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Jenise

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WTN: She'll be coming round the mountain

by Jenise » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:06 pm

So our friends J & A have never invested in a cellar. Instead, they have filled their large master bedroom closet with wine instead of clothes. The bedroom is the ground level of a northwest facing split-level home at the top of the highest residential neighborhood in the Santa Monica Mountains of Thousand Oaks, California, (elevation approx 1300 ft) and backs up to an earthen embankment, so it never strays above 70 F even when the rest of the house sizzles. Their wines are usually a few years ahead of wines from year-round cool cellars, but they don't rot.

Whenever we show up, they pull out some of the old girls.

2003 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
In this wine, the acidity and coolness of Anderson Valley triumphs over passive cellaring and a hot-hot vintage. Quite enjoyable, it sports tertiary notes of earth, tea, leather and dried fruits. Very good.

2004 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Southing Sta. Rita Hills
From a passive cellar, this wine's mostly tertiary now and a good window into what cooler cellars will show in 4-5 years. Where I'm not such a fan of young Sea Smokes, aged bottles from J & A's cellar have been revelatory. Loved this one--fantastic old burg aromas of pot pourri, mushroom, sweet caramelized tomato, sour cherry and a long finish. Excellent.

2005 Tantara Pinot Noir Gaia Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills
Not previously familiar with this producer so hard to know at this point exactly what's producer- and what's vintage-related, but it was the biggest and sweetest of the old gals. It also seemed more modern, like a wine that started life heavily extracted with dark cassis-like fruit and shitake mushrooms, and less of the leather and tea notes of more traditional pinots. Big points for longevity, but it's my least fave of the weekend. Good.

These were opened another night:

2004 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley
Served alongside Talley's more expensive flagship pinot, the Rosemary's. Surprisingly, this is going to be the longer-lived wine, there's actually some youthfulness in the fruit and more vivid acidity. Where I'd call it on the former at 2020, I'd happily leave these to 2023, maybe 2025. Very good.

2004 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosemary's Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley
Softer than a bottle three years ago, natch, and without the iodine ripeness I noted then but more integrated with plums and thyme. Very good.

2013 Scott Paul Cellars Pinot Noir La Paulée Willamette Valley
Lighter bodied (as typical for this bottling) with strawberry, cranberry and tomato leaf. Acidity's okay but the mouthfeel's unusually soft and there are virtually no tannins. Good, but can't imagine aging these longer.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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