2011 Peay Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Pinot Noir is one of those grapes that can be expressed so many different ways in wine. From silky and light, to complex and rich, it not only expresses where it is grown, its terroir, but also the choices and preferences of the winemaker.

Its blessing can also be its curse. Thin skinned, temperamental, and prone to disease, Pinot Noir that is not handled well either in the vineyard, or by the winemaker, can turn very bad indeed. It is not a particularly easy grape to grow, and good bottles of wine from Pinot Noir are not easy to make.

Enter tonight's Peay Sonoma Coast 2011. This bottle shows exactly the care that I'm talking about. Tart cherry in the nose with complexity showing through a touch of bramble and black tea. It took a bit of time to open, (I'd definitely decant in the future) but was well balanced and silky. This is quality wine made by a caring winemaker with restraint and finesse. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for another bottle, I'm not sure it is yet at its peak. In another year or two, it might be even better.

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