The 2012 Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Vineyard is arguably the most dense and compact of these Pinots. Here, it is the wine's structure that stands out most. Whereas most of the 2012 Rivers-Marie Pinots are drinking well right now, the Occidental Ridge is a wine that needs to be cellared for at least another year or two. Firm tannins support a salivating finish laced with dark red and blue tones fruit, crushed rocks and chalk. A dollop of whole clusters (10%) adds nuance. Readers who can find the Occidental Ridge should not hesitate, it is fabulous. (AG)
(vinified with some whole clusters, as Thomas Brown feels that the stems "cut through the wine's candied mid-palate"): Dark, bright red. Complex aromas of raspberry, plum, white pepper, medicinal herbs and mint, complicated by an earthy nuance. Silky, tactile and light on its feet, with brisk acidity and a note of fresh herbs giving lift to the red fruit flavors. This Chambolle-like pinot finishes juicy and persistent, with firm, suave tannins. (ST)
An attractively fresh and layered nose features notes of plum, spice, dark currant and dark pinot. There is a seductive mouth feel to the round, supple and delicious medium weight flavors that possess fine mid-palate volume, all wrapped in a dusty, complex and balanced and admirably persistent finish. This too will require a few years to soften the supporting structure but it should be worth the wait.
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