See what I did in the title there? I’m putting a ‘review’ at the front so you know I’m in review mode, rather than news mode or rant mode – it all helps to identify the post. Meanwhile, the new estate range Levantine Hill Pinot Noir 2016 is good. No, very good, like everything from Levantine Hill The only downer? It’s expensive, though you only need to pick up the heavy bottle and look at the complexity of winemaking method to see where the dollars go.
Handpicked over 7 ‘distinct’ days, the ferment includes some whole bunches, with some wild ferments and some inoculated yeast, with batches spending 1-3 weeks on skins. That’s a lot of winemaking complexity. It all spends 16 months in 35% new oak.
Light ruby red. A whiff of stems, the palate red-fruited, with some glycerol rich red fruit, the palate tipped by sweet vanilla oak, then grippy stem tannins to finish. So serious. Oak a bit heavy-handed, sure, but the balance between stemmy power and sweet fruit is near perfect. Long. Tannins are pithy. Quality at every turn, and importantly, satisfying drinking (if just a little oaky). Best drinking: now to at least five years, likely more. 18.5/20, 94/100. 13.5%, $80. Would I buy it? I can’t afford it. I’ll drink a bottle if you buy some though.