From a steep, south-facing stand of pure Wadenswil Selection, and – like all of the their current block bottlings save #31 – matured in around 60% new barrels, the Shea Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard Block 7 is single-mindedly black-fruited from nose to (long) tail. The Sheas like the word “brambly” for this, and while I find that term ambiguous, in respect to the sense of berry seed impingement and satisfying interplay of woody and concentrated blackberry and elderberry flavors, their chosen adjective may well make sense to you. There are also undertones of roasted red meat pan drippings, moss, and crushed stone; subtly saline savor; and a peppery bite, all of which turn the long finish into a fascinating excursion and the compulsion to revisit, which one should delight in doing over at least the next dozen years. The balance between invigorating impingement and underlying tannic polish is little short of uncanny. Just as many growers from the Swiss homeland of Wadenswil are rediscovering, this old form of Pinot is quite capable of delivering stand-alone profundity. (DS)
Focused, firm and sleek, layering savory spice-accented blackberry, cherry and mineral flavors into a taut package. Loses a bit of richness as the finish persists, but this feels like it has miles to go.—Blind 2008 Oregon Pinot Noir retrospective (January 2018). Drink now through 2025. (HS, Web only-2018)
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