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TESSIER PINOT NOIR, SAVERIA VINEYARD, SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS 2015
Wine & Spirits
For the second year in a row, this wine from Kristie Tacey, a research scientist turned winemaker, is nothing short of astonishing. Noted viticulturist Prudy Foxx farms Saveria, a sandy, gently sloping site in the bucolic, aptly named Pleasant Valley on the coastal side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Maybe it’s the regular influx of fog from Monterey Bay that gives the wine its cool, ferny scent and spacious texture. It’s lacy yet full of intense coastal flavor; there’s a sweet purple-flower tone saturating the wine until it takes on the richness of fruit—glints of forest strawberry, bass notes of wild mushrooms and cedar. The one downside: There are only 528 bottles of it.
This is a great example of a lower alcohol, somewhat underripe Pinot Noir that shows solid depth and lovable freshness. Lively aromas of black-raspberry sorbet and dark strawberry show on the nose, while the palate picks up a tart cranberry character. White pepper, thyme and juniper enliven the fruity flavors. Editors' Choice.
NVWE Notes: Wonderfully elegant and captivating from the first sip, this textbook Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot fans-out a perfume of sour red cherry, grenadine, Kirsch, red currant jelly, dark rose petals and cinnamon “red hots”, above dried herb, mineral and forest floor contrasts. It is buoyantly forthcoming on the palate, where focused flavors of bottled cherry, Amarena cherry jam, Kirsch, pomegranate, whortleberry, raspberry coulis, wild strawberry, white and pink peppercorn, sumac berry, dried herbs, and hints of violet and lavender are gently firmed by polished tannins and a drying mineral background, to linger through a long, piquant, food-friendly finish. It will likely improve for the next several years and perhaps beyond. 94 cases made.