Miner Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
Miner, a Napa producer, was one of my first geeky tasting room experiences where I spent about an hour exhuberantly discussing wine with the tasting room staff. That trip to Napa, now several years past, has become emblematic to me of my shift from wine appreciator to obsessive wine nut. This is one of the very few bottles I had left from that trip and I opened it merely because, which I have come to realize is often the best reason to open something special.
This pinot, however, is not from Napa (where they don’t grow pinot), nor is it from Carneros or Sonoma. Rather, this exciting offering from Miner is actually from the Santa Lucia Highlands – a fact I doubt I noticed when I picked it up, instead preferring to gush over its tastiness.
While my palate certainly has changed since that initial trip to Napa a few years ago, this still stands out as a particularly compelling example of California pinot noir, eschewing the over extraction and syrupy quality that has come to haunt many pinot varietal offerings from California.
On the nose I got tons of spice, black bpepper, pine sap, dill, strawberry and cherry, rhubarb and some earth and minerals lying underneath all the fruit. This is far more complex than many California Pinots I’ve tasted both at this price point and above, and this has certainly benefited from a few years in bottle. The palate was also exciting with clove, cardamom, white chocolate, cherry, rhubarb, some earth and a nicely savory backbone despite the fruit. This is layered and long with very fine tannins and an herbal back-palate that really suffers you to take one more sip, which is, really, the biggest compliment to my then youthful palate.
$60 at the Winery