like in a couple of years.
Now that I check for a cross-reference I see I have not reviewed the Hamilton Russell, and I think I know why: they're running out at Twin Liquors, and I don't want anyone else to get it.