Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review of 2000 Westwood Pinot Noir, Haynes Vineyard, Napa Valley

First thing I notice, the simple yet elegant label, with undeniable artistic merit in its black tree and off-white background. Love the W on the foil, right atop the cork. The cork has the vintage printed, or branded, on it; it’s the first thing I see after removing the foil. Smelling cork, floral and earthy notes. Pouring. Light color. It looks like my old stereotype of a Pinot. Melodic nose of earth, a subtle vegetable characteristic, red berry, cherry. Giving it a few swirls. Letting it sit for a couple.
Now on nose, the above notes with smoke and damp oak. Sipping. The mouthfeel and mid-palate are gentle, slightly syrup in delivery. Almost too gentle, but otherwise wonderful. Nice fruit and dexterity. Now this bottle’s balance is beginning to really show itself. The finish, wonderful. It has a certain shyness, especially with the earthy and veggie tones, some strawberry. Vanilla presence seems to aid the longevity of this bottle’s back-palate and finish. Perfect concert among these aspects. Like a lingering and flirtatious apparition on my palate. Want to take another sip, but also don’t. Not yet.
I’m pleasantly proven wrong with this bottle, and I say that because of that old stereotype I embraced, which prohibited me from enjoying this varietal. People enjoying Pinot, who want to fully appreciate its splendor, have to work to adequately relish it. But, now I understand, this labor is the nucleus of Pinot’s allure. My palate, enjoys a challenge, a maze, a mystery. So I’m home.
Tasting this 2000 was truly an honor. I have to admit, I was a tad timid. This winery, and bottle, have shown me something about Pinots, and something about my understanding of wine in general, truly. Another characteristic I like about this bottle is the alcohol content of 13.5%. The fruit trumps any hotness, or obnoxious tannic turmoil.
Going to investigate this winery further, see what else they have for we in adoration of wine.


Review composed on Wed. 1/20/10

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