MOCK SOMM:  2012 Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Pastorale Vineyard

  Animated, brilliant, a subtext of a dominantly pervasive message of Burgundian woo.  Surprisingly dark, convincing but still gentle, convivial— a delicious Sonoma Coast dote.  I’d been meaning to open this bottle for a while, since I visited JPV at the Silverado Trail fort toward the end of Fall semester.  But last night it forcefully beckoned, charmed, spoke and sung with its alchemically flavorous wings and wrapped me in spells of phenolic Equilibrium and sensory order.  I wasn’t shocked that I loved it as I did, leaving half the bottle for the next night, tonight (1/3/16), to see how it’ll evolve, develop and compound with identity and conviction; its textual and deliciously suggestive rhetoric— rich and precise intentions, layered and cosmic, right after cork removal…..

More communicative than most Pinots I’ve recently met, and again I sipped it first during my visit a couple months ago.  But it speaks, it commands more now, it remembers me— and the hue is surprisingly deep and radiant, quixotic, it teaches and humbly so.. soft palate music and artful notes from palate’s front to back.  Prior, on nose, violet and plush plum and dark cherry— a reserved vanilla drumroll, tremolo.  This Pinot is precisely and  

 poignantly what I mean when I cite the musical, notably jazz, dimensions of wine, especially Pinot.  It recites then hides then you chase it to the next sip hoping for the music to come back and when it does you sip slow, and the small placements of the bottle’s contents to echo, Zen reverb and angularity— the wine’s meditation with you sits; no time, no place, just the amalgamation of you and the ’12 Sonoma Coast world— the fog, the subtlety, the salty oceanic mist and phantasmic motions, ghostly enveloping mise en scène.

Tonight I’ll intersect with the remaining sips, jot my reflective trots.  And with thanks to the producer, the estate, winemaker and team and the fact I visited when I did.