The 2011 vintage in California has been written off by some critics, but in many cases it was a stellar year for coastal pinot noir. Case in point: this crisp and earthy wine, layered and deeply flavorful yet almost weightless, with a captivating fragrance that pulls between forest floor and citrus scents, bringing Earl Gray tea to mind. The fruit comes from Flowers’s far-coast Sea View Ridge property along with other small vineyards on the western Sonoma coast. A touch of whole-cluster fermentation (five percent in 2011) contributes to the wine’s redwood bark spiciness without interrupting the brightness of the fruit. It’s delicious now and feels balanced to gain from a few more years of age.
A model of total elegance and class, the 2011 Pinot Noir from Flowers is absolutely gorgeous. Savory herbs, crushed flowers, licorice, salt, orange peel, mint and plums are all woven together in the glass. Today, the 2011 is impeccably crafted and flat-out gorgeous. Although very much a medium-bodied wine, I would not at all be surprised to see the 2011 blossom with more time in bottle. This is an impressive effort. Unfortunately, the Sonoma Coast was the only 2011 Flowers Pinot I was able to taste, but based on this effort, 2011 is certainly shaping up well here. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021.
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