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PAUL LATO PINOT NOIR "THE CONTENDER", DRUM CANYON VINEYARD, STA. RITA HILLS 2015
NVWE Notes: If less powerful and “age-needy” than the grandiose 2014 Contender, the 2015 follows that wine’s flavor profile. The nose, initially plump and a bit broad, gains clarity and elegance with airing, to unveil aromas of Bing cherry, black cherry, ripe red plum, whortleberry, sumac, red rose, pink peppercorn, caramel and a hint of cardamom. Nut husk and cherry pit notes bring a bitter-sweet element to the palate, while Bing cherry, Amarena cherry jam, red plum galette, raspberry cobbler, pencil shaving and hazelnut flavors provide richness. The finish is long, bright, palate-coating and firm, with a burst of pomegranate, sour cherry and cherry pit at the end. It should grow ever more stylish over the next several years.
The 2015 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard is fabulous. Dark, mysterious and brooding in feel, and yet also wonderfully translucent, the appropriately named Contender packs a real punch and will need quite a few years to come together. Even at this early stage, though, the wine oozes class and pedigree. I loved it. Drink 2020 - 2030 Antonio Galloni Sep 2017