Pinot can achieve this kind of weight and meatiness at Pisoni: While Roar's 2008 shows a heavy oak influence, it doesn't turn syrupy. Instead, it develops with air into a formidable, black, mineral-rich wine. Serve it with roast squab stuffed with dried cherries.
You don’t look to Pinots from this vineyard for delicacy. You look for power, sheer butt-kicking audacity. And that’s what you’ll find in this ’08 from Roar. It’s almost Rhône-like in the dark color and full-bodied richness, with its chocolate and black cherry fruit. But that’s Pisoni for you. Will age for the better part of a decade.
**Two Stars** If we have noted a certain atypical restraint in more than a few 2008 Pinots from the Santa Lucia Highlands, this very rich, fully ripened wine is bursting with sweet, black cherry fruit and is, to our minds, a fairly classic rendition of Pisoni fruit. It is a flashy, full-bodied, very forward wine to be sure, but it is not overdone and proves that balance and beauty are well within the reach of even very ripe wines.
Sophisticated, with ripe, rich, layered fruit, built around ripe plum and black cherry. Firm and structured, offering depth and concentration, with a long, persistent finish.
Equally prodigious is the 2008 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard. Like all of these wines, there is a seamless integration of acidity, wood, and tannin, all of it present in subtle and measured dosages. The sweetness of the plum, meaty, black currant fruit intermixed with cherries, boysenberry, forest floor, and floral notes is nothing short of awesome. Deep, concentrated, round, and generous, this wine has a terrific personality and is one of the best examples one can find of how much progress California has made with Pinot Noir. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)
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