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PAUL LATO PINOT NOIR "LANCELOT", PISONI VINEYARD, SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS 2016
NVWE Notes: Deep in color, densely concentrated, focused and distinctive, this is Pisoni fruit at its most regal. The nose is a chiseled mix of dark red cherry, black raspberry, purple plum, pomegranate syrup, violet, dark rose, jerk spice, baking-spice, sandalwood, toffee, tobacco, leather and dried rosemary scents. It is large-scale yet without bombast on the palate, as tannic grip and piquant zest create a lean, coiled mouth-feel. There is fruit and spice to spare however, as dark cherry, black raspberry, Asian plum sauce, cherry pit, red apple skin, peppercorn, mace, hazelnut husk, sandalwood and coffee toffee flavors rise above others of dried herbs and forest mushrooms. It is notably long at the finish, but hard-edged mineral notes, tannic grip and youthful zest create a powerful counter-point to the coiled fruit. A wine for braised shortribs or Prime Rib at this stage, it will want six years and possibly well beyond to star to reveal all of its mysteries.
The 2016 Pinot Noir Lancelot Pisoni Vineyard offers up aromas of wood smoke, plums, tar, spice and berry preserve. On the palate, it's full-bodied and rich, but also more angular, with firm, stony tannins underlying its formidable core of ripe, sweet fruit. While this makes the biggest impact of the Paul Lato Pinot Noirs, I wonder if it will ever attain the same harmony as some of the other wines in the portfolio. Drink Date: 2018 - 2028 William Kelley 27th Apr 2018