See that bottle with the brown label tucked away in the top-right corner of the above photo? That is also a Pinot Noir, the Block F5 to be exact, also from Cuvaison. That will probably be the last bottle I drink from that particular row. It’s the best of the lot—I thought that 2 years ago when I was still a grounded Pinot Noir fan.
I can only imagine what I would think of it now. My goal is that, by the time I get to it, I will be be an official Cuvaison club member and detaching from this particular bottle will be a breeze. But, forget all that. The Estate Pinot is absolute bliss. I wish I had more.
Exotic red fruit nose—strawberry and loganberry, perhaps a bit of pom fruit. Shows a beautiful transparency that is almost plummy in color. The nose succeeded in stirring fond recollections of a drink my father-in-law makes during our summer visits to Florida: Grog. It comprises dark rum, brown sugar, a squeeze of citrus, and sometimes nutmeg, muddled with crushed ice in a short tumbler. For such a boorish, pirate-esque name, the aromas are, not surprisingly, quite compelling and certainly seductive on a hot sunny day, and traces of it could be found last night in my stem.
Cuvaison’s Estate Pinot Noir, as well as the venerable Block F5 Pinot (of which I have one bottle of the 2006), comes from their own 400-acre Carneros vineyard, a cool, breezy spot blessed with morning fog and afternoon wind. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, anyone?
This is a Pinot that builds in intensity and richness. After a summer of lightly oaked, fruit intense New Zealand Pinot Noir, Carey and I found this wine easily outclassed the lot. There is no missing the Napa swagger—it is seasoned proudly, but deliberately, with oak neither intruding upon the bright fruit and clean acidity or gumming up the textural leanness of a great Pinot Noir. Delicious.
[doing sprints on the grounds at the Cuvaison tasting room in 2008 while in search of Mikee the vineyard cat.]