Empire Music Supervisor Jen Ross & Pinot Noir
2013 Domaine Michele Gros Nuits-Saint-Georges ($45)
Pungent aromas of wood and strong reduction block a reasonable assessment of the nose. By contrast there is good freshness to the muscular, suave and very round medium-bodied flavors that possess a succulent mouth feel, partially thanks to the ripe tannins. There is excellent complexity and length on the balanced, delicious and generous finale.
Pomegranate, raspberry and forest floor dominate the nose, with hints of clove. Juicy red and dark fruit lingers long and vibrant on the palate. Exceptional growing conditions, personalized farming, a long cold soak, gravity movements, no fining or filtrations and a pure expression of personality -- this Sta. Rita Hills single-vineyard Pinot Noir is an exemplary product of passion and condition.
2012 Storm Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Sta. Rita Hills ($45)
2013 Storm Pinot Noir Vrede Walker Bay. South Africa ($45)
The 2013 Pinot Noir Vrede was cropped at three tons per hectare and matured in 30% new oak for 11 months (80% François Frère and 20% Mercurey). It has a "quiet" nose at first, quite earthy with black fruit that unfolds in the glass, just a touch of Lapsong Souchang developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very good acidity and tightly coiled (perhaps more so than the debut 2012), with good structured on the stony, sour cherry-tinged finish. Give it another 12 months to flesh out in bottle. Just 350 cases were produced.