Saturday, March 19, 2011

2008 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir

Popped and decanted tonight off of a restaurant wine list with friends at Zinc.  Ruby color in the decanter, and not looking as dark as Southings of the past, but it might have been the lighting in the restaurant.

Youthful nose with some alcohol definitely prevelant. Lots of dark berries, raspberry, black cherry, a ton of strawberry, and some anise, clove, cranberry. Over the course of 2 hours, the alcohol started to blow off.

On the palate, this seems to be the lightest, Sea Smoke I have seen in many vintages. This could however also be attributed to the fact that I haven't drank one of these this young in many of vintages.

More strawberry on the palate, but I also picked up some tight, sour cranberry as well. The wine was definitely tight, but also seemed a bit thin compared to others. Nice acidity, and definitely some alcohol on the palate to show it's youth, but again, less than in years past. What was shocking to me was how the oak in this wine really seemed to be dialed back. I don't know if this is a stylistic quality of Don's, I don't think it is a bad thing for those who consume this in it's youth.

The heat again on this wine wasn't as strong as I considered it to be on the finish, and that was shocking. I also didn't get that "Santa Rita soil" on the nose or the palate that I am very fond of, so who knows. Typically, I open this and decant them at cellar temp, and this seemed a bit warm to me.

All in all, I was shocked at how approachable this wine was from the get go. Not sure if that is Don's intention or not, but in the past I have really liked these wines with age. Overall, too early to give this wine a score, but I am happy to have an even 10 of these in the cellar as well as a mag. Cheers!

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