Empire Music Supervisor Jen Ross & Pinot Noir
Wines of the Night
2012 Storm Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Sta. Rita Hills ($45)
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.
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.
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.