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SAMSARA PINOT NOIR, RANCHO LA VIÑA, STA. RITA HILLS 2012
Another savory, peppery effort, the 2012 Pinot Noir Rancho la Vina Vineyard has a solid core of black raspberry and cassis-scented fruit to go with plenty of sous bois, wild herbs and tapenade on the nose. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced and graceful on the palate, it has polished tannin, nicely integrated acidity and a great finish. Like the Las Hermanas, it has plenty of stem influence, yet has everything in the right proportions, lots of charm, and is a joy to drink. Fermented with 70% stems and aged 20 months in 30% new French oak, drink it anytime over the coming 5-7 years.
NVWE Notes: As with previous vintages this La Vina melds deep fruit and dark spice into an surprisingly elegant package. The nose layers scents of Bing cherries, dark plums, Asian plum sauce, dates, roast meat, Yorkshire pudding, green and black peppercorns, black olives, dried herbs and dark humidor-spice into a restrained and clearly youthful perfume. It proves both zesty and supple in the mouth, and delivers all of the depth and quiet richness the aromas promise onto the palate. Those flavors linger and grow expansive with airing. Although this beauty will certainly show dramatic improvement if given three or four more years of cellar-time, it gives great pleasure already. 180 cases made.