VINOUS 94 points

Limpid red. An impressively complex bouquet displays sexy dark berry preserve, incense and candied violet scents, along with suggestions of cola and fivespice powder. Sappy, densely packed black raspberry and boysenberry flavors show impressive clarity and spicy thrust and a jolt of juicy acidity. Closes with real intensity and appealing sweetness, leaving suave floral pastille and Asian spice notes behind.

Compared to the 2015 Saffron Fields Field Blend Pinot noir, this Whole Cluster Pinot noir uses completely different blocks and fermentation style on this bottling of three barrels. This is comprised of 2/3rd Pommard and 1/3rd Wadenswil clones of Pinot noir with both lots being right at 50 percent whole cluster.

Im Whole Cluster Fermentation the stems are present to add not only a spicy exuberance to the wine, but also a resulting pH shift in the wine due to the potassium in the stems. It can be controversial but it is always more interesting. In this case we are showing a nose of freshly sliced anise bulb and just mown alfalfa. Given twenty minutes of air, massive aromas of black cherries and black plums roasting together in duck fat in a cast iron skillet heated over a campfire are obviously present. This wine tells a story with aromatics alone.

The smokiness on the nose is more comforting than overpowering, like a warm embrace. This is closely followed by bright fresh cherries and ripe plum flesh and a bit of reduction manifesting itself in the cast iron aroma. The entry is full and forthcoming with graphite and dried black cherries over roasted duck breast. Middle is fat yet with super fine-grained almost talc-like tannins. Finish as long with waves of roasted anise, apple wood smoked bacon and black cherry pie with a caramelized crust. Damned good.