Equaling its mate from the Hyde Vineyard in richness and nicely focused on posh black cherry fruit with its own streak of creamy, slightly caramelly oak and hints of sweet loam, this medium-full-bodied effort is supple and fully expressed on the palate. Its early impressions of boldness belie its potential to grow in bottle over the next half dozen years and more, and while it will not please those who want Pinot Noir to be lean and tight, it is going to receive plenty of love from the rest of us. Bring on the prime rib roast.
The 2012 Pinot Noir Ulises Valdez Vineyard boasts a nearly opaque ruby/purple color along with a big, sweet bouquet of black currants, black cherries, charcoal, licorice and background oak. This big, juicy, succulent Pinot Noir pulls back before going over the edge.
Ruby-red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes dark berries, incense, smoky oak spices and potpourri. Deeply pitched but lively too, offering sappy, palate-staining black raspberry and boysenberry flavors. Becomes spicier and sweeter with air and picks up notes of candied rose and vanilla. The vibrant finish echoes the floral and spice notes, closing with excellent focus and cut.
Dark red cherry, plum, smoke and licorice all flesh out in the 2012 Pinot Noir Ulises Valdez Vineyard. A big, broad-shouldered wine, the 2012 has plenty of power and bass notes, but less in the way of the aromatics found in so many of these wines. Overall, the style is built on depth and gravitas. It may also be that this site is inherently better suited to Chardonnay than Pinot Noir.
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