Staff Selection, Andy Hall • Summer 2015I'll admit, when we learned that Sean Minor himself would be visiting us in thestore and pouring his wines for our customers, I took a few bottles off the shelf for the staff to taste and reacquaint ourselves with them. We've liked these wines quite a bit over the last few years that we have stockedthem, but this Pinot Noir caught my eye in particular for a few reasons. First, I know that Sean is particularly keen to make good Pinot. Second, our shelves were showing 2012 vintage when many of the other wines in its price range had already moved on to 2013. And third, there just aren't many Carneros Pinots any more under $30. Carneros, straddling the southern ends of both Napa and Sonomacounties, is one of the great Pinot Noir producing areas that the United States has to offer, producing wines with both elegance and strength. The 2012 vintagewas a very good one for the area, but what I liked most about the vintage in this case is that it signified a certain level of maturity for the wine. I find freshly bottled Pinot to be nervy, a little crisp with the acids, flavorpoints popping out like runners' elbows during a crowded race, and just not always lovely. A year later, the same wine: delish...! Settled, more calm, showing flavors that work together, acids more in balance with the fruit. So I had some expectations that this would be a very good bottle of wine, and it turned out to be everything I had hoped for. Balanced, expressive, showing perfect Pinot fruit and a lovely, silken texture across the palate, with a nice long finish... This is the wine I want when I crave a good California Pinot Noir. I think it is what you will want also, and you don't even have to wait for it to come around... in fact, you should probably not wait at all, as you are likely to miss out if you do.
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