The 2011 Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard is the most complete of these Pinots. Dark cherries, plums, spices, menthol and licorice are woven together in this totally seamless, impeccable Pinot. Bright saline notes underpin the fruit beautifully. The 2011 captures the vibrancy and coolness style of the year, but with more fruit and better overall harmony than the other wines in the range. Layers of sweet, perfumed fruit wrap around the highly nuanced finish. Silver Eagle is farmed by Sonoma vineyard guru Ulises Valdez. (AG)
Good medium red, the clearest of these 2011s. Complex, perfumed nose offers red cherry, mint, blood orange, minerals, crushed rock and licorice; conveys a strong impression of site specificity. Very densely packed and velvety on the palate, offering excellent energy to the flavors of red fruits, minerals and spices. The serious, sappy finish features firm fruit tannins that I did not find in the other 2011 pinots here. Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown told me that this was the only "fully realized" pinot in the portfolio this year: "There were no weather issues here, and we picked by October 1 without being rushed to bring in the fruit." The crop level was just one ton an acre. (ST)
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2013 Varner "Hidden Block - Spring Ridge Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (Previously $48)