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PAUL LATO PINOT NOIR "THE CONTENDER", DRUM CANYON VINEYARD, STA. RITA HILLS 2016
NVWE Notes: If clearly built for cellaring, this wine is already gorgeous and showcases Paul’s gift for bringing “cuddliness” to the most majestic fruit. The savory-drenched nose reveals an even richer fruit core as it airs, so its rich mother-lode of Amarena cherry, Maraschino cherry, Elephant Heart plum, Santa Rosa plum and lingonberry proves more than a match for the cascade of sumac berry, pink peppercorn, celery seed, star anise, sandalwood, nutmeg and hazelnut husk than accompanies it. On the palate it proves tongue-coating, flavor-packed, juicy-rich, structured and super-long. Never less than impressive, it ends with a flourish of Amarena cherry jam, pomegranate, lingonberry, Elephant Heart plum, strawberry-rhubarb pie, crushed red rose, white tea, cinnamon stick, mace, celery seed and nut husk flavors. Certainly four to six years from its peak, it will be worth the wait.
The darkest and most brooding in profile of these wines from Paul Lato, the 2016 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard opens in the glass with aromas of ripe cherry, black plums, spice box and tar. On the palate, it's medium-bodied and also the brightest and most tensile, with racy acids, excellent mid-palate depth and a crunchy core of fruit, concluding with a complex, sapid finish. This should be fascinating to follow over the next decade and perhaps beyond. Drink Date: 2018 - 2028 William Kelley 27th Apr 2018