Last week we delved into the Umami realm with Kalin Cellars Semillon (1995). My friend, Steve-o went and did me one better by getting his hands on Kalin's Pinot Noir. His impressions are that this Pinot Noir is surprisingly "big" on the nose and palette. So much so that it was difficult to evaluate from a critical point of view. I must concur. This is one rich, intense motherpinot that doesn't lend itself to anything other than mind-expanding sippin'. It is most definitely a Pinot for mature audiences only.
If you're not familiar with Kalin Cellars, read a bit more about them here and here. The '94 Pinot Noir is sourced from Demostene Ranch of the Alexander Valley (Sonoma). Apparently, this vineyard is home to the oldest Pinot Noir plantings in the region. So what does Kalin do with old, gnarly Pinot vines? Read on..
- Somewhere between dusty red and cordovan in color with a wide rootbeer-colored rim
- My nose was darn near overwhelmed by this vino. It's filled with scents of earth, prunes, dates, dried herbs, mint, sasparilla/birch (as in birch beer), and caramel
- In the mouth it is very intense. There are "evolved" flavors of dried cherries, tobacco, orange rind, and spice. It's a heavy-set Pinot Noir with slight tannins that gently coat the palette. Kalin Pinot hits with a tangy attack, followed by a long rich finish - which may be just a bit hot (heavy in the alcohol department)
**** (4 stars out of 5)
The intense, slightly hot finish is my only complaint with this Pinot. However, I think this is a minor quibble considering just how unique the wine is. I'm now on to Kalin's Chardonnay....