2012 Onward Pinot Noir Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley

Savory and a little surprising

2012 Onward Pinot Noir Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley

Cerise is a steep vineyard with low-vigor soils, and the site enjoys cooling fog from the nearby Pacific. It is farmed organically and biodynamically. Onward winemaker Faith Armstrong Foster de-stemmed the clusters, and fermented them with ambient yeasts. The wine aged for 18 months in French oak, 20 percent new, with an additional 18 months in bottle prior to release.

It’s a light ruby-raspberry color with a red-fruited fragrance that has top notes of barrel spice. It’s also quite savory, with red fruits both ripe and dried, plus brushy herbs, especially oregano, and a finishing savory blaze of sundried tomato. Light tannins and medium acidity constitute its frame. I’d like a little less oak, but overall this is a wine that grows on you, its savoriness building layer upon layer.

Pair it with vegetables and vegetarian main courses; the herbal-savoriness is a great match. It’s also one of those rare Pinots built for southern Mediterranean cuisine.

14.1% abv | $58 (sample), 160 cases made

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