The 2014 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is a solid step up over the Anderson Valley release and has more tension, elegance and precision. Offering up classic notes of strawberries, spice, black cherries and a touch of sous bois, it has medium to full-bodied richness, terrific purity of fruit and integrated acidity. Give bottles a year or two and drink through 2026. While the majority of 2014s are charming and supple, that’s certainly not the case with these latest releases from Kevin Harvey. I found all of his 2014s to be concentrated, structured wines that defy the vintage stereotype. While it's going to be great to follow the 2014s, 2013s and 2012s over the coming decade or more, I suspect when all is said and done, the 2014s will be the best of the three. (JD)
I simply adored the 2013 vintage of Bearwallow pinot noir, and the 2014 version is a fine follow-up to that superb wine. The bouquet is deep, pure and nascently complex, wafting from the glass in a blend of black cherries, cola, black plums, woodsmoke, sweet herbs, a dollop of spicy oak and a topnote of cumin. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with outstanding mid-palate depth, ripe, perfectly integrated tannins, bright acids and outstanding length and grip on the poised and youthful finish. This shows significantly more complexity and precision than the very good Anderson Valley bottling, but it is still a puppy and a bit bound up in its suave structural elements. It is built for the long haul and I would give this at least seven or eight years in the cellar before I even contemplated opening a bottle. Not that it is all that bad of a drink right out of the blocks, but there is so much more to come here with bottle age that it would be infanticide to even think of opening bottles before it really has had a chance to develop! 2023-2060+. 93+
The 2014 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is a huge wine. Dark, powerful and intense. The low yields of the vintage are felt in the wine's massive fruit and pure heft. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke and licorice abound in a towering, somewhat burly wine that is going to need quite a bit of time to come around. (AG) 92+
A densely fruited nose consists of spiced black cherry, plum and violet scents. The round, supple and delicious medium weight flavors are deceptively forward on the mid-palate as the backend immediately tightens up due to an abundance of dusty and mouth coating tannins that impart a mild austerity on the somewhat warm finale. My sense is that while this will require on the order of 10 to 12 years of bottle age to resolve the majority of the structure, this should drink reasonably well after only 5 or so.
2014 Varner "Hidden Block - Spring Ridge Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (Previously $45)
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