As big and bold and as deeply fruited as its stunning sibling above, this attention-getting wine differs chiefly in its slight lack of polish. Long on ripe cherries and very sweet oak spice, it shows plenty of size and substance, and its unrelenting ripeness brings a bit of heat to its long, but slightly ragged finish. Time will prove of genuine benefit here, but near-term service with flavorful lamb dishes will make moot most of its youthful coarseness.
The dense purple-colored 2001 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard, made from the Pommard and Swan clones, offers up a sweet perfume of lavender, blue and black fruits, and jammy cherries. The oak is nicely soaked up by this full, fleshy, sexy Pinot Noir. Enjoy it over the next 7-8 years.
Dark red. Bright aromas of raspberry, cassis, gunflint and spices. Rich, ripe and intense, with firm, spicy black fruit flavors. As sweet and ripe as this is, it's not at all sloppy, thanks to firm underlying structure. Both this wine and the Cuvee Agustina Pinot, also from Hyde Vineyard, came off as much fresher than the samples I tasted and reviewed last fall.
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)