03 Sea Smoke Cellars, Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills "Southing"
Despite the treachery of this vintage--its intense rain and heat--the Southing grapes excelled. This is a rock star pinot--flashy without being too well-groomed; clever, without really being all that intelligent. The huge alcohol and thick, bloody body come together with the acid and a trace of clean tannins. Despite such power, the focus is gorgeous fruit: tart, syrupy cherries that belong more inside a crepe than in this wine. Wild blueberries round out the finish, slightly dusty, with lots of nervy wood spice and subtle French vanilla cream.