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91 Points for the 2012 Lancel Creek Pinot Noir

From the Prince of Pinot:

This vineyard was developed by Ulises Valdez in 2002. It occupies a rolling hillside near the town of Occidental. Pommard and 777 clones. Aged 9 months in 50% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose grows on you over time, opening up to reveal aromas of Bing cherries, dark red berries, spice, and timber. Middleweight flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a hint of cherry cola and pomegranate. Soft and silky on the palate with a good cut of underlying acidity. Impeccably balanced and particularly refreshing due to the bright acidity on the intensely fruity finish. Score: 91


Wine & Spirits

Wine & Spirits Magazine Feb 2014 93 Pts
The Isabel Dusi Vineyard sits along Highway 101 in Paso's Templeton Gap - which means that is gets some cooling influence from the Pacific.  The vines here are 60 to 80 years old, dry farmed, the zin interrupted by an occasional vine of carignane. In 2011, these old vines delivered fruit with a heady ripeness that feels vigorous rather than jammy.  A ping of acidity points the fruit toward black raspberry flavors, shot through with scents  of black pepper, pine needles and smoke. A cooling layer of tannin keeps it on the rails and provides plenty of length.  Have this on hand for roast leg of lamb - it's a beautiful example of what zin can do on Paso's sunny, rolling hills.