Napa Pinot Noir is an interesting animal for me. I have tasted very few which I find world class but there are a few from the Carneros AVA that I have found interesting and quite good. We all know that Pinot is a very difficult grape to grow and with the heat in Napa it makes it difficult to control vigor and over ripening. Pinot need a long cool growing season and most places in Napa just don't provide the optimal conditions.
Anyways......Lets get into the wine!
I always have to remember that 2005 was so long ago. It seems like yesterday when I say it, but it was already 4 years ago when this wine was made. The reason why I'm rambling on about that is the color of this wine seems to be fading a bit towards the edge and is picking up a bit of a copper-brick hue.
On the nose I get aromas of plum, tobacco, leather, cranberry, and cherry. I also definitely pick up the distinct scent of oak, which slightly takes a bit away from the fruit purity. On the palate, intense cherry and cranberry flavors take center stage, along with hints of cedar, coffee, leather, and spice. There is a bit of harsh tannin on the finish that is perhaps a slight bit green in nature. Also the alcohol is creeping into the picture along with the presence of oak.
Overall this wine drinks halfway decent, but the thing I'm worried about is the fruit being swallowed up over time by the oak and alcohol. The way I see it is this wine will do one of two things over the next five years. I could get progressively worse and the oak and alcohol could take over, or the wine could soften out and the flavors could meld together a bit more. Either way it's a risky proposition if you're planning on holding on to this one. 85 points