As I mentioned in my review of the Joseph-Jibril rosé, I can’t be fully objective about this wine, having met one of the winemakers, Jaam Moynihan, when he was an infant and then (much) later helped make introductions for his entrée into the wine industry. How delightful it is to taste his wines!
Fruit for this inaugural varietal red comes from the Marshall Ranch vineyard in the West Sonoma Coast, which has just earned itself an appellation. The wine is exclusively Clone 23 of Pinot, and the winemakers divided the haul into three lots, which they treated to differing levels of carbonic maceration, from zero to ten days. After carbonic (or not), the fruit was foot-trodden and primary and secondary fermentations were spontaneous. After blending, the wine aged briefly in tank before bottling in February.
It is, predictably, youthful, in its mien and mood. The color is limpid cherry. The wine smells like mint, cherries, field strawberry, and blueberry (likely from the carbonic). Texturally it’s ethereal, the wine earning structure from twinkly acidity rather than tannins. Flavors of black cherry and cassis present mid-palate, while the finish shimmers with a spritely glint.
This wine makes an argument for carbonic Pinot. It’s not stentorian, but doesn’t try to be; it’s refreshing and lively, vibrant, spirited. Try it with fresh and milky cheeses.
2021 Joseph-Jibril Carbonic Pinot Noir Marshall Ranch Sonoma Coast Sonoma County
12.6% ABV | $33 (sample)