Deep, bright ruby. A complex bouquet displays scents of black raspberry, kirsch, potpourri and smoky minerals. Pliant red and dark berry flavors are framed by silky tannins and pick up a deeper cola quality with air. The dark berry notes dominate the impressively pure and seductively sweet finish. I wouldn't hesitate to drink this now, but expect that it will reward another five years or so of patience.
The 2007 Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard exhibits deep raspberry, blueberry, and boysenberry notes with hints of clove and spring flowers. It is medium-bodied, elegant, and fresh, with lovely fruit and texture. It should drink well for 7-8 years. An artisanal winery run with meticulous attention to detail by Eric Sussman, Radio-Coteau continues to follow a fair pricing strategy for its high quality Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, and Zinfandels. As a postscript, Eric Sussman told me that his winery was certified biodynamic in 2008. All his fermentations are native (indigenous yeasts from the vineyard), he uses minimal SO2, minimal racking, extended lees contact, and bottles all his wines in house with no fining or filtration. These are all characteristics of the younger generation of conscientious wine producers.
A ripe red berry fruit and menthol-suffused nose merges into rich and relatively full-bodied flavors that also possess excellent depth and a moderately robust character as the tannins are firm without being aggressive, all wrapped in a noticeably warm finish even when the appropriate serving temperature is properly maintained. I like the depth and size but the warmth is enough where it compromises the overall sense of balance just enough to prevent the Savoy from ascending to the next level.
Firm, intense, full-bodied and pleasantly earthy, with dried berry, currant, sage and mineral notes, ending with a savory edge. Drink now through 2013.
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)