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Friday, January 6, 2012


Over Christmas I received a sample of a wine with logo/availability pending (which explains why there is no label on the bottle in the photo), and now that the holidays are over, I finally had a chance to taste it.  And I’m happy to report that the wine confirmed my excitement - it’s as impressive as I had hoped it would be.

“Conjure” 2009 Pinot Noir

Please remember that the sample I received is the 2009, which will not be released.  The 2010 should be released later in 2012.  But after tasting the 2009, I have very high hopes for the 2010.  And now for my tasting notes.
The wine is called “Conjure” - it’s 100% Pinot Noir (Sonoma/Carneros fruit) and very much American style Pinot.  As suggested, I decanted the wine about an hour and a half before taking the first sip, and already the aromas were bursting from the decanter as it received the wine from this bottle without a label.  As tempted as I was to pour even a small glass of the Pinot on account of the beckoning aromas, I resisted the urge and waited until I felt the time was right.

In the glass, the Pinot is a deep red with a dark core and a bright red rim.  Characteristics include ripe fruit with some cherry but a lot more emphasis on raspberry, with smooth baking spices and dark chocolate, a bit of smoke, leather, and even a hint of purple blossoms.  More full and luscious than most Pinots I’ve tasted, the wine is big and textured, with plenty of acidity balanced nicely with fairly smooth but very present tannins, and a long finish mostly reflecting the chocolate.  As I watched it change over the course of a few hours, the wine softened even more.  Elegant and just a bit sassy, it’s a great wine which I chose to sip without any food, but would like to try it with duck, or a lean steak or lamb.  And while I sipped, it was almost like sharing a secret with this Pinot as I swirled it around the Burgundy glass - a secret only until the 2010 is released later this year.
100% Pinot Noir
70% Burgundy clone 667 and the remainder Burgundy clone 115
75% New French oak (Francois Ferrer cooperage) 25% once used or neutral
All Sonoma/Carneros fruit
Harvest Date 10/2/2009
Bottle date 4/19/2011
Vines planted in 2001
Winemaker: Kenneth Juhasz

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