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Showing posts from March, 2015

When it comes to top Pinot Noir, terroir trumps varietal valuation

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I was contemplating a 2013 Failla Pinot Noir from Occidental Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast) at the most recent World of Pinot Noir – a yearly two-day event that took place in Santa Barbara this past March 2015.The Failla’s color was a deep, vivid, almost blue-tinged red, and the nose was gushy with strawberry-like varietal fruit, infused with whiffs of woodsy forest floor.Tannin and flavors seem appropriately aggressive, considering the nose and the wine’s youth, but seemed to plop like a dead weight on the palate, like an over-floured gnocchi kneaded by a clumsy novice cook.
As Dylan once sang, I’ve been through this movie before... with this particular wine tasted right out of the gate, which can come across as gawky, one-dimensional, or slutty to an uncomfortable point of artificiality – like a pretty girl in unnecessary makeup.The question was:Why can’t Failla’s Occidental be a little finer, limber, more lifted and delineated in its woodsy, strawberry perfumed intensity – qualities …